Collection Policy

Melton Public Library


Library Mission Statement

The Melton Public Library is committed to enriching our community through access to information, entertainment, service and aiding the pursuit of lifelong learning in a welcoming environment.


Collection Development Goal


To provide and make accessible a balanced collection of classical and contemporary material in various media including books, periodicals, software, microfilms, audio-visual, and online sources.  To assure that this media is responsive to a broad range of community interests and needs.


Intellectual Freedom


Selections are made on the merit of the work as it relates to the library’s goals and objectives and serves the expressed or anticipated needs and interest of the community.  The library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some users.  Selection will not be made on the basis of any assumed approval or disapproval.  An attempt will be made to represent differing viewpoints, values, philosophies, cultures, and religions whenever possible, within the range of materials published.  Material which is biased or which represents only one point of view may be selected to provide necessary alternatives to other material.  Material should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.  Inclusion of questionable language or attitudes in materials is not in itself reason to exclude it from the collection.


Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no item will be sequestered except for the express purpose of protecting it from damage or theft.


Responsibility for the use of the library’s collection by children ages seventeen and under rests with their parents and legal guardians.  Collection development of adult materials will not be limited by the possibility that items may come into the possession of minors.


The library has adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statements.  These statements are included as appendices to this policy and interpreted to include all library material regardless of format.





Objectives of Collection Development

Considering space and budget limitations, the library selects materials to provide a balanced collection.  The library collection includes both works of current interest and those of lasting value.  Materials are selected in accordance with standards appropriate to the subject matter and to the needs of the community.


Responsibility for Collection Development


Final responsibility of collection development materials rests with the Library Director, operating within the framework of this collection development policy as adopted by the Board of Trustees.  It is at the discretion of the Director to delegate collection development responsibility to members of the library staff.


Collection Development Criteria


All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, will be selected or withdrawn in accordance with one or more of the following criteria:


  • Critical reviews and information in professional collection development aids
  • Effectiveness of style, format, and content for intended audience
  • Need for variety and balance of viewpoints and subjects within the collection
  • Relation to existing collection and other materials on the subject
  • Reputation and significance of author
  • Customer interest
  • Cost
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Condition
  • Support of local organizations
  • Intellectual freedom


Collection Development Tools


Tools used in collection development include:  trade journals, bibliographies, publishers’ promotional materials, reviews from reputable print and online sources, and professional journals.  The library will use standing orders to purchase materials in selected genres and formats.  Purchase suggestions from patrons are welcome and provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection.  Customer suggestions will be governed by this Collection Development Policy in making additions to the collection.




Customer Requests


Purchase suggestions from patrons are welcome.  Patron suggestions will be evaluated in terms of the Collection Development Policy.  While every item customers request may not be purchased, items may be available to request from other Evergreen Indiana libraries, or an effort will be made to acquire requested items through Interlibrary Loan.


Collection Maintenance


The library strives to maintain a collection that meets the needs of the community.  Materials are withdrawn from the collection by staff because of loss or physical damage or lack of shelf space.  Materials that have been lost or damaged may be replaced using the same criteria as for selection.  If library staff is uncertain about a title to be withdrawn, standard bibliographic tools, and if necessary, subject experts, will be consulted to determine if the title has historical or literary value.


Donated Materials


Materials and funds to purchase materials donated to the library are subject to the following:  The library retains the unconditional ownership of the gift.  The library makes the final decision on its use.  The library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials.  Donations not added to the library collection may be given to the Friends of the Library for fund-raising.




Memorial materials or honorariums may be purchased with donor funds given to the library.  An appropriate bookplate will be included in each gift identifying the donor and purpose of the donation.


Challenged Materials


Members of the community concerned with specific materials in the collection should discuss the material with the appropriate department supervisor or the Director.  The patron may complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form.  The Director will study the information provided and respond, in writing, to the patron who initiated the request for reconsideration.  If the person or persons initiating the request is not satisfied with the Director’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Trustees.  Any person wishing to make such an appeal should notify the Library Director of his or her intent, so that the subject can be placed on the agenda of the next library board meeting.


April 2013



The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.  Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. 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.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.



It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available.  It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information

It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression.  By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.