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Collection Development Policy Print


A library is identified primarily by its holdings of materials and information resources. The Blanchester Public Library acts to fulfill its mission by selecting, acquiring, organizing, preserving, maintaining, and providing access to a collection of materials and electronic resources that address the interests and needs of all community members.

This policy serves three main purposes: It guides staff in making decisions about the selection, management, and preservation of library materials and in allocating Library budgets; it informs the public of the principles that govern collection development at the Library; and it states the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom and to providing information expressing a variety of viewpoints.

Material Selection

Ultimate responsibility for the selection of materials rests with the Library Director, operating within a framework of policies determined by the Library’s Board of Trustees. While the Director may delegate selection responsibilities to trained staff, the Director must be accountable to both the Board of Trustees and to the general public. The Director, therefore, retains final authority to approve or reject any items selected by staff.

A wide variety of sources may be consulted by staff when making selection decisions, including, but not limited to: patron recommendations or requests, critical reviews, awards and honors lists, and publisher or vendor catalogs.


Library staff use their subject knowledge and expertise in combination with criteria including, but not limited to, those listed below to select and evaluate collection items. Donations and purchases are held to the same standard. Material selected will not necessarily reflect all of these criteria.

  • Current and anticipated demand
  • Critical reviews
  • Cost in relation to use and/or enhancement to the collection
  • Relation to the existing collection
  • Significance of the author/creator or publisher
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • Local interest
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
  • Format


The Library welcomes donations of materials in good condition with the understanding the Library Director will apply the criteria for selection to each individual title. Donations become property of the Library and may be added to the collection, given to the Friends of the Blanchester Public Library for public sale or disposed of in some other way.

The Library also will accept financial donations for the purchase of materials to serve as memorials or to honor individuals. The Library reserves the right to make the ultimate selection decision based on its needs and in accordance with the selection criteria.

Collection Maintenance

Once materials have been added to the Library’s collection, they are managed through an assessment and evaluation process to ensure that ongoing collection priorities are met; that collections remain up to date, balanced, and attractive; and that space limitations are minimized. This process identifies items for replacement, retention, or de-selection. Library staff utilize professional judgment and expertise in deciding which materials to retain, replace, repair or de-select.

De-selection (removing items from the collection) is an integral part of collection development. De-selected materials will, at the Library’s discretion, be donated to the Friends of the Blanchester Public Library for public sale or disposed of through other means determined by the library.

Along with the same criteria used to select new materials, general criteria for retaining, replacing, repairing or de-selecting include:

·  Availability of item within COOL or in alternative formats
·  Feasibility, cost of repair
·  Local significance, interest, or value
·  Physical condition
·  Relative usefulness of item
·  Space considerations
·  Superseded, inaccurate, or out-of-date content
·  Usage

Intellectual Freedom

The Library makes available a wide diversity of ideas and viewpoints in support of an informed citizenry and a democratic society. The Library is committed to the principle that the constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and press are enjoyed by all.

While every patron may not agree with the viewpoints offered in some library material, the Library has a responsibility to provide a balanced collection with access to material reflecting diverse ideas, provided that the material meets the outlined selection criteria. The balanced nature of the collection is reflected in the diversity of materials, not in an equality of numbers. Inclusion of an item in the collection does not mean that the Library endorses any theory or statement contained in those materials and resources.

The Library does not use labels on any material in such a way as to show approval or disapproval of the content of that material. Materials are not sequestered to show approval, disapproval or judgment as to suitability of content for a particular audience.

Patrons are free to choose what they like from the collection, to reject what they don’t like, but not to restrict the freedom of others to choose. Decisions about what materials are suitable for particular children should be made by their parents or guardians. The Library is committed to free and open access to its collections and to connecting people with the world of ideas, information and materials they wish to explore in a friendly, non-judgmental way.

Reconsideration of Library Material

The Library welcomes expressions of opinion from patrons concerning materials selected or not selected for the collection. If a patron questions the content, tone or placement of an item in the collection, they should first address the concern with a Library staff member and/or the Library Director. Patrons who wish to continue their request for reconsideration of library material may submit the Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form.

During the reconsideration process, the material in question will remain accessible to library patrons. The form goes to the Library Director, who will review the material in question. If the material appears to meet the criteria for selection in the Collection Development Policy, the patron will be notified.

If the patron is not satisfied with the Library Director’s decision, the Director will ask a committee of three members of the Library Board of Trustees will review the material. The Director and the committee will meet to evaluate the request within the context of the Collection Development Policy. The Director will notify the patron of the library’s decision.


Approved by the Board of Trustees 9/22






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