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Collection Development Policy

Collections Development Policy

Purpose Statement

This policy exists to guide the Addison Township Public Library (ATPL) staff in selecting, maintaining, and discarding materials and to inform the public about the principles behind collection development decisions. 

Materials Selection Guidelines

  • Must align with the ATPL’s mission statement, the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View statements adopted by the American Library Association. 
  • Must support and maintain the representative, well-balanced collection of general and specialized materials at the ATPL.
  • Improve the quality, accessibility, and quantity of the entire collection. To meet the current and long-term needs and interests of the whole community for information, education, culture, and recreation.
  • Must be within the ATPL operational budget, suitability of physical format, and space availability. 
  • Local and regional significance.
  • No material shall be excluded because of the race, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation or political or social beliefs of its creator or content.  
  • May meet popular demand while representing a material from multiple, diverse viewpoints as long as it is accurate, creditable, authoritative, supports the ATPL’s existing collection, and has contemporary or permanent value.
  • Professional resources may be used to help the ATPL staff choose content. 
  • Purchasing materials for the collection does not include endorsement of their
    contents by the staff of ATPL.
  • Patron suggestions for materials selection will be taken into consideration within the
    parameters of the Collection Development Policy, budget, and physical space.


  • Responsibility for access to the ATPL material by children fully rests with their legal guardians. While materials are shelved by recommended age, patrons of any age may use materials in all sections of the library in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights. Selection shall not be inhibited solely by the possibility that certain materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children. 
  • The ATPL staff and the Library Board cannot restrict the freedom of selection of the patron or censor materials for the rest of the community, and neither can the patron restrict the freedom of selection of other patrons.

Selection Responsibility

  • The ATPL staff who are professionally trained have complete responsibility for collection development with no outside interference. 
  • Formats may include but not be limited to: fiction and non-fiction print materials, magazines and newspapers, DVDs, audiobooks, electronic content, and
    digital databases for all ages. Evolving formats will be identified and added as technology
    changes, reliability and availability improve, and patron demand increases.

Collection Maintenance

  • Factors to withdraw material from collection include, but not limited to damage, outdated, redundancy, relevancy, space, and insufficient use. 
  • Each ATPL staff person assigned to purchase materials for a specific area of the collection will.

also be responsible for weeding and maintaining that section of the collection.

  • De-selected materials will become part of the Friends or Library’s book sales or recycled, where appropriate.

Reconsideration of Material Process

  • Patrons who object to any material at the ATPL may contact the Library Director in writing. Upon receiving the complaint, the Director will respond within two weeks of receipt.
  • Patrons may fill out the ATPL’s Reconsideration Form located at the library’s circulation desk or website and turn it into the Library Director. The professional ATPL staff will review the challenged materials and present it to the Library Board of Trustees at their next regularly scheduled meeting. The Board will make the final decision regarding challenged materials with a written response within two months of the complaint. Items will not be removed while under review. 

Gifts and Donations 

  • Any donations or gifts to the ATPL must be consistent with their mission and policies.
  • The ATPL staff reserve the right to accept or decline gifts based on the library's selection policies, procedures, and opinion from the professional staff.
  • The ATPL retains unconditional ownership of any accepted gift. 
  • Donations may include certain library materials and monetary gifts. Gifts and donations are not accepted with strict stipulations, but the ATPL staff will consider the donor’s request in determining how to use monetary gifts.   
  • Donated books are evaluated according to the same criteria that are applied to purchased material. Items not added to the ATPL collection may be sold at their book sale.
  • Gifts are tax-deductible but staff may not set fair market or appraisal values for donated materials.
  • Book donations are accepted based on space availability. The ATPL staff determine these vacancies and have the right to refuse any donation as they see fit. Book donations are only accepted on Saturdays when the ATPL is open during operating hours. Materials must be in good condition. The ATPL will not accept any item that has been improperly stored (basements, attics, garages, outside, and etc.). The ATPL will not accept any item that is unfit which includes, but is not limited to a smell, dirt, damage or has any sign of mold. Receipts are available upon request.

Items accepted:

  • Fiction and Nonfiction books 
  • Children, Tween, Teen, and Adult books
  • Rare or vintage books
  • DVDs

Items not accepted:

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Reader’s Digests and National Geographic’s
  • Encyclopedias and Almanacs
  • Text books or technical books or any outdated informational books
  • Guides (travel, taxes, and etc.)
  • Audiobooks, VHS tapes, CDs, and cassettes

Approved 1/17/2023 by Addison Township Library Board of Trustees

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