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Collection Development Policy

Columbia Township Library
Collection Development Policy

Adopted 12/18/2017

Our Goal

The Columbia Township Library shall select, organize and maintain a quality collection of Library materials which will provide a basis for community information, education, recreation and historical preservation in our community. 

The purpose of Columbia Township Library’s Collection Development Policy is to provide a transparent view of the guiding philosophy and practical considerations that inform the selection and deselection of Library materials.

Definition of Materials Selection and Deselection
“Selection” refers to the decision that must be made either to add material to the collection or to retain material already in the collection. “Deselection” refers to the decision to remove materials from the collection.  “Library materials” and other synonyms as they may appear in this policy have the widest possible meaning; all forms of contemporary, recorded mass communication, from the traditional printed forms to the latest development in non-print media, are included in this definition.

Responsibility for Selection and Deselection
Ultimate responsibility for the selection of Library materials lies with the Library Director.  The Director may delegate the actual selection and deselection of material to qualified Library staff.

General Process for Selection
Selection shall be based on the merits of a work in relation to the needs, interests and demands of the communities we represent.  The Library ascribes to the philosophies expressed in the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights” and the “Freedom to Read Statement”.  (See Appendix)

Patrons’ purchase suggestions and requests are an important consideration.  Titles are added to the collection as long as they meet the stated selection criteria.  Each purchase request submitted will be reviewed by Library staff.  If a title is not selected for purchase an interLibrary loan may be offered for the patron according to interLibrary loan policy.

Specific Principles for Selection
The following principles will be taken into consideration when selecting items to be added to the collection:

  • Public demand and interest

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value

  • Reviews in professionally recognized sources

  • Accuracy of content and authority of author

  • Contribution to existing collection

  • Budgetary constraints

  • Availability of materials through MeLCat

  • Replacement of lost or worn copies

General Selection Tools
The Library uses the following resources when selecting material for the collection:

  • Professional and trade journals

  • Publishers’ catalogs and promotional material

  • Popular and news magazines

  • Related web sites and commercial web sites

General Process for Deselection
The systematic removal of materials from the collection is an important component of total collection development.  Ongoing evaluation of materials is necessary in order to maintain a current, accurate and inviting collection.  Deselection improves the accessibility of the remaining materials, enhances the appearance of the collection, and helps improve the overall circulation of materials.  The following considerations will be used in deselection decisions:

  • Physical condition

  • Relevance to community needs

  • Accuracy and currency of information

  • Circulation history

  • Shelf space

Deselected materials may be sold by the Library for fundraising purposes, recycled, or discarded at the Library’s discretion.

Our Collection:

  • Adult Fiction: A core areas of our collection, largely comprised of best sellers, critically-acclaimed works, classics of literature, and genre fiction.

  • Adult Non-Fiction Materials: The Library collects non-fiction in all subject areas, which are periodically reviewed for relevancy and accuracy.

  •  Young Adult Materials: Books published with a teenage audience in mind.  The emphasis is on popular contemporary materials and some classics.

  • Children’s Materials: intended to serve the needs and interests of children from infancy through middle school, as well as their parents and caregivers.  This part of the collection includes picture books, board books, electronic devices for young children, easy readers, juvenile chapter books, graphic novels, and non-fiction.

  • Movies: Popular movies from major studios are purchased in DVD format when available, and in Blu-Ray format if there is no DVD option.  VHS tapes are retained based on usage.  Movies are considered with MPAA rating of G, PG, PG-13, and R.  TV miniseries and documentaries are collected on a limited basis (these may be unrated). 

  • Audiobooks: The collection includes books on CD in adult, young adult, and children’s fiction and adult nonfiction. 

  • Large Print: The Library collects a limited number of large print editions in adult fiction.

  • Reference: The Library no longer actively collects print reference materials, as the vast majority of reference work is now done through our online databases and internet sources.  The Library retains older works of reference that are still relevant.

  • Periodicals: The Library subscribes to a limited number of popular print magazines and all local newspapers.  Additional periodicals are available through RB Digital, the Library’s online magazine service.

  • Electronic Resources: Through the Library of Michigan eLibrary, patrons can access a wide variety of electronic databases for research, business, and education.  Through our Overdrive service, patrons can access eBooks and eAudiobooks for download.  These resources are made available through the library website.

  • Video Games: The Library currently collects video games for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch platforms.  The Library retains video games for the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 platforms.  

Gifts and Donations
The Columbia Township Library gratefully accepts financial gifts and donations which will further its mission and goals in serving the public.  Financial gifts that are intended for the purchase of specific items, subject areas, or are in other ways designated, should be discussed with the Director.

The Library accepts material donations that in good condition and free from mold, mildew, and pests.  Material donations will be added to the collection or included in the library book sale at the Library’s discretion.  The Library cannot be responsible for the appraisal of donations for income tax or other purposes, but a receipt acknowledging donated material is available upon request.