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Sample Collection Development Policy Template

It is the recommendation of the Collection Development and Reference Committee that every BCCLS library have a current collection development policy.  This should be approved by your Board of Trustees and posted on your library's website.  The policy, either as a whole or in part, should be reviewed regularly, with a maximum of five years between revisions.  Revisions should take into account new formats, changing demographics in your community, and your current economic situation.

Download the Sample Collection Development Policy (seen below) as a Word document (.doc) or PDF (.pdf).


Sample Collection Development Policy

Created by Collection Development/Reference Committee Fall 2012

Mission Statement

The mission of the ______________ Public Library is to serve the educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of the community as a whole and to ensure every citizen's freedom to access all library resources.  The library seeks to provide a welcoming environment, a qualified staff, a wide variety of materials in all formats, programs for patrons of all ages and access to current technology.  In so doing, the library subscribes to the principles in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Library Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association, the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association and the American Book Publisher's Council and the People's Right to Libraries Statement of the New Jersey Library Association (see appendices).

Collection Development Policy Purpose

The purpose of the collection development policy is to provide guidelines for acquisition and withdrawal decisions, the allocation of resources and long-range planning in accordance with the library's mission statement in order to establish a collection of works that meets the educational, recreational and business needs of the community.

Collection Maintenance

A strong collection requires ongoing evaluation and maintenance. Materials will regularly be weeded from the collection based on the following criteria: outdated or superseded, infrequent use, physical condition, and relevance. Replacements and updated editions are purchased when warranted.  Discarded materials may be sold, donated, or recycled as the Library determines.  Standards for materials withdrawal are detailed in the CREW Manual (see appendices).

Responsibility for Selection

Ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Director who works within the framework of policies as established by the Board of Trustees. The selection of materials is the responsibility of the library staff under the supervision of the library director or department heads.

Criteria for Selection

Materials will be selected to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs and interests of the community. Materials will represent a variety of viewpoints on current and historical issues. Staff will select materials in a variety of formats using published reviews, professional and trade publications, and patron requests and recommendations. General selection criteria for all materials includes, anticipated and popular demand, accuracy and currency of information, age appropriateness, cost, historical significance, literary and/or artistic merit, significance of the author, and the strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection. An item need not meet all of these criteria to be selected. Patron requests will be evaluated based on the above selection criteria as well as the availability of materials in the libraries of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS).

Materials published or released in new formats will be considered for the collection when there is evidence that a significant portion of the local population has the required equipment to make use of the format.  Availability of items in the format, the cost per item, and the Library's ability to obtain and circulate the items will also be factors in determining when a new format will be acquired.


The Library welcomes gifts of funds and materials to enrich the collection   New or used donated materials are subject to the same criteria as purchased materials. Gifts of materials are accepted with the understanding that they may be utilized or disposed of at the Library's discretion.  Monetary gifts will be applied to the selection of materials by the director in consultation with library staff and the donor as appropriate. The Library reserves the right to determine the use and disposition of all gifts unconditionally.

Reconsideration of Material

Anyone who wishes the Library to reconsider the acquisition or removal of an item must fill out a
“Request for Reconsideration of Material” form (see appendices). These forms are available at the ________________desk. The request is reviewed by a committee consisting of appropriate department heads. A written response will be sent to the complainant.  If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision, he or she may then appeal in writing to the Director. The Director will review the material and issue a response.  If the complainant is still not satisfied, he or she may appeal to the Board of Trustees. The decision of the Board is final. Above all, the Board of Trustees has as its concern the fairness of such a hearing so as to protect the rights of all who are involved.


Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

If you wish to request reconsideration of library materials, please return the completed form to the Library Director.

Name ___________________________

Date ____________________________

Address _________________________

City _____________________________

State ____________________________

Zip _____________________________

Phone ___________________________

Do you represent self? ____ Organization? ____

  1. Material on which you are commenting: 

    ____ Book ____ Textbook ____ Video ____ Display
    ____ Magazine ____ Library Program ____ Audio Recording
    ____ Newspaper ____ Electronic information/network (please specify)
    ____ Other ___________________________
    Title ___________________________
    Author/Producer ___________________________
  2. What brought this material to your attention?
  3. Have you examined the entire material?
  4. What concerns you about the material? (use other side or additional pages if necessary)
  5. Are there materials you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic?
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