Seville Township Library

Collection Development

Collection Development Manual


The primary objective of a Material Selections /Collection Development Policy is to set broad guidelines to assemble, preserve, and promote a wide range of communication media in order to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.

The Material Selections/ Collection Development Policy is used by library staff in the selection of materials and serves to acquaint the public with the principles of the selection process. The Seville Township Library acknowledges the Library’s responsibility to provide materials which meet the many and varied reading, viewing, and informational needs of the public it serves. As such, the Library collection shall include representative materials for all races and nationalities, as well as all political, religious, economic, and social views.

The Library will always attempt to anticipate and purchase high-interest subjects and authors in sufficient quantities to meet the needs and interests of the community. Additionally, the Library maintains that the material an individual decides to use is a private matter, and no individual has the right to restrict the freedom of another to use material of his or her choice. The Library upholds the right of the individual to access information, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others. The Library encourages the public to discuss with and recommend to the staff materials for acquisition.

The Material Selection/ Collection Development Policy, like all other library policies, will be reviewed and / or revised as the need arises.


The term “Library Materials” refers to books, magazines, DVDs, audiobooks on compact discs (CDs), or other synonyms as they may occur in the policy, and have the widest possible meaning; hence, it is implicit in this policy that every form of permanent record is to be included. This statement applies to all categories of Library Materials in the Seville Township Library’s collection. This includes: adult, young adult and juvenile. This policy does not apply to or include websites available through the Library’s computers. The Library has no control over content accessed through the internet. Please see the Internet Policy for more information related to computer and internet usage. The term “selection” refers to the decision to add, retain or withdraw library materials in the collection. It does not refer to reader guidance.

Goals of Materials Selection:

  1. To solidify the Library as a place dedicated to lifelong learning by providing a well-balanced, comprehensive collection to the public it serves.
  2. To help the individual pursue and attain self-development through lifelong intellectual and cultural growth.
  3. To support the democratic process by providing a variety of materials for the education and enlightenment of the community.
  4. To offer individuals materials that support a pursuit of occupational activity and practical affairs, as well as provide materials for a diverse recreational experience.
  5. To maintain Michigan and local history collections.
  6. To continually improve the collection so it remains up-to-date and well-maintained by evaluating and identifying new formats to make the collection more valuable and accessible to the public.


Responsibility of Selection:

The responsibility for material selection lies with the staff of the Library, who operate in the areas of service to children, young adults, and adults. Both the general public and library staff members may recommend materials for consideration, and all requests shall be handled equitably, and respectfully. The Library acknowledges that working in partnership with the community as well as its staff is beneficial for understanding community needs. The Library recognizes that materials of varying complexities and formats are necessary to meet the diverse needs of library users. The ultimate responsibility, however, rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees. The Director is responsible for properly allocating collection development funds, depending on the needs of the Library and its community, and seeks to balance the individual needs with the broader community needs, and the fulfillment of the above Goals of Material Selection.

General principles:

  1. Selection of Library Materials is based on the relationship of such work to the needs, interest and demands of the community. Basic to this policy is the Library Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Statement of the American Library Association to which this Library subscribes.
  2. Selection is not made on the basis of anticipated approval of disapproval by patrons or Library users, but solely on the merits of a work without regard to the race, nationality, political or religious views of the writer.
  3. Responsibility for the reading matter of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection shall not be inhibited solely by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of children. The Library respects each individual parent’s right to supervise their children’s choice of reading materials. However, the Library does not have the right to act in loco parentis (in place of the parent). Therefore, a parent who chooses to restrict the materials their children select must accompany those children when they use the collection in order to impose those restrictions. Further, Library Materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of contents, and no catalogued book or other item will be sequestered, except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft. The use of rare and scholarly items of great value may be controlled to the extent required to preserve them from harm, but no further.
  4. It is the responsibility of the Library to provide circulating, reference, and research materials for the general public.

Specific Principles for Selection:

The following principles, individually or collectively, will prevail in the selection of all Library Materials. The total collection will attempt to represent opposing points of view.

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Accuracy
  • Authenticity
  • Lack of bias, factual
  • Diversity of viewpoint
  • Portrays issues sensitively
  • Authority of author
  • Relation of work to existing collection
  • Price, format, and ease of use
  • Scarcity of information in subject area
  • Available shelf or storage space
  • Availability of material through inter-library loan
  • Popular demand: The Library will make an effort to have materials available which are
  • in high demand by the public; however, selections by popular demand will still be
  • guided by consideration of merit, use, and the specific principles for selection.
  • Duplication of materials already in the collection; i.e. purchase of additional copies of materials shall be governed by intrinsic or historical value, or immediate need
  • Collection objectives
  • Community relevance
  • Audience for material


Acceptance of gifts/donations shall be governed by the same principles and criteria applied to the selection of items for purchase. Gifts of books or other materials which do not comply with the Libran/s objectives and policies will be refused. No conditions may be imposed relating to any item either prior to or after its acceptance by the Library. AII gifts and donated materials (including works of local authors) become the property of the Library. The manner of disposition of any materials which are not added to the collection will be decided by the Library. Should the gift be monetary in memory of, or in honor of, an individual will have staff select and purchase the book, and a memorial plaque will be placed in the item.

Materials for Young Patrons:

Any limitations placed upon the reading material in these sections is at the discretion of the parent or guardian. Materials are chosen through book lists from established sources and online journal reviews.

Young Adult patrons of the library have access to the entire library collection, with the exception of the video collection. A young adult section has been developed for the purpose of meeting the recreational and informational needs of the population of patrons ages thirteen to eighteen (13 -18).

Pre-teen patrons of the library have access to the entire library collection with the exception of the video collection. A pre-teen section has been developed for the purpose of meeting the recreational and informational needs of the population of patrons ages eight to twelve (8 -12).

A children’s collection has been developed for the purpose of meeting the recreational and informational needs of personal development.

Effort is made to continually update and weed items that are outdated.

Maintenance of the Collection

The collection shall be periodically examined for the purpose of eliminating obsolete, damaged, duplicate, or unneeded materials, and for binding or repair of materials, in order to maintain a balanced, attractive, and useful Library Materials collection. Replacement copies of titles that are still in demand will be repurchased. Circulation statistics will be reviewed to determine of the item is still needed in the collection. Items that are no longer in demand, but requested by a patron, may be found through interlibrary loans.

Challenges to Materials

No material shall be removed from the Library’s collection until all steps in the following process have been completed.

  1. Patrons who object to particular Library Materials will be sent to the Director.
  2. The Director will discuss the Library Materials in question with the patron, to attempt to resolve the concern to both the patron's and Library’s satisfaction.
  3. lf the patron wishes to carry the request further, the Director will provide the patron with a copy of the Materials Selection Policy, including the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials ("Request for Reconsideration").
  4. Once a completed, signed copy of the Request for Reconsideration is received, the Library Director shall make a decision regarding the Request for Reconsideration, taking into consideration the Library's Materials Selection Policy and any other relevant information to reach a decision. The Director may consult with any other staff or consultants when making this decision.
  5. The Library Director shall send the decision in writing to the complainant within 75 days of the receipt of the completed Request for Reconsideration form. lf the decision is that the questioned material should be removed from the collection, the complainant will be notified in writing by the Library Director and all copies of the item will be withdrawn. If the decision is that the questioned material is to be retained, the complainant will be notified in writing by the Library Director that the material will be retained.
  6. A written appeal of the Library Director's decision may be made by the requester to the Chair of the Library Board within ten (10) business days after the written decision is made by the Library Director. The Library Board will review any documentation it deems necessary to make a decision and render their decision within 60 days of receipt of the appeal.
  7. The Library Board serves as the final authority in cases involving retention or withdrawal of Library Materials.