Collection Development Policy

I. Purpose and Objectives of the Auglaize County Public District Library

The mission of the Auglaize County Public District Library is to provide modern library resources and services necessary to meet the evolving educational, recreational, and informational needs of the public, thus enhancing the individual and community life.  Materials should be selected and services and programs planned that satisfy residents’ needs as individuals and as members of groups with concern given for all ages, backgrounds, interests, abilities, and levels of education.  The library must consider not only the present needs of the community but must anticipate the future needs in order to give timely service.  Though the library attempts to give the best service possible to its regular users, it also has an obligation to collect materials and search for methods of service that will satisfy the needs of those in the community who have not traditionally been library users.  It is vitally important that every citizen today have ready and free access to the world of ideas, information, and creative experience.

The Auglaize County Public District Library selects, makes available, and promotes the use of library materials, whatever the format, which:

  1. Meet the information needs of the community.

  2. Meet the recreational needs of the community.

  3. Supplement formal and informal study.

  4. Reflect a variety of opinions (minority and majority) on a subject.

  5. Support business, cultural, recreational, and civic activities in the community.

  6. Stimulate self-understanding and growth.

  7. Enhance job-related knowledge and skills.

  8. Increase knowledge of and participation in the affairs of the community, the country, and the world.



II. Authority and Responsibility for Collection Development

The authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials is delegated by the Library Board of Trustees to the Library Director and, under his/her direction, to the professional staff who are qualified for this activity by reason of education, training, and experience.  The advice of specialists in the community is requested in fields in which staff members do not have sufficient expertise.  Suggestions from readers are welcome and are given serious consideration within the general criteria.  The final decision for purchases rest with the library.


III. Criteria for General Collection

The evaluation of materials is characterized by flexibility, open-mindedness, and responsiveness to the changing needs of the citizens of Auglaize County.  Materials are evaluated as a whole and not on the basis of a particular passage or passages.  A work will not be excluded from the library’s collection because it presents an aspect of life honestly or because of frankness of expression.

All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the following standards.  Clearly, however, an item need not meet all of the criteria to be acceptable.  In some instances, materials may be judged primarily on artistic merit, or because of scholarship, or as valuable human documents, or as critical to the information needs of the community.  In other instances, the criterion may be substantial demands.

The following general criteria are used:

1. Present and potential relevance to community needs.

2. Suitability of subject, style, and reading level for the intended audience.

3. Insight into human and social conditions.

4. Importance as a document of the times.

5. Appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content.

6. Reputation and/or significance of the author.

7. Demand for the material.

8. Critics’ and staff members’ reviews.

9. Reputation of the publisher or producer.

10. Relationship to existing materials in the collection on the same subject.

11. Availability and accessibility of the same materials in the surrounding area.

* Responsibility for the choice of minors’ reading material rests with their parents and legal guardians.  Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that controversial materials may come into the possession of minors.



IV. Collection Maintenance

Systematic removal of materials (known as “weeding”) which are no longer useful is essential to maintaining overall collection quality. Staff members with collection evaluation responsibility shall continuously evaluate materials for repair, replacement, and /or discard. The following considerations are recommended before discarding any item in the library collection:

1. Frequency of circulation (user appeal)

2. Overall condition of the title

3. Dated material (accuracy, currency)

4. Inclusion of title in standard catalogs (e.g.: Public Catalog, Fiction Catalog, Children’s Core Collection)

5. Superseded by a newer edition

6. Value to total library collection

7. Potential future use if kept in storage

8. Availability of information or copies elsewhere (ILL or another library in system)


Materials withdrawn from the ACPDL system will be disposed of in a manner that is consistent with their quality and condition.  Disposition includes but is not limited to the ACPDL book sale, offered to the Friends at the branches, offered to the public school, or discarded/recycled.  Materials which are dated or in poor condition will be discarded or recycled (e.g.: outdated medical information).

V. Special Collections Management

A. Non-Print Formats

A.1.  Audiovisual materials are those materials in the following formats: videocassette, DVD, compact disc, and audiocassette.

Neither the Library Director, the library staff, nor the Library Board can be expected to view every purchased item in the audiovisual format.  For these reasons, the selection of these materials is made through reliable sources such as professional library magazines, audiovisual reviewing sources, and audiovisual reviews in magazines and newspapers.  In addition, the following criteria are used:

1. Popular demand by the community.

2. Quality of audio and video presentation.

3. Price.

4. Availability.

A.2. Book CD selection will follow the criteria of selection for audiovisual materials and print materials.


B. Electronic Resources

The Auglaize County Public District Library recognizes the increasing significance of electronic resources in locating and acquiring knowledge in today’s society.  All recommendations and acquisitions of website and computer software are considered in terms of the following standards.

B.1. For software:

1. Ease of use, in consideration of the intended audience.

2. Educational use.

3. Entertainment value.

4. Appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content.

5. Authorship or source.

6. Value.

B.2. For web sites:

1. Authorship or source.

2. Point of view or bias.

3. Documentation.

4. Intended audience.

5. Currency and frequency of site maintenance.

6. Structure and elements of site.



C. Vertical File

 Items to be placed in the Vertical File will be selected using the following criteria:

  1. Format precludes storage on regular bookshelves (i.e., newspaper articles, pamphlets, brochures).

  2. Information is dated.

  3. Regional information (i.e., genealogy, local history, regional history, state history).

  4. Statistical information.


VI. Fines and fees

A. Fines

  1. There are no daily incremental fines for most overdue items, excluding Hotspots, Streaming Services, and Launchpads. However, if an account has overdue items, no new items can be checked out until they are returned. Replacement fees will be charged if items are not returned.


B. Lost and Damaged Materials

  1. When a patron reports that materials are lost, he/she is granted a grace period (in which the material is renewed for the number of days that the material was originally circulated, i.e., 28 days for books, 14 days for books on tape, 7 days for CDs, 3 days for videos & DVDs), from the date of notification to attempt to locate the material(s).  If the material remains lost after 28 days, a replacement fine is assessed.

  2. Once an unreturned item has reached the maximum overdue fine allowable, the item will be considered lost and the patron may be charged the fee to replace the item.

  3. If library materials are damaged in circumstances that do not constitute normal wear and tear, the patron will be responsible for the replacement cost of the item.


C. Replacements

Patrons will be charged full price* for the replacement of any lost or damaged items.


*Full price is determined by MARC record, BIP, shelf list card, or current pricing catalogue


D. Refund Policy

  1. Patron will be charged a $2.00 administration fee (per incident) for any refund that is issued for materials that has been deemed lost and paid for.  NO REFUND will be given after a six (6) month period has elapsed.  If the price of lost article was less than $2.00, no refund will be given.  Refunds must be returned by the Fiscal Officer.


E. Interlibrary Loan (I.L.L.) 

  1. Lost or damaged materials obtained through I.L.L. outside the Auglaize County Public District Library system will be the responsibility of the patron.  The patron will be assessed a replacement fee.  

  2. When a patron requests I.L.L. item(s) which must be delivered or returned through another method other than ACPDL’s contracted delivery service, the patron must pay for all expenses incurred to obtain the item(s).   



VII. Gift Policy

A. Donated Items

  1. The library accepts gifts of books, pamphlets, periodicals, films, music recording, etc., with the understanding that they will be added to the library collection when needed, or will be disposed of if the materials are not of value to the library’s collection at the time.

  2. To be added to the collection, gift materials must meet established selection criteria.

  3. No condition or restriction on gifts can be honored unless agreed upon by the Director and donor in advance of the delivery of the gifts.  The library cannot legally appraise gifts for tax purposes.  Gifts of money, real property, and/or stock will be accepted if any conditions attached to them are acceptable to the Library Board.

  4. If the donation is accepted and added to the circulating collection, the materials will be stamped “LOCAL DONATION”.  When the item is weeded and in good condition and if that location has a Friends’ group, the item will be offered to the group to be placed in its book sale.  If there is no Friends’ group, the item will be placed in the Wapak Library general sale.

  5. If the materials are deemed to be of no value to the library collection, the materials will be placed on the “Book Sale” cart or shelf to be sold at the customary “Book Sale” prices, as determined by the Library Director or branch supervisor.  Materials which are in poor condition will be placed in the recycling bin.

  6. Determination of the condition of donated items is at the discretion of the Branch Supervisor or Library Director.

  7. If materials are accepted for placement in the collection, cataloging guidelines will be adhered to as to the final classification.


B. Book Memorials

  1. Individuals or clubs must contribute 100% of the purchase price toward the purchase of a book memorial.  These donations will be acknowledged with a book plate.

  2. Smaller donations will be acknowledged by the library with a thank you card.

  3. A memorial book that has met the criteria to be discarded or replaced will:

  4.  Have the bookplate removed;

  5. A replacement purchased;

  6. A new bookplate placed in the replacement.

                 The memorial book will be replaced three times.



VIII. Reconsideration Procedures


The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter.  Responsibility for the reading of printed materials and use of non-print materials, including Internet access, by children and adolescents rests with their parents and legal guardians.  While a person may reject materials for him/herself and for his/her children, he/she cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.


The Auglaize County Public District Library supports intellectual freedom and endorses the following intellectual freedom statements: “Freedom to Read” (American Library Association), “Freedom to View” (Educational Film Library Association), and “Library Bill of Rights” (American Library Association).


The Auglaize County Public District Library recognizes that within the county area there are groups and individuals with widely separate and diverse interests, backgrounds, cultural heritages, social values and needs and that any given item may offend some patrons.  Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered, except to protect it from injury or theft. 


Complaints from patrons on library materials will be dealt with in the following manner:

  1. The initial complaint will be handled informally by the library assistant on duty or, in the case of a branch library, by the branch supervisor.  If the patron requests further discussion, an informal discussion may be requested with the Library Director, Youth Services Coordinator, or Assistant Director.  The selection policy will be explained to the patron.  Materials in question will not be removed or restricted at any point unless an official determination has been made to do so.

  2. If the patron is not satisfied with the informal discussion, a “Request for Reconsideration” form will be given to the patron to fill out and return.

    Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form

  3. Such requests concerning adult materials will be directed to the Library Director, and requests concerning juvenile materials will be directed to the Youth Services Coordinator.  Upon receiving the request form, the Library Director or Youth Services Coordinator will make a decision whether to maintain the material at its current status, to make a change in location or reading level, or to remove the item.  In the case of the Youth Services Coordinator’s recommendation, the Library Director will be apprised of the recommendation before the patron is notified.

  4. The patron will be notified of the Library Director’s or Youth Services Coordinator’s recommendation and given a full explanation of the decision.

  5. If the patron is not satisfied with the recommendation from the Library Director, the patron may file a written appeal to the Library Board.

  6. Upon receiving the written appeal, the Board President will appoint a review committee, consisting of two board members, the Library Director, and two staff members.  If the questioned materials are from the juvenile collection, the Youth Services Coordinator will be included.

  7. In considering the complaint, the Committee shall:

  8. read, view, or listen to the material in its entirety;

  9. read reviews and consult recommended lists;

  10. judge the material for the strengths and values as a whole, and not in part, and apply all appropriate substantive selection criteria to the work.

  11. The Committee will report its recommendation to the Library Board.  The Library Board will act upon the recommendation.  Then, the Library Board will notify the complainant of its decision in writing.  No further appeals will be heard.*


* If an Internet site is challenged, the recommendation may be appealed to OPLIN.  Once the Library Board has informed the complainant of its decision, if the patron is not satisfied, a complaint form may be filled out by the patron and mailed to the Executive Director of OPLIN.





I. Library Bill of Rights


II. Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights


III. Freedom to Read


IV. Freedom to View


V. Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form


VI. Internet Complaint Form







Library Bill of Rights



The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums or information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.


  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.


  1. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.


  1. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.


  1. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.


  1. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.


  1. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.


Adopted June 18, 1948; Amended February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980 by the ALA Council.





Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights



A. Challenged Materials


The American Library Association declares as a matter of firm principle that it is the responsibility of every library to have a clearly defined materials selection policy in written form which reflects the Library Bill of Rights, and which is approved by the appropriate governing authority.


Challenged materials which meet the criteria for selection in the materials selection policy of the library should not be removed under any legal or extra‑legal pressure. The Library Bill of Rights states in Article 1 that "Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation," and in Article 2, that "Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval." Freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution of the United States, but constitutionally protected expression is often separated from unprotected expression only by a dim and uncertain line. The Constitution requires a procedure designed to focus searchingly on challenged expression before it can be suppressed. An adversary hearing is a part of this procedure.


Therefore, any attempt, be it legal or extra‑legal, to regulate or suppress materials in libraries must be closely scrutinized to the end that protected expression is not abridged.


Adopted June 25, 1971; amended July 1, 1981; January 10, 1990, by the ALA Council.


B. Diversity in Collection Development


Throughout history, the focus of censorship has fluctuated from generation to generation. Books and other materials have not been selected or have been removed from library collections for many reasons, among which are prejudicial language and ideas, political content, economic theory, social philosophies, religious beliefs, sexual forms of expression, and other topics of a potentially controversial nature.


Some examples of censorship may include removing or not selecting materials because they are considered by some as racist or sexist; not purchasing conservative religious materials; not selecting materials about or by minorities because it is thought these groups of interests are not represented in a community; or not providing information on or materials from non‑mainstream political entities.


Librarians may seek to increase user awareness of materials on various social concerns by many means, including, but not limited to, issuing bibliographies and presenting exhibits and programs.

Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in collection development and in the provision of interlibrary loan. Access to all materials legally obtainable should be assured to the user, and policies should not unjustly exclude materials even if they are offensive to the librarian or the user. Collection development should reflect the philosophy inherent in Article 2 of the Library Bill of Rights: "Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval." A balanced collection reflects a diversity of materials, not an equality of numbers. Collection development responsibilities include selecting materials in the languages in common use in the community, which the library serves. Collection development and the selection of materials should be done according to professional standards and established selection and review procedures.


There are many complex facets to any issue, and variations of context in which issues may be expressed, discussed, or interpreted.  Librarians have a professional responsibility to be fair, just, and equitable and to give all library users equal protection in guarding against violation of the library patron's right to read, view, or listen to materials and resources protected by the First Amendment, no matter what the viewpoint of the author, creator, or selector. Librarians have an obligation to protect library collections from removal of materials based on personal bias or prejudice, and to select and support the access to materials on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs and interests of all persons in the community which the library serves. This includes materials that reflect political, economic, religious, social, minority, and sexual issues.


Intellectual freedom, the essence of equitable library services, provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored.  Toleration is meaningless without tolerance for what some may consider detestable. Librarians cannot justly permit their own preferences to limit their degree of tolerance in collection development, because freedom is indivisible.


Adopted July 14, 1982; amended January 10, 1990, by the ALA Council.


C. Evaluating Library Collections


The continuous review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. In the process, materials may be added and physically deteriorated or obsolete materials may be replaced or removed in accordance with the collection maintenance policy of a given library and the needs of the community it serves. Continued evaluation is closely related to the goals and responsibilities of libraries and is a valuable tool to be used as a convenient means to remove materials presumed to be controversial or disapproved of by segments of the community. Such abuse of the evaluation function violates the principles of intellectual freedom and is in opposition to the Preamble and Articles 1 and 2 of the Library Bill of Rights, which state: The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.


  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.


  1. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.


The American Library Association opposes such "silent censorship” and strongly urges that libraries adopt guidelines setting forth the positive purposes and principles of evaluation of materials in library collections.


Adopted February 2, 1973; amended July 1, 1981, by the ALA Council.


D. Expurgation of Library Materials


Expurgating library materials is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights.  Expurgation as defined by this interpretation includes any deletion, excision, alteration, editing, or obliteration of any parts(s) of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its parent institution  (if any). By such expurgation, the library is in effect denying access to the complete work and the entire spectrum of ideas that the work intended to express. Such action stands in violation of Articles 1, 2, and 3 of the Library Bill of Rights, which state that "Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation," that "Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval," and that “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment."


The act of expurgation has serious implications. It involves a determination that it is necessary to restrict access to the complete work. This is censorship. When a work is expurgated, under the assumption that certain portions of that work would be harmful to minors, the situation is no less serious.


Expurgation of any books or other library resources imposes a restriction, without regard to the rights and desires of all library users, by limiting access to ideas and information.


Further, expurgation without written permission from the holder of the copyright on the material may violate the copyright provisions of the United States Code.


Adopted February 2, 1973; amended July 1, 1981; January 10, 1990, by the ALA Council.

E. Statement on Labeling


Labeling is the practice of describing or designating materials by affixing a prejudicial label and/or segregating them by a prejudicial system. The American Library Association opposes these means of predisposing people's attitudes toward library materials for the following reasons:


  1. Labeling is an attempt to prejudice attitudes and as such, it is a censor’s tool.


  1. Some find it easy and even proper, according to their ethics, to establish criteria for judging publications as objectionable. However, injustice and ignorance rather than justice and enlightenment result from such practice, and the American Library Association opposes the establishment of such criteria.


  1. Libraries do not advocate the ideas found in their collections. The presence of books and other resources in a library does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the library.


A variety of private organizations promulgate rating systems and/or review materials as a means advising either their members or the general public concerning their opinions of the contents and suitability or appropriate age for use of certain books, films, recordings, or other materials. For the library to adopt or enforce any of these private systems, to attach such ratings to library materials, to include them in bibliographic records, library catalogs, or other finding aids, or otherwise to endorse them would violate the Library Bill of Rights.


While some attempts have been made to adopt these systems into law, the constitutionality or such measures is extremely questionable. If such legislation is passed which applies within a library's jurisdiction, the library should seek competent legal advice concerning its applicability to library operations.


Publishers, industry groups, and distributors sometimes add ratings to material or include them as part of their packaging. Librarians should not endorse such practices. However, removing or obliterating such ratings ‑ if placed there by or with permission of the copyright holder - could constitute expurgation, which is also unacceptable.


The American Library Association opposes efforts which aim at closing any path to knowledge. This statement, however, does not exclude the adoption of organizational schemes designed as directional aids or to facilitate access to materials.


Adopted July 13, 1951. Amended June 25, 1971; July 1, 1981; June 26, 1990, by the ALA Council.




Freedom to Read


The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights: 


We therefore affirm these propositions: 


  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those, which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.


  1. Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.


  1. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.


  1. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.


  1. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.


  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose there own standards or tastes upon the community at large.


  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.




We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations.  We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of books. We do so because we believe that they are good, possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read are unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.


Excerpted from a joint statement by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers.  Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991 by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.



Freedom to View


The freedom to view, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium or expression. Therefore, we affirm these principles:


  1. It is in the public interest to provide the broadest possible access to films and other audiovisual materials, because they have proven to be among the most effective means for the communication of ideas.  Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.


  1. It is in the public interest to provide for our audiences, films and other audiovisual materials, which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.


  1. It is our professional responsibility to resist the constraint of labeling or pre‑judging a film on the basis of the moral, religious or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.


  1. It is our professional responsibility to contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.


Originally drafted by the Educational Film Library Association’s Freedom to View Committee, and adopted by the EFLA Board of Directors in February 1979.


Adopted by American Library Association on June 28, 1979, endorsed by the ALA Council January 10, 1990.


Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Association of Educational Communications and Technology on December 1, 1979.