Collection Development Policy



  1. The purpose of this policy is to guide in the selection of materials and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.


  1. Oxford Public Library’s Collection Development Policy supports and supplements the Library’s vision of a community engaged in a lifetime of discovery. It ensures that the collection responds to, reflects, and enlightens its community of users.
  2. Oxford Public Library subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom of Information Act, as well as other supportive documents of the American Library Association. In accordance with these documents, items within the collection may be chosen or rejected by any patron for any reason in regards to their personal use. However, no patron may inhibit access to materials or information from other library users. Copies of the documents are available in the Library, on the Library’s website, in the policy appendix, and on the American Library Association website.

Statement on services to children and young adults:

  1. Access to, or interaction with, library materials and resources by minors is left to the discretion of the child’s parent or caregiver as OXPL is not responsible for determining whether materials and resources should be restricted or refused to library patrons.
  2. OXPL subscribes to the ALA’s statement of Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors: “The mission, goals, and objectives of libraries cannot authorize libraries and their governing bodies to assume, abrogate, or overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians. […] Libraries and their governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child. Libraries and their governing bodies shall ensure that only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children’s—and only their children’s—access to library resources. Parents and guardians who do not want their children to have access to specific library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their own children.”


  1. Staff use training, patron input, professional sources, and expertise to select materials for the collection.
  2. Though there is no single rubric that can be applicable in every instance, the following are common guidelines the staff considers when selecting materials:
    1. Accurate, current, and either impartial materials or materials with clearly defined point of view.
    2. Relevance to current needs and interests of patrons.
    3. Customer recommendations.
    4. Critical reviews and publicity sources (ie, New York Times best sellers, Amazon reviews, etc)
    5. Professional review sources (ie, Library Journal, Horn Book, Scholastic, etc)
    6. Authority, expertise, or reputation of the author/artist
    7. Clarity, presentation, readability/sound quality/visual quality
    8. Suitability of the physical format for library use
    9. Historical (including local) relevance and/or significance
    10. Budget and space considerations
    11. Qualifications of author/publisher/source


  1. Selection of materials is based on the relationship of such work to the needs, interests and demands of the Oxford community. Basic to this policy is the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association to which this library subscribes.
  2. The Adult Services Librarian makes selection decisions for fiction, nonfiction, magazines, and e-materials for the adult collection.
  3. The Youth Services Librarian makes decisions for picture books, early literacy tools, young adult materials, and other fiction, nonfiction, and research materials within the youth department.
  4. The final authority for selection responsibilities lies with the Library Director operating within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Directors.


  1. Gifts/Donations: Gifts and donations may be accepted by OXPL, at the discretion of the Director, in the form of funds and materials, which are judged by the same standards of selection as those applied to the purchase of new materials before they are accepted. Unless specified by the donor, and agreed upon by both parties, the allocation, use, and evaluation of the gift or donation is left to the discretion of OXPL.
  2. Patron Recommendations: Recommendations and requests are welcomed and may be made in person, or via phone or email. Recommendations will be evaluated by the appropriate staff to determine if the item meets the criteria, needs, and/or goals of the community and organization.
  3. Weeding: Decisions to remove, replace, or update materials in OXPL’s collection are approached with the same careful consideration as the selection process. Removal from the collection may be determined by factors including, but not limited to, currency and accuracy of information, time since last circulation, number of circulations, condition of materials, and whether duplicate copies exist within the collection.
  4. Request for Reconsideration: Customer requests for consideration of materials may be made with the understanding that the Library Director and Library Board of Directors will make the final decision. Requests for consideration must be submitted in writing via the Reconsideration Request form available at the Library circulation desk.