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Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy               

Materials Selection


The Aurora Public Library’s Mission Statement and Library Roles guide the selection of materials as it does the development of services and the allocation of resources. The Mission Statement and Library Roles articulate broad principles of library programs and services.


The Materials Selection Policy has been adopted by the Library Board of Directors of the Aurora Public Library to guide librarians and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.

  1.  The Library Board will review written complaints concerning specific titles as it deems necessary, and retention or deletion will be determined by the Board’s standards of selection.
  2. The Library endorses the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read statement, the Library Bill of Rights, and the statements on Labeling Library Materials, Access to Electronic Information Services, and Networks, and Free Access to Libraries for Minors.

NOTE: This document refers to all types of library material, both print and non-print.

Responsibility for Selection

Ultimate responsibility for the Library’s collection rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Directors. All professional and selected support staff members participate in the selection of library materials. Library materials are selected on the basis of literary, educational, informational and recreational value.

Selection Guidelines

– Criteria

Selectors should choose materials that will build a well-rounded collection which includes all viewpoints and opinions, and exercise impartiality in all selection activities which will meet community needs. Since thousands of titles are published every year in print, audiovisual, and electronic formats, the staff is selective in what they choose for the library’s collection. Criteria may include one or more of the following: literary merit; enduring value; accuracy; authoritativeness; social significance; importance of subject matter to the collection; timeliness; popular demand; costs; scarcity of material on the subject and availability elsewhere; and quality and suitability of the format. Other considerations may be applicable in specific subject areas.

Criteria for selection of electronic media also may include: ease of use of the product; availability of the information to multiple users; equipment needed to provide access to the information; technical support and training; and availability of the physical space needed to house and store the information or equipment.

– Multiple Copies

The Library does not have the budgetary resources to buy multiple copies of every title it owns. The Library will purchase or lease multiple copies of high-demand materials when warranted and based on budgetary resources.  Additional copies of materials may be purchased at the discretion of the library.

– Tools

Selection of resources is done from published reviews in professional journals, popular magazines, subject bibliographies, annual lists of recommended titles, publishers’ catalogs, and patron suggestions.

– Scope

Materials selected for the Library collection are intended to meet the cultural, informational, educational, and recreational needs of the residents of Aurora. The scope of the collection is intended to offer a choice of format, opinion, style and level of difficulty so that most individual library needs can be met and service given to individuals of all ages, within current budget parameters and constraints. The Library encourages the use of interlibrary cooperation to better serve the needs of its clientele by expanding available resources. The emphasis is on acquiring materials of wide-ranging interest to the general public. The collection is not archival, with the exception of the Local History collection, and is reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis to meet contemporary needs.


Resources are purchased in the most appropriate format for patron use.

The Library does not buy the textbooks used by the local high schools or community college, regarding it as the responsibility of the school library to provide copies of these course materials for their students.

New formats shall be considered for the circulating collection when, by industry report, national survey results, and evidence from local requests, a significant portion of the community population has the necessary technology to make use of the format. Availability of items in the format, the cost per item, and the Library’s ability to acquire and handle the items also will be factors in determining when a new format will be collected. Similar considerations will influence the decision to delete a format from the Library’s collection.

–Archival and Local History Collection

Archival refers to the holding policies for
part or all of the collection. At the Aurora Public Library, current usefulness is the determining factor in how long material is kept. There is no attempt to be complete in terms of historical coverage, with the possible exception of Local History and Genealogy. Old editions may be withdrawn when new ones are received or the contents are out of date. The amount of use that an item receives may influence retention. No extraordinary effort is made to preserve or protect the last copy of any title in the collection.

Local History and Genealogy materials will be retained in the collection at the Main Library in a separate location, but even this collection may undergo periodic evaluation and reassessment.  Local History and Genealogy materials of particular interest or significance may be rebound if necessary.

Gift Materials

Gifts are gratefully accepted by the Library with the understanding that they will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the Materials Selection Policy. The Library reserves the right to sell or otherwise dispose of gift materials not added to the collection, and gift materials cannot be returned to the donor.

When a patron offers to give books, magazines, or audiovisual materials to the Library, the following guidelines apply. The Library will accept hardcover and/or paperback books and may accept audiovisual materials if they are in good condition. Magazines, encyclopedias, and text books will not be accepted. 

If the patron wishes to receive an acknowledgement, he/she should request one at the time of donation. Library staff will not appraise the books or indicate a value in the acknowledgement.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is not a substitute for collection development, but is meant to expand the range of materials available to library users without needlessly duplicating the resources of other libraries. It is possible that not every title will be available through ILL or purchase, so all requests may not be filled.

All ILL requests for recent material are considered for purchase. In addition, all titles that have been requested through ILL at least three times in a year are given high selection priority. Extra consideration is given to requests for titles published within the last six months, because it is unlikely that these will be available from other libraries.

De-selection of material

In order to maintain an up-to-date, useful collection, worn and obsolete materials are continually removed from the collection. Materials may be withdrawn if they are little used or superseded by a new edition or better work on the same subject. Depth and coverage of varying degrees are desirable in various areas of the collection. The Collection Development Policy serves as a guide for de-selecting (commonly know as weeding), and maintaining the collection as well as for the selection of materials.

The C.R.E.W. (Continuous Review Evaluation and Weeding) method of systematic evaluation and weeding of the collection is used by every selector in order to keep the collection responsive to patrons’ needs, to insure its vitality and usefulness to the community, and to make room for newer materials. The collection will be reassessed for relevancy and currency on a regular basis. No materials will be held or given to individuals after de-selection, and materials may be sold, donated, or discarded by the Library.

Reconsideration of Library Materials

A singular obligation of the public library is to reflect within its collection differing points of view. The Aurora Public Library does not endorse particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply an endorsement of the author’s viewpoint. The Library welcomes expression of opinion by patrons, but will be governed by this Materials Selection Policy in making additions to or deleting items from the collection.

Patrons who request the reconsideration of library materials will be asked to submit their request in writing by completing and signing the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material” form.

Upon receipt of a formal written request, a decision will be made regarding the disposition of the material. The Library Director will communicate the decision and the reasons for it, in writing, to the person who initiated the request for reconsideration. The Director will inform the Board of Directors of the reconsideration and disposition of library materials.

In the event that the person who initiated the request is not satisfied with the decision of the Director, he/she may appeal for a hearing before the Library Board of Directors by making a written request to the President of the Board. The Library Board reserves the right to limit the length of presentation and number of speakers at the hearing. The Board will determine whether the request for reconsideration has been handled in accordance with stated policies and procedures of the Aurora Public Library. On the basis of this determination, the Board may vote to uphold or override the decision of the Director.

Aurora Public Library Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form


American Library Association Freedom to Read Statement

American Library Association Library Bill of Rights

American Library Association Labeling and Rating of Library Materials

American Library Association Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks

American Library Association Free Access to Libraries for Minors


Approved by the Library Board of Directors April 11, 2012



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