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Lyons Township District Library

LTDL Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

(Approved 8/8/13)


Mission of Lyons Township District Library

·         Lyons Township District Library endeavors to provide a broad, well-balanced collection for the patrons of Lyons Township, MI. The collection is for patrons of all ages and interests, and exists to meet the community’s demands for materials to be used in the pursuit of information, enlightenment, and entertainment.

·         The director of the library is ultimately responsible for the selection and de-selection process and must approve the acquisition and disposal of all library materials. The director may delegate section responsibilities to librarians who make preliminary selection and de-selection decisions within the context of this policy, which has been endorsed by the library board on behalf of the community.

·         Lyons Township District Library is committed to providing the community with free access to information services and materials.  The mission of the library is to provide a collection that satisfies the information needs and recreational desires of the community of Lyons Township, MI.  The library also recognizes itself as a community center where patrons can enjoy programs, classes, and meeting spaces to use for purposes of community planning and intellectual discovery. 


Reason for the Policy

The purpose of this policy is to inform patrons and staff of the parameters which the director and professional librarians use to manage the collection of materials the library houses. For the purpose of this policy, selection means deciding on what to add to the collection and make available for circulation (whether obtained using public funding, monetary donations or specific item donations.) De-selection means permanently removing an item from the collection and therefore making an item unavailable for use (whether the item is sold in a Friend’s book sale, given away, or discarded as refuse.)

Statement of Philosophies

Lyons Township District Library subscribes to certain philosophies of the library industry, which are set forth by the American Library Association and United States laws regarding copyright and Freedom to Read.  The main basis for the library’s philosophy is the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Act.

·         The Library Bill of Rights states:

o   Books and other resources should be provided for the interest, information, and clarification of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be omitted because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

o   Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be approved or removed because of political or doctrinal disapproval.

o   Libraries should fight censorship in the satisfaction of their duty to provide information.

o   Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting the limiting of free expression and free access to ideas.

o   A persons’ right to use a library should not be denied or reduced because of origin, age, background, views, race, ethnicity, gender, or disabilities.

o   Regarding libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on a fair basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

·         Regarding Freedom to Read, Lyons Township District Library asserts that while anyone is free to reject for themselves materials of which one does not approve, it is not allowable that one can exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom of others to read, view, or listen.  Furthermore, the responsibility for guiding children in reading, viewing, and listening rests with their parents and/or legal guardian.

Intellectual Freedom

Lyons Township District Library supports and vows to uphold the tenets of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Constitution of the United States’ First Amendment, as well as the Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement from the American Library Association. As such, the library is obligated to cultivate a collection of materials that represent a wide variety of views, beliefs, and positions. Lyons Township District Library seeks to serve the information needs of all its patrons without threat of censorship. Because of the diversity of views represented, occasions may arise in which a patron or group of patrons may find some library materials to be objectionable and worthy of removal. Patrons may verbally file complaints of this nature with any librarian. The next steps of the complaint process are filling out a material inquiry form which is then filed with the director, and then ultimately the director and library board may make a final call on the challenged item’s removal.


Lyons Township, MI, located in Ionia County, is home to approximately 3,446 residents, 2,271 of which are library card holders. Prominent employers in the area include Ionia Public Schools, Ventra, Meridian Automotive Services, Sparrow Health System, and Michigan Department of Corrections. Lyons Township is home to 3 educational institutions. Lyons Township District Library boasted 15,850 patron visits in 2012; on a day-to-day basis, the library has an average of 51 visitors.

Supplemental Resources

Lyons Township District Library is a member of Woodlands Library Cooperative, a regional structure for public library service comprised of 49 member libraries. Our collection is amplified by access to print and digital resources via OverDrive, the Michigan eLibrary, and MeLCat interloans.


Materials provided to patrons by Lyons Township District Library are composed of the following mediums:

·         19,175 print books for adults, young adults, and children

o   Large print, fiction, nonfiction, reference, etc.

·         Approximately 30 subscriptions to magazines and newspapers

·         338 audio books on compact disc

·         Numerous databases made available through the Michigan eLibrary

·         1,349 DVDs and a limited collection of VHS tapes

·         Career and college preparation materials

·         Local history and genealogy resources

Selection Criteria

Materials for Lyons Township District Library will be acquired based on the following points:

·         Authors/Creators: If works by a certain author/illustrator/director/etc. are known to be of high quality and/or popular with library patrons, it is likely that the library would provide access to other materials by the same entity.

·         Favorable Reviews: A work should ideally have one or more positive reviews from respected trade publications such as Booklist or Library Journal.

·         Durability of Medium: Ideally, materials should feature characteristics such as sturdy bindings, high-quality paper, and other qualities to withstand high traffic usage before needing to be replaced.

·         Price: Financial cost is considered in relation to the value that is brought to the collection/patron by the purchase of an item. Inevitably, the library is unable to afford every desirable material, and replacement costs should be considered should patrons lose/damage pricy materials.

·         Present Holdings: Should the library already be in possession of or have access to a sufficient number of works of a certain type or on a certain subject, the library is unlikely to acquire additional similar materials.

·         Patron Demand: Materials that are popular amongst local patrons as well as being prominent in various media outlets may be acquired, regardless of negative reviews.

·         Publishers: Often, publishers are known for publishing works of a specific genre or level of quality. Should the works be by a certain publisher not known for producing high quality materials, or the publisher is known for producing works for too narrow a subject area (academic texts), the library would not acquire such materials.

·         Date of Publication/Relevancy: Informational publications such as directories and computer technology manuals are often obsolete within a year or two, and therefore do not provide sufficient value based on cost. Fiction and entertainment-based materials are not as time sensitive and consequently have more value for a longer period of time.

·         Michigan Writers: The library will make an effort to provide access to works by local authors or works that pertain to subjects of local interest.

Materials for Child and Young Adult Patrons:

·         Both recreational and informational materials for children and young adults will be selected largely by the criteria listed above for adult library materials. As these younger patrons have some unique informational needs, however, the following points will also inform the acquisition of materials for this age group:

o   Student Work: While Lyons Township-area school libraries are equipped to provide materials related to the completion of coursework and school assignments, this library will endeavor to provide suitable materials to allow students to complete schoolwork outside of their academic environments.

o   Development of Knowledge/Self: The library will endeavor to provide access to materials that facilitate the growth of wisdom and/or of self-expression in young and developing minds.

·         Young Adult Collection: In addition to having access to the library’s collection as a whole (barring parental objection), young adult patrons (middle and high school students) will have access to a collection of literary works geared specifically to their age group, such as young adult fiction and leisure reading, which are selected based upon praise from respected journal reviews.

Policy Regarding Monetary Gifts and Material Donations

·         Monetary Donations:

o   Lyons Township District Library is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit institution.  Donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

o   Donations In Honor Of or In Memory Of: This is a unique way of honoring a loved one while providing financial support to Lyons Township District Library.

o   Lyons Township District Library will also accept general, unrestricted donations. Such donations are spent in an area of need, to be determined by the library’s trustees and administration.

·         Materials Donations:

o   The materials must be in usable condition, as determined by library administration.

o   Lyons Township District Library will acknowledge your donation in writing for tax purposes, but will not place an actual value on any item.

o   Lyons Township District Library reserves the right to determine the disposition of any donated materials. Items not selected for addition to the library’s collection may be returned to the donor, shared with other libraries, offered in exchange for donations, or discarded.

·         We are unable to accept donations of the following items:

o   Outdated textbooks/reference materials

o   Damaged or broken materials

o   Highly specialized materials

o   Magazines

Weeding (De-selection) Policy and Procedure

The limited physical size of the library requires that some older items are discarded utilizing a process known as weeding in order to make room for new items. The following guidelines are designed to serve as a backdrop to the process of identifying items which may be suitable for discarding:

·         Condition: Brittle, damaged, or old states of materials may bring items to the attention of the staff for potential weeding.

·         Circulation History: How frequently and how recently an item has been checked out. A good rule of thumb is that materials which have not been checked out in 5 years or more may be good candidates for de-selection.

·         Number of Copies: In the event of high patron demand, multiple copies of the same title may be purchased; as popularity of the title decreases and patron demand wanes, duplicate copies may be removed from the collection.

·         Publication Date: Materials containing information that is no longer accurate or relevant may be candidates for replacement in the event that there are newer, more accurate materials available.

·         Relevance to the Community the Library Serves: Library staff may decide that a lightly circulated item is no longer needed within the collection.

·         Reference Collection: Current information is preferred. Physical space constraints are also a consideration, as is the library’s budget for replacement costs.

The preliminary selection of an item for weeding is made by members of the library staff, who will use their discretion based on experience, areas of expertise, and professional skills in making a determination of which items to ultimately keep or discard from the collection. The director is responsible for the final decision of whether to permanently remove an item from the collection.

Preservation and Mending

·         If books or other materials fall into a state of disrepair through normal wear and tear or patron damage, the library will make an effort to rebind or repair the materials to suitable condition; if the items are too damaged to be repaired or are deemed no longer necessary or relevant to have a continued presence in the library’s collection, the items shall be disposed of or withdrawn.  

Materials that are lost or damaged beyond repair, and that the library has deemed to be of continued value and worth for library patron usage, will be replaced by identical copies of the same titles or more current titles on the same subject.