Collection Development Policy
Library Materials Policies
The Collection Development policy is a guide for the Southbury Public Librarians to follow in selecting and maintaining an outstanding, well-balanced collection of the best materials available to meet the civic, educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of the community within budgetary and space limits. It also serves to inform the public about principles established to guide selection choices. The Library’s materials include, but are not limited to, books, magazines, newspapers, audio-visual recordings, and other forms of electronic media.
The Library’s goal is to select in demand popular materials, as well as materials meant to expand the permanent collection. In both instances the purpose is to provide a broad, diverse, and balanced range of viewpoints and interests. In some cases, textbooks will be purchased when they are the best source of information on particular subjects.
The Southbury Public Library supports intellectual freedom and adheres to the “Library Bill of Rights” adopted by the American Library Association and the “Freedom to Read” Statement issued jointly by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers. Copies of these documents are available in the Library Policies binder in the Circulation Work Room and on the Library’s website.
Responsibility for Materials Selection
The responsibility for selecting library materials is delegated by the Library Board of Directors to the Head Librarian and, under her direction to other staff who are qualified for this activity by reason of their training and experience.
Selection of Materials
The Southbury Public Librarians will read reviews in professional library periodicals to stay abreast of potential library resources. Additionally, they will use reputable standard book review sources and consider recommendations from individuals who specialize in specific subject areas. They will use their experience and knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of the existing collections and they will keep attuned to the needs and interests of the community as central to material selection.
The selection of books and non-print materials whether purchased or donated are evaluated using the criteria listed below. An item does not need to meet all criteria to be added to the library’s collection, nor will any single criterion be decisive.
- The appropriateness of the material in relation to the needs and interests of library patrons and of the community as a whole.
- The value of the material for educational, recreational, informational and cultural purposes.
- The timeliness of the information.
- The contribution of the material toward strengthening the existing collection and/or expanding its scope.
- The authoritativeness and accuracy of the presentation.
- Suggestions from individuals to which the above criteria can be applied.
- The permanent value of the material based on literary excellence and other inherent qualities, considered without regard to demand.
- The availability of funds.
If a patron wishes to register a formal concern pertaining to materials chosen by the library, the patron may request and file a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form. The item(s) of concern will not be removed from the shelf during the reconsideration process. The request will be reviewed by Head Librarian and staff, referring to the Collection Development Policy and will respond within 30 days of receiving formal request.
This policy is subject to continuous review.
APPROVED BY SOUTHBURY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS – July 6, 2005
REVISED AND APPROVED BY SOUTHBURY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS – March 14, 2018
REVISED AND APPROVED BY SOUTHBURY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS – February 9, 2022