Collection Development

Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Board of Trustees recognizes that within the district there are individuals and groups with diverse interests, backgrounds, and needs, and the library was created to serve all of the people within Mid-Columbia Libraries’ (MCL) service area. The Board, therefore, declares as a matter of policy that:


1. The Collection Development Policy is based on and reflects MCL’s stated mission, vision, goals, and values.


2. Library materials, in a variety of formats, including licensed electronic resources and online databases, shall be selected and retained on the basis of their value for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all the people of the community in conformance with MCL’s mission. Some of the factors which will be considered in adding to or removing materials from the library collection shall include present collection composition, collection development objectives, interest, demand, timeliness, audience, significance of subject, diversity of viewpoint, effective expression, and limitation of budget and facilities.


No library materials that meet MCL’s selection criteria shall be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of the author or those contributing to its creation. Not all materials will be suitable for all members of the community. Mid-Columbia Libraries shall be responsive to public suggestion of titles and subjects to be included in the library collection.


Gifts of materials may be accepted with the understanding that the same standards of selection are applied to gifts as to materials acquired by purchase, and that any gifts may be discarded at MCL’s discretion.


Mid-Columbia Libraries is not a library of historical record. To ensure a vital collection of continuing value to the community, except in the area of local history, materials that are worn, damaged, or not well used may be withdrawn and disposed of in a manner that MCL deems proper.


The library collection shall be organized and maintained to facilitate access. There shall be no prejudicial labeling, sequestering, or alteration of materials.


3. Selection is vested in MCL’s director, and under his or her direction, in members of the staff who are qualified by reason of education and training. Library materials selected in accordance with this policy shall be held to be selected by the Board.


4. The Board believes that reading, listening to, and viewing library materials are individual, private matters. While one is free to select or to reject materials for oneself, one cannot restrict the freedom of others to read, view, or inquire. Parents have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the reading and viewing of their own minor children. Mid-Columbia Libraries does not stand “in loco parentis[1].” The Board of Trustees recognizes the right of individuals to question materials in MCL’s collection. A library customer questioning material in the collection is encouraged to talk with designated members of the staff concerning such material. To formally state his/her opinion and receive a written response, a customer may submit the Request for Reconsideration form provided for that purpose. Material that has been questioned will remain in the active collection until MCL has made a determination of its status.


5. The Board of Trustees adopts and declares that it will adhere to and support:

a. The Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the American Library Association;

b. The Freedom to Read and the Freedom to View Statements, adopted by the American Library Association; and

c. The Washington Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Statement.


6. This policy shall relate only to materials specifically selected by MCL. Customer access to information available publicly on the Internet shall be governed by a separate policy.


(06/21/2011; 02/20/2011; 03/15/2004; Adopted 07/12/1982)


[1] In place of a parent