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Collection Development Policy: Sample Policy

Sample Policy

Collection Development Policy

 The following are the rules and regulation of the _______________________________________Library, as adopted by this library’s Board of Trustees on______________(date).


              If the library has a Mission and/or Vision statement place them here. If not, you may disregard this category.


The purpose of the [Insert Library Name] collection development policy is to provide the best possible collection with the resources that are available.  The collection will represent the broadest scope of print, non-print and digital items available.  The library makes its collection available to every patron regardless of national origin, age, background or personal beliefs.  The library endorses the following statements from The American Library Associations:  Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read and Freedom to View (see attached).

Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director or manager. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff.

Criteria for Selection

In considering items for purchase for (Insert Library’s Name) collection various factors are kept in mind, according to the type and format of the material:

  • Accuracy and authoritativeness
  • Critical and staff reviews
  • Social significance
  • Timeliness
  • Enduring value
  • Demand
  • Relevance to community needs
  • Suitability of subject, style, and reading level for intended audience
  • Suitability of format to subject matter and intended audience
  • Suitability and physical quality of format for a public library

  • Contribution to a balanced point of view of subject matter
  • Relationship to existing materials in the collection on same subject
  • Literary value
  • Cost

The selection of any given item does not constitute an endorsement of its contents by the library or library staff members. The library recognizes that some materials may be controversial and may offend some patrons. Library materials are evaluated as a whole and not on the basis of a particular passage or passages. Selection will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of this policy’s guidelines. Responsibility for monitoring a child’s access to resources rests solely with the parent or legal guardian.

Sources for selection decisions encompass, but are not limited to, published reviews from standard review sources, publisher/vendor catalogs, professional and trade bibliographies, and patron requests and recommendations.

 Gifts and Donations

The library welcomes both monetary and material gifts to support the collection. Monetary gifts may be directed toward materials, programs, or equipment to support the needs of the library. Gift items are accepted with the understanding that they may or may not be used in accordance with the selection policy. The cost of processing and cataloging and the availability of space are factors in determining the addition of gifts to the collection. The library does not provide evaluation of gifts for tax deduction or other purposes

 Collection Maintenance

In order to maintain a vital and accurate library collection, deselection (weeding) of materials is necessary. Materials are continuously withdrawn from the collection based on space, physical condition, circulation frequency, currency, format and accuracy.

Materials withdrawn from the Library collections will be donated if possible or disposed of. 

Reconsideration of Materials

The [Insert Library Name] recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons.

Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a "Request for Reconsideration of Library Material" form which is available in the library.

The form will be reviewed by the (director/manager) and a response will be provided to the patron.  If the patron is not satisfied they may appeal to the (Insert Library Name) board.  The decision of the board is final.

Request for Reconsideration Form

The trustees of (Insert Library Name Here) have established a materials selection policy and a procedure for gathering input about particular items. Completion of this form is the first step in that procedure. If you wish to request reconsideration of a resource, please return the completed form to the library director.

Mainstream Library
1 Mainstream Plaza
Anytown, State Zip

Date ___________________________________________________________

Name __________________________________________________________

Library Card Number______________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________

City ____________________________ State/Zip _______________________

Phone __________________________ Email __________________________

Do you represent self? ____ Or an organization? ____ Name of Organization


  1. Resource on which you are commenting:

___ Book (e-book) ___ Movie ___ Magazine ___ Audio Recording
___ Digital Resource ___ Game ___ Newspaper ___ Other

Title _____________________________________________________________________



  1. What brought this resource to your attention?


  1. Have you examined the entire resource? If not, what sections did you review?  Please list specific pages, time stamps, etc.


  1. What concerns you about the resource?


  1. Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic?


  1. What action are you requesting the committee consider?




What to Include in a Collection Development Policy

1. Mission/Vision Statement

2. Purpose/Goal of Policy

3. Collection Responsibilities

4. Scope of Collection

5. Selection Criteria and Tools

6. Gift/Donation Policy

7. Collection Maintenance

8. Intellectual Freedom

9. Access to Collection

10. Reconsideration of Materials