General Statement

The Colusa County Free Library's Collection Development Policy supports the direction, goals, and objectives of the Library as a whole. The primary mission of the Library is to be an asset for reading, learning, and community for the diverse populations in the Library's service area.

The library selects materials in a variety of formats and languages that best serve the needs of the community. Selections are made by library Staff to provide a broad and relevant collection, while being good stewards of the community's tax dollars. Material selection is based on awareness of community interests and concerns, national and international issues and events, publishing trends, new insights, societal trends, and the professional judgment of selectors regarding the material's value to the Library's collection. It is the Library's intention that the collection addresses the needs and interests of its communities, and, as much as possible, reflects the diversity of the entire Colusa County Free Library service area. The Library participates in regional, state and national cooperative networks, and facilitates interlibrary loan. It is partnered with four contract libraries including Folsom Public Library, Woodland Public Library, Sutter County Public Library and Sacramento Public Library.


The Library will uphold the freedom to read as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Freedom to View Statement and the Free Access to Materials for Minors adopted by the American Library Association. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or their own minor children, the freedom of others to read or inquire will not be restricted. The Library does not stand in loco parentis (in the place of parents). Parents and guardians, not the Library or Staff, have the responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own minor children.

Objectives of the Collection

The responsibility for the selection of library materials rests ultimately with the Library Director. Under the Director's guidance, the professional Staff has responsibility for the selection of materials. All Staff members and the general public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration. The Library collection shall be an unbiased and diverse source of information, representing as many viewpoints as possible.

The Colusa County Free Library selects materials for its collection for audiences of all ages in whatever format is most appropriate in accordance with professionally accepted guidelines. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social views of the author. Selection of materials does not imply agreement with, approval or endorsement of the content, viewpoint, implication, or expression of the material.

General criteria for selecting materials include but are not limited to:

  • Patron interest/request
  • Relevance of subject matter
  • Historical significance of author or subject
  • Timeliness of material
  • Value of maintaining already established collection depth
  • Local emphasis
  • Suitability of subject and style for the intended audience
  • Diversity of viewpoint
  • Quality
  • Price and format
  • Reputation of publisher
  • Budgetary constraints

Additional criteria for the evaluation of Nonfiction materials:

  • Authority
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
  • Clarity
  • Accuracy
  • Demand within a subject area

Additional criteria for the evaluation of Fiction materials:

  • Representation of significant literary or social trends
  • Literary merit
  • Vitality and originality
  • Author's popularity and reputation within the world of literature

Additional criteria for the evaluation of video, audio, music and other non-print formats:

  • Technical quality of production
  • Appropriateness to the interests and skills of the intended users
  • Artistic merit

Electronic resources such as e-books, e-serials (including journals), government documents, databases (including locally mounted, full text or not), electronic files, reference tools, scores, maps, or pictures in electronic or digital format, including materials digitized by the library, are subject to the same general selection criteria as other materials.

An item does not have to meet all of the above criteria in order to be acceptable. Materials, which do not meet these criteria, may be recommended for purchase to satisfy high level of reader interest.

Special Collections

Local History/Genealogy Providing access to the history of Colusa County, its communities and the surrounding area is an important function of the Library. Works by and about local authors, and materials relating to the history of the County shall be sought, subject to the selection criteria.

This is a reference collection of books, newspapers, microforms, maps, cemetery records, periodicals and reference materials relating to local history and genealogy. Many of the materials in this collection are "one-of-a-kind" and cannot be replaced; therefore, they are available for use in the library only.

Books and other materials are added to this collection as they become available for purchase, and through donations of materials in good physical condition that meet the library's criteria for relevance. County High School Year Books are also maintained but are dependent upon fiscal resources or donations. The Colusa Sunday Herald is maintained on microfilm and can be viewed at the library.

Rare Books

This is a reference collection of rare or out of print books, that includes books deemed of particular historic value or those that were a part of the Library's original collection. Many of the materials in this collection are "one-of-a-kind" and cannot be replaced; therefore, they are available for use in the library only.

Controversial Materials

Individual items, which, in and of themselves, may be controversial or offensive to some patrons or Staff, may be selected. Their inclusion will contribute to the range of viewpoints in the collection as a whole and the effectiveness of the library's ability to serve its community. Their inclusion is at the discretion of the County Librarian.

Limits of the Collection

In consideration of patron demand, appropriateness for the collection, budget and space constraints, and other information sources available in the community (e.g., school libraries, community college library, and the Internet), not all materials available will be collected or maintained by the library.

Weeding and Discarding of Materials

The term weeding is used to describe the activity of seeking out items that are no longer useful or appropriate for the collection. The purpose of discarding materials from the collection is to maintain an accurate and up to date collection for library patrons.

Weeding the collection is an ongoing process and is the responsibility of the Librarian. The goal of the Colusa County Free Library is that each section of the collection is to be weeded on an annual basis to keep the collection accurate and up-to-date.

Materials are discarded from the collection using the Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding (CREW) guidelines for weeding. Items that are weeded from the collection include ones that are: misleading or factually inaccurate; damaged, soiled or worn; outdated or superseded by a new edition or newer title on the same subject; trivial or have no discernible literary or scientific merit; irrelevant to the needs and interests of the community or contain information that may be obtained more easily elsewhere. Materials that have not been borrowed in a chosen time period, duplicate titles no longer needed or damaged materials are also considered for discarding.

Items in damaged or outdated condition will be thrown away. Items in good condition may be sold by the Friends of the Colusa County Free Library or donated to charitable agencies.


The Colusa County Free Library is committed to providing appropriate physical and environmental care to the materials in its current collection.

Reevaluation of Collection Development Policy

The Colusa County Library Collection Development Policy is reviewed every three years so that it adequately reflects changes in the library's goals and Patrons' needs.