Collection Development Policy

The Blair Public Library is committed to:

  • Maintaining an up-to-date collection of basic works of lasting value.
  • Providing timely materials expressing a variety of opinions on issues of current and historical interest.
  • Purchasing appropriate quantities of items in current demand.
  • Purchasing or borrowing items requested by users in accordance with policy.
  • Supplying self-help materials for informal personal growth.
  • Supporting educational, civic, and cultural activities within the community.

The Librarian will select materials on the basis of community interests and general needs. The general collection will include currently published juvenile, young adult and adult fiction and non-fiction, significant books of the past and present, newspapers, and current editions of the most useful reference books.

In Library acquisition, priority is given to printed materials, primarily books, over other media. Magazines, pamphlets, and maps share in this priority, as do microforms when they are appropriate as substitutes. Other media that are appropriate and cost effective will be considered if the funds are available to support them. This includes audio and electronic formats.  The library will attempt to provide related equipment not readily available within the community, taking into consideration cost, durability, and manageability.

Gift books or materials are accepted with the understanding that the library will keep what it deems useful and may dispose of the rest without accounting to the donors. The library reserves the right to determine the placement and conditions of use concerning the gift.

The library incorporates as part of its policy, insofar as they apply to book selection, the Intellectual Freedom Statement, and the Library Bill of Rights, which endorses each citizen’s freedom to read, as guaranteed by the Constitution.

As a forum for ideas and information, the library provides a broad spectrum of opinion on a variety of topics. Books and other materials are selected without bias in regard to the author’s race, nationality, political, moral, religious, or sexual beliefs. The library does not practice censorship nor promote particular beliefs or views. The presence of an item in the library’s collection in no way constitutes endorsement of the contents of the item by the library or city administration. The processing and shelving of materials are not used to reflect value judgments on materials. There is no labeling of items or catalog entries to indicate a point of view or bias.

Responsibility for the use of library materials by minors rests with their parents or guardians.

Collection Development Guidelines


Adult, Young Adult and Juvenile book selections are made based on:

  • ·         Review of literary journals, bestseller lists, and publisher’s catalogs.
  • ·         Review of the Public Library and Children’s Core Catalogs.
  • ·         Patron requests and suggestions.
  • ·         Current interests, events and school assignments.

Library users not finding desired materials within the library’s collection may request that these materials be purchased by filling out a request to purchase form. These requested items are then subject to the same selection criteria as other materials.

Every effort is made to provide materials that will be of interest and use to the citizens of Blair. Because the library serves a diverse community, it is inevitable that some items in the collection will be offensive to library users. Persons wishing to register complaints about specific items in the collection and to recommend that the library avoid the purchase of similar items in the future may do so by completing in full a Library Complaint/Recommendation Form and returning it to the Library Director, which will then be reviewed by the Library Board of Trustees and the Director.

Educational Resources

The library houses an educational resource collection.  Selections for the collection are based on

  • ·         Curriculum standards for reading, spelling, English, science, math, history, music and geography.
  • ·         Early childhood development skills.
  • ·         Creative play.


The following guidelines have been established to concentrate purchases on those genealogical items which will best serve the research and needs of the greatest number of citizens.

  • Priority is given to collecting Nebraska genealogical materials.
  • Select materials are purchased concerning neighboring states.
  • Materials not purchased are family genealogies and genealogies concerned with foreign countries except for guides to doing research in foreign countries. Such materials may be accepted as gifts.

Local Histories

The Library collects all manner of materials of local history, regardless of format, with the exception of artifacts. This includes almost all significant local materials of any kind. Exceptions are esoteric family papers, personal scrapbooks, and pictures that have a limited historical significance The same policy applies to purchase of materials dealing with Washington County.

For the State of Nebraska the library acquires some selected state publications and published histories, biographies of major persons, political and economic histories, as well as other studies.


The Library will select audio books and DVDs  based upon patron requests and current bestselling fiction and non-fiction material. Music CDs are selected based on current releases and patron requests. 


The Library will choose subscriptions to newspapers on the basis of national reputation and patron demand.   The Blair Public Library retains issues for 90 days.  The local newspaper is retained until the microfilm is available and acquired.


Once a year the librarian will review the serials purchased on subscription and decide which are to be canceled because of lack of patron interest. Patron requests for specific serials will be monitored and reviewed during the annual review.


Documents acquired by the library will not be treated as a unique format but will be chosen, cataloged, and processed, as are related library materials.

 Collection Evaluation and MaintenanceCollection evaluation and weeding are ongoing activities, regularly performed as staffing permits and needs dictate. Books are considered for binding, replacement or withdrawal when they are in poor physical condition.

The librarian who does the selection for the library has the responsibility for the collection evaluation and weeding. This person may wish to seek another opinion when questions arise or may wish to delegate the task to a subordinate, but is responsible for its performance.

The following criteria are applied as a basis for replacing or withdrawing material:

  1. All Books, Media, and Educational Resources:
  • Misleading and or factually inaccurate.
  • Damaged or worn beyond mending or rebinding.
  • Superseded by a truly new edition or by a much better book on the subject.
  • Of no discernible literary or scientific merit.
  • Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the community.
  • Existence of duplicate copies.
  • Lack of circulation.
  1. Serials
  • The library retains serials on a rotating two year basis.  Exceptions may be authorized by the librarian.

Books or materials withdrawn from the library collection will be placed with donated materials that the library staff has deemed unsuitable for the library collection. These books will be sold by the Blair Friends of the Library. Unsold books may be donated to charity or recycled.

Accepted by the library Board, Oct. 6, 1991

Revised, reviewed and approved, 8/2013
Reviewed 4/2016
Reviewed 7/2017
Reviewed 8/2018
Reviewed 7/2020