Collection Development

Goal of Collection Development

The library’s major goal for collection development is to provide access to information resources in the pursuit of knowledge, education, enlightenment, and recreation.


To accomplish the above goals, the library has established the following objectives for material selection:

  1. To collect materials of both contemporary significance and permanent value. The library will be guided by a sense of responsibility to both current and future patrons in adding materials that will enrich the collections and maintain an overall balance.
  2. The library also recognizes an immediate duty to make available materials for enlightenment and recreation, even though such materials may not have enduring interest or value.
  3. The library will provide, too, a representative sampling of experimental and ephemeral material, but will not always attempt to develop an exhaustive collection of such material(s). The library considers it neither necessary nor desirable to acquire all materials on a given subject if such materials are duplicative.


  1. "Selection" refers to the decision to add, retain, or withdraw materials from the library’s collection. It does not refer to reader guidance.
  2. The words "book," "library materials," or other synonyms as they occur in the policy have the widest possible meaning. This policy covers all items in the library’s collections regardless of format.
  3. "Access" refers to the availability of materials in a variety of formats for users of all ages and abilities.

Responsibility for Selection

The final responsibility for material selection rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees. The Library Director delegates material selection to library staff with professional education and training in the principles and practices of material selection.

Both the general public and staff members may recommend materials for consideration.

Use of the Library’s Collections

  1. The library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selections will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the building of the collections and to serving the interests of library patrons.
  2. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no cataloged book or other item will be sequestered, except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft.
  3. Some materials, however, may be marked for in-library use only (such as reference materials) or as items belonging to the library staffs' professional collection.
  4. Access to the use of rare and scholarly items of great value will be controlled to the extent required to preserve them from harm.
  5. Responsibility for the material content choices of minors rests with their parents and legal guardians. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of minors.

Criteria for Selection

  1. The library supports intellectual freedom and has adopted as policy: the American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read Statement and the ALA Library Bill of Rights (included as addendums to this policy).
  2. Each type of material will be considered in terms of its own merit and the audience for whom it is intended. No single standard can be applied in all cases. Some materials may be judged primarily in terms of artistic merit, scholarship, or value to humanity; others are selected to satisfy the literacy, informational, recreational, or educational interests of the community.
  3. The selection of an item does not imply the library’s endorsement of the opinions expressed by its creator, nor does the failure to purchase an item imply library disapproval of those opinions.
  4. All librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in developing collections. Efforts will be made to provide materials representing all viewpoints.
  5. Reviews from professionally recognized resources are a primary source for material selection, but not the exclusive source. Other sources may include, but not be limited to, standard bibliographies, book lists by recognized authorities, the advice of competent people in specific subject areas, and the judgment of the professional staff.
  6. The library keeps its collections vital and useful by retaining or replacing essential materials and by removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand.
  7. The library acknowledges a particular interest in local and state history. Therefore, it will seek to acquire state and municipal public documents and it will take a broad view of works by and about Michigan authors as well as general works relating to the State of Michigan, whether or not such materials meet the standards of selection in other respects. However, the library is under no obligation to add everything about Michigan (or produced by authors, printers or publishers with Michigan connections) to its collections if it does not seem to be in the public interest to do so.


  1. Gifts shall meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. The library retains unconditional ownership of all donations and makes the final decision on acceptance, use, or disposition of donated material. No conditions may be imposed on any donated item accepted by the Library. The appraisal of the gift for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor and cannot be provided by the library.
  2. When the library accepts a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature or subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based upon the wishes of the donor. The library staff, in accordance with the needs and selection policies of the library, will make the actual selection of specific titles.
  3. Special collections and memorial collections may be shelved as separate collections or integrated into the general collection at the discretion of the professional library staff. The form of memorial or gift identification will be a gift plate.

Reconsideration Procedure

  1. The patron’s choice of library materials for personal use is an individual matter. Responsibility for the use of materials by children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for himself or herself and for his or her children, he/she cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.
  2. Any adult patron in the library’s service area who objects to the presence of a work must present that objection by completing a “Patron’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Resource” form. The library will not consider the request if the reconsideration form has not been completed fully, and if the item in question has not been completely read, listened to, or viewed. The patron will receive a notice of receipt of their reconsideration form. The Library Director and the professional staff will review the request and the resulting written decision will be followed by a formal discussion with the concerned party.
  3. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached during the formal discussion the patron may request an appeal within 60 days of receiving the written decision. The reconsideration form submitted by the patron, a written summary of the review and discussion, and the recommendation of the Library Director will be forwarded to the library Board of Trustees for consideration and formal action at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
  4. No item under reconsideration will be removed without a formal directive from the Board of Trustees.
  5. The decision by the Board of Trustees is final. Once an item has been reconsidered and either retained or removed, it will not be reconsidered again. A permanent file will be kept of all records pertaining to any challenged item.

Approved: September 1973


  • September 4, 2001
  • September 14, 2009
  • August 18, 2020


  • September 13, 2004
  • July 30, 2007
  • September 18, 2012
  • April 16, 2015
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