Collection Management Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to guide the development and maintenance of materials collections in accordance with the mission and vision of the Library and each branch, section and unit within the Library system; to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made; and to demonstrate that public monies are spent wisely to meet the needs and interests of the community.


Materials Selection Policy

The Library’s core resource is its collection, which supports the mission and vision of the Library as approved by the Board of Directors and in accordance with city, state and federal laws. The Library provides a collection in a variety of formats for a wide range of ages, interests, cultural and educational backgrounds and reading skills. New formats are considered when demand and viability warrant. Final responsibility for selection decisions rests with the Director of Libraries and the Library Board of Directors.

The Wichita Public Library subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to View statement as adopted by the American Library Association. In accordance with these statements, the Library recognizes that some materials may be controversial and that any given item may concern some customers. Without anticipated approval or disapproval, selections will be made solely on the merits of the work in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interests of Library customers. Responsibility for the reading, viewing and listening choices of minors rests with their parents or guardians. Limitations on access to public computer workstations or collections/formats may be requested for a minor child by that child's signing adult. No other age-based restrictions on access to Library materials will be enforced, except by statutory requirement.


Selection Criteria

Selection of materials is based on each item's excellence and the audience for whom it is intended. No single standard is applied in all cases. Some materials are judged primarily for artistic merit, scholarship or value to humanity, while others are selected to satisfy the informational, recreational or educational interests of the City’s diverse population. The Library collects material reflecting a variety of viewpoints on controversial issues, including those that reflect potentially controversial opinions of the author or creator. The Library labels materials only to aid in circulation and directional aides for how to organize the collections and major categorizations of genres or collections.

When selecting materials, the following criteria will be considered. An item need not meet all of these criteria to be selected.

  • Subject matter relevance, importance, and interest to City of Wichita residents.
  • Relative importance in comparison with other materials on a subject.
  • The relation of the work to existing collections.
  • Public demand for the author or producer, title or subject.
  • The author, creator, or publisher’s local connections, local or national prominence, authority, and/or literary or artistic merit, without regard to political, religious, or other affiliations.
  • Positive professional reviews or awards recognition.
  • Ownership and demand at other library systems of similar size or scope.
  • Clarity and accuracy of presentation appropriate to the skills of the intended users.
  • Suitability of format to the content and the intended audience.
  • Value for the cost of the item (the library has a finite budget and cannot acquire all materials on every subject).

Items generally excluded from selection include:

  • Textbooks, workbooks, and curriculum-related work, unless they are considered useful to the general reader as an introduction to a subject and their presentation is superior to other sources.
  • Academic, scholarly, or technical materials that are traditionally carried by academic or special libraries.
  • Self-published materials, unless they meet the selection criteria set out above.


Evaluation and Withdrawal of Materials

The Library monitors and evaluates materials regularly to determine if the needs of customers are being met. An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained by renewing essential materials. Works that are damaged, worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand are removed from the collection on a systematic and continuous basis.


Kansas Creators

The Library accepts donated artistic works by Kansas creators (authors, musicians, filmmakers) in both physical and digital formats.

Physical formats accepted include: print books, music CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays. Physical materials donated to the Library by Kansas creators may either be added to circulating collections or may be permanently retained in the Wulfmeyer Special Collections at the Central Library, at Selection staff’s discretion.

The library also accepts donated e-books by Kansas authors. The submitter of the work must own the copyright to the work and have the authority to authorize the Library to lend the work through Wichita E-Reads, the Library’s e-book platform.

All donated content is subject to the Collection Management Policy.

Related Form
Kansas Creators Donation Form


Reconsideration of Materials

The Library recognizes its responsibility to make available a representative selection of materials on subjects of interest to its users, including materials that represent various sides of controversial questions. Individuals may request reconsideration of a selection decision by submitting a written request for reconsideration using established Library procedures and guidelines.

Related Form
Request for Reconsideration of a Library Resource


© Wichita Public Library. All rights reserved.