Collection Management


The Collection Development Policy supports the mission, vision and core values of the Everett Public Library. It guides the staff in the development and management of the collection and informs the public of the principles that we follow. 

Principles of EPL Collection Development

  • It is the goal of the Library to provide a diverse collection of materials, in a variety of formats and languages, for all ages, responsive to the needs and interests of the community within our budgetary and space limitations. 
  • In order to support an informed public, the collections represent a variety of viewpoints and may include materials that some members of the public consider to be controversial in nature. 
  • The Library provides open and equal access to library collections to all resident users.
  • In selecting materials and electronic media, library staff uses professional resources, judgment, knowledge and experience
  • Staff anticipates the needs and interests of the community and also considers customer requests for materials. 
  • We preserve and share our community's history through the Northwest Room collections. 
  • We believe that a high quality library collection must be kept up-to-date by judicious oversight, removing outdated and worn-out items, while preserving, and when necessary and possible, replacing, classics and items of lasting value. 


The Everett Public Library Board of Trustees approves the collection management policy, and invests the responsibility for collection management in the Library Director.

On a day-to-day basis, the policy is administered by the head of the Adult Services department and the head of the Youth Services department, and implemented by the professional staff. The professional staff selects and maintains materials in areas assigned to them by their supervisors. 

Selection of Materials

The Library emphasizes breadth over depth, unabridged over abridged and general treatments over specialized, scholarly and professional treatments.

Because technologies for sound, image, and electronic delivery of information continue to evolve, the Library will monitor and evaluate new formats, implementing them when appropriate.

There is no single set of criteria that can be applied in all cases. Some resources may be judged based on their artistic merit or scholarship while others are judged based on the recreational interests of the community. The criteria for judging fiction, nonfiction, and electronic media will vary. Materials are judged as a whole rather than on particular passages.

Library's general collection criteria are as follows:

  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Currency, timeliness and accuracy of the material 
  • Present and potential relevance to the community
  • Public demand (current and anticipated)
  • Relation to the existing collection 
  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for the intended audience 
  • Receipt or nomination for major awards or prizes
  • Positive professional reviews
  • Value of the resource in relation to cost
  • Limitations of shelving space and budget to purchase
  • Ease of availability in-print, available through regular vendors 

Collection Maintenance

The Library's material selectors are responsible for decisions regarding weeding, repair, and replacement in their area of the collection. Proper maintenance of the collection provides our users with what they need and expect: useful, current materials in good physical condition.

Criteria used in evaluating whether an item should be removed from the collection include:

  • Accuracy 
  • Physical condition
  • Obsolescence 
  • Current and potential use
  • Completeness (sets) 
  • Unique reference value 
  • Availability of similar materials 
  • Historical value 

Gift Books

The Library welcomes donations of books and other materials and accepts monetary contributions toward the purchase of materials. The Library reserves the right to decide the disposition of all gifts received. Gifts added to the Library's collection become the property of the Everett Public Library and will be placed where most appropriate. Material not added to the Library's collection will be sold in the library or by a used book vendor. The proceeds from material sales are used by the Library to support our mission.

Approved by Board of Trustees

Everett Public Library: 6/15/2010