Palisades Park Public Library
Palisades Park Public Library
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Palisades Park Public Library

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Palisades Park Library Information

POLICIES - collection development

Approved October 4, 2007


The collection development and management policy is established by the Library Board to guide the library staff in the management of the collection and to inform the public of the principles upon which the library makes decisions regarding the maintenance and use of its collection.

Responsibility for reading and viewing by minors rests with their parents or local guardians. Selection of adult material will not be restricted by the possibility that these materials may come into the possession of minors. The library does not act in loco parentis. No attempt is made to purchase text books for curriculum support.

The Library Board endorses the American Library Association's Library bill of Rights which reads as follows:

  1. Books and other library resources 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 abridgment 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.


The Library Board delegates to the Library Director the authority and responsibility for selection and management of all print, non-print, and electronic materials within the framework of this policy. Actual selection and management activities are shared among trained library staff who shall discharge this obligation consistent with this policy and established procedures.


  1. The collection should represent significant viewpoints on subjects of interest and does not favor any particular viewpoint.
  2. The professional staff of the library makes selections in a manner based upon principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship.
  3. Materials are measured by a number of criteria. The basic test for selection of any item is whether it is of proven or potential interest to the library's patrons. Other considerations include the quality of the material, the attention of critics, reviewers and the public, the amount of similar materials already in the collection, and the extent to which the material may be elsewhere obtained. In addition, the cost and physical makeup of the material are also considered.
  4. Materials are selected both to satisfy the prevalent tastes, needs and reading abilities in the community and to provide diversity in recognition of changing and minority interests. In choosing materials to suit a variety of tastes, differing viewpoints on controversial issues will be included.
  5. The library does not serve as censor of the reading or viewing habits of any member of the community. The library does not endorse all opinions expressed in the materials it stocks. Some materials may be offensive, shocking, or boring to some readers, but may be meaningful and significant to others. Works being considered should be viewed as a show, not in isolated parts.


The following sources are representative of the many aids used for selection materials:

Professional Journals
Booklist, School Library Journal, American Libraries, VOYA, New York Times Review of Books, Publisher's Weekly

H.W. Wilson Adult and Children's Fiction Catalogs, trade journals, newspapers, magazines, selected bibliographies

Discarding and Replacement of Library Materials
In order to maintain a vital, current collection which meets the needs of our community, examination of materials is an ongoing process. Discarded materials may be sold, given to community organizations, such as veterans' homes, nursing homes, etc. or sent for recycling at the discretion of the library's director. An item is considered for discard when it is:

  • Obsolete
  • Worn beyond use
  • Damaged
  • No longer circulating and/or used for reference purposes
  • One of many copies of a formerly popular title

A work chosen for discard may or may not be replaced with another copy of the same title or another work on the same subject depending upon the professional judgment of materials selectors.

The following aids are used in the discard process: H.S. Wilson Adult and Children's Fiction Catalogs.

Gifts of books and other materials are accepted with the understanding that they may be used or disposed of at the Library's discretion. Titles acquired in this manner are subject to the basic standards of selection. The cost of processing and the availability or shelving space are also factors in determining the acceptance of gifts. The Library does not provide evaluations of gifts for tax deductions or other purposes.

Customer Comments on Library Materials
The Palisades Park Public Library welcomes customers' thoughts concerning library materials and has procedures for making comments.

  1. Informal comments may be made to staff members at any time. Such comments will be conveyed to the Library Director. If you wish to speak to the Library Director, this will be arranged.
  2. If you wish to make your comment in a formal manner, the following procedure should be followed:
    1. Fill out the Comment on Library Materials form. This will then be given to the professional staff member responsible for selection in that area and a copy will be given to the Library Director. After consideration, the Library Director will respond with a letter telling you what actions are being taken (or not taken) and the reasons for these actions.
    2. If further review is requested, you will be invited to meet with the Library Director. After the meeting, yo will be sent a letter telling you what actions are being taken (or not taken) and the reasons for these actions.
    3. You may request further review by the Library's Board of Trustees. Upon receiving your request for review, the Board may handle the matter as a body or may refer the question to an advisory committee for recommendations. Once the Board has reached a decision, it will be communicated to you in writing.
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