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Rolling Hills Library Policy Manual

SECTION 1 - Organizational Policies
SECTION 2 - Management Policies 
SECTION 3 - Personnel Policies
SECTION 4 - Library Services
SECTION 5 - Technical Services & Collection Policies

SECTION 5-Technical Services & Collection Policies

5.1 Integrated Online Library System
5.2 Database Maintenance
5.3 Acquisitions
5.4 Cataloging
5.5 Item Processing
5.6 Authority & Responsibility for Selection of Materials
5.7 Scope of the Collection
5.8 Criteria & Selection Aids
5.9 Collection Objectives
5.10 Weeding
5.11 Challenge to Library Materials, Programs, and Displays
5.12 Non-Circulating Items

5.1    Integrated Online Library System
An integrated online library system (ILS) is a software package needed to keep the records of items owned by the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library (RHCL) and to keep records of patron transactions when they borrow library materials.

The library will endeavor to have the best possible ILS given the budget available and any technological constraints that may exist.  The ideal ILS will be designed for public library usage, updated on a regular basis, interoperable with other library software systems, compatible with computer management software, and provide features which enhance the efficiency of library operations.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.2    Database Maintenance
The library maintains two databases, one for the collection and one for library patrons.  Accuracy in both of these databases is essential to library operations.

The library will have a plan in place and make every effort on a regular basis to update and correct the contents of these two databases.  Patron records may be purged or made inactive no less than 36 months after the listed expiration date if there has been no activity on the account.  Title records will be weeded from the collection database if there are no longer any holdings owned by the library.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.3 Acquisitions
RHCL acquires items through two primary means, as a purchase or as a donation.  For donations, the library follows all processes as lined out in our Gifts & Donations Policy.  For purchases, the library uses established library vendors for buying materials.  These vendors offer discounts based on different criteria and also offer continuations or standing orders to automate the process of ordering library materials.

RHCL will take advantage of all available discounts when ordering materials for the library collection.  The library will also set up automatic ordering plans for popular materials in order to simplify the selection and acquisitions processes.  These ordering plans will be reviewed no less than every two (2) years and adjustments made based on demand and analysis of community needs.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.4    Cataloging
Adding records to or removing records from the collection database is called cataloging.  Cataloging staff at RHCL will select records from national cataloging resources or bibliographic utilities which most closely reflect the actual item, in both content and physical description.  Records should be entered with correct punctuation and capitalization, as described in generally acceptable cataloging rules for libraries.  If an existing record cannot be located, a local record may be created to make the item available to library patrons in a timely manner.  Cataloging decisions will follow an established collection schema which lists what sub-collections the library will have and how to describe and label each type of item.

Items in the library’s collection will be noted in regional or national bibliographic utilities to facilitate the interlibrary loan process.  Our library is obligated to list items in our collection and make them available to lend if we wish to also borrow items from other libraries.  Items withdrawn from the local collection must be removed from both the local catalog and the bibliographic utility to keep our holdings accurate in both databases.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.5    Item Processing
Items acquired by the library must be processed for the collection before they are shelved or check out is allowed.  Items will be marked with the library’s property stamp or a similar property mark.  Labels and barcodes will be affixed in standard locations to give the collection a uniform appearance.  Item protection, such as book jacket covers or replacement cases for audiovisual materials, will be used whenever possible.  The goal of item processing is to make items ready for the collection and also give them support and protection to allow for the greatest possible usage by the community before they wear out and need to be removed or replaced.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.6 Authority & Responsibility for Selection of Materials
The two main purposes of the library’s collection policies are 1) to guide staff in their work and 2) to inform the public about the principles on which selection of materials is based.  Responsibility for selection of materials ultimately rests with the Library Director.  The Library Director may delegate this responsibility to selected professionals and other staff members.  The library welcomes suggestions from library users for items to add to the collection.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.7 Scope of the Collection
Given the geographic location of the library outlets of the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library and the nearby availability of local, historical, and genealogical information at other area institutions, it is accepted that the general scope of the collection is that of a popular materials library.

Although the library’s collection may contain items of a local, historical, or genealogical nature, the library will only maintain these materials as a part of an active and circulating collection and will not devote resources to the conservation or preservation of items that are best held or researched at other institutions.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.8 Criteria & Selection Aids
General Criteria for Selection

The following criteria are used when selecting an item for the library collection, either purchased or donated.  An item need not meet all the criteria listed, but it must satisfy at least two of the ten General Criteria for Selection.

  1. Current and anticipated interests and needs of the public.
  2. Accuracy of the information.
  3. Favorable reviews in library and other review sources.
  4. Author, artist, or publisher reputation.
  5. Social significance.
  6. Coverage of material in the collection on this topic.
  7. Quality of the material.
  8. Availability of funds.
  9. Alignment with the library’s strategic plan.
  10. Diversity of subject matter and point of view.

Selection Aids

Public libraries use a variety of sources to aid in the selection of materials.  The library may use professional journals, book review periodicals, popular media outlets, peer recommendations, vendor selection aids, and/or patron title requests in the selection of materials.  Selection aids will themselves be reviewed periodically for usefulness and adopted or discarded as library staff deem appropriate.  Selection aids are also used in deciding the age designation of acquired materials for Youth collections, though final determination and placement is made after receiving and reviewing the actual works.

Controversial Works

Selection is based on the total work and not on the presence of words, phrases, or situations which in themselves might be objectionable.  Serious works presenting an aspect of some problem in life are not excluded because of frank language.  The library strives to provide works presenting different points of view, which enables individuals to make up their own minds about important life questions.  Works will not be excluded because of the political, moral, ethical, religious, racial, or national views of the author.  The RHCL Board of Trustees has endorsed statements on intellectual freedom which inform both the provision of public services and the selection of materials for the collection.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015.  Revised June 27, 2023. Back to Top

5.9 Collection Objectives
The objective of collection development is to create a library of materials, both on-site and through online access, to fill the community’s needs for informational and recreational materials for reading, learning, and enjoyment.  Our aim is to provide the widest possible range of access given the constraints of space, time, and funding that we operate within.  


The library maintains adult and youth collections based on the General Criteria for Selection.

A.  Adult

Materials are selected to meet the informational and recreational needs of adults in the community.  Materials in a variety of formats are selected to maintain a balanced collection.

B.  Youth

Service to youth and early literacy development is a major part of the library’s mission in the community.  The youth collection is divided into Early Childhood, Juvenile, and Young Adult sections.

The library collections for patrons under age 18 are split into:

the “E” collection area for Early Childhood, which is intended for ages 0-7
the “J” section for Juvenile which is intended for children ages 8-13
the “YA” collection area for Young Adults intended for youth aged 14 and above. 
There may be some variation in the age appropriateness of each collection. In general, decisions to place particular items in the different youth collections are done by considering the standard of the average person, applying contemporary community standards and using the recommendations of producers or suppliers, who would find that the material, taken as a whole, is produced for or has a tendency to appeal to the ages listed for each section. 


The library collects materials in a variety of formats.  Materials in new formats will be purchased when feasible, but every new format may not be represented in the collection.  The library reserves the right to choose which formats it will offer in its collection and to change formats as needed based on demand, technology, and budget.

A.  Print Formats

1.   Books

Non-fiction:  Materials on general subjects are preferred unless there is a demonstrated need for a more in-depth treatment of a particular topic.

Fiction:  Materials used for recreation and entertainment are a major component of the collection.

2.   Serials

Periodicals including magazines and newspapers are used for information not found in other sources and are intended for recreational reading, to add balance to the collection, and for reference purposes.  

B.  Non-Print Formats

1.   Videos

Videos are provided to add depth to the library’s overall collection.  The library provides informational videos that complement the general subject treatments found in the print collection and popular videos for recreation and entertainment.

2.   Audio Recordings

Both spoken word and music recordings are selected for the collection. 

3.   Multimedia Kits

Kits containing multiple types of items that build reading abilities are provided. Kits may also consist of multiple copies of a title for book discussion groups.

4.   Electronic Resources

Computers with learning software are provided in the Youth area of the library. Internet access is also provided through public workstations and wireless service.  Access to electronic information resources will be provided using the General Criteria for Selection and as the budget allows.

5.   Other Formats

The library may choose to collect and circulate any physical items where there may be a demand for those items and the provision of a collection is within the physical and financial restraints of the library.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015.  Revised June 27, 2023. Back to Top

5.10 Weeding
Library materials are in a state of constant evaluation to determine if they are meeting the needs of library users.  Items must be removed if they are in poor condition or if the content is no longer accurate or relevant.

Criteria for weeding include the following:

  • Duplicates of titles no longer in demand.
  • Out-of-date title or content.
  • Superseded editions.
  • Items that are worn out, dirty, damaged, or otherwise unattractive.
  • Items with missing parts.
  • Unused or unneeded materials.

A plan for weeding the library’s collection will be created and followed by staff so all areas of the collection are reviewed at least once every three years.  This plan will include standards for weeding as well as a schedule for reviewing specific areas and subjects on a rotating basis.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top

5.11 Challenge to Library Materials, Programs, and Displays
Complaints will be handled by staff according to library policies and based on the intellectual freedom statements endorsed by the Board. Residents of the library taxing district may issue a complaint or challenge regarding the content or age-appropriate designation of library materials, programs, and displays in writing by filling out a challenge form provided by the library. This form will ask the library user to specify the nature of the objection and to acknowledge whether or not they have read, or viewed, or attended the item or program in question. Copies of the completed form will be given to the director and the manager of the facility at which the complaint is initiated. Patron privacy rules will keep the form and its contents confidential during review. At this point, the item in question will remain on the shelves or on display until a process is followed as outlined below. Programs will be conducted as scheduled even if a challenge form is received prior to the scheduled date. 


1)  Review of the form by the Library Director and Branch Manager;

2)  Appointment of a Staff Committee to review the complaint and make a recommendation to the Library Director regarding the material, program, or display.  The Director makes a decision about what, if any, action will be taken based on the committee’s recommendation;

3)  Communication in writing or e-mail to the patron about the recommendation of the Staff Committee and decision of the Library Director;

4)  If the patron wishes to appeal this decision, it will be formally reconsidered by a Committee appointed by the President of the Board of Trustees with a recommendation made to the full Board of Trustees for a final ruling on the matter.  If an appeal is initiated, the original comment form and all correspondence or staff committee reports in regard to the title in question become public record according to Missouri Sunshine Law.

5)  After the process is complete, the nature of the challenge and the result will be publicly posted on the library web site with the name of the person or group submitting the form omitted.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015.  Revised September 27, 2021, June 27, 2023. Back to Top

5.12 Non-Circulating Items
Some items in the collection may be considered too fragile, rare, or expensive to allow check out to the public.  These items will be marked for reference only and the library will only allow in-house use for patrons and staff.  Every effort will be made to keep the number of these items to a minimum in order to promote the widest possible use of the library’s collection.

Approved by RHCL Board of Trustees on October 27, 2015. Back to Top