Collection Development Policy Part 1

Create a Collection Development Policy for a segment of a collection at a fictional library.

  1. Section 1: Describe Setting
    1. Redwood Public Library is a single-branch, stand-alone, city library serving a suburban population of roughly 32,000 people, outside a much larger city. The majority of the population is between 20 and 65 years old, with 30% below the age of 20 and 12% of the population over 65.  The population has been increasing in size over the last several years, with the influx of new immigrants, mostly of Hispanic and Asian descent.  As such, 5% of the population are not native speakers of English, and 11% of the population lives below the poverty line.  Median income of the community is about $50,000.00 (Greenwood Public Library, 2015).
    2. The Library’s collection consists of roughly 120,000 print books, 13,000 audio-visual materials, and as part of a consortium, 14,000 ebooks. The total collection is valued at one million dollars (Greenwood Public Library, 2015).
    3. The most significant sources of funding come from general property taxes and the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax. Additional sources, in descending order of significance include contributions from the Friends of the Library, funded through individual and corporate gifts, sponsorships, and grants; vehicle excise taxes; fines and fees; and refunds and reimbursements.  Occasionally bonds are obtained for specific purposes such as facilities maintenance.  Last year the Friends provided 100% of the Library’s programming budget (Greenwood Public Library, 2015).
    4. Redwood Public Library is a political division of the City of Redwood, governed by a Board of Trustees. The seven-member board, consisting of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three general members, is appointed by various local elected officials, including the County Commissioners, the County Council, the City Mayor, the City Council, and the Superintendents of the two local school districts (Greenwood Public Library, 2015).
    5. Responsibility for collection development ultimately falls on the Director, who may then delegate that responsibility to department heads to further delegate collection development responsibilities and tasks to librarians and other staff as appropriate. See Appendix A for organizational structure (Greenwood Public Library, 2013).
  2. Description of Subject Area
    1. The specific focus of this subset of the collection development plan will relate to the collection of works by professionally recognized, contemporary poets. In alignment with the Library’s Strategic Plan item number 5.3, to “provide education and literacy opportunities to all,” (Greenwood Public Library, 2012) curation and promotion of the poetry collection provides adults the opportunity to improve their literacy by widening their exposure to various types of literature.  Contemporary poets, in particular, offer relatable themes and varied perspectives on contemporary issues.  Professional recognition of the poet by her peers provides an educational aspect to the collection appropriate to an adult audience.
  3. Library’s Mission Statement
    1. The Redwood Public Library enriches lives and fosters personal growth through the promotion of information resources relevant to the community’s needs and ambitions (Greenwood Public Library 2012).
  4. Intellectual Freedom Policy
    1. Redwood Public Library is dedicated to protecting intellectual freedom. The Library endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.  Special consideration is given to the belief that “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view,” and that “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views” (American Library Association, 1996).  As a result, the Library asserts that it is the patron’s responsibility to choose or reject the use of library resources in alignment with personal beliefs, and to monitor the use of library resources by their own children. (Greenwood Public Library, 2013)
  5. Procedure for Requesting Reconsideration of Materials
    1. Should a patron have questions or concerns about any of the materials in the Library’s collection, the following options are available. Any staff member can address any informal questions, concerns, or complaints and will pass them along to the appropriate levels of administration.  However, a Department Head or the Director can make time for patrons to express their concerns directly.
    2. Formal complaints can be made through the submission of a Request for Reconsideration form (Appendix B). Upon receipt of the form, the Head of the relevant department will review the selection of the material in question, and respond in writing to the individual who made the request.  If the patron is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, she may address the issue with the Board of Trustees by first submitting her request in writing, and then addressing the Board at the appointed meeting date and time (Greenwood Public Library, 2013).

Appendix B

Request for Reconsideration

Please complete the following information and submit to staff to request a review of materials.




City, State, Zip:_____________________________________________________________

Are you a member of the library?______________________________________________

Title of resource you would like to have reviewed:_______________________________



What concern do you have about the resource? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Have you examined the entire resource?__________________________________________

Where might additional information be available supporting your concern? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Adapted from Hollins University (2013).


American Library Association. (1996) Library Bill of Rights Retrieved from

Greenwood Public Library. (2012). Strategic Plan 2013-2015.

Greenwood Public Library. (2013). Collection Development Policy. Unpublished internal document.

Greenwood Public Library. (2015). Annual Report 2014.

Hollins University. (2013) Materials Challenge Policy Retrieved from



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