Collection Management Policy

Collection Management Policy


Collection Management Policy


The mission of the Belgrade Community Library is to empower a community of lifelong learners.


  1. Information Literacy: Staff will strive to help patrons learn to find, evaluate, and use information effectively to answer all types of questions using print and non-print resources.
  2. General Information: The collection will meet the need for patron information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school, and personal life using print and non-print resources.
  3. Lifelong Learning: Programming, staffing, and collection development will provide patrons options for self-directed personal growth and development opportunities, including understanding and using new technologies.
  4. Current topics and titles: Close adherence to the collection management policy will make it possible for patrons to fulfill their desires to learn about popular cultural and social trends and will provide recreational experiences for community residents.


The purpose of the Belgrade Community Library Collection Management Policy is to clarify collection management practices and objectives to staff, patrons, the Library Board, cooperating institutions, and funding agencies.  The policy is used as a tool to assist in shaping the collection consistent with Library goals, patron needs, and economic realities.


Belgrade Community Library offers a wide variety of materials in various formats for patrons of all ages.  The Library’s collection of over 31,000 titles* represents the diverse interests and viewpoints of the community it serves.  It is meant both to educate and to entertain the members of this community.   Emphasis is placed on an attractive, orderly, and accessible arrangement.  The collection contains periodicals; local newspapers; nonfiction and fiction; DVDs; books on CD; Playaways; language audios; Montana reference materials; downloadable eBooks and audiobooks; and access to the Internet.   Although materials are not specifically purchased to support local school curricula, materials meet basic research needs of students.

*See Public Library Statistics 2020 from the Montana State Library.


Providing materials to meet patron needs is the primary goal of Belgrade Community Library.   Since the Library is financially unable to purchase all materials for all people, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and cooperative collection arrangements are used to meet patron needs.  Belgrade Community Library is affiliated with the OCLC system.  ILL is used to supply titles which are not purchased by the Library due to narrow scope, age, lack of demand, and budget constraints.  Some titles are considered for purchase rather than obtaining through ILL if the item fills a gap in the collection, would be utilized by additional members of our patron population, and meets the standards outlined in this policy.

Belgrade Community Library is a member of the Montana Shared Catalog (MSC) consortium.   Belgrade Community Library, Bozeman Public Library, Manhattan Community School Library, Three Forks Community Library, and West Yellowstone Public Library form the BridgerNet, or Gallatin County, sharing group within the greater MSC consortium, to give Gallatin County residents the ability to share greater resources and information services.   Patrons may use library cards, pay fines, and request items at any of the five libraries.  To extend the ease of borrowing and returning resources, a courier service between these libraries has been established.

Belgrade Community Library attempts to avoid duplication of expensive specialized material, such as:

  1. Medical materials, except those of a general nature;
  2. Exhaustive Montana materials (collected by the Montana State Historical Library);
  3. Materials for the specialist or professional reader, such as doctors or lawyers, (housed in a variety of special libraries);
  4. College or university-level course materials, (housed at Montana State University and other state colleges and universities);
  5. K-12 course and teaching materials, (housed at school libraries or the Montana Office of Public Instruction);
  6. Genealogical materials other than those of a general nature (housed at special genealogical libraries).

Interlibrary loans will be used if such materials are requested by the patron.  Patrons are welcome to have up to three interlibrary loans in process one time.  A non-pick up fee of $3 per item will be assessed if the item is not picked up within nine days of contacting the patron, with the first attempt made the day the item is processed for the patron.  A second attempt to contact the patron will occur on the seventh day of holding the item.   The item will be sent back to the lending library and the fee will be assessed on the ninth day of non-pickup.

Each patron is welcome to request five items through interlibrary loan per calendar year with no charge.  After five items, a $3 per item fee will be assessed to alleviate cost of processing, postage, and courier fees.



Belgrade Community Library collects relevant formats including, but not limited to: hardback, paperback, large print, magazines, and newspapers.  Downloadable books and audiobooks are added through a consortium membership.   DVDs/Blu-Rays, Books on CD, and Playaways are the Library’s chosen media formats and are purchased when available.  New formats are reviewed on an as-needed basis and will be added to the collection when budget and space allow.


Belgrade Community Library generally buys one copy of a title, unless the author or subject area is of particular demand.  Whenever possible, multiple copies are supplied through donations.


The collection is primarily in English.  A number of Spanish language children’s books have been purchased due to community demand.   Other foreign language books are generally not purchased.


Belgrade Community Library is a tax-supported institution, which receives the majority of its funding from the City of Belgrade and Gallatin County.  Some additional funds are received from the State of Montana.   Belgrade Community Library Foundation supports the Library by raising, receiving, administering, and disbursing funds, grants, endowments, bequests, and gifts for the benefit of the Library.



The Board of Trustees has delegated to the Library Director and staff members the responsibility for the selection of Library materials. The selection of material is based on reviews in professional journals, patron requests, popular demand, subject area needs, scope and focus of the collection, format options, critical reviews, historical significance, relevance to current national and local trends and events, relation to existing collection, diversity of viewpoints, currency, objectivity, clarity, comprehensiveness, cost, and cooperative collection agreements.

The selection of Library materials is a two-way process:

  1. The users of the Library, a group with varying backgrounds, tastes, and reading abilities, who indicate their interests and needs, and
  2. The Library staff who execute their professional judgment in anticipating demands and in selecting the best materials with which to satisfy the user.  Each title must be judged as a whole, and isolated passages in themselves not used as criteria.

Materials selected should meet standards of factual accuracy, significance, and responsibility of opinion.  The Library will provide, as far as possible, materials on all sides of controversial issues: materials which are written in a reasonable fashion and show results of careful study.  Multiple sides of controversial issues will be collected when the materials can be procured from reputable, timely, and professionally reviewed sources and publishing firms.  Materials on a controversial issue which are written in a violent, sensational, and inflammatory manner will ordinarily not be selected. Occasionally, books of temporary value, such as campaign biographies or fiction in great demand, will be acquired by the Library and discarded when they have served their purpose

Resources/Selection Tools for Material Selection

  • Reviews from professional journals
  • Publishers’ and authors’ brochures and publications
  • Staff and patron suggestions or requests
  • Visits to local bookstores
  • Expert recommendations
  • Award lists of winners and honorees


Belgrade Community Library welcomes gifts to be used for the benefit of the Library.  It is the Library’s policy to accept gifts with the understanding that the Director, the Board of Trustees, and/or appropriate staff use their discretion as to the disposition of these materials. The Library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials.

Once donated, items (including containers) become the property of Belgrade Community Library.   They may be added to the collection, made available for the Library Foundation sponsored book sales, given to other non-profit agencies, or discarded.

The decision to include gift materials is based upon the following considerations.

  1. Does the material meet the Library’s standard of materials selection?
  2. Is the physical condition of the material satisfactory?
  3. Does the Library need the material or multiple copies in the collection?

When gift materials are deemed no longer useful, the Library will dispose of them on the same basis it disposes of other materials.

It is the responsibility of the donor to deliver donated items to the Library during open hours.   The Library will not appraise any donated materials; no estimate of the value of donated material will be furnished.

To help Library staff, the following guidelines should be considered before donated materials are brought to the Library:

  • Boxes should be light (under 30 pounds).
  • Only items that are in good physical condition will be considered.
  • Items that may have been stored in an area that may have been exposed to rodents/hantavirus (garage, attic, basement) cannot be accepted.

A donation form, which can be used as a receipt for tax purposes, is available from Library staff.  Donor records are treated as confidential, unless otherwise directed.                           



Belgrade Community Library materials are withdrawn from the collection based on the following criteria: material that does not circulate over a predetermined period of time, poor physical condition, obsolete information, unreliable content, unnecessary duplicates, incomplete sets, and mistakes that should not have been added to the collection.  Whenever feasible, damaged books are mended.  When appropriate, titles are replaced if they are not repairable.   Replacement of withdrawn copies is dependent on demand and availability.  A small number of items may be rebound for the following reasons: out-of-print, valuable to Belgrade Community Library’s collection, local history, or local author.

Withdrawn Library materials and gift materials may be offered to other libraries, schools, or nonprofit groups; sold at the Library Foundation’s book sales; or otherwise disposed of as Library staff deems appropriate.



The public library in America today is the community’s first resource for citizens’ right to free access to all information.  Belgrade Community Library provides materials of many types and on many subjects in an attempt to meet the needs and interests of a diverse population.  The Library maintains that each individual has the ability to choose materials appropriate to his/her own needs.

Belgrade Community Library and the Library Board of Trustees support intellectual freedom and have adopted and endorsed the following American Library Association statements as policy: The Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Free Access to Libraries for Minors Statement. The choice of library resources by users is an individual matter.  While any user is free to reject resources for personal use, that user cannot restrict the freedom of others to read or access information in the Library.   

Criticism and comment on material selected for inclusion in the Belgrade Community Library collection is an essential right of community members and a valuable part of the Library’s selection process, allowing for reexamination of choices and reasoning.   Objection to the particular language or viewpoint of materials cannot, per se, be justification to the exclusion of materials.  Passages or parts of an item should not be pulled out of context.  Materials should be taken as a whole, and values and faults should be weighed against each other.  The presence of material in the Library does not indicate an endorsement of its contents by Belgrade Community Library.

The Belgrade Community Library Board of Trustees acknowledges that occasional objections to materials will be made despite the care taken and the procedures followed in their selection.  The Board of Trustees should be prepared to defend the principles of the statements referred to above.

Belgrade Community Library staff will respond to any concern from users about Library materials. If users are not satisfied with the response received from a staff member, they will be referred to the Library Director. A patron may request a written response if the exchange has not been satisfactory. The Library Director, or the person acting in his or her absence, will respond in writing within seven working days.   If those informal procedures do not result in a satisfactory conclusion for the patron, a formal written request for reconsideration may be filed.

Request for Reconsideration forms are available at the Library upon request.

This procedure will be followed:

  1. The patron fills out and signs a “Request for Reconsideration” form and gives or sends it to the Library Director.
  2. The copy or copies of the challenged materials will remain available to the public until disposition is determined.
  3. The “Request for Reconsideration” form is sent to the Library Director with the material if it is a request for withdrawal or addition (if available).  
  4. The Library Director will review the request, consult with the Library Board of Trustees Chair, and then respond in writing to the patron.
  5. If further action is required, a committee of professional level staff will review the materials and make a recommendation.
  6. The committee’s decision may be appealed to the entire Library Board, which will review the material and make a final decision.




The nonfiction collection caters to children, teens, and adults, spanning topics in information technology, philosophy, religion, the social sciences, language, the pure sciences, the applied sciences, the arts, literature, and history.  Books on the American West in general and Montana in particular are added regularly.  A small collection of large print nonfiction is maintained.  



Biographies are in-depth character studies of leaders and notable figures in many fields.  Coverage includes historical figures, religious leaders, scientists, doctors, athletes, authors, legendary entertainers, westerners, and figures who are of regional and local interest.



The fiction collection includes standard classics, a selection of titles by major authors, current bestsellers, and contemporary works.  Genre fiction is also collected, including western, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery titles.  A large print fiction collection is maintained.  Fiction with Montana settings or written by Montana authors is a priority to the collection.  The Library is not obligated to add or keep all items published by any specific author or in any specific series.  



There are both circulating and non-circulating collections of general Montana history as well as Gallatin County and Belgrade area materials.  Histories of other counties are not collected.  Older works of Montana history are retained, and new titles are acquired on a regular basis.  Plans are to continue to acquire new material for these collections.




The audio/video collection includes film classics, documentaries, self-educational, and unabridged audio books.  All DVDs with or without a rating from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) are evaluated on an individual basis using the criteria mentioned above under Resources/Selection Tools for Material Selection.  



Belgrade Community Library subscribes to a variety of periodicals.  This collection is evaluated annually, and patron recommendations contribute to purchasing decisions.  The Library tracks usage statistics to ensure adequate coverage of popular topics and to avoid subscribing to periodicals that are not of interest to patrons.



Belgrade Community Library strives to present the most current and wide-ranging access to data through access to electronic resources and the Internet. Database access for Belgrade Community Library patrons is purchased as budget allows.



Belgrade Community Library receives the Belgrade News, as well as other local and/or national newspapers, as determined by availability, patron use, and pricing.  




This policy will be reviewed and updated every three years by Belgrade Community Library Board of Trustees, in accordance with the public library standards of excellence.

ALA Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors
ALA Freedom to Read Statement
ALA Library Bill of Rights
Belgrade Community Library Request for Reconsideration Form


Approved by Board of Trustees: September 7, 2021
Reviewed by Library Staff: June 2021