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Collection Development Policy


The main purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to guide the Santa Ana Public Library (SAPL) staff with the selection and retention of materials, serve as a framework for collection growth and expansion, and to keep the public apprised of the Library’s guidelines and procedures for collection maintenance. The Santa Ana Public Library supports equitable access by adopting the American Library Association’s advocacy of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Intellectual Freedom, and the Library Bills of Rights. To meet the Community’s needs, the Santa Ana Public Library provides a current and relevant collection of materials and resources in a wide range of genres, languages, and formats. In addition, for research purposes, our Santa Ana History Room provides a rich well of resources.

Community profile

Santa Ana is one of the largest cities in Orange County with a rich and culturally diverse history. Residents of Santa Ana are predominantly Hispanic, with close to half of the residents born outside of the United States. Santa Ana also boasts of having one of the larger concentrations of Vietnamese people living in the city. As the City of Santa Ana continues to grow and vary in economic, racial, ethnic, and educational backgrounds, it is vital for the Library to maintain a strong knowledge and understanding of the community in terms of collection and service development. Our collections and services will evolve along with the dynamic growth of the Santa Ana community.

Santa Ana Public Library

The Library serves patrons of all backgrounds, offering materials in physical and digital formats. The collection also serves the general educational interest, recreational, and entertainment needs of the public and reflects the community's racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. Materials for children and teenagers support recreational reading, facilitate reading skills, supplement educational needs, stimulate and widen interests, and reflect the community's diversity and our world. Children's reading and viewing activity is ultimately the responsibility of parents, who guide and oversee their own children's development. The Santa Ana Public Library does not intrude on that relationship.

Selection criteria

Collection development staff use their training, knowledge, expertise, and the following general criteria to select materials for the collection:

  • Community needs and demands
  • Relevance to the needs and interests of the community we serve
  • Currency, relevancy and popularity
  • Equity, diversity and inclusivity
  • Recommendations of reviews from professional journals and newspapers
  • Reputation and qualifications of the author, illustrator, publisher, or producer
  • Availability of other information on the subject
  • Literary, artistic, historical, scientific, or intellectual merit
  • Suitability of format
  • Price and availability for purchase
  • Local authors
  • Contribution to the diversity and scope of the collection
  • Award winning or nominated materials

In congruence with our support of equitable access, all cardholders have the right to access all materials in the Library. Parents and legal guardians have the responsibility to monitor the use of library materials by their children.


In accordance to our Donation Policy, The Santa Ana Public Library accepts donations of material in very good condition. Donated items are added to the Library’s collection or given to the Friends of the Santa Ana Public Library (FOSAPL). FOSAPL is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that sells used books and materials to generate additional funding for the Library. The Library reserves the right to accept or discard, at its discretion, any donated materials.

Collection maintenance

The CREW Method, Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding, is used to maintain a current, useful, and dynamic collection that makes the best use of floor and shelf space. At the same time, it also assesses the collection's strengths and weaknesses. The CREW Method recommends removal of an item if it fits one or more of the following conditions:

  • Misleading or factually inaccurate
  • Worn and torn or in disrepair
  • Superseded by a newer edition
  • Trivial or of no real discernable value
  • Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the community
  • Available elsewhere or in a different format

Recommendation and request for reconsideration of library materials

The Santa Ana Public Library welcomes all suggestions for the consideration or reconsideration of library materials. All decisions are based on the collection development criteria cited above.

Persons from the Santa Ana community wishing to recommend the removal of a particular item in the Library's collection may submit a Request for Review of Library Materials form, available upon request. The Library's Subject Specialist Team will review this request in relation to the Library's mission statement, the Library Bill of Rights, and the selection criteria contained within the Collection Development Policy. After evaluation, Library Administration will provide a written response within 30 days of receiving the formal objection. The material in question will remain in the collection until a final decision is reached.

About our collection

Books: The adult fiction collection consists of contemporary fiction of all genres, translated works from other languages, classic literature, while also emphasizing new, diverse and popular titles. The adult nonfiction collection contains works that provide general knowledge on wide-ranging topics. We also have Spanish and Vietnamese collections to reflect the diversity of our community.

Newspapers & periodicals: Core newspaper collections include the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, and La Opinion. Other national newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post are available online to access at no cost with an SAPL library card.

The periodicals collection consists of current and popular titles that cater to the Community’s broadest informational, education, and recreational needs. A large collection of current periodicals is also available online.

Children’s Collection: Children’s materials are available in a variety of formats, including board books, picture books, music CDs, audiobooks, DVDs, and other digital forms. We also have materials in world languages such as Spanish and Vietnamese.

The collection also includes early literacy formats that target the importance of reading aloud to children during the first five years.

Teen Collection: The teen collection supports the educational and recreational needs of middle school and high school students from 12 to 19 years old. The collection emphasizes popular reading titles, school-assigned classics, and hot-topic nonfiction titles.

The teen collection is available in various genres and formats, including fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, paperbacks, magazines, audiobooks and digital forms.

World Languages: The Santa Ana Public Library’s World Languages collection includes written and audiovisual materials in Spanish and Vietnamese.

Large Print Materials: Large print materials are designed for use by patrons with visual impairments. The collection consists of popular fiction, mystery, and some classic titles. Nonfiction titles are limited and not comprehensive, due to the limited availability of the format.

Local History Collection: The Library maintains a collection of historical images and archival materials related to Santa Ana and surrounding areas. While the Library is not a depository for all historical records, we strive to develop a comprehensive and inclusive collection that is relevant to Santa Ana’s history. The collection is primarily acquired through gifts, but materials may be purchased if deemed appropriate to the collection.

Photographs, maps, slides, pamphlets, or other archival materials relating to the history of Santa Ana and the surrounding area may be added to the Library’s collection on the approval of the Library Services Director. Archival gifts will be evaluated according to their relevance to the history of Santa Ana and may or may not be added.

E-Resources Collection: The Library's electronic resources collection includes online subscription databases, streaming media, downloadable audiobooks, e-books, magazines, and authoritative links to Internet information. Acquisition of these e-resources is based on the community's needs and demands.

Audiovisual: The audiovisual collection includes DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and multimedia kits, emphasizing popular titles, established artists, and educational interest topics. Audiovisual materials are also available in electronic format.

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