Collection Development Policy
*Approved May 20, 2015, by the Board of Trustees of Troy-Miami County Public Library
Updated May 18, 2022
The Troy-Miami County Public Library Board of Trustees and staff fully endorse the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association and affirm the following objectives:
- To serve all people
- To provide a variety of materials and programming for informational, educational, recreational, and cultural needs
- To provide qualified staff to give guidance in the use of materials
- To provide access for all people
- To initiate a leadership role in the community to serve as a link between the individualand the community
- To inform the public of Library resources and services
- To support intellectual freedom
In a free society, information on different points of view should be readily available to allow individuals to decide which ideas are meaningful to them. The public library is the institution that provides free access to these ideas. The Library, consequently, has the responsibility for selecting materials, which reflect a wide variety of ideas and may contain controversial points of view. Since the Library has a responsibility to protect the rights of all users, it does not limit the use of its collection. Library staff may offer guidance in selection; however, monitoring the reading, listening, and viewing of children is the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians. At no time will library staff act in loco parentis. Selection of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that items may come into the possession of children.
The needs, interests and points of view of the Library’s community range over the spectrum of all subjects inherent to contemporary society. The Library has a responsibility to provide a diversity of materials in various formats. Materials are selected to reflect changes in educational, cultural and intellectual ideas and the impact of new technology within the limitations of budget and space.
The selection of any material for the collection does not constitute an endorsement of its content. Selection decisions are made on the basis of merits of the work, meeting the needs of users, and serving the interests of users.
Criteria for Selection
While a single standard cannot be applied to each potential item for selection, materials are judged by the following criteria:
- Public demand
- Accurate and authoritative information
- Historical or cultural significance to Troy and Miami County
- Critical reviews or publicity
- Duplication of content in other formats
- Currency of information
- Availability of material elsewhere within our local and state library lending partner’s collections
- Potential and/or known demand for the material
- Relevance to community needs
- Relative importance in comparison with existing materials in the collection on the same subject
These criteria apply to purchased and donated materials as well as special collections.
From time to time, the Library may establish a special collection on a temporary basis or as a permanent collection, such as the Local History collection. A special collection may be developed to meet a particular need in the community or may be established to provide a comprehensive collection of works deemed necessary to address a topic in greater detail. The rules governing the purchasing of books and materials for special collections will be applied the same as the general collection.
Self-Published Materials and Local Authors
The library is often asked to include items that are written and/or published independently, including materials that are self-published or published through a vanity press company. The library looks for materials with regional connections and collection relevance that will appeal to a wide audience. Materials must meet the standards of this policy. Works added to the collection are subject to current weeding policies and procedures. Some items may not appear in the catalog because they do not meet cataloging minimum requirements.
The Library weeds its collection on a regular basis to keep the collection current and as a timely resource for the community. The library staff will generally follow the principles established in The CREW Manual for Modern Libraries by Jeannette Larson for detailed guidelines for weeding. (CREW is an acronym for Continuous Review Evaluation & Weeding.)
Weeded materials will be donated to the Friends of the Library for book sales or disposed of through other means determined by the Library.
The process and decision to deselect an item takes into account the same criteria used when the item was first selected for inclusion in the collection. In addition, criteria such as obsolete information, insufficient use, excessive wear and tear, space availability, and changing user interests are considered. Duplicate copies and items superseded by newer editions are reviewed for possible deselection.
Gifts and Donations
Gifts of miscellaneous books or other materials are accepted with the understanding that items which are not added to collections will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library. Any proceeds derived from such disposal may be used at the discretion of the administration for library improvement or staff development.
See Acceptance of Gifts Policy for additional information.
Statement of Concern Regarding library Resources
When patrons have concerns about specific material(s) in the collection, they should raise the concerns with the appropriate library staff. If the patron’s concerns remain unresolved, they will be provided a “Statement of Concern” form. No form will be considered without a contact name and address or email included. Upon receipt of the completed form, the library director, in consultation with library staff, will review it using criteria from the Collection Development Policy and respond to the user. The Library Director will report results of all reviews to the Library Board of Trustees.
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
- Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.