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Collection Descriptions

Collection Development Policy

Adult Basic Skills

This collection is targeted to meet the needs of adults reading at less than an 8th grade level (Adult Literacy) and adults learning English as an additional language (English as a Second Language).

This collection provides

  • Instructional texts and media designed to assist adults in developing basic literacy, adult basic education and ESL skills.
  • Skill leveled reading materials (mainly non-fiction) appropriate for adult literacy and ESL learners up to an approximate 6 reading level.
  • Professional development materials to support the needs of adult literacy and ESL volunteers and adult education professionals.

Adult Fiction

Classic literature, popular best sellers, general fiction, and short stories in a collection by a single author make up the fiction collection. All are in English, although some are translations from other languages. Fiction is selected to meet the current and anticipated interests of Pikes Peak Library District's (PPLD) adult readers to serve their recreational and educational needs. The intrinsic merits of fiction titles are considered in selection decisions, but expected use by readers is a primary consideration. Titles may be purchased in hardcover and/or paperback. Works are retained or replaced based on use.

Adult Large Print

The large print collection consists of popular fiction including romance, mysteries, westerns and bestselling nonfiction such as current affairs, history and biography. Not all titles published in regular print are available in large print.

Adult Nonfiction

The adult nonfiction book collection supports lifelong learning of adult users by fulfilling the informational needs and recreational interests of the population. PPLD seeks to maintain a well-rounded nonfiction collection that offers diverse viewpoints on a variety of subjects and issues. Adult nonfiction encompasses the largest collection of library materials and has the highest total circulation; however, it is not designed to be comprehensive in any subject. The collection includes recent works on current topics and retrospective works of permanent value. Space and budget limits necessitate the concentration of collection building primarily in subject areas where there is known use or anticipated demand, and current best selling titles. Limited numbers of copies of individual titles are kept after popularity has decreased.

The nonfiction collection is supplemented by the periodicals collection, subscription databases and websites selected for Recommended Websites on These sources often provide specific or current information that is not in the nonfiction collection, as well as full text access to numerous out-of-print materials. Patrons are encouraged to utilize the collections of local Colorado Library Card (CLC) member libraries for the availability of specialized, technical, or academic materials.

Biographies are classified in nonfiction subject areas according to the vocation of the individual. Depending on the library facility, they are shelved in a biography section or integrated with the nonfiction.

Adult Reference

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) maintains a reference collection that is used to answer questions and to serve the informational needs of PPLD users. Reference materials remain in PPLD to be readily available to all, and are not available for check-out. Selection criteria of particular importance for reference sources are: accuracy, currency, ease of use, uniqueness of information, authority, documentation, and indexing.

The reference collections at East and Penrose libraries contain standard works in areas of general reference, the humanities, social sciences, physical and biological sciences, technology, history and area studies. Penrose has specialized legal and business reference collections, while East’s reference collection's focus is "homework help" with emphases in literature and history. Other library reference collections contain a core of basic reference materials. The print reference collection is supplemented by PPLD's Research databases.


PPLD’s audiobook collection consists of fiction and nonfiction titles on cassette and/or CD for adults, teens and children. The greatest part of the audiobook collection consists of unabridged library editions. These library editions are more durable than those produced for the consumer market and replacement parts are available allowing the title to circulate to patrons many times. Not all titles published in print are available as audiobooks.

The audiobook player is an all-in-one audio format. The entire audiobook is contained in a small portable unit that includes batteries and ear buds. The audiobook player collection includes fiction and nonfiction titles for adults, teens and children. Selection of audiobook player titles is based on the same selection criteria used for the print collections.

Book Club

The Book Club collection consists of sets of multiple copies of single titles suitable for book group discussion accompanied by a reading guide. Area book groups may check out sets for six weeks with no renewals. Each set is checked out on one library card. Holds cannot be placed on these materials. Instead, there is a book club phone line through which patrons may request a set. Information about obtaining a book club set and a list of the titles can be found here.

Community Databases

Pikes Peak Library District collects and locates community information for the purpose of providing information and referral to organizations, agencies and individuals of the Pikes Peak region. The databases are available 24/7 on

Inclusion on our website is voluntary and does not indicate or imply an endorsement by PPLD. These databases are not meant to serve as a sales, promotional, or marketing venue, or as a public forum.


This is a locally created database that includes nearly 600 programs and agencies that provide human and social services to residents of the Pikes Peak region. Programs and agencies include local, state, and federal government entities as well as private and nonprofit groups of many sizes.


PPLD provides a collection of recommended websites covering local and state art organizations.


This is a locally created database that lists approximately 200 published authors whose works are set in the Pikes Peak region, who live or work in the vicinity or who write about the area.

Child Care:

PPLD provides a link to the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Colorado Child Care Facility Search. Parents can search all state licensed child care providers by entering an address or provider name. Information retrieved includes addresses and inspection information on each provider and complaint history. The responsibility of selecting a child care provider rests with the parents.


PPLD provides a collection of recommended websites to local schools, colleges and universities. Patrons can search online to find educational opportunities.

Social and Economic Indicators:

The database is designed to provide users with an up-to-date statistical profile of the Pikes Peak region. Data is available on cost of living, retail sales, unemployment, salaries and the housing market. Population figures, crime rate, educational information and local health issues are included.

Compact Disc (CD) Music

The CD collection reflects the diverse listening interests of PPLD’s patrons, with music for adults and children from various musical genres. Patron demand dictates an emphasis on current, popular mainstream music. PPLD purchases both parental advisory and edited versions when available.

Computer Software

The software collection consists of informational and educational titles, as well as games with educational content. PPLD does not purchase utility programs for circulation. The collection reflects the computer platforms and operating systems that predominate in the home user market, with an emphasis placed on multi-platform products.


Pikes Peak Library District’s CyberShelf is the virtual collection of digital library materials. PPLD’s digital collection currently includes eAudio, eBook, and eVideo titles -- both fiction and nonfiction -- for adults, teens, and children. Selection of digital media is based on the same selection criteria used for the rest of PPLD’s collection and is limited by the vendors’ stock. Digital materials are available to patrons residing in Pikes Peak Library District and return automatically. Due dates vary depending on the title. CyberShelf materials cannot be downloaded on library computers.


PPLD acquires DVDs to serve the general informational, educational and recreational needs of the community. The collection consists of feature films, children’s fiction, nonfiction, and television series. Feature films include box office hits, classics, foreign, and independent titles, with emphasis placed on award winners and nominees as well as those films that have received positive professional reviews. The nonfiction collection consists of documentaries, educational, and instructional titles for all ages. For television series, the focus is primarily on Emmy and Golden Globe winners, cable network series, and British television.

Foreign Languages

The adult foreign language collections have been developed to meet the needs of community residents whose native language is not English. Fiction by popular native authors and English language in translation make up the majority of these collections. Spanish, Korean, French, German, Russian, Polish, Vietnamese and Chinese languages are represented. The Spanish and Korean collections also include a variety of popular nonfiction materials. A limited number of CD books and DVDs are available in Spanish.

To supplement this collection, access to current foreign newspapers is provided through the Internet. A limited number of periodicals, mostly in Spanish, are available and the Library provides a Spanish version of the Catalog and online resources in Spanish.

PPLD is committed to developing and maintaining foreign language collections that support the major linguistic ethnic groups living in El Paso County. Foreign language needs are assessed through such tools as census data, LitSource usage, patron requests, circulation statistics, and staff input. Availability of materials from suitable vendors may impact the development of the collections.

Law Collection

Pikes Peak Library District provides free access to print and online legal resources, including Colorado state statutes, federal codes and regulations and courts of appeals cases. Depending on how specialized the item is, it is updated annually, every other year, or as funding allows. In addition, the PPLD Law Collection includes commentaries for the public on topics such as wills, divorce, bankruptcy and landlord/tenant laws. To supplement the print collection, PPLD purchases access to legal databases: Westlaw and Gale Legal Forms.

Lobby Stop Assisted Living Facility

The Lobby Stop Van collection serves residents living in assisted living facilities throughout El Paso County. This collection consists of large print and regular print fiction and nonfiction, periodical subscriptions, and audiovisual materials including DVDs, VHS, audiobook players, CD music and audiobooks. BiFolkal kits, exercise videos, trivia books and other programming materials are an important part of the Lobby Stop Van collection provided to assist activity directors. The Lobby Stop Van is funded by a grant from the Colorado Trust Healthy Aging Initiative.


PPLD’s newspaper and magazine collection is a general collection that focuses on the entertainment, information, and creative needs of our population. It is made up of the popular titles that meet the needs of our diverse community. This collection supplements the general book collection by providing quick access to current information, interests, and topics. Titles are purchased for children, teens, and adults. A large and broad collection of titles is found at the two main libraries with more limited collections at the other libraries. A limited number of magazines in foreign languages are also included. Newspapers from the local area are included in the collection as well as those from other major geographic areas.

The current issue of a magazine does not check out. Back issues of magazines are available for checkout by patrons. Newspapers must be used in the library. Special Collections subscriptions focus on materials related to the Pikes Peak region and genealogical titles. The magazines in the Special Collections area must be used in the library building.

A broad range of more focused, scholarly and technical titles and older issues can be accessed through research databases or microfilm purchased by PPLD.

Rapid Read and Rapid View

The Rapid Read and Rapid View browsing collections include high demand fiction and nonfiction books and DVDs. These items do not accept holds and check out for a shorter period than copies in the regular collection. The Rapid Read collection includes adult titles while the Rapid View collection includes titles for children, as well as adults. Rapid Read copies are removed when copies start appearing regularly on the “NEW” shelves.

Recommended Websites

Pikes Peak Library District’s Recommended Websites is a collection of over 3,000 websites selected and evaluated based on criteria established to ensure high standards of quality, content, presentation and accessibility. These sites are grouped under broad subject categories (some of which are further subdivided into subcategories) to assist staff and patrons in finding websites to meet specific information needs. Subject indexing and descriptive qualifiers are added to entries to make them easily accessible to a wide range of users.

Recommended Websites is intended as a reference tool for staff and patrons, and is not to be considered a public forum; selection is based on the site’s utility as a reference source as compared with similar sites. Since too many links can be as useless as no links at all, a limited number of sites have been selected to provide good coverage without overwhelming the user; while there may be scores or even hundreds of candidates for a subject, only a few excellent sources can be chosen.


PPLD's Research collection consists of authoritative databases and ebooks whose information is only available through PPLD’s paid subscriptions. Databases are used by the library staff to provide or supplement reference service. Many of the databases contain specialized information beyond the depth of PPLD's circulating collections; others have information that is more easily accessed online than in print format. While these databases are available to anyone using a computer in a PPLD facility, only patrons living within the boundaries of PPLD can access these databases via PPLD's website on their home computers.

The intellectual content of the electronic resources must fit within the established parameters of PPLD’s Collection Development Policy. In addition, the following criteria will be considered in reviewing databases:

  • Comprehensiveness: scope, subject coverage, time span, frequency of updates. Special attention will be given to authority and currency.
  • Functionality: Ease of use, quick load time.
  • Type of access: databases must be accessible from the Internet and be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Preference will be given to databases that provide access for remote users.
  • Anticipated number of users, based upon the specific needs of our community.

Special Collections

Special Collections, housed in the historic 1905 Carnegie Library, consists of regional history and genealogy collections of interest to the general public and specialized researchers. The regional history collection preserves and provides access to published and unpublished documentary resources (e.g. books, pamphlets, maps, photographs, family papers, business records, audio and video recordings) important to the study of the history and cultural heritage of the Pikes Peak region.

The genealogy collection includes published resources valuable for the study of one’s ancestry. This collection encompasses the continental United States from the colonial period through the late 1880s, with emphasis on the states east of the Rocky Mountains. Limited resources for doing research in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and other European countries are also collected.

Teen Fiction

The teen fiction collection is made up of materials for teens age 11-18 years old—although children and adults may use the collection. The collection contains books written specifically for this age group (not adult books). There is more crossover with children’s books than with adult because sometimes it is difficult to judge the intended grade level. The number of pages, the subject matter, and the age of the primary character is used to decide if a book is truly teen or not.

Teen Nonfiction

The teen nonfiction collection consists of materials to meet the informational, educational and recreational reading needs in grades 6 through 12. The Colorado Department of Education Curriculum Standards are used to anticipate the types of materials needed to support school reports and projects. The teen nonfiction books are shelved with the adult nonfiction books, to give teens and adults access to a wider range of materials from which to choose. Selected teen nonfiction is also shelved to the East Teen Center. The teen books are identified by a TEEN sticker on the spine of the books. There is some crossover with children’s nonfiction books because of the difficulty in judging the intended grade level from a review.

VHS Videocassette

The current VHS video collection consists of feature films, children’s fiction, and nonfiction titles. PPLD is no longer purchasing new titles in this format because our vendors no longer offer them.

Children's Collections

The collections provide materials for children that inspire intellectual curiosity and encourage a love of books and reading. The collections reflect the emotional and cognitive stages of childhood from infancy through 5th grade. Resources for adults working with children may also be included in the collection.

Fiction and Nonfiction Books

The children's fiction and nonfiction collections are comprised of hardcover and paperback titles to meet the recreational, informational and homework needs of children. The Colorado Department of Education Curriculum Standards are used to anticipate the types of materials needed to support school reports and projects. If a book is written at a middle school level, it may be placed in the juvenile and/or teen collection, depending on the subject matter and age of the main characters. An effort is made to include books that have won children’s literary awards and children's classics. Recommended reading and Battle of the Books lists submitted by school districts influence numbers of copies purchased. Children's materials take especially heavy use so durability is a selection consideration.

Board Books

The board book collection consists of books published on hard cardboard, which is used for the cover as well as the pages. They are designed to be durable enough to be used by babies and toddlers. Most have only a few pages and a few words. Some are reprints of picture books, and a title may be in both formats.

Children's Reference

PPLD Children's reference collection at Penrose and East is used to answer questions and to serve the informational needs of children and adults working with children. Reference materials remain in PPLD to be readily available to all, and are not available for check-out. Selection criteria of particular importance for reference sources are: accuracy, currency, ease of use, uniqueness of information, authority, documentation, and indexing. This collection places an emphasis on items to support heavily used homework topics, as well as bibliographies and indexes to provide reader's advisory assistance for children’s literature and folklore. It also includes a reference copy of Caldecott award winners and a special section on Colorado history.


This collection consists of picture books, a format that combines illustrations and brief text. Toddlers through second graders are the primary audience. The collection contains some very simple nonfiction, poetry, alphabet, counting, and other concept books, although subjects more suitable for older children may be included. Children's materials take especially heavy use so durability is a selection consideration. Consequently, pop-up books are not purchased.

Electronic Resources

A number of purchased databases and websites are available for children's homework assistance and for adults working with children. The collection also includes children's eBooks in a variety of formats.

Foreign Languages

The foreign language collection includes books in languages from around the world. Most are fiction and are shelved in the 800s; nonfiction titles are cataloged with Dewey classification numbers according to the subject. Languages chosen are based on demographics of ethnic populations in the Pikes Peak region and on use. Availability of materials from suitable vendors may impact the development of the collections.

Multimedia formats

Fiction books on CD, audiocassette, audiobook players, eBooks and kits (a book and a recording) duplicate titles in the print collections. Videos and DVDs of children’s books, popular children’s television characters, feature films appropriate for children and families, and informational titles are included. Music in various genres is purchased on CD. Popular entertainers for children, movie soundtracks, educational songs and sound effects are included. Interactive multimedia computer software, as well as educational computer games are available.

Children's Periodicals

The children’s magazine collection focuses on general interest and popular titles. All magazines circulate except the most current issue. Additional children's magazine titles are available with full text through the online databases.


Readers are books having a controlled vocabulary for beginning readers. This collection specifically addresses the reading development needs of the preschooler through third grader. It ranges from books for the very first reader to beginning chapter books. Some titles feature reading skills development while many are a traditional story structure.

Specialty Kits for Adults Working with Children

The Grow a Reader kits are a combination of materials to help family child care providers provide a rich early literacy experience for the children in their care.

Family English Kits are available in Chinese/English, Korean/English, Spanish/English and Vietnamese/English. These kits are designed to help families (both young children and adults) learn basic English. Each kit includes six dual language books, activity sheets, a variety of dual language dictionaries, audio materials, puppets and more.