Collection Management Policy Sections 3-6

Scope & Responsibility

3. Scope of Collection

The library allocates its budget for collections and electronic resources based on usage data, including circulation figures, turns on particular items in the collection, database usage, and attention to the library’s strategic plan.

Children’s Services. The Children's services collection provides materials for children from preschool through middle school. These include easy reader picture books, “chapter” books for beginning readers, and both fiction and nonfiction materials that can be read by older children. The collection also includes audiovisual materials, including: movies, audiobooks, and music appropriate for children and families. 

Adult Fiction. The adult fiction collection emphasizes the latest in popular fiction in a variety of genres with attention given to purchasing multiple copies of bestsellers. Classic fiction is also collected and maintained and titles may be purchased in either hardback or paperback editions.

Nonfiction. The nonfiction collection attempts to provide some coverage in all fields of knowledge, including controversial or challenging subjects of interest to the community. The library purchases materials of general interest and cannot specialize in any subject area or purchase materials at a research level. Staff will take into account the currency and accuracy of the information, timeliness of the materials, and whether or not there have been more recent developments in a particular field. The library strives to keep currency in subject matters such as medicine, business, computers/technology, and finance to nothing older than a decade to the current time.

Electronic Sources. The library recognizes that more resources are becoming available online and that these formats provide both currency and ease of access that normally cannot be matched by print sources. The library selects online resources, including databases, downloadable e-content, and links based upon the library’s strategic plan as well as those resources available through statewide database licensing. When selecting electronic sources, the library considers ease of use and cost, anticipated interest from the community, frequency of updating, remote access capability, and, whether or not there may be duplication with a print source already in the collection.

Teen Collection. Materials in this collection consist of fiction and nonfiction print materials, graphic novels appropriate for teens (13-19), audiobooks, and magazines that appeal to teens. 

Audiovisual Materials. The library’s audiovisual collection includes materials for all ages in a variety of formats. This includes movies, documentaries, instructional videos, audiobooks, music, and materials that can be downloaded to portable devices for listening or viewing.  

Foreign Language Materials. The library maintains a small collection of materials in Spanish and other languages, including: fiction and nonfiction books, audiobooks, and movies.

4. Scope of Outreach Services

The library has an active Outreach services program consisting of the Bookmobile and the Senior/Homebound service. 

The Bookmobile serves residents throughout Yellowstone County. It provides library service to senior meal sites, rural schools, and a number of neighborhood stops in Billings and surrounding communities. Its collection is similar to that of the main library, and the Bookmobile serves users of all ages. Consequently, a diverse selection of fiction and nonfiction books are maintained, along with copies of the latest bestsellers and a collection of audiovisual materials. The Bookmobile collection includes movies up to a PG-13 rating.

The Senior/Homebound service makes monthly stops at nursing homes and senior residential facilities in the community. It also provides delivery service to homebound patrons in Billings. This collection serves the needs and reading capabilities of seniors in the community, including: large print materials, popular best sellers and other fiction, and audiovisual materials. When selecting materials for this collection, staff selects formats that are most comfortable for a senior audience, which may not necessarily be the format that is most popular with those who use the main library. 

5. Montana Room

The Montana Room collection houses materials on the history of Billings, Yellowstone County, and Montana. A complete run of the Billings Gazette on microfilm is also available in the Montana Room. This collection also includes digitized images of local historical interest made available electronically. Items in this collection do not circulate. 

6. Responsibility for the Collection

The final authority for the library collection rests with the Library Board. Implementation of the policy is assigned to the Library Director, who delegates most selection activity to other personnel. The staff of the Adult, Children’s, and Outreach services, under the supervision of the Assistant Director, directly selects most library materials. All staff members and the general public are encouraged to participate in the selection of materials by recommending items for consideration.