How do I...?
To provide a dynamic collection that meets the informational, cultural and entertainment needs of the large and diverse population of Los Angeles County.
The County of Los Angeles Public Library serves one of the nation's most culturally, economically and socially diverse regions. The Library selects materials which best serve the needs of its varied and complex public.
The Library makes available a broad and relevant collection of materials for information, education and recreation. Our collection currently includes over 7,000,000 books, magazines, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks, downloadable eBooks and audiobooks, and CDs. We provide materials of interest to people of differing ages, ethnic groups and lifestyles, both in English and other languages.
In support of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement, the Library affirms the public's right of access to a broad spectrum of reading, listening and viewing materials, and upholds the right of any individual to secure information, even if the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others.
The County Library selects a broad range of materials to accommodate the diversity of tastes, reading levels, languages and interests of users of all ages. We provide current materials as well as standard authors, titles and subjects. Resource centers and special collections enhance the Library's ability to serve its community’s needs.
Selection of materials is based on the subject knowledge and expertise of collection development librarians, along with recommendations from the public and other library staff; professional and popular media reviews; and evaluation of review copies from publishers. Budget and space limitations require a focus on materials that appeal to a broad range of users, rather than the academic, highly technical or otherwise specialized collections which are the mission of the area’s universities and research institutions. No materials are excluded or removed from the Library on the basis of the author's race or nationality, their political, social or religious beliefs. Materials dealing with controversial views are judged as entire works, not on isolated passages or sections.
All materials, whether purchased or donated, are subject to the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards to be included in the Library’s collection.
Weeding or Withdrawing of Materials
Weeding materials no longer needed is an integral part of maintaining a current and up-to-date collection. A number of the factors governing selection of materials are the same ones taken into account in determining when to remove an item from the Library’s collection. These include:
While the Library offers materials in a variety of languages, we actively purchase in these languages:
The Library purchases many types of materials:
Suggest a Purchase
Suggesting a purchase enables County of Los Angeles Public Library users to request that the Library purchase a particular item, title, or subject. These suggestions are used to help the Library develop collections which serve the interests and needs of the community. Suggested items are not automatically added to the collection, and all suggestions for purchase are subject to the same criteria as other materials. Budget and space constraints may also apply.
Customers can suggest a purchase online.
Materials missing or withdrawn from the Library’s collection are not automatically replaced. The decision to replace items is based on the following criteria:
Gifts and Donations
The County of Los Angeles Public Library accepts gifts for the Library’s collection that fall within needed subject categories, as determined by collection development librarians and library staff. Donated materials must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials and are subject to the following limitations:
Donated materials should be no more than three years old and in excellent condition.