Collection Management Policy

River Forest Public Library Collection Management Policy

A. Introduction

RFPL uses its Collection Management Policy to manage, develop, and maintain a collection of materials to support RFPL’s service goals as identified from time to time in the governing strategic plan (“Service Goals”). Responsibility for this policy rests with the Board. The Board endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements.

The Board delegates responsibility for implementing this policy and managing RFPL’s collection to the Director and staff.

B. Criteria for Selection

1. Materials will be selected with an emphasis on:

• Relevance to Service Goals

• Popular demand

Additional factors for consideration include:

• Input gathered from critical reviews and standard selection sources

• Shelf space

• Currency of the material

• Authority of the author or publisher

• Price

• Physical features and format

2. An effort will be made to include materials representing multiple viewpoints. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or political or social views of the author.

3. Materials will not be excluded from the collection solely because the frankness of presentation may be objectionable to some or because the materials may not be

suitable for all patrons. RFPL will not label items with content warnings but may label items to note collection and location.

4. RFPL places no age restrictions on patron borrowing. The responsibility for monitoring materials used by a minor rests with his or her parent or guardian.

5. Due to the quickly changing nature of technology, RFPL will focus on purchasing current formats of materials, with consideration for emerging formats. Collections of materials in outdated formats will not be actively developed and may be removed.

6. Due to budget and space constraints, RFPL cannot purchase all materials available or requested. RFPL participates in interlibrary loan in an effort to obtain materials for patrons that are not held within RFPL’s collection.

C. Weeding and Disposition of Library Materials

A current, attractive, and useful collection is maintained through the continual selection, weeding, and replacement of materials. Materials in the collection are assessed on an ongoing basis. Materials may be removed from the collection due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to, a deteriorated appearance, inaccurate or outdated information, space constraints, unneeded duplicates, disuse, obsolete formats, or lack of interest.

Materials removed from the collection may be discarded, recycled, sold by RFPL, donated to local non-profit groups, or sent to book recycling/selling organizations at the discretion of the Director.

D. Gifts and Donations of Materials

Gifts or donations of books and other materials may be accepted by RFPL as long as these items are given unconditionally and become the property of RFPL.

RFPL reserves the right to add or not add a donated or gift item to the collection and to donate or dispose of the item as RFPL management sees fit.

Donations of cash for Memorial/Honor books are accepted. Specific subject areas or titles may be suggested by donors. However, the final decision on specific titles will reside with RFPL staff. Memorial/Honor books will not be retained in perpetuity and will be subject to the same criteria as the general collection.

It is not within RFPL’s purview to assess the financial value of donation or gift materials. No valuations or appraisals will be made by RFPL staff on gifts or donations to RFPL.

E. Reconsideration of Materials Policy

In the event patrons question materials that do not conform to certain tastes or viewpoints, RFPL management is available to discuss concerns and to identify alternate materials. If concerns are not satisfied through a discussion with the appropriate Manager, a formal reconsideration of materials may be requested.

The Board has adopted procedures for the formal reconsideration of material. A patron submitting a reconsideration request must be a resident of River Forest and hold a valid borrower’s card.

The material in question will remain in the collection and available to patrons during the reconsideration process. The completed decision on the reconsideration of a specific title will remain in effect for three years.

If the patron wishes to submit a formal reconsideration request after a discussion with RFPL management staff:

1. Staff will provide the patron with the Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources (“Request”) along with a copy of RFPL’s Collection Development Policy.

2. When the form is completely filled out and returned to RFPL, the appropriate Manager, in consultation with the Director, will review the completed Request and the material.

3. The Manager will respond in writing to the patron. The letter will include a statement inviting the patron to RFPL to discuss the matter with the Manager and Director.

4. After a meeting with the Manager and Director, a patron desiring further action can make a request in writing for a hearing before the Board, which has final authority.


Approved by the RFPL Board on February 16, 2016