Collection Development Policy Purpose Statement

The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to:

1. Identify guidelines for the selection of library materials and evaluation of the collection.

The Collection Development Policy will describe the scope and nature of the collection, name the philosophies by which selectors should make collection decisions, and outline plans for continuing to develop resources, making the best use of available funds.

2. Enable selectors to work toward the mission of the Mentor Public Library and the goals of the Strategic Plan (see below).

The Mission of the Mentor Public Library is to foster lifelong enrichment by providing materials, services, and programs for literacy, learning, and pleasure in an environment of intellectual freedom and confidentiality.

 3. Inform the general public of the principles upon which selections are made.

This policy will be available upon request and posted online.

Strategic Plan Goals


We will Create Young Readers. Our outstanding staff will provide quality materials and engaging programs to support early literacy, and community partnerships to encourage a love of reading.


We will help our patrons Understand how to Find, Evaluate, and Use Information. Our trained staff will help users develop skills to use information and technology to meet their needs; including instructional programs, reference services, and user-friendly technology initiatives.


We will Support Lifelong Learning. Our programming will be targeted to specific populations and will be the cornerstone of an environment that supports learning for both individuals and groups. We will be the premier source for information on life challenges, in partnership with local community services. 


We will provide a collection to Stimulate the Imagination: Reading, Viewing, and Listening Materials for Pleasure. Our collection will be balanced, in a variety of formats, and will be supported by relevant programming opportunities and a responsive staff. Our programs will promote the joy of reading and meet the leisure interests of our patrons.


We will be a Connection to the Online World. We will provide high-speed Internet access for the public, including computers, printers, and wireless access. We recognize that we are the only resource for this connectivity for many.

Responsibility Statement

The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for the MPL collection, but can delegate the following responsibilities to the Collection Development Manager:

  1. The duty to work with the Cataloging and Reference departments to accomplish mutual acquisition, cataloging, and processing goals.
  2. The duty to promote consistency in the selection and maintenance of materials.
  3. Authority to approve or reject selection recommendations from selectors, other staff, and the public.
  4. Authority to make final decisions on the withdrawal of circulating materials, the rebinding of books, repackaging of audiovisual materials, replacement orders, and the addition of gifts to the cataloged collection.
  5. Authority to review collections in the Library and evaluate their contents.
  6. Authority to initiate any weeding projects as a result of collection evaluations.

All Reference staff members may participate in the selection of materials.


1.1.1    Selectors should take the following general criteria into account for all materials in all formats selected for Mentor Public Library.  Additional specific criteria are listed when appropriate for different types of­­ materials.  All items selected will meet several of the general or specific criteria.        Meets current and anticipated needs and interests of the public with emphasis on items in support of the goals of the strategic plan.        Has been verified as a reliable and accurate source.        Contains timely information and current format.        Produced by qualified and reputable authors, artists, or publishers.        Reviewed in professional journals or other media sources.        Contributes to diversity or breadth of collections.        Presents unique or controversial points of view.        Has been included in standard vendor selection tools.        Received a nomination for a major award or prize.     Falls within allotted materials budget.     Is available for purchase through standard vendors.


2.1.1      The Adult Non-fiction Collection will provide current general information and popular browsing nonfiction materials.  The non-fiction collection will include many points of view to present a balanced selection of material.   The Reference Collection will consist of materials which, because of rarity or cost, are most appropriately used in the library.      Specific Criteria for All Non-fiction:           Broadens and diversifies subject collection.           Provides thorough coverage of a subject.           Contains essential information and a significant perspective on the subject matter.           Allows access to retrospective information.

2.1.2    The Adult Fiction Collection will provide general, current, and popular fiction titles as well as genre fiction.  Specific Criteria for All Fiction:           Represents a multi-cultural population or a diverse perspective.           Possesses literary merit.           Includes items written by local authors.           Retains historical and lasting interest.           Is part of a popular existing series.

2.1.3     The Large Print Collection will contain bestselling fiction and non-fiction, including classics, biographies, and genre fiction.

2.1.4     The Electronic Resource Collection will contain online information resources (including databases), electronic fiction, and non-fiction books, search engines for full text collections, electronic collections of data and data sets. Not included is the device upon which one would read the electronic resource.  Specific Criteria for All Electronic Resources:           Is easy to navigate and use.           Meets hardware and/or software requirements.           Makes information available to multiple users at once.           Enhances or surpasses print equivalent in terms of information retrieval power, speed, flexibility, search options, help features, and full text.           Can be accessed only in electronic format.           Includes vendor support and maintenance.           Provides staff training or patron assistance.


3.1.1 The Young Adult Non-Fiction Collection will provide current general interest and informational materials.  This collection will include many points of view to present a balanced selection of material.   This collection will meet needs of young adults (12 to 18 years).      Specific Criteria for Young Adult Non-fiction:           Meets criteria for adult non-fiction.           Can be used for research and school reading.           Caters to the interests of young adults.           Is thematically and linguistically age appropriate.           Presented at a level and in a format that appeals to young adults.

3.1.2  The Young Adult Fiction Collection will provide popular browsing materials that include standard authors and titles as well as special interest titles.      Specific Criteria for Young Adult Fiction:           Meets criteria for adult fiction.          Appeals to young adult tastes in genre, format, and writing style.

3.1.3   The Graphic Novel Collection will provide fiction and non-fiction titles of interest.      Specific Criteria for Graphic Novels:           Contains quality art work.           Is durable.


4.1.1  The Children’s Non-fiction Collection will contain a variety of informational works on topics of interest to children. The non-fiction collection will include many points of view to present a balanced selection of material.   The Children’s Reference Collection will consist of materials which, because of rarity or cost, are most appropriately used in the library.      Specific Criteria for Children’s Non-Fiction:           Is linguistically and thematically age appropriate.           Contains high quality illustrations, maps, graphics, and photographs.           Appeals to recreational readers and casual browsers.           Can be used for self-education and school assignments.

4.1.2  The Professional Collection will address the needs of educators and others who work with children.  Items collected will focus on children from birth through grade six.

4.1.3  The Children’s Fiction Collection will range in reading level from “starting to read” books to chapter books.  The collection will meet the needs of readers of different abilities and tastes.  All literary genres are purchased.     Special Criteria for Children’s Fiction:           Possesses literary merit.           Represents a multi-cultural population or a diverse perspective.           Is linguistically and thematically age appropriate.           Is part of a popular existing series.

4.1.4  The Picture Book Collection will be comprised of books in which the illustrations are the dominant feature.  The purpose of this collection is to introduce children to the world of books.  The types of books in this collection are concept books, wordless picture books, board books, picture storybooks designed to be read aloud, and stories for independent readers.      Specific Criteria for Picture Books:           Contains pictures and text that enhance and reinforce each other.           Possesses high quality artistry and writing.           Is linguistically and thematically age appropriate.

4.1.5  The Electronic Resource Collection includes online information resources (including databases), electronic fiction and non-fiction books, search engines for full text collections, electronic collections of data and data sets. Not included is the device upon which one would read the electronic resource.        Specific Criteria for Children’s Electronic Resources:

Please refer to Specific Criteria for Children’s Fiction (section 4.1.3) and Non-Fiction Collections (section 4.1.1) and the Specific Criteria for Adult Electronic Resources (section 2.1.3).


5.1.1  The Recorded Music Collections will include music from a broad range of styles and eras in varying degrees of depth.  Generally, this is a popular browsing collection for all ages.  The children’s music collection is designed to introduce children to a full range of musical appreciation and expression.  Rating guides and warning labels are not assigned by the Library.       Specific Criteria for Music:           Possesses artistic merit.           Includes local artists.           Contains accompanying documentation or notes.

5.1.2  The Spoken Media Collection will fulfill the recreational and informational needs of adults, young adults, and children who want or need material in popular current audio formats.

5.1.3  The Video Media Collection will include entertainment, educational, and informational media for adults, young adults, and children.  Rating guides and warning labels are not assigned by the Library.

5.1.4  The Video Game Collection will be provided by a consortium program that allows sharing among its members. Rating guides and warning labels are not assigned by the Library.


6.1.1 The Periodical Collection will provide a source of current information not often available in book or other formats.  The Library provides a broad range of general and specific interest periodicals for all ages.      Specific Criteria for Periodicals:           Represents a variety of interests.           Can be used for research as a supplemental source of information.


7.1.1 The Library will accept gifted materials in accordance with the established Donation Policy of the Board of Trustees.  The staff will not assign a monetary value to any donated material. However, a patron may request a receipt with the number of items donated to the Library.


8.1.1  Mentor Public Library is not a depository library for state or federal documents.


9.1.1  The library strives to provide material that promotes continued independent learning.  We believe that providing textbooks and curriculum materials is the responsibility of the schools, but we will strive to provide some curriculum related materials.  Selectors will purchase textbooks for the collection only if the textbooks supply information that surpasses standard books in quality or scope. The public library will not assume the responsibility for purchasing textbooks for wide and general distribution.

10 Self-Publishing

10.1.1  Self-published works are not solicited, except in cases of local or genealogical interest.

11 Retention of Library Materials

11.1.1  The library’s ability to purchase and store materials is limited by the size of its budget and its building.  Because of this, we have established criteria for retaining dated materials.  These criteria may be applied to all formats.     Covers content patrons are currently interested in.     Is steadily circulated.     Retains good condition.     Retains educational significance and contributes to the breadth and depth of the collection.     Is a necessary part of collection and cost of replacement falls outside budgetary constraints.     Is necessary to meet the demands of patrons (in the case of multiple copies).     Retains status as an accurate and reliable source.     Retains current information.

12  Lost and Replacement ITEMS

12.1.1  It is the intention of Mentor Public Library to maintain a high physical quality of materials.  To this end, patrons of Mentor Public Library must provide lost or badly damaged items checked out on their library record in accordance with the Replacement Policy of the Board of Trustees.

13  Requests for Reconsideration of Library Material

13.1.1  While patrons are free to select or reject library materials for individual use, they may not enforce censorship in the lives of others. Responsibility for the reading materials of children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. The library will not act in loco parentis with regard to the selection of library materials for its juvenile patrons.  Selection will not be inhibited by the fact that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children.  Since the library cannot anticipate a family’s persuasion on controversial issues, the Library encourages parents to have an active and responsible interest in their child’s choice of items.

13.1.2  If a patron has concerns about the inclusion of an item in the Library Collection, the library patron must complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form and submit it to the Library. After the patron has returned the completed form to the Library, a response in writing will be sent to the Patron. 

13.1.3  The Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form may be referred to a committee consisting of the Selector of that part of the collection, the Collection Development Manager, and other Librarians to determine whether retention of the item would be in violation of the Collection Development  Policy.  The committee will reconsider the item using the general criteria and specific criteria of the Collection Development Policy and reviews from recognized sources, and then make a written recommendation.  They will inform the patron of their decision in writing in a timely manner.

13.1.4  If the patron is still not satisfied, they may submit an appeal to the Library Director.  Such appeal shall not exceed two pages and should include copies of the original Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form and the committee’s written decision.  The Director will respond in writing to the library user regarding the decision.

» Request for Reconsideration of Library Material Form – Click Here

14  Library Bill of Rights

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.
  2. 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.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries that 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 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

15  Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

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 that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
  1. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation 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 should be published or circulated.Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
  1. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
  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.To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
  1. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
  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 their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
  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.
    The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is 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 is 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.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.


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 of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:

  1. To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
  2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
  3. To provide film, video, 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.
  4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.
  5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.

Endorsed January 10, 1990, by the ALA Council