Collection Development Policy

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As a source of open access to the world of information and ideas, the Deerfield Public Library collects, organizes, and lends print and non-print materials as well as electronic resources that encourage lifelong learning and personal growth. The materials collection is a major asset of the Deerfield Public Library. Within budget, the Library provides a general collection of reliable materials that includes both basic works of permanent value and materials of current interest. The selection of library materials and electronic resources is based on the needs of all residents and reflects the Library’s core role as a popular materials library for all ages. Materials are selected on the basis of the content and quality of the work as a whole. The Library seeks to maintain the democratic principles expressed in the Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements (See Appendix I).

The Library Board delegates responsibility for selection of the Library’s collection to the Library Director. Under the guidance of the Library Director, Library staff members with at least a Masters’ level education in Library Science select new materials and make decisions regarding material retention in accordance with the following policy.

Materials Selection

The Deerfield Public Library collects materials in a variety of print, audiovisual, and electronic formats which are of permanent value, of contemporary significance, or of special interest to the community.

Selection is a critical and interpretive process. Professional or otherwise credentialed reviews are the principal tool used in the selection of library materials and electronic resources. Staff members selecting library materials and electronic resources are also assisted by bibliographic publications, authoritative discussions of the subject, publisher and vendor advertising and demonstrations, and requests of Library patrons.

In selecting materials for the Deerfield Public Library, the following criteria will be used as they apply:

A. Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment

B. Artistic presentation

C. Relevance to current and anticipated community needs, as well as long-term significance or interest

D. Authority, competence, reputation and purpose of the author and/or publisher

E. Currency and accuracy of the information

F. Local significance of the author or topic

G. The works’ contribution to the diversity of viewpoints on controversial issues

The Library seeks to meet the needs of the total community, recognizing that some materials may be considered controversial to some readers. It is the responsibility of individual library users to choose materials which suit his or her tastes and needs. Therefore, the Library’s collection will represent broadly the views and preferences available in print, audio-visual and electronic materials. Decisions relating to a child’s choice of materials are solely the responsibility of the child’s parent or legal guardian. Selection of materials for adults will not be inhibited by the possibility that such materials may be accessible to children.


In cases where there is sufficient community interest, Library staff members designated selectors may purchase replacement copies of lost, worn, or damaged items. A replacement copy will contain the same intellectual content but may not be the same edition or format as the original.

Gifts and Donations

Gifts to the collection can be made in the form of money or actual materials. Gifts of books and other materials may be accepted by the Library with the understanding that they will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the Materials Selection section of this policy. Donations must be outright and unconditional. Gift plates and letters of acknowledgement are appropriate stipulations by a donor, but other requirements may not be honored. All gifts that become part of the general collection are subject to the Materials

Retention section of this policy, and may not require special circulation procedures. The Library reserves the right to sell or otherwise dispose of gift materials not added to the collection.

Reconsideration of Materials

The selection of materials is predicated on the Library user’s right to read/view and his or her freedom from censorship by others. Selections are made based on the merits of the work in relation to the fulfillment of the Library mission. The addition of an item to the collection in no way represents an endorsement by the Library of any theory, idea, or policy contained in it.

The Library recognizes that some materials address issues that some individuals may find controversial. No item, however, will be removed from the collection for the sole reason that the philosophy, perspective, ideas, or view contained in the item is opposed by the individual requesting reconsideration.

A Deerfield Public Library cardholder may request reconsideration of any material as follows:

  • Discussion with the manager of the department in which the material is located
  • If not satisfied, discussion with the Library Director, and,
  • If not satisfied, completion of a Request for Reconsideration which will be given to the Library Board of Trustees (see Appendix II for form)

The Board of Trustees will make a ruling on whether the material in question will be retained, relocated, or removed and the patron requesting reconsideration will be notified as to the decision within a reasonable amount of time. The material in question will remain in the collection pending the decision of the Library Board of Trustees.

Retention of Collections

In order to retain relevant and reliable collections, in the space available, librarians must regularly evaluate and withdraw materials. Materials are withdrawn when they are no longer of value to the community using criteria that include, but are not limited to, lack of interest, poor condition, unnecessary duplication, or inaccurate or outdated information. Withdrawn materials are saved for Friends or Library book sales, donated to other institutions, or discarded. The

Library does not make arrangements to sell or give withdrawn materials directly to specific patrons.

Adopted April 14, 2010

Local History Collection

The purpose of the Local History Collection is to preserve materials that document the history of Deerfield, and to make these materials available to researchers and the general public. The major emphasis of the collection is information pertaining to Deerfield. Secondary emphasis is placed on information concerning the history of surrounding areas.

Works are collected if the work is relevant to the study of the history and culture of Deerfield and/or the surrounding areas.

Books and papers originally owned and used by local residents are not added to the collection unless the items contain local information that is otherwise unavailable or hold great historical significance to the community.

Local Authors’ Works

Local authors are defined as writers who currently reside or have spent a significant part of their lives in Deerfield or the adjacent towns.  Pending evaluation, the Library may accept one donated copy of a local author’s work and place it in the Local Author section if it is an Adult book or in the appropriate Youth or Teen collection, if it is a Youth or Teen book.  All donated works are subject to the same criteria for removal as other materials.  Items requested by the author to be purchased by the Library are subject to the same collection development criteria as any other work.  If an item is considered relevant to local history, it may be placed with the Local History Collection instead of the Local Author Collection.

Self-Published Titles

Self-published titles that are not included in the Local Author or Local History categories are held to the same criteria as any other work the Library evaluates for the collection.

Adopted April 2015

Appendix I: Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements

Appendix II: Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form