Collection Development Policy


Eastern Monroe Public Library provides, on equal terms, free service to all individuals and groups in the community. It accepts as its basic objective the provision and servicing of professionally selected materials that aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, or research, and in the enjoyment of leisure time.

EMPL recognizes its responsibility to assist in the development of adult citizens for whom the access to books and other media of communication is a necessary and natural part of intelligent living.

EMPL offers targeted services for young people, acknowledging that parents know what is best for their children and that each parent is responsible for supervising their children’s access to library materials.

The EMPL Collection Development Policy is in full accordance with those principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights as well as the Freedom to Read Statement, which were adopted by the American Library Association Council.

Selection Procedures

Ultimate responsibility for material selection rests with the Library Director, who is to use the best judgment possible as a professional librarian in purchasing books and other materials for the EMPL collection. Any library materials so selected or deselected are held to be selected or deselected by the Board of Directors.

Department Heads participate in the reviewing process, materials selection and ordering for their respective departments.

Materials added to the permanent collection are chosen for values of interest, information and enlightenment of all the people of the county, and selected for addition if they possess, generally, the following qualities:

• Permanent or timely value
• Accurate information
• Authoritativeness
• Clear presentation
• Social, historical or literary significance

Materials and resources are selected after examination by the staff or following consultation of bibliographies or reviews in standard, authoritative review sources. No one source of reviews will be relied upon exclusively; furthermore, the critical opinions of reviewers will be checked against each other.

Materials are chosen for the permanent collection on the basis of the content of the whole. Judgment will be based on the total effect of the work and not on the presence of words, phrases or situations that in themselves, or taken out of context, might be objectionable. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, political, or religious views of the author or producer. Material representing all points of view concerning the controversies, problems and issues of our times, international, national and local, may be selected, for the purpose of providing readers with facts from which they may form their own judgments.

Public suggestions for addition of materials to the library’s permanent collection will be accepted. Materials so suggested will be considered for purchase if they fulfill the general material selection standards. It should be understood that acceptance of a public suggestion is not a promise or commitment to purchase.


The library deeply appreciates and welcomes gifts from area residents and friends interested in the growth of the library and its services. Gifts of books and other library materials are accepted under the provision that their use or disposal is subject to the discretion of the Library Director. The same general selection standards shall be applied to gift materials as are applied to those for purchase.

Memorials and honor gifts will be acknowledged by special cards sent to the family to be remembered and to the donor, and at the donor’s request will be plated to note the source of the gift.

Weeding Procedure

Criteria for removal of materials from the EMPL collection:

1. Materials deemed to be in poor physical condition and unable to circulate to patrons.
2. Materials obsolete and of no historical value.
3. Materials dated in subject matter and/or literary style.

Discarding Procedure

Disposition of weeded material is decided by the Library Director and held to be disposed by the Board of Directors.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

The following procedure is in place should a patron object to the inclusion of an item in the EMPL materials collection.

1. Discuss the item with the librarian in charge of the department in which the item is normally kept.
2. If further consideration is desired, a Request for Reconsideration form must be completed and submitted to the EMPL Library Director.
3. The EMPL Library Director will review the Request for Reconsideration submission with the appropriate department or selector.
4. The EMPL Library Director will issue a written response.
5. If further action is desired, a review of the decision by the Board of Directors may be requested and a written response will be issued.

No formal consideration will be given to complaints unless the Request for Reconsideration form is completed in full.

Request for Reconsideration forms are available in any EMPL department.

The Board of Directors believes that censorship is a purely individual matter and declares that, while anyone is free to reject books not personally approved of, no one person or group may exercise this right of personal censorship to restrict the freedom of others.