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Material Selection and Collection Development

Readlyn Community Library

Materials Selection / Collection Development Policy

The Readlyn Community Library subscribes to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements.  The Collection Development Policy is also guided by the library’s mission statement:

The Readlyn Community Library’s mission is to promote reading and provide access to materials in all formats to meet residents’ informational, cultural, educational and recreational needs.  The Library fosters lifelong learning and enjoyment to all residents of Readlyn and the surrounding area in a caring and financially responsible way.

I.  Material Selection Policy


Responsibility for selections of library materials:

                  1.            The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rest with the library Director.  This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the Director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to rest or select any item contrary to the recommendations.

Criteria for Selection:

                  1.            The general public and all staff are encouraged to make suggestions or comments on materials.  Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed in public media.

                  2.            The main points considered in the selection of materials are:

a.                  Individual merit of each item

b.                  Popular appeal or demand for material

c.                  Suitability of material for the intended audience

d.                  Relationship to existing materials in the collection

e.                  Price, in relation to budget

                  3.            Gift books and materials should be evaluated and accepted using the same criteria as that used in purchasing policy of the library.

                  4.            Addition of a book to the library’s collection in no way represents an endorsement of any theory, idea, or policy contained therein.

II.  Gifts and Donations Policy

Gifts to the Readlyn Community Library of money for the purchase of books or other materials are gladly accepted.  A paper bookplate indicating the donor and/or the honoree will be placed in a donated book at the request of the donor.

The library welcomes book donations, but accepts them with the understanding that it has the right to handle or dispose of them in the library’s best interest.  Such material may be added to the collection provided it meets the library’s standards of selection.

Donations of books will be examined an reviewed by the library staff, using the Weeding Criteria listed below, in order to determine if the books should be put on the shelves for circulation or if the should be placed in the book sale or discarded.

III.   Weeding Policy

The Readlyn Community Library strives to maintain a collection that meets the needs of the community.  In doing so, a regular and systematic weeding of the library’s materials will improve the efficiency and vitality of the library’s resources.  Weeding has been shown to increase the quality and use of a library’s collections.

Criteria for Weeding:

  • Appearance.  Books of antiquated appearance that might discourage use; badly bound volumes with soft or frayed bindings; broken spines; missing pages; poorly printed works; poor illustrations or paper which is yellowed or translucent; dingy or torn covers are all candidates for weeding.
  • Unnecessary titles:  Examples of titles which are no longer needed include duplicate titles whose popularity has waned; older editions of currently held works; subjects of little interest.
  • Poor content:  Materials that contain obsolete or incorrect information; poorly written works; items which have been superseded by newer, improved editions.
  • Age:  Items that have not circulated in five years unless deemed worthy by other criteria.

Revised and Approved 12-3-07 bs