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Collection Development Policy

Amended 6/19/00, 5/21/01, 5/20/02, reviewed 5/19/03, amended 5/17/04, reviewed 5/16/05, 5/15/06, amended 5/21/07, 5/19/08, 5/18/09, reviewed 5/17/10, amended 5/16/11, reviewed 5/21/12, 5/20/13, amended 5/19/14, reviewed 6/15/15, amended 5/16/16, 5/15/17, 5/21/18; reviewed 5/20/19, amended 2/21/22, reviewed 5/15/23


Purpose of Policy

This policy is established by the Library Board of Trustees to guide the library staff in the management of the collection and to inform the public of the principles upon which the library makes decisions regarding the maintenance and use of the collection. This policy includes materials at the main library and at the Northwest Branch.


General Collection Development Statement

The collection development policy for the Delphi Public Library will be guided by the principles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements (see attached). These statements are interpreted to include all library material, regardless of format. The collection should represent all disciplines and, insofar as possible, all points of view. The collection should meet the intellectual, informational, and recreational needs of the community. The library not only must consider the present needs of the community but also must attempt to anticipate the future needs in order to give timely service. The scope of the collection is intended to offer a choice of format, treatment, and level of difficulty so that all needs can be met. Service given to individuals of all ages, within current budget limitations, is also taken into consideration. The emphasis will be on acquiring materials of wide-ranging interest to the general public.


Responsibility for Collection Development

Final responsibility for collection development rests with the library director, operating within the framework of this collection development policy as adopted by the Board of Trustees. It is at the discretion of the director to delegate collection development responsibility to members of the library staff.


Criteria for Selection

Library staff utilize professional judgment and expertise in making collection development decisions. The primary criteria for selection will be the quality of presentation, the needs of the community, and the needs of the collection. Special criteria for nonfiction works are quality of style, objectivity, and accuracy. The library acknowledges a particular interest in local and state history and the works of local authors; however, the library will apply the same standards of selection to these works as it does to other materials.


Based on professional reviewing sources whenever possible, the library considers the following criteria to be of particular importance in selecting materials:

  • Reputation and authority of the author, musician, film writer, or producer

  • Potential or known demand for interest in the material

  • Timeliness as well as permanence of the material

  • Scope and accuracy of the content of the material

  • Quality of writing, design, illustration, or production

  • Relative importance in comparison with existing materials on the same subject

  • Presentation of a new or under-represented viewpoint in the collection

  • Suitability of the physical format for library circulation

  • Availability of the item in other libraries or elsewhere in the county

  • Price in keeping with the budget and principle of loaning to the general public

  • Attention of critics, reviewers, and the media


Procedures for Selection

Library materials selection will be made from current review sources, standard lists and awards, patron requests, and library staff recommendations. Materials receiving unfavorable reviews may be selected if there is significant patron demand, if the material is of particular interest locally, or if the material fills a special unmet need in the collection. No materials will be rejected solely on the basis of the author’s point of view. Selections will not be made on the basis of any assumed approval or disapproval of the work, but solely on the merit of the work as it relates to the library’s purpose and as it serves the needs and interests of the community as a whole. The goal is to develop a collection of standard works of long-term value and popular materials of current significance, striking a reasonable balance between the public’s requests and sustaining a diverse but responsive collection.


The library recognizes the place of nonprint formats in the collection as legitimate educational and recreational resources for the community it serves. The library monitors the development of new formats and, within budgetary and technical limitations, adds these to the collection. Choice of new formats will be based on patron demand, community trends, new product development, and positive critical reviews.


Generally, due to space limitations, only one copy of an item is purchased for each library’s collection. For very high demand titles, an additional copy may be purchased or leased if the holds list reaches 3 or more individuals. In addition, “Red Hot” copies of high demand titles will be leased to supplement the regular collection and help meet patron demand for those titles. These Red Hot copies have special circulation rules. (See the Circulation Policy for more information.)



The library welcomes gifts, but all gifts must meet the criteria of the library’s collection development policy. Direct gifts of books and other library materials will be accepted only on the condition that the library director has full authority to handle or dispose of them in the best interests of the library. The library does not purchase or accept gifts of textbooks and/or curriculum materials specific to a single school or instructor, out-of-date encyclopedia or other reference sets, or out-of-date formats including but not limited to videocassettes, audiocassettes, or vinyl records. If requested by the donor, staff may supply a receipt noting the date, format, and number of items donated. Staff will not provide an estimate of the value of the donations. If a donated item does not meet the selection criteria or duplicates an item already held by the library, it will be donated to the Friends of the Delphi Public Library to be sold in the annual book sale to benefit the library.


When the library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature or subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based upon the donor’s wishes. The library staff, in accordance with the needs and collection development policy of the library, will select specific titles. Donors also have the option of contributing to gift funds maintained by the library. Persons who pay for gift books will have their names—and the name of the person in whose honor or memory the book is purchased—entered on a library bookplate to be placed in the book. The library will send a card to whomever the donor of a memorial gift specifies.


Once the library accepts a gift or donation, that item becomes the property of the library and becomes subject to the same use or disposal criteria as all other items.


Collection Maintenance

To ensure a vital and useful collection, materials no longer useful to the library and its patrons will be disposed of according to good library practice. Discarding and replacement of materials (weeding) is a continuous process to be considered part of a sound collection development program. This process ensures that ongoing collection priorities are met; that collections remain up to date, balanced, and attractive; and that space limitations are minimized. The following guidelines describe a minimum schedule for weeding various library materials.


Damaged materials and duplicates will be withdrawn as the need arises. Paperback books, popular music, audiobooks, video materials, fiction, and general non-fiction will be reviewed at least once each year. Reference materials will be weeded periodically and at least every two years.


The general criteria for weeding include the following:


  • Availability of updated, newer, or revised materials

  • Historical or literary value of the item, as confirmed in standard library bibliographic tools

  • Circulation or usage of the item

  • Condition of the item

  • Item’s place in a series

  • Possible future usefulness

  • Unneeded duplicates

  • Availability of other items on same subject in the collection

  • Cost of replacement, if necessary


It is critical that outdated information, especially in law, business, finance, and medicine, be discarded.


Withdrawn materials will be given to the Friends of the Delphi Public Library to be sold in the annual book sale, recycled, or otherwise disposed of, depending on the condition of the materials. Withdrawn materials that are more valuable, and can potentially be sold for a higher price than the local book sale could support, may be shipped to Better World Books or other online vendors for sale, with the library receiving the profits from these sales.


Challenged Materials

The library is committed to the principle that the constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and press are enjoyed by all. To this end, the library strives to offer a collection that represents the needs of our diverse community. Inclusion of items in the collection does not mean that the library endorses any theory or statement contained in those materials and resources. The patron’s choice of library materials for personal use is an individual matter. Although any library user may individually reject library materials of which he/she does not approve, he or she cannot restrict the freedom of others to use these materials. Responsibility for the use of materials by children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal 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 want to explore in a friendly, nonjudgmental manner.


The library welcomes citizens’ expressions of opinions concerning materials purchased. Requests to remove materials will be considered within the context of the policies set forth in this document. Anyone who wants to request that a specific item be reconsidered and withdrawn from the collection is asked to complete and sign the Patron’s Request for Reconsideration of Material Form, which is available at the library or on its web page. Only forms completed by residents of Deer Creek, Adams, Jefferson, and Rock Creek townships will be considered. The director will review the form and the material in question and make a written justification for its continued inclusion in the collection, or withdraw the material if there is no justification. This decision will be relayed to the requestor via mail, email, telephone, or in person, depending on the requestor’s stated preference on the Reconsideration form. If the requestor is not satisfied with the decision and justification provided, the requestor may ask that the Library Board of Trustees review the request at the next scheduled board meeting. The board will reconsider the decision based on whether or not the particular title conforms to this collection development policy. The item in question will not be removed from the shelf during the reconsideration process.

Patron’s Request for Reconsideration of Material Form

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