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Fanwood Memorial Library Policy Manual
Section: Collection Development

Subject: 3.1 Shared Collection Development


The Library Directors will be responsible for the collection development for the libraries in accordance with general policies established by the Library Boards. The Directors may delegate material selection and withdrawal responsibilities for specific areas within the collection to members of the staff who are qualified to perform collection development duties.


Reading, listening to, and viewing Library materials are individual and private matters. It is the right and responsibility of each individual Library user to select the materials that he/she will use. Parents have the primary duty and responsibility to guide and supervise the reading, listening, and viewing habits of their children. The Fanwood Memorial Library and Scotch Plains Public Library cannot assume the role of "in loco parentis."

The libraries do not mark or identify materials to show approval or disapproval of their contents. Materials are not labeled to restrict their use by age, nor will they be sequestered, except to protect valuable items from injury or theft. Placement in a special location does not imply censorship.


The selection of materials for the librariesí collection is based on accepted professional standards. Recommendations may come from any of the following sources:

  • Professional review journals
  • Standard bibliographic sources
  • Media reviews
  • Publisherís catalogs
  • Suggestions from Library patrons
  • Any other appropriate reviewing media
Suggestions from Library patrons will be accommodated when the item requested meets the librariesí selection standards. If the item is not purchased, every effort will be made to obtain the item through inter-Library loan for the patronís use.

Materials will be selected to meet high standards in quality, format, content and expression. These criteria will include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • Maintaining an integrated and well balanced collection
  • Appeal and relevance to the community
  • Informational or educational value
  • Popularity of the author or particular title
  • Opinion of critics and reviewers
  • Literary merit
  • Recreational value
  • Relevance to the existing collectionís strengths and weaknesses
  • Usefulness to the staff as a professional tool
  • Timeliness of the materials
  • Suitability of format
  • Budgetary limitations
  • Relevance to the librariesí mission and goals
  • Relevance to the history of the Township of Scotch Plains or the Borough of Fanwood

    The Fanwood Memorial Library and Scotch Plains Public Library are pleased to accept donations of both money and materials to support our Library services.
    Money donated to the libraries as a memorial, in honor of a person, or as a gift, will be used to purchase items needed for the collection. These items will be selected according to the Criteria for Selection of Library Materials. If the donor requests items be purchased in a particular subject area, every effort will be made to purchase in that area.

    The libraries accept gifts of materials without commitment as to their final disposition. Materials that are donated to the libraries will be evaluated by the same criteria as purchased materials. Once accepted, donated materials become the exclusive property of the Library. The Library will assume responsibility for the disposition of these materials in the manner it deems appropriate.


    The collection as a whole is not archival. In order to maintain a collection that is current, accurate, and inviting to Library users, materials are withdrawn on a systematic and continuing basis. The choice of materials to be withdrawn is determined by the professional staff under the supervision of the Directors.
    The following factors will be taken into consideration:

  • Timeliness
  • Subject coverage available in the collection
  • Age of material
  • Physical condition
  • Frequency of circulation
  • Number of copies
  • Compliance with the Criteria for Selection of Library Materials

  • Board of Trustees
    Approved: June 8, 2009
    Revised: February 8, 2016

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