Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

The Cathlamet Public Library Board of Trustees delegates the authority and responsibility for the selection of all collection materials to the Town Librarian. The Librarian may choose to delegate the actual selection and deselection of materials to qualified Library employees or volunteers, under direction and supervision.

The Board believes that the freedom to read is essential to our democracy; and that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society. To ensure free communication, and the rights of the residents of Wahkiakum County to a broad range of ideas and concepts, the Board endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement. The Board maintains that while people are free to reject for themselves materials of which they do not approve; they cannot exercise censorship to restrict the freedom of use and access to others.

The Library generally selects print books, DVDs and newspapers, and subscribes to an eBook, e-Audiobook and e-Magazine service. Other formats such as devices, games or audio book CDs may be added if part of a grant or donation.

The Library does not regularly purchase nor accept donations of books printed and distributed through self-publishing services. Such titles are not reviewed in professional sources, place a burden on the Library’s ability to store materials, and go beyond Library staff’s resources due to the original cataloging required.  The Library may accept gifts of self-published books from Wahkiakum authors or about Wahkiakum County. A Wahkiakum author is defined as a writer who currently resides in Wahkiakum County, WA. Such works are subject to the Library’s selection/deselection criteria. 

Selection Criteria

The Library shall strive to present materials with diverse viewpoints; allowing people of all ages access to the information needed to make informed choices. In no case should any material be excluded because of sex, sexual identity, age, race, nationality, religion, disability or political affiliation. The Library will not monitor nor restrict use by minors.  Parents or legal guardians are responsible for children’s and teen’s use of Library materials. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. However, an item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable. Materials are evaluated on the significance of the entire work rather than parts. When given a choice the Library shall select material that most closely resembles the writer’s/artist’s intent. When judging the quality of materials, several standards and combinations of standards may be used. The following criteria will guide selection:

·    Public demand and interest 

·    Professional reviews

·    Contemporary significance or permanent value

·    Local interest and community relevance

·    Format and ease of use

·    Cost and impact on materials budget

·    Reputation and/or authority of the author, editor, or illustrator

·    Relation to existing collection and availability of information elsewhere

·    Replacement of lost copies and/or updating to current information. 

·    Support of library programs and initiatives

Deselection Criteria

Ongoing reevaluation of materials is necessary in order to maintain a current, accurate and inviting collection. Deselection improves the accessibility of the remaining materials, enhances the appearance of the collection, and helps improve the overall circulation and turnover rates of materials. Material of sound factual authority should not be removed from the Library shelves because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. Materials discarded from the collection are disposed of at the Library's discretion. Options include, but are not limited to, making discarded materials available to the Blanche Bradley Memorial Library Foundation for book sales or offering to other libraries or non-profit organizations. Books that are donated to the Library that are not added to the collection will be sold by the Foundation or will be disposed of at the discretion of the Foundation. The following criteria will be used when deselecting materials:

 Frequency of circulation
 Outdated or inaccurate information
 Duplication
 Physical appearance/condition relative to other factors of importance
 Subject matter no longer of current interest or historical or literary significance   Availability of more current or more comprehensive resources

 Outdated or discontinued formats

Reconsideration of Library Materials

The Board shall consider with respect any complaint presented in good faith and in a reasonable manner by any Cathlamet Public Library cardholder. Patrons requesting that material in the collection be reconsidered shall complete a “Request for Reconsideration Form”. The Director will present the complaint to the Board at the next scheduled meeting. The decision of the Board shall be based upon Cathlamet Public Library selection and deselection criteria. Material under reconsideration will remain available to patrons until a final ruling is made. Notice of action to retain, move or to remove an item shall be sent to the complainant(s) in writing. Decisions made by the Board shall be final.
Approved April 4, 2024 by the Library Board


Made possible with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.