Collection Development Policy

Mission of the Library

The Chatfield Public Library serves as a vibrant community center which meets the various and ever changing needs of all Chatfield area community members. Services are specialized, individualized and relationship-focused to provide a high quality and positive experience. Patrons can expect friendly and knowledgeable staff, non-biased service and a comfortable physical environment.



The purpose of the collection development policy is to guide library staff and to inform the public about the basic principles upon which decisions are made. This policy should not replace the judgment of library staff, but will assist them in maintaining a balanced and well-used collection.

Basic Considerations

This policy seeks generally to promote the stated mission of the library.

The community consists of people with varied backgrounds, ages, abilities, educational levels, interests, ethnic origins, religions, value systems, and occupational and recreational needs. Thus, opposing views on topics of public interest should be represented, reflecting balanced and objective presentation.

Collection Development is done

* to meet the informational and recreational needs of library users.

* to assess and maintain the quality of the collection.

* to aid the library’s efforts to serve infrequent or non-users.

All major views, including those currently unorthodox or unpopular, are to be represented.

Budgetary constraints force choices. The library’s goal is to try to acquire most of the best and most useful materials with available funds.


The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the Library’s Board of Trustees. The Library Director is responsible for seeing that the materials selection policy adopted by the Board is carried out. The Library Director may delegate to other staff members the authority to select materials in accordance with the library’s mission and policy.

Material Selection

The following criteria are applied where appropriate in the selection of materials:

a) Priority is given to material which meets the Community’s expressed interests and anticipated needs.

b) The selection process is responsive to patron requests for newly published or

released titles. Such recommendations are considered in light of the possible

general use of an item.

c) Efforts are made to meet popular demand for or anticipated popular appeal of

materials in various media.

d) The availability of materials in other collections in the community or through

interlibrary loan preclude the acquisition of technical or specialized materials

which will likely have infrequent use.

e) The materials should be either of high, timely interest or of long, permanent value.

f) Material is selected because of its contribution to the totality of subject matter

to be found in the collection.

g) Quality nonfiction material is that which provides a clear, authoritative, up-to-

date, and objective treatment of its subject(s).

h) For fiction, the reputation, popular appeal, and/or literary significance of the

author are factors.

i) In order to provide information on a subject where material is scarce, items not

necessarily satisfying all the criteria may be selected.

j) Materials are selected based upon their merits and their ability to meet the

above criteria. Materials are not arbitrarily dismissed based upon one or more

minor faults.

The library is assisted in the application of these criteria by many reputable basic selection aids and reviewing media such as Public Library Catalog, Fiction Catalog, Children’s Catalog, “School Library Journal”, and “Booklist”. Newspaper and online reviews are also used.

Materials in the general collection include fiction, nonfiction and reference works in various media. Budgetary allocations are made among multiple media formats. New media formats will be added as dictated by patron demand and as allowed by the budget.

The following types of material are considered part of the library’s ephemeral collection. These materials are acquired primarily for their current use and are not retained over along period of time.

a) College catalogs

b) Vertical file materials (pamphlets, clippings, etc.)

c) Telephone directories

d) State and federal tax forms (for distribution and reproduction)

e) Newsletters

Copies of books which are rare or are in delicate condition are kept as non-circulating archival copies to be used in the library.

The library has a limited amount of equipment for use in the library and/or for circulation. The addition of equipment for public use is determined by demonstrated public need and the availability of funds for purchase and maintenance.

Adopted by the Chatfield Public Library Board May 14, 2002