Site icon Seaford District Library

Materials Selection Policy

Mission Statement

The Seaford District Library partners with the community to provide resources for individual and community success and development.

Purpose of The Materials Management Policy

The Materials Management Policy provides information for customers and staff on the selection and maintenance of materials offered by the Seaford District Library. It is a guide for Collection Development staff to follow in the selection of Library material while supporting the Library mission. The Library provides materials that represent and reflect diverse viewpoints and opinions.

Collection Responsibility

Responsibility for decisions regarding the content of the collection is given to the library director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees. The Library Director delegates to staff members the authority to interpret and apply the policy. Library materials, including recommended works, are considered according to the general policies and guidelines that follow.

Collection Policies

The Library attempts to provide a large general collection of current and retrospective materials in various formats to meet a wide range of needs. The development of the collection is focused on balance and variety with an understanding that it is limited by available space and funds. The Collection includes print, digital, electronic, and other non-print formats. New and/or emerging formats will be considered when appropriate. The collection is developed to meet the needs and interests of the residents of the Seaford District Library.

The staffs rely on the guidelines listed below as well as professional insight in the selection process. Staffs depend on selection tools to find reviews since it is impossible to examine all items being considered for purchase. Special Collection materials such as genealogy are determined item by item, since reviews may not be available.

The Seaford District Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to ReadStatement, and all other statements regarding intellectual freedom as adopted and published by the American Library Association. The Library recognizes that some library materials are controversial and that an item may offend some customers. The Library expects each user to determine the appropriateness of the materials they select. the library maintains that parents and legal guardians have the ultimate responsibility for their children’s choices of material. The Library staff does not act “in loco parentis”.Selections will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval.

Selection of materials by the Library does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials. Library materials will not be sequestered except for the purpose of protecting them from damage or theft. Obscene materials are not purchased. The latest court proceedings and definitions will be used to determine appropriateness.

Collection Guidelines

The following guidelines provide an overview of the criteria used when making decisions regarding the content of the collection.

• Materials with a positive, objective review from a recognized source, such as professional journals, magazines, and newspapers, in print or online, will be considered for the collection.

• Materials must have a high standard of quality in content, expression, and physical attributes (binding, printing, paper quality).

• Materials that are expected to be popular with a significant number of the library’s customers will be given preference over works of interest to only a few customers.

• Materials possessing unique qualities or making a significant contribution to afield will be considered for inclusion into the collection.

• Materials of timeless value or historic significance may be maintained.

• Materials of local, national, or international interest and material mentioned in the media will be considered for the collection.

• Materials on nationally recognized lists such as the “New York Times Bestseller” list or the “Academy Awards” list and those in receipt of or a nomination for major awards or prizes will be given consideration.

• Materials must be readily available from professional and reliable sources.

• Materials should be timely, accurate and representative of various viewpoints.

• The reputation of the publisher, author, editor, producer, and/or illustrator is considered.

• The Library considers recommendations from customers but does not pursue every title requested.

• Materials being considered will be looked at in relation to the existing collection and other materials already available on the subject.

• Materials are selected to supplement school curricula. The Library does not provide curricular needs of students such as textbooks.

Local Authors

The “Local Author” collection will support local authors that reside in Delaware. One copy of the item can be donated to be considered for addition into the collection. The item cannot be returned if we do not add it to the collection following our current gift policy.

Donations and Gifts

The Library accepts non-returnable gift materials from the public. Gifts may be considered for addition to the collection subject to the same principles and criteria as purchased materials. Donated materials not selected for addition to the collection are still considered a benefit to the Library. Donations not added to the collection may be eligible for sale in our Friends of the Library book sale, or maybe donated to our community partners. Funds generated from any sales of these gifts are returned to the Library’s financial support for projects. The monetary appraisal of gifts to the Library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor.

Monetary donations are welcome and will be used to purchase materials following the policies and guidelines that are outlined in this policy. Donors may specify a general subject and age group for which materials are to be purchased. Materials purchased with monetary donations may be designated as memorials.

Evaluation of Collections

Evaluation of the collection is a continuing process aimed at maintaining an active and useful collection. Essential materials are updated and titles that are superseded, outdated, physically worn, or no longer in demand are removed on an ongoing basis.

Removal of an item from a collection and the replacement of withdrawn materials are based on the guidelines included in this document. It is the responsibility of the Collection Development staff to discontinue formats as market trends change, as well as search for new emerging formats. Materials withdrawn from the collection may be included in the Friends of the Library Book Sale or sold from any Library location.

Collection Review Procedure

Library users may complete a Request for Review of Library Materials form. Completed forms are directed to the Director. Appointed staff will evaluate the request and the material concerned. In all cases, customers will receive a written response.


The Seaford District Library provides resources based on the needs and interests of its customers. The Library strives to select, as efficiently and economically as possible, a wide variety of materials. It recognizes each individual’s right to access to information and ideas and supports intellectual freedom as a common element of a democratic society.

This Materials Management Policy will be updated or revised as conditions warrant.

Approved Board of Commissioners August 2014.

Exit mobile version