This collection provides access to works of literature and to works about literature. Forms of literature represented include poetry, drama, fiction, essays, speeches, letters, satire and humor, and miscellaneous writings. Some emphasis is placed on literature for children, both actual works of literature and works about children's literature. This collection is heavily influenced by electronic sources. Fiction that the library chooses to keep is sometimes housed in the 800s.
High school and community college students place a particular demand on this collection. Though not an academic library, CCPL provides coverage of major writers (both texts and criticism) to meet the needs of students at these levels of education. This decision is appropriate because coverage of prominent writers is a routine expectation of many community library users.
The collection emphasizes American and British literature in English. Established bibliographies of important American and British writers (for all forms of literature) are used to assess gaps in the collection (either the omission of historical writers or of significant contemporary writers); the collection is intended to support lower division college English courses. Both text and criticism sources are developed. Anthologies play an important role in covering writers and regions of lesser interest. Some development is required in rhetoric of drama, of fiction, of essays, of letters, and of satire and humor.
Non-English languages, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and classical languages receive less focus. Major writers in other languages having international impact are not excluded unless specifically stated in each policy. Established bibliographies of important German, French, Italian, Spanish, classical Greek and Roman, and Russian writers are utilized to assess gaps in the collection, concentrating only on major authors of the past.
- 800 Literature (belles-letters) and rhetoric. A collection emphasizing rhetoric is maintained. Because writing is particularly stressed, diverse representation of general writing sources, guides for particular literary forms, and writing for publication is maintained. Sources on the rhetoric of speech are developed and maintained. Sources for literary appreciation are developed and maintained. A well-represented quotations collection is maintained.
- 810 American literature in English. For all literary forms, both works and criticism are important elements of this collection. Both "serious" and popular literature sources are developed and maintained. Diverse coverage of important American poets is maintained. Contemporary poets (for whom history has not yet determined their ultimate influence) are generally best represented in anthology sources. Coverage is developed and maintained of prominent playwrights of the past and of newer playwrights/plays that seem enduring. The fiction collection is always double checked before ordering novels and short story collections. A smaller collection of works by historical and contemporary essayists is maintained. A small, mature rhetoric collection with mostly historical and notable modern speeches is maintained. A collection of works by prominent humorists of the past as well as contemporary humorists is developed and maintained.
- 820 English and Old English (Anglo-Saxon literature). For all literary forms, both works and criticism are important elements of this collection. Both "serious" and popular literature is developed and maintained. A collection emphasizing British poetry, drama, and fiction is maintained. Sources on British speeches and humor are not developed. Diverse coverage of important British poets of proven reputation is maintained (i.e., generally no purchase of contemporary poets). The Shakespearean collection is developed and maintained with multiple copies of plays and poems in support of high school and college curriculum; also developed and maintained is a criticism collection in greater depth than for other writers. A small collection of prominent plays of the past is maintained with generally no development of contemporary plays. The fiction collection is always double checked before ordering novels and short story collections. A small collection of works by major historical essayists is developed and maintained. Regarding the Old English collection, only Beowulf is maintained in modern English versions.
- 830 Literature of Germanic (Teutonic) languages. A small collection of works by major writers in translation is maintained.
- 840 Literature of Romance languages. A small collection of works by major writers in translation is maintained.
- 850 Literature of Italian, Romanian, Rhaeto-Romanic languages. A small collection of works by major Italian writers of the past in translation is maintained.
- 860 Literature of Spanish and Portuguese languages. A small collection of works by major Spanish writers of the past in translation is maintained.
- 870 Literature of Italic languages. A small collection of works by major writers of the past in translation is maintained.
- 880 Literature of Hellenic languages. A comprehensive collection of classical Greek plays in translation is developed and maintained.
- 890 Literature of other languages. A small collection of works by major Russian writers in translation is maintained. Anthology coverage of Asian and African writers is also developed and maintained.
Purchases and buying patterns are determined in large part by:
- availability of English translations.
- electronic/Internet sources availability.
- new works.
- budget constraints.
- circulation statistics.
- patron requests.
- present and potential relevance to the community.
- shelf space.
- All basic works are retained, especially criticisms of works by classic writers.
- Works of minor writers are discarded, unless there is an established demand.
- Worn editions of classics or older titles still being read should be replaced.