Collection Development Policies


The Van Horn Public Library is dedicated to providing the community with access to information, literature, and ideas.


A democracy presupposes an informed citizenry and the public library has an integral role in achieving that goal. The Library provides an impartial environment in which individuals and their interests are brought together with the universe of ideas and information spanning the spectrum of knowledge and opinions. The Van Horn Public Library has adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements.

The Van Horn Public Library is committed to intellectual freedom and the need for the library collection to represent many different points of view. Library staff believes that individuals are responsible for making their own choices regarding appropriateness of materials, and that parents/guardians are responsible for the choices made for their children.

These principles guide the Library’s materials selection and use policies.


Materials selected for addition to the collection area a reflection of the library’s standards as stated above in its Mission Statement and Intellectual Freedom Policy

Selection will be made by examination of reputable review and digest publications.  Materials will be added to the collection according to one or more of the following criteria. An item need not meet all of these criteria in order to be acceptable.

  • current and anticipated needs and interests of the public
  • suitability of physical form for library use
  • suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • evaluations in review media –   may include authoritative review journals and popular reviews from a variety of sources
  • accuracy and timeliness of content
  • author’s, artist’s, or publisher’s qualifications and/or reputation
  • contribution of a work to the diversity or breadth of the collection and its relation to other materials on the subject
  • representation of unique or controversial points of view
  • receipt of, or nomination for, major awards or prizes, or inclusion of the title in standard bibliographies or indexes
  • quality of productions
  • requests by the public
  • affordability

Materials selected may be limited by:

  • Budget
  • Space available
  • Physical make-up of material
  • Balance of total collection

The Selection of media materials will be handled in the same way as print materials.  Audience ratings of the motion picture industry are considered a guide for viewers.  These ratings will not influence the shelving location of videos.


“Weeding”, the review and deselecting of materials from the collection, is an ongoing process directly related to collection development. Materials that are worn, damaged, outdated, duplicated, or no longer used may be removed from the collection. Other factors taken into consideration are frequency of use, community interest, and availability of other material on the subject.

The Library follows the CREW Method (continuous review evaluation and withdrawal) for removal of library material. This method has been designed and used by many small to medium size libraries. A full copy of this method can be found online or at the library.

The Library Director will determine if the materials deselected from the collection will be placed into the library book sale or discarded.


Patrons may challenge the appropriateness of materials in the collection.  A withdrawal request may be initiated by filling out the form Request for reconsideration of library materials and returning it to the library.  

The Library Director will respond in writing to an individual’s request. The decision of the Library Director may be appealed to the full Library Board. Appeals must be presented in writing to the Library Board at least ten days in advance of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. Decisions on appeals are based on careful review of the objection, the material, and Library policies including: this policy, the Library Bill of Rights, the Right to Read and the Right to View and the American Library Association’s guidelines on intellectual freedom. The final decision on appeals rests with the Van Horn Public Library Board of Trustees.


Gifts of books and other materials are accepted, but without commitment as to final disposition and with the understanding that they are not necessarily to be added to the collection.  The same criteria used for the selection of other materials will be used in evaluating gift materials.

Receipts for income tax purposes indicating the number of items and the date of the donation may be given by the librarian when requested.  The library cannot assign a value to these items.

Money donated for the purchase of library materials or equipment will be acknowledged by a letter of thanks, a book plate, label, or sign identifying the donor, and, if appropriate, a news release.  The library encourages donors to place as few restrictions as possible on funds in order to permit the most flexible use of donations for the enrichment of the collection.  Funds may only be restricted upon approval of the Library Board of Trustees.

The Library Board and the City Council have the final responsibility for approval of all donated materials and funds.

Approved by VHPL Board of Trustees Feb 22nd 2010

Updated by VHPL Board of Trustees Sept 21st 2015, October 8, 2018