July 2019




Lori Barnes, MLS



Alisa St. Amant, MLS

Assistant Director


Pam Armstrong, MLIS

Assistant Director


Collection Development Committee:


Yvonne Parton, MLIS – Chair, Ocean Springs Manager

Meg Henderson, MLIS – St. Martin Manager

Cynthia Morgan, MLIS – Lucedale Manager

Melinda Ann Rushing, MLIS - East Central Manager

Dana Woods, MLIS – Head Cataloguer

Bethany Carlisle – Youth Services Coordinator

Sara Couch – Pascagoula Youth Library Assistant







July 2019




The mission of the Jackson-George Regional Library System (JGRLS) is to “Inspire ideas, Enrich lives and Build communities.”   We fulfill our mission by providing quality patron-oriented library and information services, as well as collections of resources and programming that serve to inform and expand 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 JGRLS’ 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, interests and to maintain balance.  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. The Singing River Genealogy and Local History branch of JGRLS maintains a Collection Development Policy, separate from this document.





JGRLS defines its primary service audience as residents of Jackson and George Counties, Mississippi. The system consists of nine branches. JGRLS’ headquarters branch is located in Pascagoula and houses a special collection (ninth branch) on its second floor. The nine branches of JGRLS are: East Central, Gautier, Lucedale, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, St. Martin, Vancleave and Singing River Local History & Genealogy.


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, however in 2016 funds were established by the BP Corporation to help the coast recover.  Plans for these fund by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors include building modern roads and bridges, state-of-the-art airports and shipping ports, and innovative projects to restore, protect and showcase the natural beauty of  the  Gulf  Coast and promote tourism.


U. S. Census Bureau population estimates, The American Fact Finder Survey of 2017, indicates there are approximately 166,000 residents in the two counties.  In terms of ethnic diversity, the population of the coast is majority white (73.3% in Jackson County and 90.1% in George County).  African Americans make up 33 % of the population across the two counties.  There are pockets of Vietnamese and Hispanic populations due to the lively fishing and construction industries.  Approximately 41% 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 JGRLS’ 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:

Š      Accuracy of information

Š      Purpose

Š      Quality

Š      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.     Budgetary concerns and cost in relation to use of item

f.      Suitability of material for clientele

g.     Existing library holdings

h.     Community relevance, local diversity and interest

i.      Significance of the author, illustrator, or publisher

j.      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. When requests are reviewed, the branch manager may choose to utilize the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) resource sharing system to obtain materials beyond the scope of the collection.  In return for utilizing ILL to satisfy the needs of our patrons, JGRLS agrees to make holdings accessible and lend materials to other libraries through the same system. 


Per the Interlibrary Loan Policy, we will not lend or borrow newspapers, serials, microforms, video games, materials classified reference or genealogy, rare or valuable material that would be difficult or impossible to replace, or material in high demand such as recently published items that have not been available to local customers for at least 6 months.  The full ILL policy is available on the JGRLS website.




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 nine 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 System’s nine branches include Transparent Languages, Axis 360 Digital Media Library e-books, RB Digital downloadable audiobooks and magazines, Learning Express Library and  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 Branch Managers.





Jackson-George Regional Library System welcomes opportunities to promote the creative expression of local authors in our community. To have their work considered, the author must submit, in person. one copy of their work along with an  Author Submission Form. Located at each JGRLS branch circulation desk.  These items may be submitted to any one of our nine locations. When items are donated, it is at the discretion of the manager at the receiving branch whether they would like to add it to the collection.  The manager is expected to apply the selection criteria from our published policy when making the decision and may consult other managers. 


Authors will be notified by letter regarding the decision approximately one month from receipt of the materials. If accepted for inclusion, their work can be found in a subject search for “local authors” in our catalog.


If their work is declined, it will be held for 14 days for pick up. After that time, it will be treated like a donation and become the property of the library.


Submission Guidelines


JGRLS will consider books that are written and/or published locally for our collection. Emphasis will be placed on books that discuss Jackson and George counties and their surrounding communities.                             

Š      The Library system will accept one copy of any title.

Š      The Library will select books based on our collection policies, the quality of a book’s content and presentation, the level of public interest, awards won, and positive reviews from professional literary journals or local press sources. All books added to the collection, whether from large publishers, independent presses, or self-published authors, must meet the library’s selection criteria for overall quality and relevance to our collection.

Š       Materials selected for inclusion into the collection become property of JGRLS. JGRLS reserves the right to include or exclude any title from the collection for any reason. Materials donated to the library may be removed for any reason, at any time. Materials that are not added to the collection will be returned to the author.





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.  Memorial items donated or gifted are reviewed by the same selection criteria as outlined above.    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, item’s 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 of the Library 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 committee’s 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 board’s decision is final.


Final Draft 6/15/19 – LWBarnes, YParton