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Collection Development Policy

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Collection Development Policy

Responsibility for collection development rests with the Prendergast Library Director, who works under the authority of the Board of Trustees. The Director delegates responsibility for selection and maintenance of the library’s collection to the Library Manager, who in turn works with librarians who order new materials and evaluate the current collection.

Materials Selection

Library staff employ their professional judgment when making decisions regarding the library’s collection. When choosing titles and quantities to purchase, librarians consider anticipated demand, community interests, current strengths and weaknesses of the collection, availability of materials at other system libraries, and the library’s materials budget. When possible, materials are purchased in multiple formats, including print and large print, audiovisual, and electronic formats. Materials with the broadest appeal are given highest priority when making purchasing decisions.
Criteria considered when purchasing materials include, but are not limited to:

• Content

o Accuracy
o Comprehensiveness
o Enduring significance
o Purpose
o Quality
o Representation of diverse points of view

• Cost in relation to use and/or enhancement to the collection
• Critical reviews
• Current and anticipated appeal
• Local interest
• Relation to the existing collection
• Timeliness

The Library strives to include a highly varied spectrum of materials and topics in the collection. The inclusion of an item in the collection does not imply the Library’s endorsement of the author, publisher, or subject matter.
The Library supports the right of each family to decide which items are appropriate for use by their children. Responsibility for a child’s use of library material lies with his or her parents or guardian. Selection of library materials will not be restricted by the possibility that materials could come into a child’s possession.

Collection Evaluation and Maintenance

To be certain that the Library is fulfilling its mission to provide current, accurate, and reliable materials to the public, librarians must continuously evaluate the collection. Along with the criteria used to select new materials, general criteria for retaining, replacing, repairing or de-selecting include:

• Availability of item in alternative formats
• Circulation statistics – frequency of use and last date used
• Historical significance
• Inaccurate or out-of-date content
• Physical condition

Classification and Location of Materials

Catalog records for library materials are created and managed by the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System. Catalog records comply with current relevant standards as set by the library and information management profession.

Several factors determine the placement of material at the Library. The Dewey Decimal Classification system and the Library of Congress subject headings are used to determine the classification and location of non-fiction materials. Fictional materials are classified under broad headings, such as “Adult Fiction,” “Young Adult Fiction” and “Juvenile Fiction.”

Donation of Materials

Materials offered to the library as gifts will be accepted on the basis that the library is free to keep or discard these materials.

If these materials are duplicates of what is in the library’s collection, or do not meet the criteria for materials outlined above, they will be discarded or sold at the Library’s booksale. In the case of memorial gifts, the library staff will assist the donor in selecting material suitable as a gift and a memorial.

Approved by the James Prendergast Library Board of Trustees March 18, 2021; Revised 11/16/2023