Escondido Public Library


Collection Development Policy

Purpose of Escondido Public Library’s Collection Development Policy
The Collection Development Policy is intended to guide the selection and evaluation of materials and resources that meet the current and anticipated needs of Escondido’s community. The policy directly relates collection development to the Library's mission, vision, and values statements, and it defines the scope and standards of the various collections. The policy also establishes roles and responsibilities for materials selection and defines a process for addressing patron questions and concerns.

As the community changes, the Library reassesses and adapts its collections to reflect new and differing areas of interest and concern, technology, and information formats.

Philosophy of Selection
In support of its mission, Escondido Public Library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements of the American Library Association. These three documents can be accessed online through the following links:

The Library upholds the right of the individual to secure information even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others. Race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and political/social view will not be used as criteria for exclusion of materials. Materials available in the Library present a diversity of viewpoints enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy.

Scope of the Collection
The primary responsibility of Escondido Public Library is to serve the citizens of Escondido by providing a broad choice of materials to meet their informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs. Materials are selected to aid individuals, groups, and organizations in attaining practical solutions to daily problems and to enrich the quality of life for all community members.

Standards of public libraries nationwide and the parameters of budgets and space availability influence the Library’s policy. Access to specialized and comprehensive collections that exist elsewhere in the greater San Diego area may be provided through interlibrary loan and direct referral.

Escondido Public Library offers a broad choice of circulating print and non-print materials that are selected to accommodate the diversity of tastes, reading levels, languages, and interests of users of all ages. These items come in a variety of formats such as traditional print, large print, books on CD, eBooks, and eAudiobooks. The Library also offers a strong reference collection of print and online resources that support reference services. The Library’s local history archive, the Pioneer Room, provides a non-circulating collection of materials relating to the history of Escondido.

Responsibility for Selection
The ultimate authority and responsibility for the selection of Library materials rests with the Library Director or designee, who delegates selection to the professional library staff (librarians & archivist).

Selection Criteria
All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.

  • Popular interest
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Currency of information or format
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Relationship to existing materials in collection
  • Readability or ability to sustain interest
  • Appropriateness of subject to the age and/or level of the intended audience
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, producer, illustrator, or artist
  • Creative, literary, or technical quality
  • Physical condition
  • Accuracy and authentication
  • Critical assessments in a variety of professional journals and attention in media
  • Circulation as monitored through the Library’s ILS
  • Cost and availability
  • Relationship to materials in other area libraries
  • Local emphasis
  • Availability of physical space
  • Multiple copies of materials are purchased in response to user demand as evidenced by the number of holds, anticipated popularity, and monitoring of the collection.

* For selection criteria relating to the Pioneer Room, the Library’s local history archive, see page 5.

The Collection


  • Fiction – The Library's adult collection includes a wide variety of fiction representing diverse genres and significant works of the past. The Library makes every effort to acquire fiction, which is representative of the cultural and ethnic community that it serves and to satisfy the diversity of interests and recreational needs of its users.
  • Non-fiction – The Library aims to acquire materials that provide a core of basic knowledge. In addition, the Library selects, makes accessible, and promotes the use of materials that:
    • Address contemporary issues
    • Provide self-help information
    • Nourish intellectual, aesthetic, creative, and spiritual growth
    • Facilitate continuing education
    • Enhance job-related knowledge and skills
    • Increase knowledge of affairs of the community, the country, and the world
    • Support business, cultural, recreational, and civic interests in the community
    • Represent a variety of viewpoints


Youth Collection – The Library maintains two collections, one for children ages birth – 6th grade and one for teens in grades 7-12. These collections provide materials to encourage lifelong reading habits for newborns, preschoolers, students in grades K-12, parents, and adults working with children. The collections provide fiction and non-fiction materials in a variety of formats to satisfy and stimulate their informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs. Items in the children’s collection reflect a strong emphasis on picture books, easy readers, fiction, non-fiction, and media. Teen materials are primarily high interest, high circulating items. Materials are selected with regard to the stages of emotional and intellectual maturity of youth using professional review media.

  • Materials in the youth collections supplement resources in school libraries, but are not intended to support all aspects of school curricula or homework assignments.
  • Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers are solely responsible for reviewing, limiting, or supervising their child or teen’s access to Library materials.


Media – The Library maintains a media collection in a variety of formats including, but not limited to, DVDs and video games. This collection is comprised of works of film, music, theater, television, and documentaries representing a wide range of genres. An Adult music CD collection is maintained through donations. It is essential for staff to monitor technological developments in media formats, so that wise and cost-effective collection decisions are made for the community.


Graphic Novels – The Library maintains graphic novel collections for juveniles, teens and, adults. Graphic novels encourage new and reluctant readers while satisfying the growing popularity of illustrated books. Selection of print and electronic graphic novels follows the same criteria as other Library collections.


Large Print –  The major emphasis of this collection is popular fiction and high interest non-fiction.


Newspapers and Magazines – The Library's newspaper and magazine collection provides current and retrospective information aimed at meeting the research and recreational reading needs of the community. This collection supplements the book collection by providing up-to-date information and consists of diverse publications of interest to the community. Journals which are highly technical or scholarly are generally not included in the print collection. Online databases supplement the print collection offering a wide variety of searchable publications that include more technical or detailed articles. In addition to magazines, the collection includes newspapers published locally and significant national newspapers. Back issues of magazines circulate. Current and back issues of many titles are available in the Library’s online magazine database.


Paperbacks – The Library maintains an uncatalogued paperback collection, acquired from donations, to provide recreational reading in popular areas of interest.


Foreign Language Materials – The Library is committed to developing and maintaining  Spanish and foreign language collections that address the needs of a diverse population.The Library maintains an extensive collection of Spanish language materials aimed at meeting the recreational and informational needs of the local Spanish-speaking community. Resources include books, magazines, newspapers, and other media formats for children and adults.


Local Authors – The Library maintains titles that are written by local authors as a special collection. Whether purchased or donated, these titles are evaluated based on standard collection development guidelines.


Government Documents – The Library collects documents from the City of Escondido and local Environmental Impact Reports (EIR). City documents are generally retained for five years in the Library’s reference collection.


Online Databases – Online databases extend the collection by providing timely and versatile access to information. Many of the databases contain specialized information not found in the Library’s print collection or unavailable in print format. Some databases duplicate print sources, which are carefully evaluated for retention with consideration to cost, frequency of use, and ease of access to Library users.


Reference Collection – The Library maintains a reference collection, which is used to answer questions and to serve the informational needs of Library users. Reference sources are characterized by their ability to provide information and to summarize, condense, or give a comprehensive overview of a variety of topics. These materials are non-circulating in order to be readily available to all patrons.


Professional Reference Collection – The Library maintains a reference collection for professional development. The collection is comprised of books and professional journals selected to cover a broad range of library issues, trends, and news. This collection is for internal staff use and does not circulate for public use.


Literacy Materials – The literacy collection provides material in print and electronic formats to support the Library's Adult Literacy Services program. Workbooks, textbooks, and manipulative teaching aids comprise a large portion of the collection and provide strong support for instruction. Fiction and non-fiction titles, including graphic novels, are selected for high interest/developing reading levels and emphasize practical subjects of interest to adults.


Pioneer Room (Local History Archive) –  Escondido Public Library’s Pioneer Room is the primary historical research center for the community of Escondido. The Pioneer Room   identifies, collects, preserves, and provides access to a non-circulating collection of records, manuscripts, and other significant resources of enduring historical, legal, administrative, and fiscal value.

Documents, photographs, and other reference materials are available for researching a variety of local history topics, including historic homes and properties, biographies on people and families local to Escondido, and events pertaining to the history and development of Escondido and the surrounding region.

    Scope of Collection

  • The Pioneer Room maintains a collection of Escondido newspapers on microform, supported by a topical file of news clippings and scrapbooks. The Library also acquires current newspapers and periodicals about Escondido, a representative selection of magazines published in Escondido, and many newsletters and other publications issued by local organizations. The Pioneer Room may also collect selected ephemera of local significance. Non-print materials include Escondido-related visual and sound recordings, slides, art works, and posters. 
    • Materials in the collection cover the time period after the discovery of California by the Spanish through present day. Archival holdings pertaining to pre-contact American-Indian culture, represented by drawings or photographs of the non-sacred inscriptions, which represent the historical record of indigenous culture, may also be considered.
    • The collection may include materials that preserve the histories of the City of Escondido; Escondido Public Library; local clubs, organizations, schools, churches, businesses, and institutions; local customs and culture, and important local events and people.
    • The Pioneer Room selectively accepts gifts of manuscripts, collections of papers, memorabilia, or photographs, particularly when the material relates to Escondido’s founding families, the City of Escondido, and its official functions. Donations to the Pioneer Room require a completed Escondido Public Library Deed of Gift form which can be obtained from Pioneer Room or Library Administration staff. Artifacts will not be collected.
    • The primary focus is on materials pertaining to early Escondido pioneers, the early Spanish and Mexican settlers, present-day community leaders, and the American Indians of the area. The secondary focus is on the collection of materials representing Escondido and the surrounding region. Migration patterns throughout the state of California may also be included.
    • The Pioneer Room collects primary and secondary materials that document the history of the founding/pioneer families and other individuals who have contributed to the development of Escondido and the surrounding region to assist present and future residents in the pursuit of their family histories. This could include the history of families and/or individuals who were born or who lived in Escondido but became prominent elsewhere.
  • Selection Criteria 
    The following considerations are used to evaluate materials for inclusion in the Pioneer Room collection:
  • Relevance to Escondido history
  • Authenticity
  • Cost to preserve, process, house, and provide access
  • Restrictions by donor
  • Availability of metadata, including description of event/place/object, and identifying names of persons involved
  • Provenance
  • Security to store and display materials
  • Non duplication of material
  • Physical condition
  • Physical space


Textbooks – Adult textbooks are occasionally acquired when needed to provide broad or introductory coverage in various subject areas. Recognizing the responsibility of schools and universities to provide access to required textbooks for their students, the Library does not collect textbooks required for school curricula.

Website Content
Through its website, Escondido Public Library directs users to informational resources on the internet that complement, enhance, and sometimes parallel, resources housed in the Library collection.

  • Scope and Breadth – A limited number of links are made to internet sites based on the informational needs of the community, areas of emphasis in the collection, and local areas of interest. A particular emphasis is made on selecting sites created by governmental, educational, and non-profit entities. Links may also be made to sites created by for-profit organizations when they meet selection criteria and informational needs.
  • Selection Criteria – Criteria for selecting sites include authority, coverage, accuracy and relevance, quality of information, organization, currency, and ease of use. Links to sites are made selectively based on the scope of the Library’s website and will be deleted or removed when they are outdated or superseded by newly identified sites.

Purchase Suggestions
The Library strongly encourages input from the community concerning the collection. A suggestion procedure enables Library patrons to request that a particular item be purchased. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. Purchase requests help the Library develop collections which serve the interests and needs of the community. Suggestions are made online through the Library’s website.

Gifts and Donations
Escondido Public Library accepts gifts for the collection that fall within needed subject categories as determined by the Library Director or designee and the staff. Gift additions must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials and are subject to the following limitations:

  • Donations accepted by Escondido Public Library are considered the property of the City of Escondido;
  • The Library makes the final decision on the use or other disposition of the gift and determines the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials;
  • The Library reserves the right to refuse an offered donation. All donated materials must be in good condition and free of dirt, mold, moisture, and pests;
  • Donations to the Pioneer Room require a completed Escondido Public Library Deed of Gift form available from Pioneer Room or Library Administration staff;
  • Monetary gifts to the collection are always welcome and may be designated as memorials;
  • Monetary donations are accepted in lieu of newspapers and magazine subscriptions;
  • Donors may suggest subjects or titles to be acquired with their donation, but the Library reserves the right of final decision.

Collection Maintenance
Maintenance of the Library's collection through constant re-evaluation by Library staff ensures its usefulness and relevancy to the community. This evaluation depends on the staff's professional expertise in assessing the needs of the community and the content of the collection. Those materials determined to no longer be of value are withdrawn from the collection.

Withdrawing Library Materials

  • Library materials are withdrawn (often referred to as “weeded”) for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Availability of information locally or digitally
  • Duplication
  • Subject matter is no longer timely, accurate, or relevant
  • Damage or poor condition
  • Space limitations
  • Insufficient use
  • Research value
  • Preservation and storage costs



  • Replacement of withdrawn materials is not automatic. Library staff assess the need for replacing materials that are damaged, withdrawn, or otherwise lost. The decision to replace is influenced by:
  • Availability of copies through other libraries
  • Popular interest
  • Adequacy of coverage in the subject area
  • Significance in subject area
  • Cost and availability to purchase

Request for Reconsideration
Library patrons who recommend the review of appropriateness or removal of a particular item in the Library collection may request and submit a Statement of Concern About Library Resources form available from Information Desk staff. The form will be reviewed by the Library Director or designee and staff in relation to the Library's mission statement and the selection criteria in this Collection Development Policy. An evaluation of review materials submitted by the patron and staff will be made in accordance with the Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy which can be viewed on the Library’s website. A response will be made by the Library Director or designee within 21 days of receiving the formal objection.

Revision of Policy
This Collection Development Policy will be periodically evaluated by the Library Director or designee and staff. Revision occurs to maintain a timely and relevant policy. The Collection Development Policy must be approved by the Library Board of Trustees in order to be adopted.


Approved by the Escondido Public Library Board of Trustees, 3/8/12; 9/12/17