Collection Development Policy

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The Brighton District Library’s collection development efforts are designed to support the library’s mission to provide “a broad range of library services and materials meeting the educational, informational, recreational and cultural needs of all residents of the Brighton District Library.” The broader mandate on which this policy is based is the principles of intellectual freedom and the responsibility of the library to uphold the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. These principles are embodied in the Library Bill of Rights.

Scope of the Collection:

The scope of the collection is intended to offer a choice of format, viewpoint, and level of difficulty in comprehension. The library collects materials for varying levels of education, differing social and religious customs, and includes them on the open shelves of the collection. See also the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement.” The library also monitors the professional, commercial, industrial, cultural, historical and civic enterprises of its community so that the collection also reflects these needs and/or interests. The collection includes materials that will enhance the learning environment for school age children but does not necessarily include specific curriculum-based materials. Interlibrary loan is used to supplement the collection. Electronic resources, proprietary as well as free sources, are included to increase the depth of the collection. (Refer to the Brighton District Library Internet Policy for specifics on access to the World Wide Web.)


As a public library this institution strives to prepare the community for the future as well as transmit the heritage of the past. Selectors of library materials will attempt to cover a broad range of format, subject and viewpoint with their selections. The Brighton District Library also works in cooperation with other libraries, especially those within Livingston County, to share, support and selectively concentrate collections so that financial resources are prudently used. The library will collect neither the most ephemeral of popular materials nor will it attempt to include the most esoteric of research or academic materials. Retrospective or in-depth collections will be developed only in recognized areas of need or interest where these are not being met by another social agency or a specific organization or business. Sound information management also requires the removal of materials, which have become outdated or, for other reasons, are no longer considered suitable for retention. Removal of materials, known as weeding, is based on professional practices and their disposition will be managed by the Library Director and designated staff.


The final responsibility for material selection rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees. The Director assigns specific subject areas to professional staff based on experience, training/education and the requirements of the library. The public may also recommend specific titles for purchase by completing a preprinted form available at the youth services and adult information desks. Patrons may also request titles via our website. Requests will be given careful consideration; the library will apply the standards and selection criteria established in this policy to these requests. Donations are also used to enhance the collection (see Gifts, Grants and Bequests, Policy 308). Budget and spatial constraints also influence materials selection. Professional staff make all selection decisions after careful review. Standard review sources such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly, etc. are used. Unusual problems are referred to the Director for resolution (see Request for Reconsideration of Materials). Selection of a work by the library does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the work’s content, or the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer by the library.


At least 15 percent of BDL’s budget should be allocated for materials, as determined by Brighton District Library’s Board of Trustees. The annual budget allocation for specific formats and subjects shall be made by the Director and professional staff based on assessment of the collection needs and usage patterns.

Specific Selection Criteria:

Broad criteria for all fields include:

  • Importance of the subject matter to the collection
  • Interest and popularity
  • Permanent or timely value
  • Accurate information or authoritativeness
  • Social significance
  • Local, state or regional historical significance
  • Clear presentation and readability
  • Reputation, skill and purpose of the author
  • Local significance of the author or of the subject
  • Cost of materials and cost of processing
  • Shelf space
  • Quality of graphics, where applicable
  • Availability
  • Appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content
  • Literary merit and/or favorable reviews
  • Suitability of physical format for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience

Specific criteria for works of non-fiction:

  • Authority
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment in the collection as a whole
  • Objectivity, balance and fairness
  • Clarity and logic of presentation
  • Quality of and/or existence of an index, appropriate references and bibliography

Specific criteria for audio books:

  • Interest
  • Format (i.e. abridged or unabridged)

This collection includes spoken works of fiction and non-fiction. The Library currently collects in two formats: audiocassette tape and compact disc (CD).

Specific criteria for reference works:

  • Purpose
  • Authority
  • Scope
  • Timeliness and accuracy
  • Usefulness of format ( indexes, organization, consistency, illustrations etc.)
  • Suitability for intended audience
  • Cost

Specific criteria for videos and DVDs:

  • Interest
  • Currency
  • Content
  • The library acquires and makes available videos and DVDs, current and older, to serve the informational, recreational and educational needs of the community. Because of the short-term interest and high cost of current popular materials, our collection emphasizes classic and/or award-winning feature films and non-fiction videos.

Brighton Room Collection:

This special collection has been developed to meet the needs of those researching local history and genealogy, with particular emphasis on Brighton and Livingston County. Resources are also provided for methodology in genealogical research. The collection is primarily reference, and non-circulating, except for some basic genealogy manuals.

Computer Media:

Hybrids or programs that run on multiple platforms will be preferred. If these options are not available, dual copies will be purchased if it is financially possible and if demand supports duplicate purchases. Creative use of technology that distinguishes itself from print media and price are the strongest factors in determining whether to purchase. Generally programs with an education or information value are selected. Educational game programs are included in the collection; recreational games are not.

Donated Materials:

Any materials offered to the library as gifts shall be considered by using the selection criteria outlined in this policy. In some cases, titles are received or purchased with gift funds that could not have been acquired from library funds because of budget limitations. Gifts are subject to the following limitations: The donor completes and signs a gift form (a copy may be used as a receipt). This form is not necessary when paperbacks or other materials of obviously limited value are given anonymously.

  • The Library retains unconditional ownership of the gift
  • The Library makes the final decision on disposition of the gift
  • The Library reserves the right to decide conditions of display and access.

Gift materials not added to the collection cannot be returned to the donor and may be given to the Friends of the Library for inclusion in a book sale, donated to another library or discarded. Materials such as old textbooks, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and National Geographic magazines are not usable and generally don’t sell, and will be refused (See Policy 308-Gifts, Grants and Bequests).


The fiction collection will reflect local reading interest as well as maintaining a core collection of established authors. The core collection will include:

  • English language fiction with an emphasis on 20th and 21st century works
  • English language classics, as determined by standard reading lists
  • Bestsellers (appearance on a list will not of necessity determine purchase)
  • Local authors
  • Award-winning novels
  • Genre fiction including: mysteries, westerns, romances, science fiction and fantasy, suspense and other thrillers
  • Contemporary and classic foreign language titles in English translation

Reference Works:

The specific criteria for reference works include:

  • Purpose
  • Authority
  • Scope
  • Timeliness and accuracy
  • Usefulness of format (indexes, organization, consistency, illustrations, etc.)
  • Historical significance


The Brighton District Library does not add proselytizing materials but encourages popular, authoritative or scholarly presentations of ideas and movements in religion worldwide.

Youth Collections:

The children’s collection is designed for pre-school through fifth grade. Particular attention is paid to the inclusion of a wide variety of materials, which appeal to different cognitive abilities, learning styles, and age-related interests, and those which foster creativity and cultural understanding. Special emphasis is placed on:

  • Reading level and vocabulary
  • Illustrative quality, especially at the beginning levels
  • Quality of binding and packaging
  • Award winning titles

Young Adult Collection:

The young adult collection is designed for grades six through twelve. The young adult fiction and popular magazine collection are designed to provide a transition from children’s to adult reading. Popular demand for materials plays a large role in the selection of some young adult materials, most notably series fiction, magazines, and graphic novels/comics. The young adult non-fiction collection is designed to provide young adults with non-fiction materials addressing their popular and academic information needs and interests.

Controversial Content

When a book provides a clearer vision of life, develops understanding of other people, or breaks down intolerance, these factors must be weighed against possible harm caused by a single work or passage. Because it is the responsibility of the library to protect the rights of mature readers, all sides of controversial issues will be covered as far as budgetary constraints and market availability allow. To further illustrate the library’s support of the principles embodied in the aforementioned Library Bill of Rights, the library will not handle, process, shelve or otherwise mark any material to impose a value judgment. This includes, but is not limited to, labeling or marking a catalog record. Materials for varying levels of education and differing social and religious customs are provided and are included on the open shelves of the collection. Sequestering materials by hiding them from display interferes with a potential user’s access by presenting barriers and subjecting the library patron to unnecessary scrutiny. Parents have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the reading and materials selection of their own minor child/children. The Brighton District Library does not stand in loco parentis. There are those who might demand that the library collection exclude difficult or controversial materials from which they wish to shield their own (or someone else’s) children (See: Request for Reconsideration / Reclassification Information Policy 403). It is precisely at the point that a young adult or child encounters difficult or disturbing information that parents must do their part. Through library materials, some subjects can be approached in a context that will aid the parent in preparing the child for adulthood.
APPROVED: June 1995 REVISED: February 20, 2001

Request for Reconsideration of Materials

Brighton District Library welcomes interest in the public library. All specific written citizen responses to the collection will be personally handled by the appropriate BDL professional staff member. Citizens are asked to make their specific comments IN WRITING. The completed form facilitates the further study of the material in question and permits the Library to respond to its citizens’ requests and concerns in writing. Please note, however, that once an item has been accepted as qualifying for purchase under this policy, it will not be removed at the request of those who disagree with it unless the material can be shown to be in violation of this policy. If a client complains about an item in this library’s collection, the senior staff member available will establish the specific nature &the complaint with the client, if the client wishes to have the material formally reconsidered, the library staff member will:

  1. provide a copy of the complete BDL Collection Development policy to the client.
  2. provide a Request for Reconsideration form to the client.
  3. provide the client with a copy of the completed form.
  4. forward the request to the Library Director and appropriate professional staff.

The Director and involved staff will review the material, including reviews, recommendations and/or other reasons for the initial purchase. After such review:

  1. The client will receive a letter from the Director describing the results of this review.
  2. Copies of the complaint, staff responses and the material in question will be forwarded to the Policy Committee of BDL Board of Trustees and then forwarded to the entire Board upon discretion of the Policy Committee.

If the client is not satisfied with the result of the staff review, a formal Board hearing may be requested in writing.

Revision of Policy:

Any library and library collection must be responsive to the needs of the time and the population it serves. Therefore, this Collection Development policy may be revised and updated at any time as conditions warrant and will be reviewed at regular intervals as deemed necessary by the Brighton District Library Board of Trustees.


Freedom To Read

  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. Publishers, librarians, and book sellers 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.
  3. It is contrary to the 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to ready by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, bookmen can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.

NOTE: “Books” as used in this statement include all kinds of materials acquired for library use.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
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, PEN American Center, People for the American Way, Periodical and Book Association of America, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, Society of Professional Journalists, Women’s National Book Association, The YWCA of the USA.



  1. Books and other library resources selected 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.
  6. 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, and January 23, 1980, inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council. In 1975, the American Association of School Librarians endorsed the Library Bill of Rights.



Please answer the following – use the back of this sheet for additional information:

  1. What do you object to about this item? (please be specific)
  2. What do you believe is the theme or purpose?
  3. Did you read, view or hear the entire work?
  4. If not, how much, or what parts?
  5. What do you feel might be the result of reading, viewing or hearing this work?
  6. For what age group would you recommend this work?
  7. Is there anything good about this item?
  8. Are you aware of this work’s reputation, critical review etc.? What would you like your library to do about this work?


Thank you for reading the complete BDL Collection Development Policy. Thank you for your interest in your public library and for your continued support.