The mission of the Belgrade Community Library is to empower a community of lifelong learners.




  1. Information Literacy. The staff of this library will strive to help patrons learn to find, evaluate, and use information effectively to answer all types of questions with print and non-print resources.
  2. General Information.  The collection of the Belgrade Library will meet the need for patron information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school, and personal life using print and non-print materials.
  3. Lifelong Learning.  Programming, staffing, and collection development will provide patrons options for self-directed personal growth and development opportunities, including understanding and use of new technologies.
  4. Current topics and titles.  Close adherence to the collection management policy will make it possible for patrons to fulfill their desires to learn about popular cultural and social trends and will provide recreational experiences for community residents.




Final authority for the determination of policy in the selection, acquisition, and management of materials is vested in the Belgrade Community Library Board of Trustees.  The actual selection and management of materials has been delegated by the Board to the Library Director and the staff acting within the guidelines of this policy and within the limitations imposed by the budget.




The purpose of the Belgrade Community Library Collection Management Policy is to clarify collection management practices and objectives to staff, patrons, and the Library Board and to cooperating institutions and funding agencies.  The policy is used as a tool to assist in shaping the collection consistent with library goals, patron needs, and economic realities.




The Belgrade Community Library serves Belgrade and Gallatin County, an area of 2,517 square miles.  The estimated population of the Gallatin County is 104,502.  Gallatin County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state of Montana.  Belgrade annually ranks as one of the fastest-growing cities in the state.  Belgrade’s population is 7,389 (U.S. Census 2010).  The service area population is approximately 12,960.


The Library is the second largest public library in the county. It is the primary library serving several subdivisions that are not in the city limits and are not included in the actual population count of the Belgrade area.  Other public libraries are located in Bozeman, Manhattan, Three Forks, and West Yellowstone.  All Montana residents may also use the libraries at Montana State University-Bozeman. The number of current registered individual borrowers is 7,412 (6/2017).  Any resident of Gallatin County may register for a borrower’s card at Belgrade Community Library by providing proof of residence and photo identification.  There is no fee for county residents.  A temporary card is available to tourists and others visiting the area for a small fee.


The economy in Belgrade and Gallatin County is both broad-based and diverse with an estimated 5,275 business establishments employing over 50,000 people.  Major sectors of the economy, in addition to Montana State University, include tourism and recreation, retail trade, agriculture, services, manufacturing, and natural resource-based industries such as mining and forestry.  Growing segments within these sectors are technology-, sports-, and recreation-based businesses, which find university resources and an educated and recreationally active labor force to be significant assets.  The largest single employer in the area is Montana State University.  The 16,500+ students at MSU make a significant impact on the county economy.


Major users of Belgrade Community Library include:

            Recreational readers                Families           Students (preschool - college)

Home school associations       Consumers      Self-employed individuals

            Entrepreneurs                          Investors         Senior citizens

            Writers and artists                   Researchers     Internet Users




In addition to collection materials, we strive to meet the needs of our community by offering the following free services:

            Wireless Internet                     Children (age 0-18) Summer and Winter Reading Programs

            Baby/Toddler Story time        Preschool Story time                                      

            Adult Book Clubs                   Book-A-Tech

            Meeting Room                        Affordable Book Sales

            Art Exhibits                            Speakers on topics of Community Interest

            After School Programs           Downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks
            Various Adult Evening Programs                                                      




The Belgrade Community Library offers a wide variety of materials in various formats for patrons of all ages.  The Library’s collection of 51,078 (6/2017) titles represents the diverse interests and viewpoints of the community it serves.  It is meant both to educate and to entertain the members of this community.  Emphasis is placed on an attractive, orderly, and accessible arrangement.  The collection contains periodicals; state and local newspapers; nonfiction and fiction; DVDs, books on CD, language audios; reference materials; downloadable ebooks and audiobooks; and access to the Internet.  Although materials are not specifically purchased to support local school curricula, materials meet basic research needs of students.




Area                                        Annual Circulation

Adult Fiction                                      15%

Adult Non-Fiction                                6%

Juvenile Fiction                                   34%

Juvenile Non-Fiction                             6%

Young Adult (Fic and Non-Fic)           4%

Audio/Visual (DVDs and CDs)         20% (dvd 16%, cd audio 4%)

EBook                                                 13%


* Magazines, large print books, and tech accessories account for the remaining (2%) percentage.




Providing materials to meet patron needs is the primary goal of the Belgrade Community Library.  Since the Library is financially unable to purchase all materials for all people, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and cooperative collection arrangements are used to meet patron needs.  The Belgrade Community Library is affiliated with the OCLC system.  Interlibrary Loan is used to supply titles which are not purchased by the Library due to narrow scope, age, lack of demand, and budget constraints.  New titles, particularly fiction, are considered for purchase rather than ordered through ILL if the publication date is less than one year old.


The Belgrade Community Library is a member of the Montana Shared Catalog consortium.  The Belgrade Community Library, Bozeman Public Library, Manhattan Public Library, Three Forks Public Library, and West Yellowstone Public Library have a sharing group within the greater MSC consortium called BridgerNet to give Gallatin County residents the ability to share greater resources and information services. Patrons may use library cards, pay fines, and request items at any of the five libraries.  To extend the ease of borrowing and returning resources, a courier service between these libraries has been established.


The Belgrade Community Library attempts to avoid duplication of expensive specialized material, such as:

  1. Medical materials, except those of a general nature;
  2. Exhaustive Montana materials (collected by the Montana State Historical Library);
  3. Materials for the specialist or professional reader, such as doctors or lawyers, are housed in a variety of special libraries;
  4. College or university-level course materials, which are housed at Montana State University and other state colleges and universities;
  5. K-12 course and teaching materials, housed at school libraries or the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI);
  6. Genealogical materials other than those of a general nature (housed at special genealogical libraries);


Interlibrary loans will be used if such materials are requested by the patron. Patrons are welcome to have up to three (3) interlibrary loans in process one time. A non-pick up fee of $3 per item will be assessed if the item is not picked up within nine (9) days of contacting the patron, with the first attempt the date the item is put on the hold shelf. A second attempt to contact the patron will occur on the seventh (7th) day of holding the item. The item will be sent back to the lending library and the fee will be assessed on the 9th day of non-pickup.


Each patron is welcome to request five (5) items through interlibrary loan per fiscal year with no charge. After five (5) items, a $3 per item fee will be assessed to alleviate cost of processing, postage, and courier fees.






Areas of nonfiction in which timeliness is important are reviewed for currency on a regular basis.  Reference materials are reviewed on an annual basis and updated as appropriate.  Six back issues plus the current issue of periodicals are kept for adult titles.  Eleven back issues plus the current issue of children’s titles periodicals are kept. Newspapers are kept in paper copies for one month plus the current month.  Select local materials are retained for research purposes.  Current popular fiction is purchased.  Classics and works representative of major authors are collected and retained.  The children’s fiction collection is current and has many award-winning and other high-quality titles as well as popular series. 


Average age of the collection:  The overall average age of the collection is 2008.  The average age of adult fiction is 2007 and adult nonfiction (nonfiction, biography, reference) is 2006.  All children’s books have an average age of 2005.  All young adult books have an average age of 2010.


Value: The 2017 collection value is $800,623.




The Belgrade Community Library collects relevant formats including, but not limited to: hardback, paperback, large print, periodicals; ebooks and newspapers.  DVDs and Books on CD are now the library’s chosen media formats and are purchased when available.




The Belgrade Community Library generally buys one copy of a title, unless the author or subject area is of a particular demand.  Whenever possible, multiple copies are supplied through donations.




The collection is primarily in English.  A large number of Spanish language children’s books have been purchased due to community demand.  Other foreign language books are generally not purchased.




The Belgrade Community Library is a tax-supported institution, which receives the majority of its funding from the City of Belgrade and the County of Gallatin. Some additional monies are received from the State of Montana.  The Belgrade Community Library Foundation supports the library by raising, receiving, administering and disbursing funds, grants, endowments, bequests, and gifts for the benefit of the library.






The Board of Trustees has delegated to the director of Belgrade Community Library and staff members the responsibility for the selection of library materials.  The selection of material is based on reviews in professional journals, patron recommendations, popular demand, subject area needs, scope and focus of the collection, and cooperative collection agreements


The selection of library materials is a two-way process:

  1. The users of the library, a group with varying backgrounds, tastes, and reading abilities, who indicate their interests and needs, and
  2. The library staff who execute their professional judgment in anticipating demands and in selecting the best materials with which to satisfy the user.  Each title must be judged as a whole, and isolated passages in themselves not used as criteria.


Materials selected should meet standards of factual accuracy, significance, and responsibility of opinion.  The library will provide, as far as possible, materials on all sides of controversial issues; materials which are written in a reasonable fashion and show results of careful study.  Materials on a controversial issue which are written in violent, sensational, and inflammatory manner will ordinarily not be selected. Occasionally books of temporary value, such as campaign biographies or fiction in great demand, will be acquired by the library and discarded when they have served their purpose.


Materials selected should meet the interests and needs of the community the Library serves. In the selection of fiction the Library must recognize its obligation as a public institution serving the reading needs and interests of a large group of people with varied backgrounds, education, reading tastes, and interests.  Many resources are used in the selection of library material.  The following is a sample list of resources that may be used.  The order is not indicative of importance nor do all resources need to be used for selection.  Any one or combination of the following may be used.


Resources/Selection Tools for Material Selection

  1. Reviews from professional journals
  2. Publishers’, jobbers’ and authors’ brochures, publications
  3. Staff and patron suggestions
  4. Visits to local bookstores
  5. Expert recommendations
  6. Award winners
  7. Internet searches




The Belgrade Community Library welcomes gifts to be used for the benefit of the Library.  It is the Library’s policy to accept gifts with the understanding that the Director, the Board of Trustees, and/or appropriate staff use their discretion as to the disposition of these materials.  The Library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials.


Once donated, items (including containers) become the property of the Belgrade Community Library.  They may be added to the collection, made available for the semi-annual Library Foundation sponsored book sale, given to other non-profit agencies, or discarded.


The decision to include gift materials is based upon the following considerations.

  1. Does the material meet the Library’s standard of materials selection?
  2. Is the physical condition of the material satisfactory?
  3. Does the Library need the material or multiple copies in its collection?


When gift materials are deemed no longer useful, the Library will dispose of them on the same basis it disposes of other materials.


It is the responsibility of the donor to deliver donated items to the library during open hours.  The library will not appraise any donated materials.  No estimate of value of donated material will be furnished.


To help the library staff, please consider the following guidelines before bringing donated materials to the library:

       Keep the boxes light (under 30 pounds)

       Please bring only items that are in good physical condition

       Magazines of the current year will be placed in the free materials bin in the lobby (no catalogs please)

       Items that may have been stored in an area that may have been exposed to rodents/hantavirus (garage, attic, basement) cannot be accepted.


A donation form, which can be used as a receipt for tax purposes, is available from library staff

We treat donor records as confidential, unless otherwise directed.              





The Belgrade Community Library materials are withdrawn from the collection based on the following criteria: material does not circulate over a predetermined period of time; poor physical condition; obsolete information; reliability of content; unnecessary duplicates; incomplete sets; and mistakes that should not have been added to the collection.  Whenever feasible, damaged books are mended.  When appropriate, titles are replaced if they are not repairable.  Replacement of withdrawn last copies is dependent on demand and availability.  A small number of items may be rebound for the following reasons: out-of-print; valuable to Belgrade Community Library’s collection; local history; or local author.


Withdrawn library materials and gift materials may be offered to other libraries, schools, or nonprofit groups, sold at the library book sales, or otherwise disposed of as library staff deems appropriate.




The public library in America today is the community’s first resource for citizens’ right to free access of all information.  The Belgrade Community Library provides materials of many types and on many subjects in an attempt to meet the needs and interests of a diverse population.  The library maintains that each individual has the ability to choose materials appropriate to his/her own needs.


The Belgrade Community Library and the Library Board of Trustees support intellectual freedom and have adopted and endorsed the following American Library Association statements as policy: The Library Bill of Rights; Freedom to Read Statement; and Free Access to Libraries for Minors Statement. The choice of library resources by users is an individual matter.  While any user is free to reject resources for personal use, that user cannot restrict the freedom of others to read or access information in the library. 


Criticism and comment on material selected for inclusion in the Belgrade Community Library collection is an essential right of community members, and a valuable part of the library’s selection process, allowing for reexamination of choices and reasoning.  Objection to the particular language or viewpoint of materials cannot, per se, be justification to the exclusion of materials.  Passages or parts of an item should not be pulled out of context.  Materials should be taken as a whole, and values and faults should be weighed against each other.  The presence of material in the library does not indicate an endorsement of its contents by the Belgrade Community Library.


The Belgrade Community Library Board of Trustees acknowledges that occasional objections to materials will be made despite the care taken and the procedures followed in their selection.  The Board of Trustees and the Library personnel are prepared to defend the principles of the statements referred to above.


The Belgrade Community Library staff will respond to any concern from users about library materials.  If users are not satisfied with the response received from a staff member, they will be referred to the library director.  A patron may request a written response if the exchange has not been satisfactory.  The library director, or the person acting in his or her absence, will respond in writing within seven working days.  If those informal procedures do not result in a satisfactory conclusion for the patron, a formal written request for reconsideration may be filed.


Request for reconsideration forms are available at the library upon request.


This procedure will be followed:

  1. Patron fills out and signs a “Request for Reconsideration” form and gives or sends it to the library director.
  2. The copy or copies of the challenged materials will remain available to the public until disposition is determined.
  3. The “Request for Reconsideration” form is sent to the library director with the material if it is a request for withdrawal or addition (if available).
  4. The library director will review the request, consult with the Library Board of Trustees Chair, and then respond in writing to the patron.
  5. If further action is required, a committee of professional level staff will review the materials and make a recommendation.
  6. The committee’s decision may be appealed to the entire library board which will review the material and make a final decision.





The nonfiction collection caters to children, teens, and adults, spanning topics in information technology, philosophy, religion, the social sciences, language, the pure sciences, the applied sciences, the arts, literature, and history.  Books on the American West in general and Montana in particular are added regularly. A small collection of large print nonfiction is maintained.  Reference materials, media, and periodicals supplement this area.



Biographies are in-depth character studies of leaders and notable figures in many fields.  Coverage includes historic figures, religious leaders, scientists, doctors, athletes, authors, legendary entertainers, westerners, and any figures who are of regional and local interest.



The fiction collection includes standard classics, a selection of titles by major authors, current bestsellers, and contemporary works.  Also collected is genre fiction including western, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery titles.  A fiction large print collection is maintained.  Fiction with Montana settings or written by Montana authors is a priority to the collection.  Series and authors are not necessarily inclusive.  A collection of abridged and unabridged audiobooks supplements the print collection.


Special Collections


There are both circulating and non-circulating collections of general Montana history as well as Gallatin County and Belgrade area materials.  Histories of other counties are not collected.  Older works of Montana history are retained, and new titles are acquired on a regular basis.  Video media enhance this collection.  Plans are to continue to acquire new material for these collections.





The audio/video collection includes film classics, documentaries, self-educational and audio books (both abridged and unabridged).  All DVDs with or without a rating from the MPAA are evaluated on an individual basis using the criteria mentioned above under Resources/Selection Tools for Material Selection. The DVD and Books-on-CD collections continue to need expansion to keep up with demand.



Belgrade Community Library subscribes to a broad cross-section of popular periodicals.  In 2017our entire periodical collection was re-evaluated.  This collection is evaluated annually.  The Library tracks usage statistics to ensure adequate coverage of popular topics and to avoid subscribing to periodicals that are not of interest to patrons.


Electronic Resources

The Belgrade Community Library strives to present the most current and wide-ranging access to data through access to electronic resources and the Internet.



Belgrade Community Library receives the Belgrade News on a weekly basis and other newspapers from local and national providers. Plans are to track usage statistics to ensure adequate coverage of popular topics and to avoid subscribing to newspapers that are not of interest to patrons.



This policy will be reviewed and updated every three years by Belgrade Community Library Board of Trustees, in accordance with the public library standards of excellence.



Belgrade Library Donation Form

Belgrade Library Request for Reconsideration Form

ALA Library Bill of Rights

ALA Freedom to Read Statement

ALA Free Access to Libraries for Minors