The mission of the Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library is to inspire learning, enrich lives, and strengthen community. 

Statement of Purpose 

The Collection Development Policy, approved by the Library board, is one of the library’s foundational policies. This Policy outlines the philosophies that create and shape the Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library material and digital collection, the de-selection practices that maintain it over time, and the guidelines that help the collection respond to community needs. The Collection Development Policy ensures that over time the Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library’s collection will reflect the needs of the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, and the greater Northern Arizona communities, while facilitating meaningful experiences for the individual library patron. 

Philosophy of Policy 

The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library collects materials, in many formats, which support its function as a community hub and information access repository for the demanding needs of the Northern Arizona community. The library’s collection serves the general educational interest, recreational, and entertainment needs of the public, and selection of materials reflects the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the community.  

Patron demand, widespread interest and usage are the most powerful indicators of influence on the Library’s collection. The other driving force is the Library’s mission: to inspire learning, enrich lives, and strengthen community. 

Collection decisions are made to further the existing collection and to build exceptional local Arizona and Native American Library collections. The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library special collections has a particular focus on the following areas: Arizona-specific reference and fictional materials, Genealogy and Native American History in Northern Arizona.  

When selecting materials for the library, the needs and desires of the library customers are placed above the personal views or objections of the material selector. Selection of particular materials does not imply the endorsement of the contents. 

Every effort is made to have materials representative of, and of interest to, the library system’s various customer groups, even when the content or views expressed in these materials may be unpopular or may be deemed inappropriate by some users or library staff. The responsibility to choose to access or not access specific materials found in the library rests with the individual customer. No library staff member or any other person, group, or organization should be allowed to restrict an individual’s access to materials. The responsibility for selecting what a minor may read or view lies solely with the parent or legal guardian. 

The following are subscribed to by Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library as expressed in the official library board policies:

Library Bill of Rights American Library Association (ALA) The Freedom to Read Statement (ALA) 

Access to Electronic Information Services and Networks: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA) 

In addition to the above sources, the following document is consulted when working with collection development issues: 

Code of Ethics of the American Library Association (ALA) 

Scope of the Physical Collection 

Holdings at the Downtown and East Flagstaff Community Library locations include fiction and nonfiction collections. Fiction collections are separated into the following sub-genres: General Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Mysteries, Westerns. Nonfiction collections are organized by Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), with separate sections for Biographies and Genealogy. In addition, new items are separately organized until a period of 12 months, after which time they are sorted into their appointed regular collections. Holdings include information in multiple formats, such as Microfilm, Large Type Book, Digital Video Disc, Music CD and Audio book, and languages to represent the diverse viewpoints and interests of the Northern Arizona community. 

Library holdings concentrate on materials of high interest. Collections are shaped, in part, by customer use through the patron-driven acquisitions process, by which items may be requested for order, or in-demand items may have additional copies ordered. Suggestions for materials to be added into the library collection are subject to the library’s Purchase Requests Policy. 

The Reference and Arizona Reference collections contain current and historical non-circulating publications, bound periodicals, city/county historical records, local maps, and vertical file resources to support reference service for the general public. 

Scope of the Digital Collection

The Digital Collection represents the diverse viewpoints and interests of the entire community the library serves. This collection includes citation and full-text databases; eBooks, eAudiobooks and other downloadable and streaming media; information resources and guides; and instructional programs. Through the Arizona State Library, other services are offered, such as eMagazines, access to the Talking Books Library, online databases, the Arizona Memory Project and Historic Newspapers archives, and more. 

Collection Management Philosophy

The collection of library materials on offer by the Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library is a constantly evolving existence governed by the needs of the community. As materials are bought and introduced into the collection through our selection methodology and criteria, others are removed through a process known as de-selection. De-selection is a normally occurring process that libraries continually perform in order to ensure the library collection is up-to-date, relevant, in good condition, and meets the needs of the community. 

The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library takes great care to retain or replace items that are used continually by the community or possess great cultural or educational value. 

Decisions regarding selection or de-selection are influenced by usage patterns, the physical space at each library location, and the specialized collections that exist in each library. 

Responsibility for Collection Management

The ultimate authority for the library collection rests with the Library Director. Creation and adherence of collection development policy and collection management is assigned to Library staff. 

Selection Methodology

The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library selects materials for the greater Northern Arizona area based upon the interest and needs of the community, as well as the current library collection. The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library does not exclude or remove materials from the library on the basis of race, nationality, sexual orientation or social, political or religious beliefs. Each piece of potential library material is subject to the selection criteria listed below. Gifts or donations to the library are evaluated with the same selection methodology and criteria as purchased items. Members of the community may request new items to be added to the library collection through patron suggestions. Items excluded from the library collection include the following: 

  • Academic Textbooks or highly specialized or technical research materials 
  • Expensive or out-of-date formats no longer collected 
  • Prohibitively old or out-of-print materials that are available through Interlibrary Loan 

Selection Criteria

Library staff, spearheaded by the Collection Management Team, use their professional knowledge and expertise to select material for the collection. Some of their criteria used for selecting materials to be included into the collection are as follows: 

  • Support of Library’s mission, vision, values, and goals  
  • Public demand and interest 
  • Timeliness and/or significance of the subject 
  • Reviews in recognized sources 
  • Local or community relevance 
  • Contribution to diversity, depth, or breadth of collection 
  • Effectiveness and suitability of format, durability, and ease of use 
  • Cost in relation to use and/or enhancement to the collection 
  • Artistic presentation and/or originality 
  • Availability of the product for multiple, concurrent users 
  • Technical and support requirements needed for access to the product  
  • Appropriateness to the interests and skills of the intended user 
  • Subject matter under-represented in the general collection relative to demand
  • Representation of a significant trend, genre, or culture  
  • Historical or Cultural Significance  
  • Arizona Specific Collection 
  • Items that are out of print 
  • Items that are written by Arizona authors or deal with Arizona subjects 
  • Items that fit the cultural needs of the area, including Indigenous peoples 
  • Qualifications of the Publisher, Author, Editor or Vendor 
  • Format and its appeal to the Flagstaff and greater Northern Arizona area 
  • Date of Publication 
  • Price and Availability 

De-Selection (Weeding) Methodology

The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library regularly removes materials that have been withdrawn according to the criteria for de-selection. Removed materials are first made available to the Friends of the Flagstaff Library, an entity that resells Library materials from the collection and materials donated to the library and designated by the library for resale. 

De-Selection Criteria

The criteria for items to be removed from the library collection are as follows: 

  • Poor condition or damaged 
  • Infrequent circulation or no demand 
  • Outdated or inaccurate information 
  • Availability through other library entities or partners 

Retention Methodology

The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library reserves the right to retain material within the collection even if it falls within de-selection criteria. Some materials, as decided by library professionals, possess certain outstanding characteristics, whether historical, cultural, or regional, that may make them exempt from the library’s normal de-selection methodology. 

Retention Criteria

The criteria for items to remain in the collection, even if they fall within de-selection criteria parameters, are as follows: 

  • Classic or Award-Winning Title 
  • Best available title for a particular subject 
  • Arizona or southwest regional interest 
  • Material is rare/out of print/non-replaceable 
  • Contains photographs or pictures that are no longer available on newer titles 
  • Newer/replacement edition of item is unavailable for purchase due to budgetary concerns 
  • Material serves an under-served population 
  • ADA requirement  


The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library accepts donations of books from members of the community. Any donations become the property of the library and may be accepted into the library collection, pursuant to our selection methodology and criteria, or given to the Friends of the Library for book sale purposes. 

Donations of materials are especially welcome for Arizona specific materials. The library will not accept textbooks, magazines, VHS tapes, audio cassettes, outdated manuals, or items in severe disrepair.  

Arizona Talking Book Library

The Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library is a partner library for the Arizona State Library. The Arizona State Library is a regional Library for the Library of Congress's National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). The State Library maintains a circulating collection of federally supplied materials in recorded disk and tape, braille, and other special formats. The collection provided by the Arizona Talking Book Library and NLS represents a wide range of informational and recreational library materials. Other materials of regional or personal interest to eligible readers may be acquired by purchase, transcription, or recording to supplement the basic collection.  
Other American Library Association Collection Development Guidelines: