February 2014




Lori Smith, MLS




Alisa St. Amant, MLS

Assistant Director



Collection Development Committee:


Janis Zuleeg, SLIS – Chair, St. Martin Manager

Jamie Elston, MLS – Moss Point Manager

Dana Woods, MLS – Head Cataloguer

Bethany Carlisle – Youth Services Coordinator

Susan Agnelly – Administrative Assistant

Sara Couch – Pascagoula Youth Library Assistant





February 2014




The mission of the Jackson-George Regional Library System (JGRLS) is to provide quality patron-oriented library and information services, collections of resources and programming that serve to inform, expand, and enrich the lives of our citizens. 





Due to the volume of materials published, budgetary constraints, and space limitations, it is essential to have a selection policy that:

1)    Provides guidance to staff regarding the selection, management, and preservation of JGRLS collections;

2)    Identifies who is responsible for materials selection;

3)    Acquaints the general public with the principles that guide JGRLSÕs materials selection practices; and

4)    Ensures the information needs, interests, and demands of the JGRLS community are anticipated and met.

Communities grow and change making it necessary to reassess and adapt collections to reflect new and differing ideas and interests.  The Collection Development Team will regularly review and update this policy to provide current, core resources in a variety of formats responsive to the popular and lifelong learning needs of the community.





JGRLS defines its primary service audience as residents of Jackson and George Counties, Mississippi. The System consists of a headquarters library located in Pascagoula, and seven branches in the cities and communities of East Central, Gautier, Lucedale, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, St. Martin and Vancleave. 


The population and demographic characteristics of the service area changed dramatically after Hurricane Katrina.  Growth areas shifted from the Coast to areas north of Hwy. 90 and Interstate 10.  Outmigration is no longer a problem, as most areas have been re-built; however some poverty-stricken communities continue to struggle with re-population issues.  In 2010 the BP Oil Spill changed the lives of many residents once again, impacting fishing and tourism.  Economic and environmental recovery has been slow.   


U. S. Census Bureau population estimates, 2012, indicate there are approximately 163,000 residents in the two counties.  In terms of ethnic diversity, the population of the coast is majority white (73.5% in Jackson County and 90.1% in George County).  African Americans make up 30.5 % of the population across the two counties.  There are pockets of Vietnamese and Hispanic populations due to the lively fishing and construction industries.  Approximately 43% of the population (across both counties) is under the age of 14 years.



The responsibility for selection of library materials rests conclusively with the Library Director who delegates selection and ordering to professional staff and operates within the framework of policies adopted by the Board of Trustees.

All staff and patrons are strongly encouraged to recommend materials for the collection through a suggestion for purchase procedure. This process is intended to support JGRLSÕs primary role to provide current, high-demand, high-interest materials. Recommended materials are given serious consideration but are not automatically obtained, as they are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials.  When necessary, interlibrary loan, electronic resources, or other appropriate means are utilized to fill patron requests.  





1)    The main points considered in the selection of materials are:

a.     Individual merit, including:

á      Accuracy of information

á      Purpose

á      Quality

á      Integrity

b.     Critical reviews in professionally recognized library publications, including but not limited to Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, and School Library Journal

c.     Critical reviews provided through public media discussions

d.     Popular appeal/demand

e.     Suitability for circulation

f.      Cost in relation to use of item

g.     Suitability of material for clientele

h.     Existing library holdings

i.      Budgetary concerns

j.      Community relevance and local interest

k.     Significance of the author, illustrator, or publisher

l.      Support for library programming

2)    The lack of a review or an unfavorable one shall not be the sole reason for rejecting the title which is in demand.  Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, and not as a part taken out of context.




JGRLS cannot purchase all materials that are requested.  Interlibrary loan (ILL) is used to obtain materials beyond the scope of the collection through an ILL network.

In return for utilizing ILL to satisfy the needs of our patrons, JGRLS agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same network and to make an effort to have its current holdings accessible by other libraries throughout the region. 




JGRLS is a member of the statewide consortium, MAGNOLIA, which provides online research databases for publicly funded libraries in Mississippi.  The databases can be accessed from any of the eight JGRLS branches, or patrons can access them through their home or office computers.  Subscriptions to other digital resources (accessible 24/7) that extend the collection beyond the walls of the SystemÕs eight branches include World Book Online, Mango Languages, Axis 360 Digital Media Library, Learning Express Library, and Morningstar.  Selection of electronic resources is dependent upon cost, network requirement issues, and whether the resource contains specialized information not found in the print collections, or information unavailable in print format.  Preference is given to products that offer ease of use within the library and remotely, and have broad appeal.  The decision to add an electronic resource to the collection or continue a subscription generally requires input from the Library Director, Collection Development Team, Technology Team, and the eight Branch Managers.




Gifts and donated materials are accepted on behalf of the Friends of the Library groups and become their property.  In accordance with the Criteria for Selection, these items may or may not be added to the collection, and JGRLS determines final disposition.

Memorials are accepted on behalf of a person, and an appropriate name plate is placed in the item.  JGRLS welcomes and prefers monetary donations, but donors may suggest authors, titles, or subjects to be acquired with their donation.  JGRLS staff reserves the right of final decision.




An up-to-date, attractive, and useful collection is maintained through continuous withdrawal and replacement of outdated or superseded materials. Criteria used to deselect materials from the collection include: items no longer meet the above selection criteria, availability of newer editions, itemÕs condition, duplicate copies and/or space considerations.  This ongoing process of weeding, as authorized by the library board, is the responsibility of each branch manager. Withdrawn materials are made available for purchase by the public through Friends group book sales.




The Jackson-George Regional Library System strives to provide a collection that represents the needs of a diverse community.  Inclusion of items in the collection does not mean that the library system endorses the content of those materials and/or resources.  The library system attempts to present a balanced collection of materials representing many points of view and endorses The Library Bill of Rights when possible. Decisions about suitability of materials for children or teens are the responsibility of their parent or guardian, not library staff. 




Although materials are carefully selected, there may be differences of opinion regarding suitable materials.  Patrons may request that materials be withdrawn from the collection by completing a Request for Review of Library Materials form available at each JGRLS branch circulation desk.  The Director will appoint and serve on a review committee to resolve the issue. If a patron is not satisfied with the committeeÕs decision, an appeal can be made to the library board.  The appeal will be placed on the agenda of the next library board meeting.  The boardÕs decision is final.


Final Draft – LWSmith, AStAmant, Feb2014,

Approved – JGRLS Collection Development Committee, Feb 12, 2014