Collection Development

Approved On
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    The FFPLTC's collections support the FFPLTC’s mission to stimulate imagination and inquiry, through literature and reference, for culture and commerce.

    This policy sets out the parameters for the development of the FFPLTC's collections, and decisions on the selection of materials. It is the basis for collection evaluation, planning and budgeting.

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    Scope and Size of the Collection

    1. The FFPLTC provides a collection of materials:
      1. in a variety of formats
      2. for all ages
      3. that is responsive to the needs and interests of the community
      4. that reflects the diversity of the community
      5. that is accessible
    2. The FFPLTC's collections shall be balanced and represent diverse points of view and may include materials that some members of the public consider to be controversial in nature.
    3. The presence of an item in the FFPLTC does not indicate an endorsement of its content.
    4. It may happen that materials in the FFPLTC's collections meet the needs of students, but this is not the primary reason for their selection. It is the responsibility of schools to provide materials which support their curricula.

    5. The FFPLTC develops collections which include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

      1. fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults and juniors
      2. magazines
      3. picture books
      4. music
      5. local history and local interest
      6. adult literacy
      7. government documents
    6. The FFPLTC Staff is responsible for developing profiles for each area of the collection to further define the scope of the collections. These profiles are tools for collection development and evaluation.
    7. Recognized, professional standards will be used to determine the appropriate size of the collection.

      Planning for budgets and facilities must reflect these standards.

    8. The collection shall be organized in a manner that allows for easy browsing and adhering to industry guidelines.
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    Selection of Materials

    1. The FFPL Board delegates the responsibility for the collection to the CEO, who may in turn delegate to qualified FFPLTC Staff.
    2. In selecting materials, FFPLTC Staff will:

      1. use professional resources, judgment, knowledge and experience
      2. follow the Collection Development and Maintenance Plan
    3. The FFPLTC Staff will proactively solicit advice from, as well as anticipate the needs and interests of, the community.
    4. What is ordered, and what remains in the collections, is based on the following criteria:

      1. recommendations by critics or reviewers
      2. public demand
      3. relationship of subject to existing collection
      4. importance of subject matter in relation to community needs
      5. authority or significance of author
      6. quality of writing, production and illustrations
      7. authority and standards of publisher
      8. suitability of format for FFPLTC use
      9. Canadian content
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    Withdrawal of Items

    1. An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process.
    2. The ongoing process of withdrawal is the responsibility of the CEO. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the FFPLTC Staff.
    3. Items will be withdrawn as outlined in the Collection Development and Maintenance Plan.
    4. Withdrawn material may be discarded or sold.
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    Gifts and Donations

    1. The FFPLTC accepts gifts of books, other materials, or money for the purchase of specific items, with the understanding that these items will be added to the collection only if appropriate, needed and if they contribute to the balance of the collection.
    2. The same criteria of selection and withdrawing that are applied to purchased materials are also applied to gifts and donations.
    3. Materials not added to the collection are discarded or sold.
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    Lost or Damaged Material

    Lost or damaged items will be subject to replacement fee of the retail price of the item, including applicable taxes.

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    Requests from Members of the Community

    Suggestions from the community for the purchase of items are always welcome and are given due consideration.

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    Handling Challenged Material

    Requests for the re-consideration of, withdrawal of, or restricted access to, a specific item in the collection from a member of the community must be received by the CEO in writing.

    Responses to these requests are guided by the FFPL Board’s position that:

    1. People have the right to reject for themselves material of which they do not approve but they do not have the right to restrict the intellectual freedom of others.
    2. It is the right of parents and legal guardians to develop, interpret and enforce their own code of ethics upon their minor children.
    3. Requests by individuals or groups to have an item removed from the FFPLTC’s collection shall be asked to complete Request for Reconsideration of Materials.
    4. Upon receiving the written complaint, the CEO shall review it in the light of the FFPL Board’s policy concerning the FFPLTC's collection.
    5. If the inclusion of the item in the FFPLTC's collection is found by the CEO to be legitimate and justifiable based on the guidelines set out by FFPL Board policy, the policy shall be explained in writing to the complainant and no further action is taken.

      If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, the FFPL Board will be asked to make a decision on the matter.

      The FFPL Board will communicate that decision in writing to the complainant.

    6. If the inclusion of the item in the FFPLTC's collection is found by the CEO to be questionable based on the guidelines set out by FFPL Board policy, the item will be temporarily withdrawn from the collection and the FFPL Board will be asked by the CEO to make a decision on the matter.

      The FFPL Board will communicate that decision in writing to the complainant.

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  • Collection Development and Maintenance Plan

    Collection Development and Maintenance Plan

    The purpose of the Collection Development and Maintenance Plan is to ensure that the Library’s collection is adequate to serve the needs of the community both in its size and content. The plan includes processes for developing, maintaining, and reviewing our collection. It ensures transparency in our development process and acts as a benchmarking document for the structure and scope of the collection.

    In accordance with OP-03 Collection Development, purchasing and weeding decisions will be made using the following criteria:

    • Recommendations by critics or reviewers
    • Public demand
    • Relationship of subject to existing collection, including continuations of series
    • Importance of subject matter in relation to community needs
    • Authority or significance of author
    • Quality of writing, production and illustrations
    • Authority and standards of publisher
    • Suitability of format for FFPLTC use
    • Canadian content
    • Bestseller lists

    Collection Development

    Through ongoing development of the collection, the FFPLTC ensures that the community has access to recent resources to serve their information, cultural, and recreational needs. As stated in OP-03 Collection Development, “the FFPLTC develops collections which include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

    • Fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults and children
    • Magazines
    • Picture books
    • Music
    • Local history and local interest
    • Adult literacy
    • Government documents”

    Collection priorities

    Collection priorities will be established annually through the collection review process completed as a part of the Annual Performance Measurement Indicators and Statistics (APMIS) report. Once weeding and purchasing priorities are set they will be communicated to staff. Considerations will be given to the age of collections, patron demand, community need, and collection turnover.

    Buying Plan & Acquisitions

    New materials will be added to the collection at a rate and in formats that are sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of currency, accuracy, and accessibility. Purchasing priorities will be set based on data gathered as a part of the APMIS report.

    The goal will be to purchase as many items as are weeded each year. Given current collection use and funding levels, this means the Library is able to replace approximately 7-8% of its collection each year.  


    In order to ensure that the Library’s collection meets the language needs of our community. Staff will review the census data as it is released.

    Currently, the majority (96%) of our community speak mostly English at home.  There is a French immersion program in the community and a small portion (1%) of the population report speaking French at home. A small portion (1%) of the population in Fort Frances report speaking Ojibway at home. There is a small number of Ojibway and French language books available, the majority of the collection is in English.

    Collection Profiles


    This collection contains audio books in CD, including a small selection in MP3 format, and Playaway formats. Items that are collected are mostly popular fiction with a small number of nonfiction works. All items are rehoused in durable plastic cases to increase the longevity of these expensive resources. Audiobooks are purchased for adult, teen, and children’s audiences.

    CELA resources

    The Library stocks a collection of CELA resources. These resources include Daisy Discs, a Daisy Disc reader, and a Victor reader. The readers can be checked out by patrons so they can test the technology before ordering their own, or in the event there is an issue with their own reader. A small collection of Daisy discs is also held on a rotating basis. The items are held in storage and are retrieved as requested. This is done as the discs may only be loaned to patrons with vision impairments. Additionally, titles are borrowed through CELA’s interlibrary loan.

    Children’s Print

    A robust and varied children’s collection is necessary for the development of literacy skills within the community. A children’s collection is maintained which supports a wide variety of ages and reading abilities. The children’s collection includes board books, picture books (hardcover and paperback), easy readers (hard cover and paperback), fiction (including primary to intermediate level chapter books in both paperback and hardcover), non-fiction (primary to intermediate level), and graphic novels (primary to intermediate level). Some consideration is given to the needs of the curriculum.


    Patron demand for movies and TV titles is high. It has the total highest circulation per annum. The majority of the demand is for new or recently released material. The collection is divided into subcategories, which include Comedy, Drama, Family, Horror, Action, Westerns, Documentaries, and TV Series.


    The Library holds a varied collection of circulating equipment. This includes sporting – fishing rods and tackle, tennis rackets, walking sticks, etc. and audiovisual – VR googles, earbuds, GPS units, laptops, etc. The collection is added to according to current technological trends or the availability of grants.


    Adult fiction remains the second highest circulating collection the Library holds. New fiction is placed on display for the first few months the Library owns the item. After it ceases to be “new” the item is placed within the general collection. A wide variety of genres are collected.

    Graphic Novels

    Graphic Novel collections are maintained within our children’s, teen, and adult collections. The teen and adult collections are held next to each other, due to the assumed cross over between readers of both collections. Manga suitable for teens is also collected.


    Fort Frances is an aging community, as such the Library boasts a sizable large print collection designed to meet the needs of our community. The majority of titles added are newly published however, older titles in large print format are added to the collection based on patron demand, particularly in the western genre.

    Local History & Content

    Fort Frances and the Rainy River District has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The Library maintains a local history collection which reflects the breadth of history that exists in our area. Local history books are circulating material, in some instances more than one copy of an item will be purchased in order to have one circulating copy and one copy held in storage. If an item from the local history collection becomes worn, a replacement will be purchased or if a replacement cannot be found the item will be moved to storage and become reference material available upon request.

    In addition to local history books which are non-fiction, the Library also collects books which contain local content, ie. they are set in Rainy River, northwestern Ontario, or northern Minnesota. The Library also collects books that have been published by local authors. A local author is someone who either currently lives in the area, or who has lived in the area previously.


    A collection of CDs in a variety of genres is maintained. This includes popular music, jazz, classical, folk, rock, soundtracks, and country. The circulation of this collection is closely monitored to ensure that the budget for materials purchasing matches the circulation of the collection

    Non-Fiction including Reference resources

    How non-fiction collections are used had shifted with the advent of the internet. A report was developed which allows the Library to track circulation and turnover by Dewey decade in order to better identify the demand for each subject. The Library retains items that are of general or popular interest as well as items which are authoritative on particular topics.


    A paperback collection is maintained that includes romance, harlequin, science fiction, fantasy, general fiction, western, mystery, and true crime genres. Paperback volumes are purchased for items which may be otherwise too expensive in hardcover, are only available in paperback, or whose demand does not warrant a more expensive hardcover version. Paperbacks are collected in recognition of that the fact that some patrons only want paperbacks or “pocket books”.


    A magazine collection of popular titles is maintained. The majority of titles are purchased from a wholesaler, specific items of proven demand are purchased individually from the publisher. A newspaper collection of local and national papers is maintained. It is becoming more difficult to find national papers willing to deliver to Fort Frances.

    Teen Print

    A Teen collection of fiction and non-fiction is maintained. The items include popular and best-selling titles at a variety of age and interest levels. Hi-lo titles and titles with Canadian content in a variety of genres is also collected. Given the high turnover in popularity of titles in the teen collection, the collection is replaced with higher frequency than circulation may warrant.

    Video Games

    Video games are collected for Xbox One and PS4, items are also held for the Xbox360, PS3, and Wii consoles. Primarily games which are rated E or T are collected.


    The eResource collection includes eBooks and audiobooks accessed through Overdrive as well as subscriptions to online digital resources like EBSCO, Gale, Novelist, Tumblebooks, etc. Ebooks are added to the collection based on popular demand and cost. Digital collections are expanded or discontinued based on usage and community need.

    The participates in two shared eResource collections, the Ontario Library Service – Download Centre and the Rainy River District Library Cooperative.

    Labelling procedures

    FFPLTC material is labelled in a consistent format that facilitates ease of access. The following table provides a guide for labelling and item type selection.  Additionally there are distinct labels for the Teen, Graphic Novel, Reference, and Easy Reader collections. For Teen and Graphic Novel collections, the spine labels form a part of the call number. The below list will be updated as JASI cataloging standards are altered.

    Adult Fiction E-FIC FIC XXX
    Adult Graphic Novels E-GN GN [DEWEY]/FIC XXX
    Adult Non-Fiction E-NFIC [DEWEY]
    Adult Paperbacks E-PB PB [COLOUR] X
    Adult Reference E-REF REF [DEWEY]
    Blu-Ray Movies BLU-RAY BLU-RAY X
    Board Games E-GAME GAME [Number]
    CDs (Music) E-CD CD [GENRE]  X
    Daisy Reader DAISY_RDR Daisy Reader
    DVD - Children's E-DVD_J J DVD X
    E-Book Reader E-BKREADER E-Reader [TYPE] #
    Fishing rods and tackle TACKLE
    Game Controllers AV-EQUIP CONTROLLER #
    Juvenile Board Books E-JBD_BOOK J BABY BOOK XXX
    Juvenile CDs (Music) E-JCDROM J CD XXX
    Juvenile Fiction (including paperbacks) E-JFIC J FIC XXX
    Juvenile French Books E-JFRE J FRENCH [DEWEY]/FIC/PIC XXX
    Juvenile Graphic Novels E-GN_JUV J GN [DEWEY]/FIC XXX
    Juvenile Hardcover Easy Readers E-JEASY J EASY XXX
    Juvenile Magazines E-JPER J MAGAZINE [month] [year]
    Juvenile Paperback Easy Readers E-PBEASY J PB EASY XXX
    Juvenile Playaways E-JPLAY J PLAY XXX
    Juvenile Reference E-JREF J REF [DEWEY]
    Juvenile Talking Books E-AUDIOBOOK J AV FIC XXX / [DEWEY]
    Laptop Computer COMPUTER Computer #
    Large Print E-LP LRG PRT FIC XXX
    Large Print Non-Fiction E-LP_NONF LRG PRT [DEWEY]
    Launchpad E-VID_E J LAUNCHPAD
    Leased Materials E-MCN FIC XXX
    Magazines E-PER MAGAZINE [month] [year]
    Pamphlets E-PAM PAM
    Paperback Picture Books E-PBPB  J PB PIC XXX
    Picture books E-JPIC J PIC XXX
    Playaways E-PLAY PLAY XXX
    Talking Books E-TBCD AV XXX
    Talking Books Non-Fiction E-TBNF AV [DEWEY]
    Talking Books on MP3 E-TBMP3 AV MP3 XXX
    Teen Graphic Novels E-YAGN  TEEN GN [DEWEY]/FIC XXX
    Teen Non-Fiction E-YNFCTEEN TEEN [DEWEY]
    Videogames VIDEOGAME [CONSOLE] # 

    Item categories used by the Library are:

    Item Category 5

    Adult, Teen, Children

    Collection Maintenance Procedures

    By regularly maintaining the collection the Library will be able to ensure the collection remains appealing and authoritative. Regular maintenance makes it easier on staff and patrons to find books. It ensures that our collection is in good repair. Regular collection maintenance assists with collection development as staff will be well informed of the strengths and weaknesses of the collection.

    Withdrawal Procedures

    At the minimum staff should be removing about as many items from the collection as are being added each year. This ensures that shelving does not become overcrowded. Weeding should not be done specifically to create more room for a collection however, and instead on the merits of the material. The merits include how long it has been since the item last circulated, its condition, as well as other factors. Collection sizes will shift over time, and it may be that one collection will need less space as other collections grow due to demand.

    Reports Used

    Item Stats: this report can identify both the last checkout date and the date that the record was created. Other item list reports do not capture items which have never circulated.

    Factors influencing weeding

    Weeding lists will initially be generated based on the length of time since the item has last circulated. Any item which has not circulated in 5 years will be included. When weeding staff will also consider the following factors as outlined in the CREW method:

    • When was the item published and when was it added to the collection?
    • Is the author still read or likely to be read in the future?
    • How is the items physical condition, is it worn and tattered?
    • How expensive would a replacement copy be?
    • Are there additional copies of the title within the collection?
    • Do we hold other books on the same subject in the collection, or what else is available on this subject if this item is discarded?
    • How relevant is the subject to our community, or would anyone in the community be interested in the topic?

    Inventory Procedures

    The collection is inventoried on an ongoing basis and is completed at least once every five years. By inventorying the collection we can ensure that the catalogue accurately reflects the contents of the collection.

    Collection Review

    On an annual basis the Library will review the collection. This review will include an examination of:

    • Circulation per capita compared to volumes per capita
    • Turnover Rate – number of items which have circulated that year versus total holdings
    • Public Suggestions for purchase, including if they were purchased or borrowed through interlibrary loan
    • Percentage of each collection which circulates a year

    Size of the Collection

    The FFPLTC is considered medium sized library as we serve a resident population of approximately 7,500 and a contracting population of 950. It is suggested that medium sized branches serving populations between 5,000 and 10,000 have 3-4 items per capita with a minimum of 15,000 items. As Fort Frances is near the middle of the range for population, the FFPLTC should also be in the mid-range for the number of items.

    Given the above, the FFPLTC should have at least approximately 25,167 to 33,556 items. The Library currently holds 45,530 print items and many digital items. It is not suggested that we weed in order to reach the minimum standard, instead weeding decisions should be made based on collection circulation and age.

    Every four years, once new census data has been released, library holdings will be reviewed to ensure that the Library continues to have a collection of the appropriate size.