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A. Description The Lake Agassiz Regional Library is a consolidated public library system. It was created in 1961 when the City of Moorhead, Clay County and Norman County joined together to provide public library and bookmobile services to their residents. The City of Breckenridge joined the system in 1967, followed by the City of Detroit Lakes and Becker County in 1974; the City of Crookston and Polk County in 1975; Clearwater County in 1985; Mahnomen County and Wilkin County in 1990; and the City of Mahnomen in 1993.

The Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) serves the residents of Becker, Clay, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk, and Wilkin Counties. The city of East Grand Forks is the only community within this 7-county region which has not joined the system. The LARL region covers 7,526 square miles in northwest Minnesota. It is organized through a joint powers agreement among the 7 counties and 5 cities, which make up LARL. It is governed by a 15member Board of Trustees. LARL is operated through funds provided by Signatory cities, counties, state funds, and a combination of gifts, grants, donations, service charges, and interest income.

The LARL Regional Office is located in Moorhead. Branch libraries are located in Ada, Bagley, Barnesville, Breckenridge, Climax, Crookston, Detroit Lakes, Fertile, Fosston, Hawley, Mahnomen, McIntosh and Moorhead. LINK Sites, smaller community library service connections, are in Cormorant, Gonvick, Frazee, Halstad, Hendrum, Lake Park, Rothsay, Twin Valley and Ulen.

B. Mission Statement

The Mission of LARL is to enrich lives and strengthen communities.


* To provide a framework in which LARL systematically builds its collection to effectively serve the information and enrichment needs of the public.

* To establish priorities in order to maximize the collection’s usefulness.

* To guide members of selection staff in the choice of materials.

* To inform regional residents of the principles on which selections are made.

* To achieve the intent of the LARL Mission Statement and uphold the principles of intellectual freedom.

* To provide criteria for evaluating the collection and its usefulness to local users throughout the system.



The primary objective of selection is to collect materials of contemporary significance. LARL makes available materials for enlightenment and recreation, even though such materials may not have enduring interest or value.


The word “materials” has the widest possible meaning: it may include books (print and digital), magazines and journals, newspapers, music, audiobooks, microforms, DVDs and electronic resources. “Selection” refers to the decision that must be made either to add a given item to the collection or to retain one already in the collection.


Final responsibility for the collection lies with the LARL Board of Trustees. The Board delegates the authority to interpret and implement the application of the policy to the Regional Library Director who, in turn, authorizes staff to apply this policy in developing and maintaining collections.



a) Selection of materials in a variety of formats is made on the merits of the work, the interest of users, and public recommendations. Selection does not indicate endorsement of the creator’s work. LARL provides materials on diverse issues and views.

b) Materials are selected by staff utilizing standard resources, such as Library Journal, School Library Journal and Booklist. Obtaining published reviews or direct examination of material is preferred, but lack of professional reviews does not preclude purchase.

c) LARL recognizes the purposes and resources of other libraries and does not needlessly duplicate materials. Through delivery systems and cooperative agreements with regional, public, academic, or special libraries, the resources of many libraries are available.

d) LARL acknowledges the educational programs provided by institutions in the area. Curriculum-related materials are provided when they serve the general public or provide information not otherwise available.

e) Legal, medical, professional or technical works are acquired primarily for the use of the layperson.

f) LARL acknowledges a particular interest in local Red River Valley and state history; therefore it acquires state, county and local documents, works of regional authors, and general works relating to the State of Minnesota.

g) LARL seeks to select materials of varying complexity to meet a wide range of ages, educational backgrounds and reading abilities.


Certain basic principles can be applied as guidelines for selection of materials. The following criteria are used:

a) Current or potential use or demand in the community.

b) Accuracy of information. This is particularly critical for providing accurate information in the areas of medicine, technology, law, and consumer education.

c) Timeliness or timelessness of work. Selectors try to anticipate current informational and recreational needs and interests. Special attention is paid to award winning titles, including Pulitzer, Caldecott, Newbery and others.

d) Accessibility of material in other libraries. Materials outside the scope of LARL’s policy are sought through available resource sharing agreements.

e) Quality of creative and/or technical production.

f) Reputation and significance of the author.

g) Availability of material on the subject.

h) Inclusion of title in special bibliographies.

i) Price. 1. Expensive materials will be purchased when other selection criteria are met. 2. Cost may limit but not preclude purchasing in quantity.



a) ADULT. Materials are selected on the basis of high demand/high-interest in LARL libraries. Selections are based on local needs and interests.

b) CHILDREN’S. Materials are selected to stimulate the pre-reader, to provide practice for the beginning reader, and to fill the need for recreational and information reading in older children. Titles are also purchased to meet the personal interests of children.

c) YOUNG ADULT. A collection of young adult fiction is maintained to meet the concerns, interests, and reading abilities of upper elementary through junior high and high school students. Nonfiction titles of special interest are classified as adult nonfiction.


Periodicals, both print and online (electronic format) are selected based on customer requests and use. Periodicals are purchased for all ages, reading abilities, and interests.

Some newspapers provide current coverage of events and eventually serve as a resource for local history. LARL purchases community newspapers as well as regional and national titles.


The reference collection contains non-circulating materials designed to provide ready access to information such as almanacs, dictionaries, city directories, atlases and indexes. Reference materials are acquired in a variety of formats, which include print, non-print and online products.


Non-print materials are purchased for adults, children and youth to provide both information and entertainment. These formats include music, audiobooks, ebooks, and DVDs. LARL may also purchase materials in other formats as they are produced or are in public demand.



Weeding of worn and obsolete materials is essential to LARL. Removing out-of-date materials may actually stimulate circulation of popular materials by presenting attractive and interesting collections.


While LARL has developed a materials collection that helps answer user needs, no library is able to provide all information needed by all customers. In order to provide what users want in a timely manner, LARL promotes cooperative agreements and the sharing of resources with other libraries.

LARL provides customers with direct access to library catalogs, but also allows them to place holds on materials found in these catalogs. Customers may also view catalogs and place holds through MNLINK.

All regional systems in Minnesota are included in the Library Reciprocal BorrowingAgreement. Reciprocal agreements with Fargo Public Library, Leach Public Library (Wahpeton), and West Fargo Public Library have broadened the base that can be accessed by LARL customers. Local college libraries, school libraries, special libraries and other institutions are used to support customer needs.


LARL gratefully accepts gifts of materials, but reserves the right to evaluate gifts for addition to the collection in accordance with the criteria applied to purchase materials. Gifts of funds are always welcome. Donor recommendations are honored when they meet the criteria of the Collection Development Policy. Materials purchased as memorials are placed in the designated location, with affixed gift plates if desired. Gift materials become part of the LARL collection and are available to all customers.


Materials are rotated to each branch library to give customers the opportunity to see titles selected for the collection. Most of LARL’s collection ‘floats,’ which means materials are housed where requested or returned. In this way, even the smallest branch library sees a refreshed collection.


The EXPRESS! Collection offers additional copies of best sellers and other high-demand titles. These titles are available to the browsing customer, do not fill holds, and are loaned for a one-week period.


LARL strives to provide materials which are accurate, complete, and up-to-date. When a customer needs the most current information, or advice in interpreting it, LARL suggests consulting with a qualified professional in that field of study. LARL is not responsible for the interpretation or use of the information it provides.

G. RECOMMENDATION AND RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS LARL endorses the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, and seeks to reflect differing points of view within its’ collection. LARL welcomes expression of opinion by customers but will be governed by the Collection Development Policy when adding or removing items from the collection.

Library users are welcome to make suggestions for additions to the collection. Requests should be directed to the local librarians or submitted using the Suggest a Purchase Form. Requests will be forwarded to the Collection Development Librarian for consideration.

Users who request the reconsideration of library materials will be asked to complete and sign the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources” form. The Regional Library Director will respond in writing to the person initiating the reconsideration at the earliest possible date.

Lake Agassiz Regional Library Board of Trustees, May 19, 2016.

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR LARL MOBILE USERS Effective Thursday, September, 30, 2021, the LARL Mobile app will be unavailable due to maintenance. Lake Agassiz Regional Library is working on transitioning to a much more modern, feature rich and exciting new mobile app, which will be available soon.  If you currently have the LARL Mobile app installed, we recommend that you keep it, as when the new version of the app is available it will be automatically updated.
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