Collection Development Policy

The Collection Development Policy guides staff in developing the collection and informs the public of the principles on which collection development decisions are based.


The library is a focal point for community learning, offering lifelong enrichment opportunities through access to ideas, information and the arts.  The library acquires and makes available materials that inform, assist, educate, entertain and enrich individuals within the County.  To fulfill our mission in support of free inquiry, the library aims to build a diverse, balanced, and high quality collection that represents a multiplicity of viewpoints.  The library endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the ALA Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements (see Appendix).


Ultimate responsibility for the collection rests with the County Librarian.  This responsibility is shared with other members of the professional staff.   Librarians use this policy (in combination with their training and expertise) to select library materials.   Recommendations from patrons and staff are also encouraged and given careful consideration.

Criteria for Selection

The decision to include or exclude a particular item in the library's collection is based on a number of considerations, although they may not all be applicable to each item.  These may include:  importance of subject matter to Lake County area or to humanity in general; practical value in relation to informational needs of Lake County residents; accuracy; objectivity; literary, intellectual, or artistic quality; social significance; popular demand or potential appeal; representation of a minority point of view; timeliness (or timelessness); vitality and originality of thought; relation to existing collection; relation to other works on subject; recreational value; cost; scarcity of information in subject area; availability elsewhere; quality and suitability of format.

Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary sources currently used are Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, and School Library Journal, but other review media, standard bibliographies, best seller lists, publishers’ catalogs, and the advice of competent people in specific subject areas also may be used.  The lack of a review or an unfavorable review is not considered sufficient reason for rejecting a title.

An item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable.  The library does not sanction particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of any given item indicate an endorsement of the author's viewpoint. If a scarcity of information in a particular subject area exists, material in that area may be selected even though it does not meet the usually applied standards.

Access to the Collection 

The library considers reading, listening, and viewing to be individual, private matters. The library believes that full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential for patrons to exercise their constitutional rights. While anyone is personally free to reject books and other materials, he/she may not restrict the free choice of others. Only parents and guardians have the right and responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own minor child. The library does not act in place of parents.

Interlibrary Loan 

Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library's collection. 

In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Lake County Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network, and to have its current holdings listed in a database that is accessible by other libraries.

Gifts and Donations 

Lake County Library appreciates gifts and donations. The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the librarian can dispose of them as they sees fit. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the library.  Book selection will be made by the librarian if no specific book is requested. 

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.


An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of deselection is the responsibility of the appropriate librarian. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials. 

Potential Problems or Challenges 

The Lake County 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 on the basis of the principles stated in this policy. 

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children. 

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and access to materials will not be restricted except to protect them from damage or theft. 

Challenged Materials 

Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Library patrons residing within Lake County requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a "Statement of Concern About Library Resources" form which is available in the library. The inquiry will be forwarded to the County Librarian.
The County Librarian and other professional staff will review each Statement of Concern about Library Resources in relation to the library’s mission and the criteria for selection. 

The item in question will not be removed from it's usual location within the library and will remain accessible to the public during the review process.

After the completion of the review the County Librarian will reply to the complainant in writing to notify them of the decision made in regard to their Statement of Concern.


The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information. 

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.