Collection Development Policy Part 3

  1. Evaluation. As it has been determined that the poetry collection should focus on professionally recognized poets writing from a diverse variety of perspectives and backgrounds, and that the collection must remain current and in active use, the following questions will be considered when evaluating materials for selection or deselection.  These questions speak directly to the criteria previously stated in the collection development plan.
    1. Are a wide variety of perspectives represented in the collection, as evidenced by ages, genders, ethnicities, economic status, social classes, and geographic locations of included poets?
      1. Biographical information can be found to assist in answering this question on book jackets, personal websites, and in professional publications. Comparing this biographical information between poets already included in the collection and those under consideration for inclusion can help determine overlap or diversity of voices in and expand the depth of the collection.
      2. Samples of a poet’s work can also be found in professional publications, and on professional or personal websites. These samples again allow for comparison between poets on subject matter, tone, writing style, and perspective, to ensure there is diversity of voice and depth in the collection.
    2. Is the collection current and in active use by library patrons, as evidenced by circulation and usage statistics?
      1. The library uses CollectionHQ for detailed usage statistics. The interface clearly illustrates areas of the collection that are “high use,” “oversaturated,” “dead” or in need of a “refresh.” (CollectionHQ, 2015) Per library policy, any item that has not circulated in two years is to be discarded.  And the poetry collection can be considered current and in active use if less than 20% of items are non-circulating.
      2. The Evergreen catalog allows staff to view the last two circulation records on any item. This information includes the location where the items was checked out, whether that was at its home library or at another library in the consortium.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) If an item is getting more use from other libraries, that may be an indication that it is not relevant to the needs of local library patrons.
      3. One piece of information that is missing from our statistics is in-house use. Although Evergreen allows tracking of the total items used in-house, that information does not attach to a specific record.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) Therefore, it is impossible to know which items are being used in-house without being checked out.  This is a glaring and significant hole that needs to be filled, especially in light of our two-year limit for non-circulating items.
  2. Resource Sharing. The library has many options to fill gaps in the collection through resource sharing.
    1. As a member of the Evergreen Indiana consortium, all print items more than six months old are available to any patron of any member library. This arrangement allows local patrons to obtain titles that might not be in their home library collection.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) As such, Redwood Public Library need not retain items that haven’t circulated in more than two years.  Also, large anthologies by commonly known and historically important poets can more confidently be eliminated from the collection as they are relatively easy to obtain elsewhere.
    2. Additionally, Redwood Public Library participates in a nation-wide interlibrary loan program, whereby items can be requested of any library willing to send them. This is a useful resource for locating rare items that aren’t practical to add to the local collection.
    3. As poetry appeals to a more academic portion of the library population, this segment of the collection might be suitable for a resource sharing agreement with an academic library, particularly one with a strong creative writing program. Though the benefit to the public library is fairly clear, in terms of increased access to additional poetry titles, it is difficult to see what benefit the public library might provide the academic one.  Rather than just materials, the public library might be able to provide reception or exhibit space, or simply access for students to new audiences.


CollectionHQ. (2015). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from

 Evergreen Indiana. (2015). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from

Lamb, A. (2015). Resource Sharing. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from

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