Collection Development Policy



The mission of the Veterans’ Memorial Library is to serve our community by providing universal access to information resources, materials, programs & services to foster lifelong learning and to support educational, cultural and recreational activities.

Purpose of Collection

The purpose of the Veterans’ Memorial Library is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.

Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff to guide the selection of materials and serves to acquaint the public with the principles of selection.

The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Veterans’ Memorial Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy.

The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.

Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director, who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Veterans’ Memorial Library Board of Trustees. 

Criteria for Selection

General Guidelines for Selection:

  • For books, hardcover volumes are always preferred
  • Paperbacks are purchased if that is the only format available or when the usefulness is expected to be short
  • Books in electronic format are considered when available

The main points considered in the selection of materials are:

  • Individual merit of each item
  • Popular appeal/demand
  • Local authors
  • Diversity of ideas and perspectives
  • Suitability of material for the patrons
  • Existing library holdings
  • Budget
  • Availability through other affiliated collections (ILL, cloud library) 

Selection Aids

Selection aids for this collection include professional publications, newspaper reviews, online resources, best seller lists and recommendations by staff and patrons. 

The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title which is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged based on the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.

Non-Book Materials

The same criteria and selection aids used for books will be used when selecting non-book materials. 

Interlibrary Loan

Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library’s collection.

In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Veterans’ Memorial Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network, and to try to have its current holdings listed in a tool that is accessible by other libraries throughout the state.

Gifts and Donations

The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them as he/she sees fit. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Board. It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library director. Book selection will be made by the director if no specific book is requested. The Veterans’ Memorial Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations.

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.


An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Withdrawal is dependent upon many factors including the following:

  • Current demand 
  • Physical condition of the material
  • Usefulness, frequency at which the material is used 
  • Age of the material, considering the type of information it contains
  • Availability of newer editions
  • Number of copies of a title necessary to meet demand 

This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director and is authorized by the Board of Trustees. 

Potential Problems or Challenges

The Veterans’ Memorial Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made based on anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely based on the principles stated in this policy.

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

Challenged Materials

Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form, which is available in the library. The inquiry will be reviewed by the library’s director.

Veterans’ Memorial Library


Name ________________________Date _____________

Address ______________________Phone ___________

City _________________________State ______ZIP _______

Resource on which you are commenting:

_____Book_____Audio-visual Resource
_____Magazine_____Content of Library Program

Title: _________________________________________

Author/Publisher or Producer/Date: ___________________

  1. What brought this resource to your attention?
  1. To what do you object? Please be as specific as possible.
  1. Have you read or listened or viewed the entire content? If not, what parts?
  1. What do you feel the effect of the material might be?
  1. For what age group would you recommend this material?
  1. In its place, what material of equal or better quality would you recommend?
  1. What do you want the library to do with this material?
  1. Additional comments:


Weeding Procedures 

“Build weeding into the year’s work calendar. Set priorities and schedule the time 

when you will weed the collection. Those specific areas of the collection that are 

most in need of weeding or those that will be handled for a specific reason, such as 

barcoding or relocating, should be weeded first.” (Larson, 2012)

Several factors must be considered during the weeding process. These factors include:  

  • The library’s selected service responses and resultant goals 
  • The needs and demands of the library’s community of users 
  • The availability of more suitable material 
  • The ability of the budget to provide funds to purchase more satisfactory items 
  • The relationship of a particular item to others on that subject 
  • Cooperative agreements with other libraries and the ability for patrons to use 

            other libraries in the area 

  • The degree to which the library serves as an archive or local history center 
  • The possible future usefulness of a particular item 
  • The availability of more current information on the Internet 
  • The ability of the library to borrow the item through interlibrary loan

(Larson, 2012)

The CREW Guidelines for Weeding Your Collection

The CREW formulas given here are offered as ‘rules of thumb’ based on opinions in the professional literature and practical experience. 

The formula consists of three parts: 

  1. The first figure refers to the years since the book’s latest copyright date

(age of material in the book)

  1. The second figure refers to the maximum permissible time without usage (in terms of years since its last recorded circulation and if the item has been in the library’s collection for at least that period)
  1. The third refers to the presence of various negative factors, called MUSTIE factors, which will influence the weeding decision. 

(Larson, 2012)

  The CREW method gives six general criteria for considering weeding an item from the library’s collection.  These have been summed up with the acronym MUSTIE

                     M=      Misleading–factually inaccurate
                      U=      Ugly–worn beyond mending or rebinding
                      S=       Superseded–by a new edition of by a much better book on the subject
                      T=       Trivial–of no discernible literary or scientific merit
                      I=        Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the library’s community
                      E=       Elsewhere–the material is easily obtainable from another library