Collection Development Policy
Title: 2.101 COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Code: 2 Library Collection Services
Chapter: 2.100 Selection
Type of Policy: Departmental
Date Developed: 19 February 2008
Developed by: Beth Farley
Approved By: Library Board of Trustees
Cancels: 2.101 Materials Selection Policy
See Also: Library policy: 5.101 Confidentiality Policy
Codes and laws: Bellingham Municipal Code 1.24.010
Library Bill of Rights
ALA's Freedom to Read Statement
ALA's Freedom to View
ALA's Free Access to Libraries for Minors
ALA's interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
United States Consitution, Bill of Rights
Washington State Constitution, Article I
This policy applies the community of Bellingham, Washington.
- Library collections meet the diverse needs of the
The mission of the Bellingham Public Library is to share the power of
information, encourage the discovery of ideas, and promote the joy of
reading with all members of the Bellingham community. Our community is
composed of individuals of varying ages, races, ethnicities, sexual
orientations and faiths from diverse educational, cultural and economic
backgrounds. The library is committed to providing meaningful
collections that are inclusive, unbiased, and responsive to a wide
variety of interests and viewpoints.
- Library collections are developed using the principles
of intellectual freedom.
The Library Board of Trustees supports an individual’s right to read,
listen, view, or otherwise experience a wide and varied expression of
ideas and thoughts. Furthermore, the Library Board endorses the First
Amendment of the United States Constitution, Article I of the Washington
State Constitution, and the American Library Association's Bill of
Rights and its Interpretations.
- Library encourages parental participation in materials
access for their children.
Individuals are free to select or reject materials for themselves or
their minor children but may not restrict the freedom of others to use
or access materials or information. Parents and guardians are
responsible for guiding and directing the reading, listening and viewing
choices of their minor children. The Library does not stand in loco
parentis(in the place of a parent).
- Library sets these collection priorities:
General subjects will be collected broadly to meet anticipated and
expressed individual and community needs. Collections of local relevance
to the citizens of Bellingham, specifically history, literature, and
government documents will be collected in greater depth.
- Children’s materials and materials for people who work with
children. Emphasis is on reading readiness, early learning, and
promoting the joy of reading and learning.
- Lifelong learning for adults.
- Popular recreational reading, listening, and viewing for all ages.
- General research, information, and fact finding sources.
- Occupational and vocational guidance materials.
- Supplemental educational materials for students.
- World languages and English language learning materials for existing and
emerging populations of non-native English speakers in the Bellingham
- Genealogical research.
- Local and regional history, government documents, and the literature of
the City of Bellingham, as well as Whatcom and Skagit Counties.
- Criteria considered when selecting library materials
- Community relevance.
- Diversity of viewpoint.
- Authenticity and accuracy of factual material.
- Level of demand.
- Audience for material.
- Current or historical significance of the author or subject.
- Local significance of the author or subject.
- Existing subject coverage.
- Aesthetic considerations: literary, artistic, or social value;
appeal to the imagination, senses, or intellect.
- Quality of writing and its readability.
- Popular appeal: reading, listening or viewing enjoyment.
- Favorable critical reviews.
- Electronic collections have additional considerations
Usability: the product is user-friendly, well indexed, and offers
numerous points of access.
- Availability: to multiple simultaneous users 24 hours a day, 7 days
- Accessibility: to retrospective information when necessary or
- Best Format: the electronic resource provides added value over
- Collections are selected and maintained by qualified
Selection and maintenance of library materials is guided by the Head
of Information and Reader Services and will be assigned to qualified
library staff based on their experience, training, expertise and
interest. Final responsibility for the collection rests with the
Library Director, under the authority of the Library Board.
- Library collections are continually evaluated and
Withdrawing materials is a vital part of collection maintenance and
ensures attractive, relevant, current, and responsive collections. The
library follows these withdrawal guidelines:
Withdrawn library materials or donated materials that are not added
to the library's collection are given to the Friends of the Bellingham
Public Library. The proceeds raised by the Friends from the sale of
withdrawn or donated items are used to enhance library programs,
services and collections.
- This library is not a historical repository for last copies,
hard-to-find materials or materials that have had limited use or
- Condition, currency, content, usage, and consistency with the
library’s mission are the primary criteria for determining retention
in the library collections.
- Collection evaluation and maintenance is an ongoing process.
- Library welcomes collection suggestions and comments
from the community.
Individuals are encouraged to submit suggestions for purchase of
individual titles, the development of subjects areas, and the
addition of new formats.
If an individual objects to a title in the library collections, they
are asked to complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Library
Materials” form. The Library then reviews the item for inclusion in
the collection in light of the library’s overall objectives, this
policy, the Library Bill of Rights, and ALA guidelines on
- Library accepts donations for its collections.
Donated materials in good condition and of value to library collections
are gratefully accepted. The Library follows these donation guidelines:
- Library reserves the right to make final disposition of all donations
- Donations may be added to the collection or rejected at the Library's
- Donations not added to Library collections are not returned to the
- Unused donations may be given to the Friends of the Library for public
- Monetary donations are accepted when the donors’ intentions and the
library collections objectives are consistent.
- Library Board reviews this policy.
This policy is periodically reviewed, revised, or reaffirmed by the Library