Elk Horn Public Library

Collection Development Policy



The Elk Horn Library's primary focus remains a popular material center - circulating books for leisure reading and personal information needs.  Secondary emphases are also placed on meeting children's needs, the reference/information needs of the public, and audio, musical, and video entertainment collections.  The function of the library is to assemble, organize, preserve and make easily and freely available to all people printed and non-printed material.  We will seek materials and share our bibliographic information through the State Library's SILO (State of Iowa Libraries Online)/ Locator and other associations.

Materials selected will be based on guidelines endorsed by the American Library Association in the Library Bill of Rights.



The final responsibility for materials selection and the development of the library collection rest with the librarians, who work under the authority of and the policies determined by the Board of Trustees.



Involved in the choice of materials are the experience and knowledge of the staff selecting materials, their familiarity with the community, its needs, demands, and the existing collection and the library's material budget.  Though most of the materials added to the library are selected by the librarians, recommendations for material from citizens of the community and board of trustees are encouraged.

Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.  Reviews in professional journals are used in the selection process and are sought whenever possible.  However, the lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title which is in demand by library patrons.



1. Permanent or timely value

2. Accurate information

3. Authenticity

4. Potential usefulness

5. Clarity and logic presentation

6. Present and potential relevance to community needs

7. Relation to existing collection.

8. Reputation, skill, and competence of author.

9. Appeal (popular or limited)

10. Price



The library collects audio, video and digital formats for adult and children.  New purchases are based on the following considerations:

1. Public Requests and present holdings

2. Importance of the artists

3. Technical quality

4. Price



The Library's objective in selecting materials for children is a collection which satisfies the informational, recreational and cultural reading needs of children of preschool age through elementary school.  Criteria for book selection are the same as for adult materials with the addition of vocabulary suitable to the age of the intended audience.

Teens (grades 7 through 12) will be served from the general collection but will also have access to materials specially selected to meet the informational, recreational and emotional concerns of the age group.  The Teen collection will be flexible, current and attractive, containing materials which will help young adults understand themselves and others, broaden their viewpoints and knowledge of the world, stimulate their curiosity, and expand their reading ability and enjoyment.  The selection criteria for young adult material will be the same as stated for print materials.

Selection of materials for the library collection cannot be restricted by the possibility that minors may obtain materials their parents consider inappropriate.  Responsibility for reading and viewing of minors rests with their parents and legal guardians.



Weeding is necessary to maintain a vital, well-kept collection.  Selection of materials for weeding is bases on the following criteria:

1. Materials worn out

2. Materials no longer considered accurate or factual

3. Materials with low or no circulation

4. Duplicate copies of older works

Replacement of material withdrawn is determined by demand.

Disposal of materials discarded from the collection is given to the Salvation Army or other appropriate organization as deemed by board.



In accepting donations of any material intended for the library, the final decision is made by the librarian or board of trustees.  The same criteria for inclusion in the collection that are used for purchase decisions shall be applied to gifts.  The library reserves the right to dispose of any gifts when they are no longer useful.



The library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that some items may offend some patrons.  Selection of materials will be made on the basis of the principals stated in this selection policy.  The library board believes that anyone is free to reject for himself/herself books of which he/she does not approve, but he cannot exercise the right of censorship to restrict the freedom to read of others.

Library material will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents and no material will be sequestered.

Patrons concerned about particular material may complete a "Statement of Concern About Library Resources". The objection will be placed on the agenda of the next regular scheduled meeting of the Elk Horn Library Board of Trustees for a final decision.



Adopted by Board of Trustees:

January 2003


Reviewed by Board of Trustees:

January 2006

February 2009

February 2013

January 2016

January 2020