Collection Development Policy

Purpose of Collection Development Policy

This policy guides the selection, evaluation and maintenance of the general collection. It is the goal of the Library to provide a collection of books and other materials in a variety of formats and languages for all ages that is responsive to the needs and interests of the community and is reflective of its diversity.

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association.

Responsibility for Selection

The authority and responsibility for the selection of Library materials rests ultimately with the executive director. Under his/her direction, selection is delegated to professional collection development staff. All staff members and the public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration.

The Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some customers. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the basis of principles set forth in the Collection Development Policy.

Responsibility for reading and the use of the Library by children rests with their parents or legal guardians. At no time will Library staff act in loco parentis. Selection of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that they may come into the possession of children.

Selection Criteria

To build a diversified collection, which supports the Library's mission, the following objective criteria are used. These criteria apply to purchased and donated materials. The following criteria will guide selection; however, an item need not meet all the criteria to be selected:

  • Public demand (current and anticipated), interest or need
  • Accurate and authoritative information
  • Price
  • Historical or cultural significance to Toledo or Northwest Ohio
  • Critical reviews or publicity
  • Duplication of content in other formats
  • Format appropriate for public use
  • Currency of information
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Availability of material elsewhere within our state library lending partner’s collections

Gift Policy

The Library encourages the interest and involvement of citizens and organizations in its service program through contributions of book or non-book materials for collections; appropriate gifts which will enhance the physical environment; and bequests, trusts or donations of monetary or other assets for Library purposes.

Gifts of miscellaneous books or other materials are accepted with the understanding that items which are not added to collections will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library. Any proceeds derived from such disposal may be used at the discretion of the administration for library improvement or staff development.

See Gift Policy for more detailed information about giving gifts and donations to the Library.

Self-Published Materials

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library is often asked to include items that are written and/or published independently. This can include materials that are self-published or items published through a vanity press company. The Library looks for material with regional connections and collection relevance that will appeal to a wide audience. The best way to bring an item to the Library’s attention is through the Local Author Submission.

Materials must meet the Library’s Collection Development Policy. If accepted, a single copy of the work will be added to the collection. Authors’ works will be a part of a floating collection and are subject to current weeding policies and procedures. Acceptance of an author's/artist's work does not guarantee that we will buy additional copies, nor purchase them directly through the author/artist.

Collection Maintenance

Ongoing and regular withdrawal of materials is required to keep collections current, attractive, and responsive to community needs. Space is limited and the importance of an item to a collection can change over time. An item’s physical condition can deteriorate, its content can become obsolete, and crowded shelves make it necessary to discard items of limited use.

Criteria for Withdrawal

Library staff considers the following criteria in choosing materials for withdrawal:

  • Worn or badly damaged materials
  • Frequency of use
  • Superseded editions or obsolete items and formats
  • Availability of other titles on the subject
  • Local interest/historical significance
  • Importance to Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s core collections
  • Availability online or elsewhere
  • Classic or basic work in the field

Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library Board of Trustees and staff realize that the Library, acting to serve the residents of the community, will add materials to its collection that may be deemed controversial. For this reason, we have developed a standard procedure for the public to aid in any criticism of Library materials.

This procedure is as follows:

  1. Pick up a Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form at a customer service desk. A customer may make no more than three requests for reconsideration per month.
  2. Fill out the form. No comment will be considered without inclusion of name, address and phone number. You may turn in the completed form to any customer service desk or mail to:

Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Collection Development Coordinator/Technical Services
325 Michigan St.
Toledo, OH 43604

The Coordinator and pertinent staff will evaluate the item in accordance with the Library’s Collection Development Policy and decide whether the Library will retain the item. A response letter from the Coordinator will be mailed within four weeks indicating his/her decision.

Approved by the Board of Trustees - July 2019