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Youth Services Collection Maintenance

Creating a Policy

Collection Maintenance Policy Guidelines

Why have a collection maintenance policy?

  • Clarifies the goals and objectives of collection development of your library
  • Can be used as a staff training and orientation tool
  • Provides guidelines and standards for purchases
  • Provides guidelines for de-selecting materials
  • Provides guidelines for accepting gifts
  • Provides guidelines for challenges to materials

What should a collection maintenance policy include?

  • Your library’s mission
  • Your community and users’ needs
  • Intellectual freedom and access statement
  • Identify who does the selection of materials
  • Subject boundaries
  • Collection strengths and concentrations
  • Limitations
  • Selection criteria
  • Detailed policies by subject and form
  • Gift and donation guidelines
  • Retention and de-accession
  • Cooperative relationships
  • Reconsideration policy

As with all your policies, your collection maintenance policy should be

  • Aligned with your strategic plan’s mission and goals
  • Clearly written
  • Consistent with already existent policies
  • Reviewed regularly

Helpful tips:

  • Read policies from other libraries and adapt them for your library
  • Don’t forget to have a section describing cooperative purchases (are you a member of a network? Remember to add a statement about network selections such as Overdrive—your network can help with this)
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the reconsideration policy

Adapted from Curley, Arthur and Dorothy Broderick. Building Library Collections.