Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

  1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for staff and to inform the public about the collection development principles of the Tuscarawas County Public Library. Collection development is the ongoing process of locating materials for purchase or licensing, within budgetary and space limitations, and making the decision, first, on their inclusion, and second, on their retention.

Mission & Vision

Mission: The Tuscarawas County Public Library System provides library users of all ages with access to resources to help them live, learn, and grow. 

Vision: The Tuscarawas County Public Library System aspires to be an integral, forward-thinking component of the Tuscarawas County community, providing customers with relevant materials, innovative programs, and an extensive range of services that are of the highest degree of excellence.


  1. Intellectual Freedom/Freedom to Read

The Tuscarawas County Public Library Board of Trustees affirms the principles of the Freedom to Read Statement (Appendix A) and the Library Bill of Rights (Appendix B) adopted by the American Library Association in support of managing collections.

One of our Core Values is the Freedom to Know. We provide free and equal access to library resources and facilities. We support the open exchange of information and of ideas that represent multiple points of view. We value the benefits of diversity. Library employees handle requests for information in a manner that protects and respects every user’s right to know and right to read.

The reading and viewing activity of children is ultimately the responsibility of parents and guardians, who guide and oversee their own children's development. The Tuscarawas County Public Library does not intrude on that relationship.


  1. Responsibility for the Selection of Library Materials

The responsibility for selecting Library materials rests with the Library Director or designee, within the framework of policies established by the Tuscarawas County Public Library Board of Trustees. The Director delegates selection responsibilities to professional staff with the authority to interpret and apply the selection policy. The Support Services Manager oversees collections budgeting while staff in the Technical Services team provide continuity in collections at each location and coordinate selecting, acquiring, and managing Library materials. All suggestions for selection by other Tuscarawas County Public Library staff and the general public will be received and reviewed against the current collection development guidelines.

  1. Selection Criteria

Collection development decisions are made by staff with judgment, expertise, and knowledge of what is already in the collection. Staff also evaluate reviews in journals and other library selection tools.

Factors and criteria influencing the selection of materials:

  • Mission and vision of the Tuscarawas County Public Library
  • Informational needs of our Library users
  • Demonstrated or perceived community interest or demand by Library users or potential users
  • Funds available for acquisitions
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Relevance to the experience and contributions of diverse populations
  • Authority, accuracy, relevance, and quality of the material
  • Reliability and reputation of the publisher
  • Format, durability, and ease of use
  • Recommendations submitted by library customers and staff
  • Existing collections of the Tuscarawas County Public Library System
  • Existing collections of libraries in the SEO Consortium and OCLC, including public and academic libraries participating in interlibrary loan

These criteria are applied as appropriate across all subjects, languages, material types, and formats. The Library generally does not purchase textbooks.

On controversial questions upon which there are divergent points of view, the Library policy is to provide factual material on all sides as far as availability permits. Significant works may be acquired or retained despite features that may be objectionable to some residents.

The inclusion of an item is not to be considered an endorsement, official or otherwise, by the Library.


  1. Donations

The Library welcomes donations of new and gently used books and audiovisual materials that meet the following criteria:

  • Books (children’s, teen, and adult fiction and nonfiction) with current year copyright and in excellent physical condition (copyright can usually be found on the first few pages of the book)
  • Popular or classic DVDs in excellent physical condition (no scratches or missing pieces)
  • Books with local historical or genealogical significance with staff review

The Tuscarawas County Public Library reserves the right to decide which donations should be added to its collections without restrictions on current or future use. The Library reserves the right to give to other libraries or otherwise dispose of donated materials that are not added to the collection.


  1. Formats

The Tuscarawas County Public Library recognizes the importance of delivering information in a wide variety of formats. When alternative formats are available, the Technical Services Supervisor will use their best judgment to identify items of the greatest benefit to the collection and Tuscarawas County customers. Materials are purchased in the most appropriate format for library use. Factors to be considered when deciding whether to add a new format to the collection include the availability of items in the format, cost per item, community demand, industry standards, and the Library’s ability to acquire, process, and circulate the items in the specific format.

The Library collects materials primarily in English, with selected materials for children and adults in other languages.

Offerings are currently provided in the following formats:

  • Print Materials:

The Library acquires materials in paperback or hardback to best meet our mission objectives.

  • Periodicals:

The Library subscribes to periodicals and newspapers to provide timely, up-to-date resources. Periodicals and newspapers are acquired in a variety of formats including but not limited to: paper, microfilm, and digital. Obsolete formats may be replaced with appropriate updated formats over time and whenever possible. 

  • Multiple Copies:

In general, the Library does not duplicate materials in the same format. In some instances, the Library may acquire or lease multiple copies of a title in the same format based on customer demand.

  • Audiovisual Materials:

The Library acquires DVDs, CDs, video games for various consoles, and other interactive books and tablets for children and adults.

  • Realia and Kits:

The Library acquires physical items that circulate as part of our Library of Things, which currently include STEAM kits, eHealth items, hotspots, and other technology to support living, learning, and well-being.

  • Special Collections -- Local History/Genealogy:

The Library maintains a non-circulating collection of materials relevant to local history and genealogy research in various formats and will occasionally add materials that meet these guidelines as they become available.

  • Realia and Kits:

The Library acquires physical items that circulate as part of our Library of Things, which currently include STEAM kits, eHealth items, hotspots, and other technology to support living, learning, and well-being.

  • Museum Passes:

In line with our mission to provide access to resources supporting learning, the Library partners with area museums to make available circulating museum passes at no cost to our customers.

  • Electronic Resources:

Electronic resources (databases, eBooks, and other formats) are increasingly acquired to meet the guidelines and demand of Library customers.


  1. Electronic Resources Selection

Electronic resources will be added to the collection to fulfill the mission of the Tuscarawas County Public Library. The Library’s electronic resources offer access to materials that are personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to the Tuscarawas County community. Electronic resources will be selected based on collection development guidelines in addition to the following criteria:

  • The extensive overlap of content with current subscriptions
  • Types of access
  • Quality of technical support
  • Conditions and cost of licensing agreement
  • Technical compatibility with authentication system utilized by the Tuscarawas County Public Library IT department

The purchase of electronic databases and eBooks by the Tuscarawas County Public Library does not constitute an endorsement of the ideas or opinions expressed in the content of those databases and eBooks.

The Tuscarawas County Public Library has many resources made available through consortium membership and/or shared state resources with Ohio public schools and academic libraries. The final decision-making process for providing access to certain shared electronic resources is not guided by the Tuscarawas County Public Library.

  1. Complaints and Censorship

The Tuscarawas County Public Library supports intellectual freedom and endorses the Library Bill of Rights (Appendix B). The Tuscarawas County Public Library recognizes the right of individuals to question the availability of resources from the Library. The following guidelines should be used when an individual questions library resources:

Guidelines for Reconsideration:

  1. A customer who objects to a library resource made accessible by the Tuscarawas County Public Library is invited to discuss the reason(s) with staff or administration.
  2. If the customer’s concern remains unresolved, the customer may complete the Request for Reconsideration Form (Appendix D).
  3. The resource in question will be retained by the Tuscarawas County Public Library until the full reconsideration process is complete.

Action on the written reconsideration request will then be carried out as follows:

  1. The Support Services Manager will evaluate the original reason(s) for purchase or access in terms of the Tuscarawas County Public Library’s Collection Development Policy.
  2. The Director will be notified that a Request for Reconsideration has been filed and action is pending.
  3. A review committee made up of the Support Services Manager, Adult & Teen Services Manager, Children’s Services Manager, Assistant Director, and Director will meet to review the request and evaluate the resource in its entirety.
  4. The review committee will make a written recommendation to the Director. The Director will make the final determination and provide a written response to the individual who filed the Request for Reconsideration.
  5. If an appeal is requested, the Director will submit the determination, the Request for Reconsideration, and the review committee’s recommendation to the Tuscarawas County Public Library Board of Trustees.
  6. The Tuscarawas County Public Library Board of Trustees will make the final determination at their next regularly scheduled meeting. A written response will be provided to the individual filing the Request for Reconsideration.

When the request for reconsideration is related to a particular URL, please also refer to the Tuscarawas County Public Library Electronic Access & MakerSpace Policy (Appendix C).


  1. Collection Maintenance

The Tuscarawas County Public Library may withdraw items no longer deemed useful from its collections. Weeding or the deselection of material is critical to collection maintenance and is an ongoing process in order to be sure that the Library is fulfilling its mission to provide material in a timely manner to meet the needs and interests of customers. Statistical tools such as circulation reports, collection turnover rates, and hold ratios are studied to determine how the collection is being used and how it should change to answer evolving community needs.

All materials are considered for weeding based on accuracy, currency, and relevancy. Space limitations, edition, format, physical condition, and the number of copies are also considered when evaluating physical materials.

All materials are considered for weeding based on:

  • Accuracy, currency, relevancy
  • Availability of newer editions
  • Physical condition
  • Obsolete media format
  • Availability online
  • Decline in demand and number of copies available
  • Library space limitations


  1. Appendices
  1. Freedom to Read Statement
  2. Library Bill of Rights
  3. Electronic Access & MakerSpace Policy
  4. Request for Reconsideration Form

Approved by the Tuscarawas County Public Library Board of Trustees 10/17/2022