Collection Development Policy


The Materials selection policy has been established to reflect the long range plan of the Library while addressing the needs and interests of the patrons, staff and the materials selection committee. Wherever possible, the policy adheres to guidelines established by the American Library Association-ALA and the Intellectual Freedoms Statement of the ALA.


  1. The Library will provide materials which help to meet its objectives and the needs of those it serves. These materials may include books, periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, pictures, audios, videos and databases.  The purpose  of a selection  policy  is to provide  the maximum  resources to the community  while adhering  to prudent  fiscal guidelines.
    The Head Librarian in conjunction with the Collections Committee, selects, organizes, preserves and makes freely available to the people of the community printed and other materials, within the limitations of space and budget, which will aid them in the pursuit of information, culture, education and recreation. In no case will Library materials be excluded because of the race or nationality of the authors.Neither will they be excluded because of the author’s social, political or religious views. The Library will try to provide books and other materials presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times. Materials are not to be removed from the Library because of doctrinal disapproval. The Library will endeavor to maintain a balance in its services to men, women, young people and children. The Library will cooperate with, but cannot perform the functions of school and other institutional libraries which are designed to meet curricular needs. If the Library cannot meet specific needs, it will turn to other libraries in the region through interlibrary loan. Every effort is made within reason to find the necessary materials for library users.
  2. First consideration will be given to the needs and desires of the local community as expressed by patrons or as perceived by Library The recommendations of the Collections Committee will be the next criteria used to select and purchase materials. The Library acknowledges a particular interest in books with a Maine theme. Using the stated collection development criteria, materials of local and state themes, both fictional and nonfictional, current and historical are sought for inclusion in the collection.
  3. Rare books or genealogical materials are not generally  purchased  by the  Library.
  4. Library materials are not added or withdrawn because of pressure or disapproval by groups or individuals. The Library supports the Freedom to Read Statement and the Library Bill of Rights of the It is the position of the Library that a person can reject for him/herself materials found to be distasteful and that individuals can not exercise this right of censorship to restrict another’s choice in reading matter.
  5. Responsibility for the reading choices of children rests with their parents, not the Library. Material selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into a child’s possession.
  6. The following criteria are utilized in the ultimate selection of materials for the Other factors may be applied as necessary.

a) Demand for the item.(patron request, place on best seller lists, print and online reviews, local author.)

b) Ability of the item to enhance or update a portion of the collection.

c)  Anticipated need for materials in this subject/content area or weakness of the collection in this area..

d)  Current status of the collections budget and cost of the item.

e)  Recommendations of the Collections Committee members.

f)  Significance of the author or the material.

g)  Potential durability as an information or recreational reading source.

h)  Overall balance of the collection.

i)  ability of the item to replace lost, damaged, or stolen materials.

j)  Reputable reviews from print and online sources.

  1. The Library Director bears ultimate responsibility for materials selection.


Weeding of library collections is a dynamic process. The collection is constantly being checked to establish the condition, loss, appropriateness and currency of materials.  Worn or missing items that are essential are replaced.  Out of date, underutilized, or no longer appropriate items are withdrawn and transferred to the Friends Bookstore for sale. Other criteria for withdrawal may include limitations of space, availability of a better source on the subject or accessibility through interlibrary loan. The ultimate decision for weeding an item rests with the Head Librarian.

Lost Materials

A missing or damaged item from the collection may or not be replaced with the same title. Lost books attributable to a patron are paid for by the patron. The Library reserves the right to name the replaced material as another title may be more suitable to the collection at that time. The patron is required to pay only the cost of the lost or damaged item. Patrons may, at the discretion of Library staff give an item of equivalent relevance or value in lieu of the lost or damaged item.

Gifts and Donations

Gifts are welcomed by the Collections Committee. The Head Librarian in consultation with other Library staff evaluates donated items for inclusion in the collection. Items not selected may either be transferred to the Friends Bookstore or discarded as determined by the Library staff.

Acknowledgments of non-cash donations will be made, but the Library can make no specific determination regarding value for tax purposes. The Head Librarian retains the right to refuse any donation with unacceptable conditions attached.

Reconsideration of Materials

Occasional objections may be made to Library materials despite the quality of the selection process. The Library’ s position is explained in the Collections section of this policy. If a patron challenges a book in the collection, the following procedure will take place.

  1. The patron will be encouraged to fill out a reconsideration form and to discuss her/his concern with the Head
  1. If a satisfactory resolution can not be achieved, the request will be addressed by the Collections Committee at their next meeting and a decision in line with the ALA Intellectual Freedoms Statement will be made. The Committee will read the material in its entirety, check for general acceptance through review of print and online reviews and make their determination.
  1. In the case of a request for reconsideration of an item, the State Intellectual Freedom Committee will be notified by the Library Director.

REV 03/02/99