Collection Development Policy

Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library, Daytona Beach, Florida

Program Policy

ALA Library Bill of Rights

ALA Freedom to Read Statement

NLS serves as the central node in a national network of regional and subregional libraries offering direct public library service to eligible patrons. It uses the production capabilities of commercial, nonprofit, and volunteer organizations to produce quantities of books ranging from a few copies to more than a thousand copies. The quantity of any title produced is dependent on the pertinence of the work to the network libraries’ collections and on the expected reader demand.

NLS Criteria for Selection

Selection of books for the collections involves consideration of what has already been selected in the subject area, the media previously used, the audiences to which the titles will appeal, the titles’ potential popularity, the format of the print book, and the media to which the titles best lend themselves.

Nonfiction. The collection offers representative coverage in all major subject areas, with selective coverage in subareas and attention to the following:

  1. Broad trends in public interests, knowledge of developing theories and practices in the various subject areas, and availability of appropriate titles;
  2. Materials in areas of particular interest to readers, classic and standard materials, contemporary works, specialized works that support lifelong learning, and works with potential informational reading reference.

Fiction. The selection goal is to meet the recreational and informational reading needs of a large readership with vastly different tastes, interests, purposes, and reading levels. The collection contains literary classics as well as popular and experimental works.

Criteria used for the selection of periodicals include the above, plus consideration of whether the periodicals reflect current thinking in the various fields represented, are of high interest and in demand, are representative in their points of view, and meet recreational and informational needs.

Collection dynamics

Patrons’ needs, publishing trends, and changing resources require that the policies that describe and direct the collection be constantly monitored. This policy may serve as a basis for discussion at ad hoc group meetings. Recommendations from patrons’ groups or network libraries may be considered as the basis for amending or changing this document.

Regional Library role

The Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library provides an additional source of materials by producing books of local and regional interest, and those of recreational or informational interest not provided for in the NLS collection. We make these titles accessible nationwide by sending bibliographic data to NLS for inclusion in the NLS Voyager Union Catalog, and by providing interlibrary loan copies on request.

Material selection is intended to respond to the educational, informational, and recreational needs of patrons.

Textbooks, which are not generally part of the NLS collections, are available through the work of volunteer individuals and groups and nonprofit organizations such as Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) and the American Printing House for the Blind.

Production time averages 9 months to one year, including multiple steps of narration, monitoring, reviewing, editing, and duplication for audio. Braille production includes creating an accessible copy, transcribing, proofreading, and corrections.

Selection Guidelines:

  1. Regional Interest: Florida authors, subject matter, and award winners are the primary focus of the library’s locally produced materials.
    1. The Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) Program is a statewide reading motivational program for students in grades 3 through 8, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education (DOE) and Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME).
    2. Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the best Florida literature.
  2. Patron Requests: Special interest or accessibility requests will be considered. If local production is not possible, every effort will be made to provide the patron the material through a different medium or cooperation with local public library system.
  3. The Library records material using primarily volunteer narrators. Due to circumstances such as scheduling and other resource limitations, some considerations may be delayed or not selected. All material will be reviewed to ensure the format is able to be laid out in a manner for a clear understanding of the text.
  4. Self-published books or e-books are not able to be recorded.
  5. Books from an established publisher with favorable reviews in standard reviewing sources (i.e. Booklist, Library Journal, School Library Journal) are given precedence.
  6. Special collections may be developed, such as Multiple Books on One Cartridge, to meet circulation needs. These will be determined by the local catalog system (Keystone Library Automation System or KLAS) and its listing of popular authors, series, and the unfilled request/reserve queue.
  7. Published, print copies must be available. The Recording and Brailling Consideration Form should be submitted with one copy of the book. If not accepted, the Library will return the book sent for review.

-adapted from NLS Network Library Manual; 6. Book and Magazine Collections, 6.1 Selection Policy for Reading Materials, last updated 2021

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DISCLAIMER: Links on the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) website that are directed toward websites outside the DBS, provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the DBS website. DBS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by non-DBS websites. Further, providing links to a non-DBS website does not constitute an endorsement by DBS, the Florida Department of Education or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the non-DBS website or of the information or products presented on the non-DBS website.