Stock management policy
|Last updated:||07 November 2019|
The Buckinghamshire Library Stock Management Policy sets out the principles by which books, audio visual materials and other resources should be acquired, managed and made available for the maximum benefit of the people of Buckinghamshire, within the budget available.
Aims and Objectives
Stock will be managed to provide resources that customers want, when they want them, in a format appropriate for their needs. Beyond that, stock should be provided, promoted and made available in such a way as to interest, inform and excite our customers and provide a modern service with relevant diverse collections that support reading, information and learning.
The key objectives are:
- to provide an overall stock that will meet the needs of the whole community, recognising the needs of people with disabilities and those from diverse cultural, social and economic backgrounds
- to challenge independent learners with resources that meet their current needs but encourage them to take a step further
- to open up reading choices by promoting a breadth and range of fiction and non-fiction stock while also providing popular material which will enhance our customers' quality of life through reading
- to ensure that the most relevant and cost-effective resources are made as accessible as possible
- to increase participation and encourage new members
Stock Management Principles
Books and other materials are made available to users as a countywide resource.* They can be accessed through the branch library network, or electronically via library public computers or over the internet, rather than existing as a series of separate collections.
We aim to make available the widest possible range of materials for library users within budgetary constraints, offering a balanced collection of material to ensure comprehensive subject coverage and adequate stocks of fiction material.
*Exceptions - some items are donated to community libraries and may not be reservable for collection elsewhere
Stock Selection Criteria
Material is selected principally from designated suppliers that are the subject of a tendering process administered by the Central Buying Consortium.
Sources of selection include:
- library supplier selection process and standing orders
- readers' requests/suggestions
- bestseller lists
- specialist suppliers
- literary prize lists
Selection criteria include:
- Content - Authority and reputation of the author/publisher, educational/recreational value, quality, currency and accuracy of information where applicable.
- Potential popularity - Potential popularity of the author/subject/genre is assessed using information from the library management system, available published information and identified customer needs.
- Format - Quality of production and durability in terms of library usage
- Publishing history - New edition of a proven title or new title in a proven series or from an authoritative information source
- Cost - The cost of an item will be balanced against the benefits of the item to the overall stock and its potential usage
- Coverage - Consideration is given to the existing coverage of the subject or genre and whether an item adds anything new
- Electronic resources - The Authority subscribes to a number of online subscription services to support reading and information provision. These entail additional selection criteria e.g. licence agreements, access methods and a place within any regional or national acquisition arrangements. Where possible we will offer resources which allow home access to enhance the service provided.
- Self-managed Community Libraries may also select stock independently.
Using our Supplier Selection criteria, a wide range of fiction titles are selected in order to satisfy the recreational, educational and social needs of library users. The fiction collection should reflect known demand and will largely consist of popular fiction of all types. However the library service plays a vital role in supporting and promoting all areas of fiction, so the fiction stock encompasses an extensive range of titles including:
- books for emergent readers
- classic fiction
- fiction in Asian and European languages appropriate to local communities
- first novels
- LGBT fiction
- graphic novels
- literary novels
- novels in translation
- eAudio books
We buy new popular hardback fiction titles; however, budget constraints dictate that we should concentrate on buying a higher proportion of paperback titles in order to maintain the range of titles in the collection.
Based on our supplier selection criteria above, materials are selected on a broad range of subjects which:
- contribute to personal development, well-being and social inclusion
- encourage the positive use of leisure time
- promote the economic development of the local community and employment opportunities within the local economy
- provide entertainment and relaxation
- relate to the history and culture of the local area
- support those engaged in independent or informal learning
The County Reserve Stock is housed in the basement of County Hall in Aylesbury and consists of over 100,000 older, rare or specialised books. The County Reserve Stock is open to the public by appointment.
The County Reserve Stock encompasses the following areas:-
- art books
- history particularly the two World Wars
- reminiscence material
- vocal and orchestral sets which are available for hire
- sheet music and song books
- single copy plays and playsets
We maintain small collections of local studies material to:
- foster a sense of community identity by providing information about its present and its past
- support local genealogical research
- support the requirements of all those pursuing informal research into their local area
More extensive resources are available at the Centre for Bucks Studies
We select as wide a range of magazines as possible. The scope of each collection reflects the size, magazine issuing capacity and local interests of each library. Magazines are monitored to ensure the best possible spread of subject matter and popularity.
We also offer a collection of eMagazines which are available online to all library members.
Audio-visual material, including DVDs and Spoken Word are supplied on a self-financing basis. Customers are charged to borrow this material, although there are exemptions for some users.
DVDs are selected for various libraries throughout the county, where usage is highest. These can be reserved for collection at any library.
The likely popularity of a title and its income generating potential are taken into consideration and new “blockbuster” releases are ordered in advance to ensure that these titles are available for loan on the day of release.
A range of titles are available within the following categories:
- rental Feature films and older television series
- audiobooks in unabridged formats on CD
We also offer a collection of eAudio books which are available free to all library members.
We no longer purchase music CDs, Computer Games and DVD boxed sets of television series and we do not accept purchase requests for these formats.
The following criteria are likely to influence a decision not to purchase material for stock:
- items that will not generate sufficient income to at least meet the purchase cost
- material that is pornographic in nature
- items in an unsuitable format, for example a slip case with stock loose inside
- items without clearance for public lending rights
The nature and provision of information materials within libraries has changed dramatically in recent years. The advent of both free and subscription-only online resources has significantly enhanced the provision of information services. Our preference is to provide online information which is always available over the internet and is free for our customers to access.
Materials provided include:
- reference books
- community information
- newspapers and periodicals (many now available online)
- short-loan learning materials
- online reference and information services
The library service regards children and young people as a priority group and offers an appropriate range of stock at every service point. We provide a range of resources for children and young people from birth to 18 years, offering a wide range of materials in order to satisfy the recreational, educational and social needs of children and young people.
We provide resources which promote literacy and encourage a lifelong love of books and reading through an established pattern of library usage from the earliest age. We will provide material suitable for children and young people of all reading abilities to enable them to make informed life choices and in appropriate formats for those with special needs.
We will provide a range of young adult resources to form a bridge between the children's and adult's collection.
Using our supplier selection criteria, the Children's fiction collection consists largely of popular fiction of all types. However the library service plays a vital role in supporting and promoting all areas of children's fiction, so the fiction stock encompasses an extensive range of titles including national prize titles and classics.
We provide material in a variety of formats including:
- board books for sharing with very young children
- picture books for a wide range of ages, including dual-language books (parallel texts in English and another language)
- easy readers
- junior fiction for confident readers
- young adult books
- large print
- graphic novels
In addition to the supplier selection criteria above, we provide:
- popular non-fiction to reflect the leisure needs of young people
- information books, which may reflect the content of the National Curriculum, but will complement, not replace, the project and exchange collections provided by the Schools Library Service.
- books to support parenting skills and child development
- picture books and information books dealing with special situations such as bereavement
We offer a range of children's and young people's audio-visual materials for rental where usage is highest. This is a chargeable service, although there are some concessions.
We provide a range of:
- rental Feature films and television on DVD
- audiobook stories both in abridged and unabridged formats on CD and online
We provide a selection of basic children's reference books together with online reference services such as Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The Library Service welcomes donations of recently published material that meets our criteria for stock selection and is of a sufficiently high physical standard for library needs.
Donations become the property of the service as a whole and will be treated in accordance with our existing stock work guidelines. We accept donations on the understanding that they may not necessarily be added to stock or retained at a particular branch. Items considered to be unsuitable for library service stock will be sold or otherwise disposed of and the resulting income retained by the library service for development.
Self-managed Community Libraries may have a different policy for accepting donations.
As our stock is now selected and purchased through our contracted suppliers, unsolicited items sent to the library service will not be considered for purchase by library service staff and will not be returned to the sender.
Books will not be purchased by the library service unless they are listed and selected by our contracted suppliers and meet our selection criteria. Authors who wish to make their books available for selection by contracted library suppliers should register the details of their book with Bibliographic Data Services. Alternatively authors may wish to donate a copy of their work to their local library and this will become static stock at that branch and will be treated in accordance with our existing stock work guidelines.
The following categories of stock fall outside the scope of our collections:
- items containing out of date information
- expensive luxury editions
- items banned under UK law
- items restricted for purchase by UK publishers
- items containing information that is inapplicable to UK conditions and regulations
- items intended for individual ownership, such as books with additional objects which form part of an integral package or textbooks, reading schemes or workbooks primarily intended for use by or with a teacher
- items with a format unsuitable for their purpose, such as ring-bound books
The public library service in Buckinghamshire is provided through a network of libraries including community managed branch libraries, operating in partnership with Buckinghamshire county libraries. Each branch acts as a gateway to the whole range of services on offer.
Libraries in Buckinghamshire operate within a tiered structure, which dictates the volume and variety of stock they can physically accommodate. New stock is allocated using this structure. Community managed libraries receive Council funds to purchase stock to enhance their locally donated items.
Stock circulation is a key method of widening choice and ensuring regular infusions of fresh stock to all our libraries. We move stock between our libraries regularly to enable our customers to see as wide a range as possible of the titles in County stock.
We use automated stock rotation plans for new and existing stock., These plans maximise the choice of titles on the shelves for readers, make best use of particular titles and will be especially beneficial to smaller libraries. In most cases adult and junior stock is rotated to Community managed libraries. Donated stock is not added to rotation plans and any restriction on access is stated in the library catalogue.
Aylesbury and High Wycombe
Adult non fiction – Comprehensive subject coverage in hardback and paperback.
Adult fiction – Collection of hardback and paperback books to include a range of popular titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction and genre fiction.
Junior non fiction - Comprehensive subject coverage, including leisure topics, some hardback and predominantly paperback. Includes stock supporting children with National Curriculum topics.
Junior fiction - Collection of some hardback and predominantly paperback books to include a range of high-performing titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction, genre fiction, film/TV tie- ins and promotional collections. All reading abilities will be catered for.
Amersham, Beaconsfield, Buckingham, Chesham, Hazlemere, Marlow & Princes Risborough
Adult non fiction – Comprehensive subject coverage in hardback and paperback.
Adult fiction - Collection of hardback and paperback books to include a range of popular titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction and genre fiction.
Junior non fiction -Wide subject coverage, including leisure topics, some hardback and predominantly paperback. Includes stock supporting children with National Curriculum topics.
Junior fiction - Collection of some hardback and predominantly paperback books to include a range of popular titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction, genre fiction, film/TV tie- ins and promotional collections. All reading abilities will be catered for.
Bourne End, Burnham, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross, Great Missenden, Haddenham, Winslow, Wendover
Adult non fiction – Broad subject coverage mainly in paperback covering both popular and higher level stock.
Adult fiction - Collection of largely paperback books to include a range of popular titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction, genre fiction.
Junior non fiction - Broad subject coverage, including leisure topics, and includes stock supporting children with National Curriculum topics.
Junior fiction - Collection of books, mainly in paperback, to include a range of popular titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction, genre fiction, film/TV tie-ins. All reading abilities will be catered for.
Buckinghamshire mobile libraries, Castlefield, Farnham Common, Flackwell Heath, Iver Heath, Beacon Villages, Long Crendon, Micklefield, Stokenchurch, Wing
Adult non fiction – Collection of popular material, mainly in paperback, with hardback stock only provided through stock rotation.
Adult fiction - Collection of largely paperback books to include a range of high-performing titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction, genre fiction and promotional collections, with hardback stock only provided through stock rotation.
Junior non fiction - Collection of popular titles, including leisure topics, mainly in paperback, including stock supporting children with National Curriculum topics.
Junior fiction - Collection of books, mainly in paperback, to include a range of popular titles, first novels, classics, literary fiction, genre fiction, film/ TV tie ins. All reading levels to be catered for and hardback stock only to be provided through stock rotation.
The library service aims to provide access to books, via purchase, SELMS or inter-library loan wherever possible, which are not in County stock. Books may be requested at all service points or online.
SELMS is a partnership of library authorities of which Buckinghamshire is a member. This gives our customers access to more than 6 million items from across the south east. There will be a non-refundable reservation placement charge for all items requested via SELMS. Both books and audiobooks may be reserved across SELMS.
Consideration will be given to purchasing in print titles for requests, bearing in mind that complete coverage cannot be attempted and the overall balance of stock must be maintained. The normal selection criteria apply and the library service reserves the right to decline to acquire items which have been requested.
Requested titles which are out of print or in print but not required for stock may be acquired for loan through the SELMS or interlibrary loan service, for which an extra charge applies in order to partially offset the costs involved.
- Application for a SELMS or interlibrary loan will be made in preference to purchase if the title is on an obscure subject, contains outdated information, is very expensive or is unlikely to issue after the initial request has been satisfied
- Out of print junior non-fiction titles are not normally supplied
- Application for a SELMS or interlibrary loan will be made only if the borrower has indicated that they are prepared to pay the fee charged for these loans
- EBook requests will also be considered for purchase, subject to the criteria defined in this document
An item may be withdrawn from stock if:
- it has been superseded by a later edition
- it is in poor condition and is beyond repair
- it contains out of date, irrelevant or misleading information
- it is incomplete
- there has been a decline in individual loans or, if reference, known usage
Books which are in good physical condition but are issuing poorly may be relocated to another branch library.
Books which are no longer suitable for branch library use but are still of long term interest may be suitable for relocation to County Reserve Stock.
Books which have been withdrawn may be sold or recycled.
If an item is lost, damaged or defaced, the library service will ask the customer to pay the cost of replacing the item.
Our stock will aim to represent, responsibly and within financial constraints, all shades of opinion.
Buckinghamshire Libraries subscribes to the guidelines laid down by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
It is the role of a library and information service that is funded from the public purse to provide, as far as resources allow, access to all publicly available information, whether factual or fiction and regardless of media or format, in which its users claim legitimate interest.
Access should not be restricted on any grounds except that of the law. If publicly available material has not incurred legal penalties then it should not be excluded on moral, political, religious, racial or gender grounds, to satisfy the demands of sectional interest. The legal basis of any restriction on access should always be stated.
Our primary objective is, within the limitations of the budget, to provide the widest possible choice of published material, in the most appropriate format, which does not contravene any law and to provide such material, either on the shelves or on demand, to all users of the library service without prejudice.
The library service welcomes suggestions for stock and feedback on stock policy. We will not, however, add or remove any item from our shelves solely at the request of any individual or group. Library staff are responsible for the management and disposal of stock following the principles outlined in this stock management policy. The final decision as to whether an item is considered suitable for library stock rests with the Head of Service.
It is the responsibility of parents, guardians or carers rather than the library staff to determine the suitability of materials used by their children.
The Stock Management Policy next review is scheduled for December 2019.