Your Community: What makes up the library’s collection

The mission of Johnson County Library (JCL) is to provide access to ideas, materials, experiences and information that support and enrich people’s lives. A library’s collection touches each of these ideals and is a major part of patron experiences system-wide.
At JCL, we have a centralized collection development team whose sole job is to provide a collection rich with ideas, information and viewpoints from all walks of life and all sides of a topic. We do not place restrictions on access to the collection because of origin, age, background or views of the patron. These principles of intellectual freedom are outlined in a series of documents endorsed by the American Library Association and are found the in appendix of our collection development policy.

Why We Buy

Purchasing collection is a main way for us to provide this service and meet our mission to provide patrons access in a free and unbiased environment. Service can also be met through inter-library loan (ILL), internet access, database access and a host of other services.

How We Choose

The policy of Johnson County Library strives to be inclusive. We do not censor materials by omitting to select them. We want to represent all voices in the collection and purchase so we have something for every part of our community. We also consider format and how we choose to provide access to the materials.

Whether in print, in a database or on a website, JCL looks to offer the information in a format that provides access and avoids duplication of a collection. Tools used when selecting materials include: publisher information, marketing information, professional journals for book reviews, social media/websites/blogs for reader reviews, patron/staff suggestions, ILL requests, checkout (ROI and turnover rates), holds, quality of binding (will it fall apart during checkout), wide coverage of subjects and viewpoints, and local interest.

What We Weed

  • Condition – remove when damaged
  • Disuse – if the item has not checked out for a certain length of time
  • Extra copies – once demand for an item begins to fall, the number of copies is reduced
  • Extra titles – when new titles on a topic are released older titles may be weeded
  • Revisions – as a general rule, we keep the newest edition of a title or series
  • Overall health of the collection

Johnson County Library – Nurturing the Community’s Collective Wisdom