Collection Development Plan


Found a great item Arlington Public Library does not own? The Library values and welcomes suggestions for new titles to the collection which are of interest to yourself and others. Interlibrary Loan is also available. 

A Request for Reconsideration Form is available at all Arlington libraries and online.

The mission of the Arlington Public Library is to open doors to a world of ideas, information, and imagination, thereby enhancing the economic, social, and cultural vitality of our diverse community.

The collection development plan supports the Library in its mission and defines the goals and outcomes of the Library collections. The plan provides an approach to selecting and acquiring materials. How successfully the Library serves the community depends on the availability of a well-selected, well-maintained collection, one that meets the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs and interests of a changing community.

The Library supports the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and contained within the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View principles outlined by the American Library Association. It is the purpose of the Arlington Public Library to provide equal access to quality lifelong education, regardless of age, origin, ethnic background, nationality or socioeconomic status.

It is the Library’s aim to offer a wide diversity of views and expressions responsive to community needs. Although the library provides materials presenting various points of view, the decision to acquire material does not constitute endorsement of the material’s content, viewpoint, implications, or means of expression of the materials. The library evaluates material for inclusion in the collection on the total effect of the work rather than specific illustrations, words, passages, or scenes. Members of the community may object to the inclusion of material in the collection and request in writing that the Library reconsider the inclusion or location of an item in the collection. Although we welcome input from the community, an item may only be reviewed once per year. A Request for Reconsideration Form is available at all Arlington libraries.

The Library believes that individuals have the freedom to accept or reject an item from the library’s collection for their personal use. Responsibility for overseeing children’s use of the library collections rests with their parents and/or legal guardians, not the library. The Library permits youth (age 12 and under) to borrow material in the adult collections with parental consent. Selection of material, in print and non-print, will not be inhibited by the possibility that an item may inadvertently come into the possession of a child.

The Library uses resources from other libraries in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan area and strives to avoid needlessly duplicating functions or materials. The resources of other libraries may be available to Arlington city residents through cooperative agreements with the Texas State Library and municipal, county and academic libraries within Texas. Arlington residents may request materials through the Interlibrary Loan Program at any location or via the library’s website.

The Arlington Public Library consists of six Branch Libraries and a Central Library that serve the culturally diverse population of Arlington (Appendix A). The seven locations house general and special interest circulating and reference collections for all age groups. Each location also provides materials in a variety of formats: print, audio-visual and electronic.

Collection Goals and Outcomes

  • Provide popular materials in multiple copies to anticipate and meet community demand
  • In addition to high demand materials, supply a core collection of items to meet the community’s need for basic information and standard, classic works
  • Maintain a current collection through purchasing new materials and discarding obsolete and dated materials
  • Target each location’s collection to match the interest of the local community
  • Incorporate a variety of audio/visual formats in the collection
  • Offer materials in languages that represent Arlington’s ethnically and linguistically diverse community
  • Integrate new technologies into the collection
  • Maintain local history materials unique to Arlington

Nature of Materials

The Library collects traditional and current mediums: print, non-print and electronic. Since people communicate and learn in different ways, the Library does not limit itself to the print medium and offers access to a variety of media and resources. The Library recognizes that the technologies of sound, image and electronic databases continue to evolve and continually explores all new formats in order to offer current technology within our collection. In the delivery of electronic resources, the Library adheres to and supports the American Library Association’s doctrine on Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks.

Material Selection

General criteria for the evaluation of library material include:

  • reputation and/or significance of the author, producer, performer
  • suitability of subject and style of the intended audience
  • customer demand
  • value of resource in relation to its cost
  • critical reception
  • importance and accuracy of subject matter
  • timeliness of the material
  • permanent value of material as a standard work
  • quality of art/illustrations
  • suitability of physical format for library use

Review sources used in this process include but are not limited to Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, New York Times Book Review, Foreword Reviews, VOYA and Video Librarian.

Additional criteria for selection of electronic media include:

  • ease of access
  • hardware requirements
  • comparison of content with other available formats
  • licensing requirements
  • networking capabilities
  • customer service requirements


The children’s collection at Arlington Public Library serve children from birth through 6th grade, as well as their parents, teachers, caregivers, and other professionals working with children. The children’s collections are designed to encourage an interest in reading, provide information, and supplement grade school curriculum. Due to the wide range of ages served by this collection, materials will differ significantly in reading level, maturity level, and age appropriateness. To assist in identifying materials within the children’s collection the Library divides the collection:

  • Board Books: Newborn – 24 Months
  • Easy/Picture Books: 24 Months – Kindergarten
  • Readers: Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
  • Fiction: 3rd – 6th Grade
  • Non-Fiction: All Ages

Criteria for the evaluation of books and other media for all children’s age groups include literary merit, quality of art and illustrations, accuracy and timeliness of factual material, and award nominees/winners. The Library reviews the following children’s literary awards that include but not limited to: Bluebonnet, Caldecott, Newbery, TLA 2X2 Reading List, and state recommended reading lists.

Young Adult

The young adult collections at Arlington Public Library serve youth grades 7 to 12. The young adult collections are intended to form a bridge between the juvenile and adult collection, providing materials for a wide range of maturity levels and reading interests. The social, emotional and intellectual maturity required to read Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction makes this collection differ significantly from materials in the Juvenile Collection, serving the 12 to 17 age group. The Young Adult Audiovisual and Graphic Novel collections aim at a slightly younger age range, ages 12 to 16.

To be relevant to young adults, the collections need to be browsing in nature, to contain current interest material, to be changing constantly, and to be aesthetically pleasing. Selection of Young Adult material follows the general materials selection guidelines listed above, with additional emphasis on: customer demand, popularity, critical reception, significance of topic or theme, and significance of the author/series/artist. Key resources used in the process include but are not limited to School Library Journal and VOYA as well as the following Young Adult lists and awards: Maverick List, Lone Star List, TAYSHAS List, Odyssey Award, William C. Morris YA Debut Award, YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, Edgar Award for Young Adult Fiction, and the Michael L. Printz Award.

Languages Other Than English

The Library maintains International Language collections that include works of fiction and non-fiction, as well as language-learning materials, in both print and media. Languages represented in the collection support our ethnically and linguistically diverse community. 

Local History and Genealogy 

The Genealogy and Local History collection at Arlington Public Library resides at the Central library. The collection focuses on local research materials and family history data necessary in discovering family lineage, especially families who settled in this area. The Genealogy Collection’s primary purpose is to provide comprehensive information for those families who have lived in the City of Arlington. The Genealogy collection’s secondary purpose is to provide selective research materials covering Tarrant County, the State of Texas as a whole, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and select Mexico states. The Library also provides basic material for the Southern region and for major migratory routes into and out of this area. The Local History Collection acquires primary and secondary materials on the history of Arlington, its institutions, organizations, and individuals in the community, including City of Arlington municipal documents. The Genealogy and Local History collections both serve as a bridge to other collections in the area such at UTA, Fielder House, Fort Worth Public Library, and Dallas Public Library.

Audiovisual Materials

The audiovisual collection of the Library serves all citizens of Arlington, regardless of age, by providing audiovisual materials for recreational and informational needs, striving to provide a quality collection that reflects customer demand. Selection of audiovisual material follows the same guidelines as selection of print material and endeavors to provide a diversity of viewpoints. Audiovisual material is selected to make the best use of the unique features of each medium, for the artistic and technical quality, and for the content and impact of each work. The Library’s film collections focus on sought-after, well-reviewed, and award-winning films. In selecting films, the Library consults movie reviews, monitors major awards and film festivals, and actively acquires bodies of work from award-winning directors, actors/actresses, and screenwriters. The audiovisual collection as a whole is intended to be browsing in nature, contain current interest material, have lasting appeal, and reflect the needs and interests of the community. 

Weeding and Collection Maintenance

The Library conducts periodic and continuous evaluation of materials as an integral part of collection development. It is considered of equal importance to the acquisition of new materials. When information becomes outdated or the materials become damaged beyond use, they should be removed from the collection. In evaluating materials for removal from the collection, the Library uses the Texas State Library’s C.R.E.W. Method as a guideline. In addition, collection maintenance involves inspection of materials for age and condition, monitoring materials for changes in interest and use, reviewing the collection for content, recommending titles for replacement, determining materials to be mended, and relocating materials to other collections.

Patron Requests for Materials

The Library provides several mechanisms to facilitate community involvement in the selection process by soliciting patron suggestions, monitoring active holds placed by patrons for specific titles, and conducting questionnaires and surveys. The same criteria used to purchase materials for the Library applies in evaluating customer requests. In addition, the Library will not fill customer requests that require on-going costs (memberships, subscriptions), not accessible to more than one patron over the life of an item, or current textbooks.


The Library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that items added to the collection must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. The Library retains the right to accept or reject gifts and to make all decisions as to their use, housing and final disposition. Gifts may be added to the collection, made available to the public through the Friends of the Arlington Public Library’s semiannual book sale, or recycled. The Library will provide a receipt for gifts but will not give a monetary valuation for materials received. The Library accepts memorials and gift monies and will acknowledge contributions and provide a memorial/gift plate, when the donor requests it.

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