Collection Development Policy

Taylor Public Library
Collection Development Policy
Approved by Library Board:  Aug 16, 2005 
Approved by City Council:  Sept. 8, 2005
Library Mission

The mission of the Taylor Public Library is to promote a life long love of reading and to provide educational, informational, and recreational resources to patrons of all ages, cultural and economic backgrounds.

Approved by the Library Board, 2-18-97

Principles and Objectives

1.  Purpose.  The purpose of the Taylor Public Library is to provide all library users with carefully selected materials and to assist individuals in the pursuit of educational and recreational information. The library collection as a whole will be an unbiased and diverse source of information, representing multiple viewpoints on a wide range of topics. Materials are selected to best meet these objectives.

2.  Viewpoints.  The Library neither encourages nor discourages any particular viewpoint. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and political or social views of the author. Selection of materials by the Library does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials.

3.  Rights.  The freedom to read, along with the freedom to hear and to view, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  To this end, the Taylor Public Library upholds the principles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of RightsFreedom to Read, and the Texas Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Statement.  These documents are at the end of this policy.

4. Parental Responsibility. The Library staff does not serve in loco parentis.  It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to supervise and monitor the library activities of their child. 

Responsibility for Selection

The Library Director is responsible for the selection of library materials following the guidelines and criteria outlined in this policy.

Selection Criteria

1. The main points considered in selecting materials are:

a.       Individual merit of the item

b.       Popular demand and/or patron request

c.       Library need for material

d.       Budget

e.       Authority of author and/or publisher

2.  Review sources are used to assist in selecting materials.  Review sources used include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.       Library Journal

b.       School Library Journal

c.       Booklist

d.       Other professional review publications

e.       Area newspapers with book reviews

3.  Materials may be selected without a review.  Consideration is given to materials that may be relevant to the library’s collections (i.e. Texas collection, local interest, local authors.)

4.  Formats of materials collected by the Taylor Public Library include books, periodicals, newspapers, microforms, audio books, videos & DVDs, selected software, online databases.  New and emerging formats will be considered when appropriate. The Archives Collection contains materials pertinent to Taylor history and includes other paper formats such as documents, photographs, old phone books, vertical files, and such materials appropriate for this special collection.

Interlibrary Loan

Because of limited budget, space, and other factors, the Library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of the Taylor Public Library’s collections. 

Gifts and Donations

1. General Gifts.  The Taylor Public Library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that the items will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. The Library reserves the right to decide the disposition of all gifts received. Gifts with stipulations as to handling, placement, etc., other than bookplate wording, if applicable, will not be accepted.  If items given to the Library are not needed because of duplication, condition, age, etc., the Library Director will dispose of them as he/she sees fit and may offer them to the Friends of the Library for their book sales.

2. Other Gifts.  Gifts of a more specific nature, such as works of art, furniture, equipment, special collections and real property, shall be referred to the Library Director for acceptance.  The Library Foundation or the Friends of the Library kindly accept nonspecific gifts of money. 

3.  Memorials & Honorariums. Citizens may wish to honor or memorialize an individual with the purchase of appropriate Library material to be added to the collection.  Memorial donations provide individuals with a rich opportunity not only to express sympathy to the family but also to provide a long-term statement of admiration and respect for the deceased.  The Library Foundation typically accepts donations of funds for memorials or honorariums.  The Library Director makes selection of items purchased as memorials or honorariums, with consideration given to the donor’s preferences. Appropriate bookplates will be added to materials in memory of or honoring individuals. The same criteria for selection of purchased Library materials will also be applied to gifts and donations.  Once added to the Library collection, gifts, memorials, and such donations fall under the Collection Development Policy and will be maintained and handled as the rest of the Library’s holdings.

4. Appraisal.  The Library will not appraise the value of donated items, though it can provide an acknowledgment of items received, if requested by the donor.

Collection Maintenance

1.  Criteria.  For an up-to-date, attractive and useful collection, a continuous schedule of withdrawal and replacement is required.  The CREW Method will be followed as a guideline for appropriate age of materials.  Other criteria for evaluation and maintenance of the collection includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a.       Condition of the material

b.       Usage based on observation and computer generated reports

c.       Superseded editions or revisions

d.       Popularity and appeal

e.       Outdated information

f.         Space and budgetary considerations.

g.       Professional appraisal & evaluation.

2.  Disposition.  The Library Director will determine final disposition of any materials withdrawn from the Library collection.  Materials in poor physical condition or having little anticipated resale value will be discarded. The Friends of the Library will be allowed to sell discarded or withdrawn materials, and proceeds of such sales will be used to support the Library’s mission, programs or to enhance the Library’s collections.

Reconsideration of Materials

The Taylor Public Library strives to meet a wide variety of tastes and interests with high quality and popular materials. The City of Taylor is comprised of many diverse groups, with different beliefs, standards and theologies.  Every citizen has the right to his or her opinions and beliefs. Differences of opinion regarding the suitability of Library materials may arise.  Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from the collection or with concerns about an item’s placement in the Library may complete a “Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material” form.  It is the responsibility of the Library Director to make a final determination on all such requests.

Taylor Public Library

Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material

Title of Material: ___________________________________________________

Author: ____________________________    Call Number:_________________

Format:  book____  cassette/cd____  video/dvd______  Other______________

Your Name: ____________________________   Telephone: _______________

Address: _________________________________________________________

Group you represent (if any):_________________________________________

Did you examine the entire work?____________  If not, what parts? __________

Specifically, to what in the material do you object? ________________________




What do you believe is the purpose of this material? ______________________


Is there anything useful or good about this material? ______________________


What prompted you to use this material? _______________________________


For what age group would you recommend this material? __________________

What would you recommend to replace this material? _____________________


Your Signature: __________________________________  Date: ___________

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.

a.       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.

b.       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.

c.       Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

d.       Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

e.       A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

f.         Libraries which 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 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980, by the ALA Council


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 books from sale, to censor textbooks, to label "controversial" books, 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 avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression. Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow-citizens.

We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject it. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. 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.

We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression. We are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, films, radio and television. 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.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of uneasy change and pervading fear. Especially when so many of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against it as against a hostile deed, with suppression.

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 stress.

Now as always in our history, books are among our greatest instruments of freedom. They are almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. They are the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. They are essential to the extended discussion which 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 towards 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 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 which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.

2.       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 which 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.

3.       Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books 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 books 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.

4.       It is contrary to public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

A book should be judged as a book. 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 which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

5.       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 literature 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 experience 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 taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

6.       It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or 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 the citizen. 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.

7.       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.

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.

8.       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 expended on the trivial; it is frustrated 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 their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their service to society, requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens 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 books. We do so because we believe that they are good, 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 15, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
A Joint Statement by: American Library Association & Association of American Publishers.

Subsequently Endorsed by:

American Booksellers Association
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
Association of American University Presses
Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
International Reading Association
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

National Association of College Stores
National Council of Teachers of English
P.E.N. - American Center
People for the American Way
Periodical and Book Association of America
Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S.
Society of Professional Journalists
Women's National Book Association
YWCA of the U.S.A.


A.      Preamble

The Texas Library Association holds that the freedom to read is a corollary of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press. Freedom of choice in selecting materials is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read, and shall be protected against extra-legal, irresponsible attempts by self-appointed censors to abridge it. The Association believes that citizens shall have the right of free inquiry and the equally important right of forming their own opinions, and that it is of the utmost importance to the continued existence of democracy that freedom of the press in all forms of public communication be defended and preserved. The Texas Library Association subscribes in full to the principles set forth in the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS of the American Library Association, Freedom to Read Statement, and interpretative statements adopted thereto.

B.      Areas of Concern

1.       LEGISLATION. The Texas Library Association is concerned with legislation at the federal, state, local and school district level which tends to strengthen the position of libraries and other media of communication as instruments of knowledge and culture in a free society. The Association is also concerned with monitoring proposed legislation at the federal, state, local and school district level which might restrict, prejudice or otherwise interfere with the selection, acquisition, or other professional activities of libraries, as expressed in the American Library Association's LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and the Freedom to Read Statement.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee works with the Legislative Committee to watch proposed legislation, at the various levels, which would restrict or interfere with the selection, acquisition, or other professional activities of libraries.

2.       INTERFERENCE. The Association is concerned with the proposed or actual restrictions imposed by individuals, voluntary committees, or administrative authority on library materials or on the selection judgment, or on the procedures or practices of librarians.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee attempts to eliminate restrictions which are imposed on the use or selection of library materials or selection judgment or on the procedures or practices of librarians; receives requests for advice and assistance where freedom has been threatened or curtailed; and recommends action to the Executive Board where it appears necessary.

3.       MATERIALS SELECTION POLICY. The Texas Library Association believes that every library, in order to strengthen its own selection process, and to provide an objective basis for evaluation of that process, should develop a written official statement of policy for the selection of library materials.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee encourages all libraries to develop a written statement of policy for the selection of library materials which includes an endorsement of the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS.

4.       EDUCATION. The Texas Library Association is concerned with the continuing education of librarians and the general public in understanding and implementing the philosophy inherent in the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS and the ALA Freedom to Read Statement.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee supports an active education program for librarians, trustees, and the general public.

5.       LIAISON WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. The Texas Library Association, in order to encourage a united front in defending the rights to read, shall cooperate with other organizations concerned with intellectual freedom.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee advises on TLA positions and cooperates with other organizations.

Adopted September 15, 1972
by the TLA Council

Reaffirmed April 7, 1995
by the TLA Council