Collection Development

Amended: 7/14/2012

Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

  • Guides staff in making decisions about the selection, management, and preservation of library materials and in allocating library budgets;
  • Informs the public of the principles that govern collection development at the Canal Fulton Public Library and;
  • Constitutes a public declaration of the Library’s commitment to the principles of free access to ideas and information and to providing collections that reflect a variety of viewpoints.

General Principles of Collection Development

Collection development at the Canal Fulton Public Library is founded on the principles of intellectual freedom, equal access for all and the preservation of a documentary record of culture. The Library provides a collection that balances viewpoints across a broad spectrum of opinion and subject matter in formats suitable to a variety of learning and recreational interests and skills. Using selection practices that are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the community, the Library builds and maintains collections for the general public while recognizing the needs of special population groups.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library makes available a wide diversity of ideas and viewpoints in support of an informed citizenry and a democratic society. The Library supports the individual choice and judgment of its users in seeking information, and upholds the freedom of library users to read, view and listen.

Decisions to select or retain an item are based on the merits of each work or information source as it relates to the goals and coverage of the collection. The Library considers the value of each item in its entirety and within the context of the collection, not on specific passages or sections in the item itself. Materials are not marked, labeled or set apart in such as way as to show approval or disapproval of content. Materials are not excluded, removed, banned or suppressed because of their creators’ origin, background or views, or because they represent a particular aspect of life, frankness of expression or controversial subject matter. Selection of materials for adults is not constrained by possible exposure to children or teens. Responsibility for children’s use of library collections rests with their parents, guardians and/or caregivers. Inclusion of an item does not constitute endorsement of its content by the Library Board.


The Library makes its collections available to all. However, not all library materials can be made immediately accessible at the Canal Fulton Public Library. Selectors decide how many copies to buy and where to locate them by considering anticipated demand, the interests of local library users, physical space limitations and available budgets.

The Canal Fulton Public Library is committed to the expeditious delivery of materials and information to its users. Some library materials, for example, the Local History Collection, may be subject to use limitations due to consideration of rarity, exceptional levels of demand, cost, physical condition and permanent value of their information content. Efforts will be made to provide access to materials and information beyond the immediate premises of a library agency or beyond the holdings of its collection, holds/reserves, referrals, statewide resource sharing, interlibrary loans, online searching, provision of licensed electronic resources and access to the Internet. In all these efforts, the Canal Fulton Public Library will operate within the provisions of United States copyright law.

The advent and expansion of electronic and Internet information resources pose challenges for library collections and the information needs of the public. Many materials once available in print are now also being produced in electronic format. Some are now available solely through the Internet or proprietary database products. Providing access to electronic resources is an integral part of the Library’s collection development efforts.

The Library recognizes the importance of a collection that reflects the past as well as the present. To achieve this, the Canal Fulton Public Library strives to preserve items of permanent or long-standing value. Working within financial limitations and the challenges posed by deterioration of materials, the Library develops programs and procedures to insure the preservation of the documentary memory of the community.

Responsibility for Collection Development

Collection development is a process guided through all its stages by the expertise and judgment of librarians. Ultimate responsibility for the direction, purpose and scope of collection development rests with the Board of the Canal Fulton Public Library. The Library Director is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the policy and delegates this professional responsibility through the Head of Reference, designated selectors and the Head of Children’s Services.

Audience and Roles

The Library’s community is diverse, consisting of individuals of various ages, races, faiths, levels of education, incomes, sexual orientations, political viewpoints, ethnic backgrounds and languages spoken. The Canal Fulton Public Library’s primary service area is the Northwest School District, Stark County, a portion of Summit County and a small section of Wayne County. Any resident of the State of Ohio may borrow materials from the Canal Fulton Public Library. Use of the collection within the Library is not limited by place of residence. The Canal Fulton Public Library is an active participant in statewide resource sharing and in interlibrary loan in accordance with OCLC and ALA standard practices.

The Canal Fulton Public Library meets the needs of its diverse community with physical collections, electronic resources and referrals that emphasize:

  • Early literacy and other initiatives for young children
  • Supplemental resources to support students at all levels of formal education
  • Lifelong learning for adults
  • Recreational reading, listening and viewing for all ages
  • General research, especially in areas of local or regional interest or subjects in high demand
  • Artistic and creative resources
  • Occupational and professional development materials

Collection Management

Selection Sources
A wide variety of sources may be consulted when making selection decisions, for example: customer recommendations or requests; critical reviews; awards and honors lists; publisher or vendor catalogs; and promotional information.

Selection Criteria

  • Librarians/selectors use their subject knowledge and expertise in combination with criteria including, but not limited to those listed below (not in priority order) to select and evaluate collection items. Gifts and purchases are held to the same standard. An item need not meet all criteria to be selected.
  • General Criteria
  • Format or physical form suitable for library use and reflecting customer preferences
  • Cost relative to the value the item contributes to the collection
  • Space required relative to the value the item contributes to the collection
  • The extent to which the item supplements, expands on, or supports the existing collection, rather than duplicates it
  • Relevance to observed and anticipated community needs and desires
  • Reputation and qualifications of the author, creator or publisher of the work
  • Local significance of the author or creator of the work

Content Criteria

  • Comprehensiveness of treatment, including breadth and depth
  • Skill and purpose of the author or creator
  • Consideration of the work as a whole, rather than a specific passage or passages
  • Evaluation of the currency and accuracy of the information contained, to the extent that is possible
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Representation of important movements, subjects, genres or trends of local, regional or national significance
  • Long-term or historical significance or interest
  • Relevance of the information to immediate local requirements

Electronic Format Criteria

  • Additional considerations may apply to the selection of electronic resources.
  • Ease of use of the product
  • Accessibility to multiple users
  • Enhancement of the print equivalent (if any), in terms of speed, flexibility, combinations of search terms, or general utility
  • Continued access to retrospective information when necessary or desirable
  • Reduction of space requirements over print products


The Library gratefully accepts gifts of money and materials under the circumstances outlined below.


The Canal Fulton Public Library welcomes gifts of materials in clean, useable condition that might be appropriate for the Library’s collections. The Library reserves the right to refuse collections that are not in useable condition or obviously do not fit the established gift policies of the library The Library makes no claims regarding the eventual placement or use of any donated property and reserves the right to use, reroute or recycle any materials at the sole discretion of the librarian. Once given to the Library, materials become the property of the Library to use, reroute or recycle as deemed appropriate. (Canal Fulton Public Library Collection Management Policy, approved by the Canal Fulton Public Library Board, 7/14/10) (Donation Policy Amended 6/10/09 Library Board Meeting)


The Library accepts monetary gifts intended for the purchase of library materials. Consideration will be given to the interests of the donor or honoree. The Library reserves the right to make the ultimate selection decision based on its needs and consistent with the criteria in this policy.

Substantial cash offerings, securities, endowments and bequests will be handled by the Director, who, with the Board of Trustees, will work out terms of acceptance that are in agreement with the Library’s needs and policies, the donor’s intent and applicable laws.


Retention and Preservation Criteria

The Library views any decision to retain or preserve as another type of selection choice. Applying the same criteria used to select new materials, the Library retains or preserves materials of long-standing value to its mission and collections.

Retention and preservation decisions regarding items in the collection are the responsibility of the Director and delegated to the Head of Reference, Head of Children’s Services and designated professional staff.


Condition, content, inherent value and use are the primary criteria used to determine the continued retention of materials in the collection. Many materials do not withstand the test of time and repeated handling. Likewise, many fields of knowledge are drastically altered by new discoveries and changes in culture. As demand declines, the Library selectively removes multiple copies, making exceptions for areas of special importance to the overall collection. The Library also removes worn, damaged and obsolete materials that cannot be repaired and are no longer usable. An item that is damaged or lost may be replaced if it is deemed still useful and is still available for purchase.


The Library takes appropriate action to preserve those materials that cannot be replaced, but that continue to have long-standing or permanent significance to the overall collection. The Library may use a variety of means to preserve such materials, including but not limited to replacement of content through purchase of another edition, rebinding and use restriction. The Library also encourages preservation of materials by educating the public and staff about care of materials and by instituting procedures for proper handling and storage of materials.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Evaluation techniques are used to measure collection usefulness in terms of scope and depth, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Measures and evaluation techniques used by library staff may include, but are not limited to:
  • Age and condition of items in the collection
  • Comparison of the collection with accepted core collection lists
  • Frequency of holds and interlibrary loan requests
  • Circulation
  • Relevance to observed and anticipated community needs and desires
  • Long-term or historical significance or interest
  • Compliance with collection-related Standards for Public Library Service in Ohio

Request for Reconsideration Policy

The library serves a diverse public, and, on occasion, a patron may believe that a specific title or source should not be in the collection. In this instance, the patron should first discuss his or her concerns about the material with the library staff. If, following the discussion, the patron still wishes the library to reconsider the title or source, he or she must fill out a “Request for Reconsideration of a Title” form that is available at the library service desks. Because items are evaluated as a whole, a title will not be reconsidered unless the patron making the request has read/viewed/heard the entire item. A reconsideration form submitted without the name of the person making the objection will not be considered. Also, if the material has been previously reconsidered, it will not be reconsidered again unless the more recent request is based on substantially different reasons than an earlier request.

The request will be referred to the Head of Reference and the Head of Children’s Services to be reviewed by the Library Director and ultimately the Library Board of Trustees. The Library Board of Trustees will review your request and respond in writing after its next regularly scheduled meeting. The patron will be informed in writing of (1) the receipt of the request and (2) the decision. If the patron is not satisfied with the decision, he or she may appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees. The letter should be addressed to “President, Board of Trustees, [Canal Fulton Public Library, 154 Market ST. NE, Canal Fulton, OH 44614. The board will make a decision and inform the patron in writing, usually following the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

The title under consideration will remain in the collection throughout the process to support the freedom of other patrons to read, view, or listen. This Collection Development Policy is subject to change without notice.

(Voted by the Canal Fulton Public Library Board of Trustees on 7/14/10.)