Library Materials Collection Policy

It is the aim of the library’s collection to make available books and other materials that will enable it to meet its objectives, outlined in the long-range plan, within the constraints of budget and space. 

Materials selected are chosen on how well they relate to the purposes of the library outlined in the Long Range Plan, created with public input and adopted by the Trustees. It is the goal of the Conant Public Library to seek out materials in a timely fashion.  The Library shall give a high priority to provide circulating, reference, and research materials that meet the varied needs of its patrons.  

Specific Principles for Selection

Materials will be chosen for the collection based on the authority of the author; price, format, and ease of use; contemporary significance; permanent value; popular demand, and consideration of existing library holdings.  Collection development of fiction materials aims to provide reading for recreational use. The Library attempts to purchase a wide variety of fiction to meet the many preferences of its patrons.  Non-fiction collection development has a goal of providing information for independent, self-directed learning and social development.  

Non-Print Materials

The Conant Public Library recognizes the importance of non-book materials as a supplement to its book collection.  Videos, eBooks, and online services are purchased as part of the library’s collection development.  Selection of videos includes newly released popular titles, classic films, and popular television series.  The Library also provides access to a collection of downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and videos made available to our patrons through our C/WMARS membership.  In addition, the Library provides access to library-owned eBooks, through OverDrive Advantage.  Collection development of eBooks follows the collection policy for both fiction and non-fiction print materials.

Youth Services Collection Development

Care is used in the selection of children’s books to consider the following: literary and artistic distinction; mental and emotional maturity levels; and reading levels. Accuracy and style, coupled with imaginative and appropriate treatment of the range of knowledge are the criteria used to select materials at many levels of reading ability. 

The main purpose of the young adult collection is to provide materials of interest to adolescents, primarily between the ages of 12 and 18.  Materials selected for this collection are used to serve the educational, developmental, and recreational needs of this population.  

The library does not limit access to resources for minors; children and young adults have access to the entire collection. Any limitations placed upon the materials of minors are left to the discretion of parents or guardians. Parents and guardians have the responsibility to guide their children’s – and only their children’s – use of library resources.

Controversial Materials

Materials will not be excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation. In an effort to provide patrons with a diverse range of information and a wide variety of viewpoints, it is almost inevitable that materials selected to serve the needs, interests, or tastes of one group may be of no interest to, be repugnant to, or inappropriate for another segment of the library-using public. Materials may be offensive because of perceived profanity, social, economic, and political ideas, religious viewpoints, or other reasons. Anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves, but cannot restrict the freedom of others to read and inquire. The library does not characterize library materials by labels or other devices which by intention or effect prejudice the library user against particular items. The addition of these materials to the Library’s collection does not imply approval or endorsement of the contents.  

A Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material will be available for patrons and will be reviewed by the director and the Trustees and acted upon in compliance with ALA Bill of Rights.  For a Request for Reconsideration to be considered, the form must be completed in full. The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Sterling and hold a valid borrower’s card. The Director will respond, in writing, within thirty days of receipt, to the patron’s request for reconsideration. An item will only be evaluated for reconsideration once in a 3 year period.   

It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to monitor the appropriateness of library materials for their own minor children, in terms of their individual beliefs, values and the maturity level of the child.

Withdrawal of Materials

The library strives to maintain an up-to-date and useful collection through a continual re-evaluation of demand, the removal of unneeded titles and replacement of lost and damaged titles.  Materials are removed from the collection when they become out of date, are no longer used, have poor appearances, and because of space constraints. Discarded materials will be auctioned if required by current town policy.  Items may also be given to other government or charitable organizations, or made available to the public. 

Amended August 14, 2023