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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
    • Accuracy
    • Comprehensiveness
    • Enduring significance
    • Purpose
    • Quality
    • 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
  • Significance of the author/creator or publisher
  • Timeliness

Collection Maintenance

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
  • Physical condition
  • Inaccurate or out-of-date content

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