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Collection Development Policy

Responsibility for SelectionSelection Aids
Gifts and Donation Policy
Weeding Policy
Potential Problems or Challenges
Local History


The Collection Development Policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection. The Library “Bill of Rights” and the “Freedom to Read” statement have been endorsed by the Union County Public Library Board of Trustees and are an integral part of this policy.


The responsibility for selection lies with the professional staff. The ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies approved by the Library Board of Trustees. The general public and all staff are encouraged to make suggestions or comments on materials. Tools for such methods include the library’s suggestion box and the Request for Consideration form. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the following standards:

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Literary merit
  • Importance as a document of the times
  • Clarity and accuracy
  • Reputation and significance of the author, editor, or illustrator
  • Demand for the material
  • Critics’ reviews
  • Relationship to existing materials in the collection and to other materials on the subject
  • Price, in relation to budget and availability

Selection Aids

The choice of library materials by patrons is an individual matter. Responsibility of the reading or viewing of materials by children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person my reject materials for himself or his children, he cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others. Material selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Gifts and Donation Policy

to the Union County Public Library of money for the purchase of books or other materials are gladly accepted. A paper bookplate indicating the donor and/or the honoree will be placed in a donated book at the request of the donor.

The library welcomes book, movie, and music donations but accepts them with the understanding that it has the right to handle or dispose of them in the library’s best interest. Such material may be added to the collection provided it meets the library’s standards of selection.

Donations of books and movies will be examined and reviewed by the library staff, using the “Weeding Criteria” listed below, in order to determine if the materials should be put on the shelves for circulation or if they should be placed in the book sale or discarded.

Weeding Policy

The Union County Public Library strives to maintain a collection that meets the needs of the community. In doing so, a regular and systematic weeding of the library’s materials will improve the efficiency and vitality of the library’s resources. Weeding has been shown to increase the quality and use of the library’s collections.

Criteria for Weeding 

  1. Appearance: Books of antiquated appearance that might discourage use; badly bound volumes with frayed bindings; spines broken beyond repair; missing pages; poorly printed works, poor illustrations or paper which is yellowed or translucent; dingy or torn covers are all candidates for weeding.
  2. Unnecessary titles: examples of titles which are no longer needed include duplicate titles whose popularity has waned; inexpensive reprints; older editions of currently held works; highly specialized works whose information is included in other materials or subjects of little interest.
  3. Poor content: materials that contain obsolete or incorrect information; poorly written or performed works; or items that have been superseded by newer, improved editions.
  4. Insufficient use: items that have not circulated in 5 years unless deemed worthy by other criteria.
  5. Space available for housing material.

Potential Problems or Challenges

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


The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. A person may reject materials for him, but cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others. Complaints will be handled in an attentive and consistent manner as follows:

  1. All complaints will be attentively listened to and treated courteously.
  2. After the initial complaint, the complainant will be requested to read the questionable material in its entirety.
  3. If after reading the entire material, the complainant would like to fill out a “Materials Reconsideration Form” they will be urged to do so.
  4. The librarian will review the material and discuss reasons for keeping or not keeping the material in question with the complainant.
  5. If the librarian fails to reach a suitable solution with the complainant, the material in question and the form will be given to one or more members of the Board of Trustees.
  6. The Library Board of Trustees will take final action on the material.

Local History

The library, through its local history collection, preserves books and source materials, which document the history of Liberty and Union County. Local history material may be acquired even if it does not meet other selection criteria.


The Union County Public Library is the foundation of a literate community. It strives to provide the widest possible range of materials for all segments of the community it serves. It recognizes no bathers in every individual search for knowledge, information, education, culture and recreation through published materials both print and non-print.

The library endeavors to meet the needs, both spoken and implied or felt, of the community as a whole and in all its diverse parts. Its goal is to serve the people residing in Union County, Indiana in all aspects of their need to know at every level.