4.02 Collection Development and Materials Selection Policy

A primary goal of the Coralville Public Library is to provide collections that are responsive to the varied needs of the community. Generally, collections are broad, current, and popular, and are not archival or comprehensive. The Library strives to offer the widest possible range of subjects and views in a variety of formats, treatments, and levels of difficulty, within the limits of cost and space and considering current holdings and demand.  Including materials in the collection does not constitute endorsement of their contents. 

Responsibility for Selection
The Board of Trustees has ultimate responsibility for selection of materials for the library.  The Board delegates responsibility for selection to the Library Director, and other selectors as designated by the Director, who operate within the framework of policies and job descriptions determined by the Library Board of Trustees.  Recommendations from the community are welcomed and given serious consideration.

The basic principles set forth in the American Library Association's publications, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Freedom to View Statement, and the Library Bill of Rights, shall be maintained. Textbooks are usually not acquired, except in subject areas where material in another form is not readily available.Multiple copies of certain items may be purchased based on demand. 

Principles for Selection
Collection development librarians rely on the following criteria to evaluate materials for selection, regardless of intended audience or format:

  1. The Library's Mission Statement and chosen roles of service.
  2. Contemporary significance or long-term value.
  3. Accuracy of information presented.
  4. Significance of author, illustrator, publisher or issuing body.
  5. Relationship of work to existing collection.
  6. Cost to acquire and/or maintain the material.
  7. Technical characteristics of the format such as binding and paper quality, accessibility and usability, and suitability of the format for library use.
  8. Scarcity of information in the subject area.
  9. Availability of material elsewhere in the community.
  10. Popular demand.
  11. Reviews found in professional, literary, specialized and general periodicals.

The Library collects a variety of materials in current and emerging formats as demand, budget, and availability allow.

The Library designates materials as Children’s, Young Adult, and Adult; individual readers, however, should be the judge of the appropriateness and appeal of any item for their particular needs.

Concerns About the Collection
The Library welcomes comments and criticisms of its collections. However, no citizen in a democracy has a right to prevent another from reading a specific book by demanding its removal from the Library's shelves, and there should be no book that is absolutely inappropriate for a public library.  This Board declares, as a matter of firm principle, that no challenged library material shall be removed from this Library under any putative legal or extra-legal pressure, save after an independent determination by a judicial officer in a court of competent jurisdiction and only after an adversary hearing, in accordance with well-established principles of law.

Responsibility for a child’s choice of materials rests with the parents or legal guardians.  Selection of materials is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials that others consider inappropriate. (See also the Library’s  “Complaints About Library Resources” policy).

Maintaining the Collection
In order to maintain the collection in its most useful and attractive condition, the selectors will use their own judgment in removing materials which are no longer useful, or are in a condition not suitable for circulation.  Weeding is a thorough and conscientious effort to achieve a well-balanced collection suitable to the community served and should be a continuous, consistent process. Items to consider in weeding are:

  1. material in poor condition,
  2. material with low circulation not considered to be of lasting value,
  3. inaccurate or outdated material,
  4. material on subject matter no longer of current interest, and
  5. multiple copies of titles no longer in demand.

Items withdrawn will be disposed of as seen fit.


Adopted: August 3, 1977 // Reviewed in 1982 // Revised: August 1986 // Revised: July 1989 // Revised: May 1992 // Revised: August 1996 // Revised: January 2000 // Revised: July 2000 // Revised: January 2006 // Revised: May 2009 // Revised: July 2012 & December 2012 //  Revised: March 2016