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Collection Development

Library Mission Statement

To be a gathering place providing access to ideas, experiences, and materials to enrich our lives.

The library acts to fulfill its mission by selecting, acquiring, organizing, maintaining, evaluating, and providing access to a collection of materials and electronic resources that address and anticipate the interests and needs of the members of a growing and diverse community.

Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

To inform the public of the principles governing collection development at Carver County Library.

Book Stack

To constitute a public declaration of the library’s commitment to the principles of free access to ideas and information, and to provide collections that reflect a variety of viewpoints.

To guide staff in making decisions about the selection, maintenance, and retention of library materials.

General Principles of the Collection Development Policy

Collection development at Carver County Library is founded on the principles of intellectual freedom and equal access for all. The library provides a collection that balances viewpoints across a broad spectrum of opinion, subject interests and skill levels. Using selection practices that are responsive to the changing needs of the community, the library selects, acquires, organizes, maintains and evaluates collections for the general public while recognizing the needs of special population groups.

The Library subscribes to the principle that the freedom to read and view is essential to our democracy and that unrestricted access to a wide variety of materials is essential to the preservation of a free society. To ensure the rights of the residents of Carver County to a broad range of ideas and concepts, the Library endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to View Statement.

Decisions to select or retain an item are based on the merits of each work or information source as it relates to the goals and coverage of the overall collection. The library considers the value of each item in its entirety and within the context of the collection, not on specific passages or section in the item itself.

Materials are not marked, labeled, or sequestered to show approval, disapproval, or judgment as to suitability of content for particular audiences. Materials are not excluded, removed, proscribed or suppressed because of their creators’ origin, background, or views, or because they represent a particular aspect of life, frankness of expression, or controversial subject matter. Parents and legal guardians have the responsibility for their children’s use of library materials.

Inclusion of an item does not constitute endorsement of its content by the Library Board.

All library materials are available to all customers. The Library encourages ease of access to materials by using standard library practices to organize, manage, and display materials, by providing staff to assist in locating items, and through the delivery of materials.

The Library is committed to the expeditious delivery of materials and information to its users. To facilitate this, the library participates in interlibrary loan networks to make materials not in the collection available for customers. Electronic resources are made accessible through web-based environments.

In all these efforts, Carver County Library will operate within the provisions of the United States copyright law.

Responsibly for Collection Development

Collection development is a process guided through all its stages by the expertise and judgment of librarians. The Library Director is responsible for the administration of the policy and delegates this responsibility to library professionals. Final responsibility for the direction, purpose, and scope of collection development rests with the Carver County Library Board.

Collection Management

To build a collection of merit, materials are evaluated according to one or more of the following criteria. An item need not meet all of these criteria in order to be added to the collection:

  • Customer interest or demand
  • Contemporary significance
  • Timeliness
  • Authority, reputation or qualifications of the author, artist, publisher or
  • Suitability of subject and style for the intended audience
  • Attention of critics, reviewers, media and the public
  • Suitability of format for the content and for library use
  • Relationship to existing collections and other material available on the subject

Sources for selection decisions include, among others, user requests or recommendations, publisher or vendor catalogs, advertisements, and published reviews. Librarians use their subject knowledge and expertise in combination with accepted standards to select and evaluate collection items. Gifts and purchases are selected using the same criteria. An item need not meet all criteria to be selected.

Condition, content, inherent value, timeliness, and use are the primary criteria used to determine the retention of materials in the collection. The library also removes worn, damaged, and obsolete materials that cannot be repaired and are not longer usable. As demand declines, the library selectively removes multiple copies, making exceptions for areas of special importance to the overall collection. An item that is damaged or lost is replaced if it is deemed useful and is still available for purchase.

The library gratefully accepts gifts of money and materials under the circumstances outlined in Donations Policy #LB 15.

Individuals may request reconsideration of a selection or classification decision of library materials by submitting a written request for reconsideration form, Collection Development and Request for Reconsideration. This form is available at all libraries. The Library Director will respond in writing to the individual’s request. The Carver County Library Board, upon request, hears appeals of the Director’s written response. The final decision on appeals rests with the Carver County Library Board.

Important Note: Carver County Library is not responsible for the content or accuracy of the information provided on these external websites. The inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement by the library of that website.