Collection Development

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Mission Statement 

The Northport-East Northport Public Library exists to inform, educate, and culturally enrich the residents of all ages of the district through the selection, organization, promotion, and dissemination of all forms of expression. 

Purpose of the Policy 

The Northport-East Northport Public Library Board of Trustees endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement and its interpretations. In its adoption of the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, the Northport-East Northport Public Library Board of Trustees and staff uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources. Materials selected under the library’s collection development policy are considered protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. This policy is meant to aid the librarians in supporting the mission and roles of the library in its community; to guide the librarians in the selection of materials; and to inform the community about the principles upon which selections are based. This policy replaces all prior collection development policies. 

Community Served 

The Library collects and assesses materials to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of our community. Community needs are continually assessed through the review of population demographics, evaluation of the collection usage, observation of community interests and activities, and cognizance of other services and programs available in the community. 

Limitations of the Collection 

The Northport-East Northport Public Library does not collect in-depth in any one subject area, with the exception of special collections. Interlibrary cooperative agreements enhance individual patron research pursuits by granting access to public and academic library collections throughout the United States. Format and access are considered when making material selections. 

Responsibility for the Collection 

Final responsibility for material selection lies with the Director of the Northport-East Northport Public Library who delegates to department heads and other staff selectors the authority to make individual selections. The library seeks to meet the needs of the community by maintaining a representative and well-rounded selection of materials on all subjects including those that may be 

considered controversial. It is the responsibility of individual library users to choose materials which suit individual needs and tastes. Users are free to restrict for themselves materials of which they do not approve, but they may not restrict the freedom of others to read and view what they desire. Selection of materials for adults will not be inhibited by the possibility that such materials may be accessible to children. 

Basic Selection Principles 

An item need not meet all criteria to be selected. A policy cannot replace the judgment of a skilled librarian. Each librarian seeks to provide a balanced collection and selects based on critical review sources; the understanding of user needs; knowledge of authors, publishers; and authority, accessibility and accuracy of presentation. Preference will be given to favorable reviews in reputable sources. 

The following points are also considered when selecting materials. 

  • Appropriateness to Library’s mission and service roles 
  • Relationship to existing collection 
  • Availability for purchase and availability elsewhere 
  • Suitability of format for user’s need and subject 
  • Relevance to current and anticipated community needs 
  • Local significance of the author or topic 
  • Cost 
  • Historical significance 
  • Potential user appeal 

Patron requests for particular materials are welcome; however, the library reserves the right to purchase or reject such requests based on selection principles outlined above. 

Gifts and Donations 

The Library may accept gifts of materials and monetary donations to purchase materials. Donations of art by the artist or artist’s family may be accepted. Gifts may be given in memory of a loved one or to commemorate a special event. Donated items will be reviewed for their overall contributions to the Library’s mission and relevance to the collection. Processing costs, value and insurance considerations, condition, and collection development principles are factored before a gift item is added to the collection. Reproductions or photocopies of copyrighted works will not be accepted unless evidence of compliance with the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) is given. All gifts are the property of the Northport-East Northport Public Library and will be treated on an equal basis with purchased materials concerning the inclusion, display, housing, circulation, and disposition of the material. The library reserves the right to refuse any donation of materials. In general, collections of materials will not be accepted with restrictions or stipulations for special housing. Current guidelines for acceptance and processing of book and audiovisual donations may be found on the Library’s website. 


Items withdrawn due to loss or damage are not necessarily replaced. Popular or classic titles in condition too poor for circulation will be replaced whenever possible. The library strives to Adopted 03/24/15 Revised 12/17/15, 09/15/16, 02/21/19 

maintain an up-to-date, vital, inviting collection. Librarians systematically withdraw damaged materials, items which have low circulation, outdated materials, and those which no longer meet 

the selection criteria. The library does not withdraw an item simply because a patron wishes to purchase that item. Art may be offered for permanent loan to a museum or library for reasons of preservation, conservation, or public access. If a piece of donated art is sold, money earned from that sale must be reinvested into the Library. 

Cooperative Collection Development/Resource Sharing/Relationships with other Agencies 

The library recognizes the value of belonging to regional library systems including Suffolk Cooperative Library System and the Long Island Library Resources Council for cooperative collection development opportunities and interlibrary access to collections. 

Policy and process for collection challenges 

Patrons may request reconsideration of library materials by completing the form designated by the Board of Trustees. Forms are available at the Adult, Teen, and Children’s reference desks. 

The Future 

Formats continue to change. Core selection principles will apply to all new formats. The library seeks to maintain a balanced collection of materials that will be accessible and useful to the majority of the community. Old formats may be retained to support the interests of patrons with older technologies. 

Adopted 03/24/15
Revised 12/17/15, 09/15/16, 02/21/19 

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