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Collection Development: What to Include in the Policy

A guide to building quality library collections that serve the entire community.

Policy Outline

Sample Outline for Collection Development Policy

I.    Introduction

       A.    Purpose/Goals of the Policy

      B.    Mission/Vision of the Library

      C.    Intellectual Freedom Policy (see ALA statements under Helpful Links)

            1. Example:  The library supports the individual’s right to have access to ideas and information representing all points of view.  The Board of Trustees has adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and  Freedom to View statements, attached herewith.

II.    Overview of the Collection

         A.    Broad subject areas emphasized or de-emphasized

         B.    Locations of the collections if applicable.

III.    Responsibility for Collection Development

        A.  In small libraries this will be the Director but in larger libraries responsibility for specific collection development activities (selection,  acquisition, de-selection) may be assigned to several different staff.

 IV.   Budget Allocation

         A. This is the place to describe how the materials budget is allocated among types of materials and general subjects.

V.    General Collection Policies

        A.   These policies usually address types of materials that are selected and not selected. 

            1. Include policies on purchasing multiple copies.

        B.   Other issues addressed might be special collections and archives.

VI.   General Selection Criteria

        A.   Patron needs, including requirements of special populations

        B.   Timeliness of information

       C.   Depth of coverage

       D.   Adequacy of scope

       E.    Authoritativeness

      F.     Accuracy

      G.    Physical quality

     H.    Appropriateness of format

     I.     Special features

     J.     Value/cost

      K.    Additional selection criteria to be listed for specific formats such as e-resources

VII.   Gift Policies

      A.   Describe how gifts are accepted and handled after acceptance.

       B.   Many libraries use the same criteria for accepting gifts as they do for materials that are purchased. 

VIII.    De-selection/weeding

       A.   Describe weeding schedule and criteria for removing material from the collection.

IX.      Reconsideration of Library Materials (Challenge Procedure) 

        A.  Describe how patrons may challenge specific titles and how the library will address and respond to the challenge.  Include copies of applicable forms.  X.    Policy Adoption, Review, and Revision

       A. Include the date the policy was adopted and the schedule for reviewing and revising the policy.



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