Collection Development/Management Policy

Purpose of Policy:

The policy is established by the Roanoke Public Library Board to guide our Director in the management of the collection and inform the public of the principles behind the Board’s decisions regarding the maintenance and use of its collection.

Responsibility for Collection Management

The Library Board has delegated to the Library Director the authority and responsibility for selection and management of all printed and non-printed materials within the framework of this policy.

Accessibility of Materials

All materials selected under the guidelines of this policy will be available to the public. (Some items are for in-house usage only because of age, value, and/or condition of the item.)

Cooperative Relationships

The Library encourages the use of interlibrary cooperation to better serve the needs of its patrons by expanding available resources through Resource Sharing- Interlibrary Loan (ILL), Evergreen Indiana, SCRS, and cooperative agreements that benefit the community.

The library representing a wide range of interests and reading levels are selected to meet the needs of patrons. The responsibility of choosing from this range of materials rests with the user. Parent and/or guardians are responsible for supervising their children’s use of library materials.

Selection Criteria

The Library strives to develop a viable collection of standard works of permanent value and popular materials of current significance, striking an overall balance between public demand and diversity of material. The interests and needs of the community, the individual merit of each item, and the library’s existing collection, budget, and services are the main factors in selecting materials.

Criteria listed below apply to the selection of all materials for Roanoke Public Library:

  • Public demand and/or interest
  • Timeliness and/or significance of the subject
  • Contribution to a balanced collection
  • Support of Library’s mission and strategic plan
  • Community relevance
  • Cost
  • Reviews from professionally recognized sources

Materials are evaluated as complete works and not on the basis of a particular passage. A work will not be excluded from the Library’s collection solely because the content may be controversial.


Materials are purchased in a variety of formats. The Library monitors the development of new formats and, within budgetary and technical limitations, adds these to the collection. Choice of formats will be based on patron demand, community trends, product development, and positive critical reviews.

Patron Requests

Patron suggestions and requests will be considered in accordance with the selection criteria outlined in this document. Requests not acquired by the Library may be available via Evergreen Indiana, SRCS, or Inter-Library Loan (ILL).

Library Bill of Rights

The Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement and all relevant interpretations as adopted by the A.L.A. are part of this Collection Management Policy

Controversial Materials

As stated in the Library Bill of Rights: “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightening of all people of the community the library serves. Material should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.”

“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.” (See Appendix 1)

Electronic Information Resources

Providing connections to global information, services, and networks is not the same as selecting and purchasing material for a library collection. Determining the accuracy or authenticity of electronic information may present special problems. Some information accessed electronically may not meet our library’s selection or collection development policy. It is therefore, left to our patrons to determine what information is appropriate to their needs.


Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they will be evaluated with the same criteria used for purchased materials. If they do not meet these standards they may be conveyed to the “Take Home for Donation” shelf or the “free” cart (when a “free” cart is being utilized.)

General De-selection Criteria

Ongoing evaluation of the collection is necessary in order to maintain a current, accurate and inviting collection. The criteria listed below apply to the de-selection of all materials for the Roanoke Public Library:

  • Poor circulation statistics (including in-house usage statistics)
  • Out of date information
  • Poor condition and/or physical appearance
  • Extra copies no longer necessary
  • Space
  • Community relevance

Customer Comments on Library Materials

The Roanoke Public Library welcomes thoughts concerning library materials and has procedures for making comments. Before following these procedures, you may find it helpful to read the following brief summary of the Library’s policy on library material: Your library serves people from all walks of life, with a variety of viewpoints and tastes. The Library Director chooses materials to meet these diverse needs and is guided by this policy. The library supports the belief that the right to read and the right of free access to library materials for persons of all ages is essential to the individual’s freedom of thought, which is fundamental to the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statement.

You are encouraged to comment on library materials using the following procedures:

  1. Informal comments to staff
  2. Use the “Purchase Suggestion” form located on the “About Us” tab on the Library’s website ( or direct link of
  3. Submit “Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources” form. Copies will be given to Board Members for review at their next regular meeting. Upon receiving the request, the Board of Trustees will review the matter as a body or may refer the comments to the Indiana State Librarian for recommendation. While an item is being reviewed, copies of it will remain on active status in the collection.
  4. The board will decide as to the disposition of the item. Choices include: removing the item from the collection; reclassifying and moving the item to another place in the library; red-doting the item as for adults only; leaving the item as is; or any other action that may be deemed appropriate.

Reviewed and updated June 14, 2005; May 9, 2005.  Reviewed and updated May 24, 2016. Reviewed Nov. 27, 2017. Reviewed and revised on 11/28/2018. Reviewed and renewed on 10/22/2019. Reviewed and renewed on 11/24/2020. Revised on 4/27/2021. Revised on 9/28/2022. Reviewed 11/22/22.