Due to restroom ren­o­va­tions, the Wes­ley Chapel-William C. Brown Library will be closed on Sat­ur­day, July 20.

Collection Development Policy


DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library is a place to grow. The library enlight­ens and enrich­es the peo­ple of DeKalb Coun­ty by pro­vid­ing respon­sive, dynam­ic ser­vices that meet the chang­ing infor­ma­tion­al needs of a diverse pop­u­la­tion. Through a trained, ser­vice-ori­ent­ed staff, part­ner­ships, and ready access to both print and elec­tron­ic resources, the library is com­mit­ted to supe­ri­or ser­vice that pro­motes a strong, lit­er­ate DeKalb com­mu­ni­ty and enhances the qual­i­ty of life.


We envi­sion a DeKalb Coun­ty where every per­son has the oppor­tu­ni­ty to reach his or her own full poten­tial in an eco­nom­i­cal­ly strong com­mu­ni­ty which val­ues fam­i­ly, diver­si­ty, and cooperation.

Pur­pose and Scope

The DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library selects, acquires, orga­nizes, makes acces­si­ble and pro­motes through user-ori­ent­ed pub­lic ser­vice, print and elec­tron­ic resources to sat­is­fy the expressed and antic­i­pat­ed for­mal, edu­ca­tion­al, cul­tur­al, civic, and leisure needs of the cit­i­zens of DeKalb County.

All Library mate­ri­als are con­sid­ered part of a sin­gle col­lec­tion that is defined by con­tent rather than by the for­mat or loca­tion in which it is found. The Library rec­og­nizes that peo­ple com­mu­ni­cate and learn in dif­fer­ent ways. To serve the diverse needs of library patrons, the Library is com­mit­ted to col­lect­ing and offer­ing access to a vari­ety of print, media and elec­tron­ic resources. The cri­te­ria for selec­tion, acqui­si­tion, and with­draw­al of mate­ri­als are the same for all for­mats and areas of the collection.

The pri­ma­ry pur­pose of this doc­u­ment is to estab­lish poli­cies and prin­ci­ples to assist the library staff in select­ing mate­ri­als of con­tem­po­rary sig­nif­i­cance or per­ma­nent val­ue. This doc­u­ment pro­vides the ratio­nale that sup­ports the oper­a­tional guide­lines con­tained in the DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library Col­lec­tion Man­age­ment Pro­ce­dures Man­u­al. The sec­ondary pur­pose of the Col­lec­tion Devel­op­ment Pol­i­cy is to pro­vide a source of infor­ma­tion to answer pub­lic inquiries con­cern­ing the process of mate­ri­als selec­tion and the com­po­si­tion and main­te­nance of the col­lec­tion. The final author­i­ty to deter­mine pol­i­cy guid­ing the selec­tion and acqui­si­tion of library mate­ri­als is vest­ed in the DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library Board of Trustees. The Library Direc­tor is respon­si­ble for imple­ment­ing such policy.

Free­dom of Access

The Board of Trustees of the DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library rec­og­nizes that Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy func­tions only when a full range of human ideas is acces­si­ble to the peo­ple, and when pro­po­nents of var­i­ous points of view are able to ful­ly and open­ly make their cas­es, how­ev­er pop­u­lar or unpop­u­lar, before the indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive judg­ment of their fel­low cit­i­zens. The Library will uphold the free­dom to read as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights, the Free­dom to Read State­ment and the Free­dom to View State­ment adopt­ed by the Amer­i­can Library Association.

The Board of Trustees affirms read­ing, lis­ten­ing, and view­ing to be an indi­vid­u­al’s pri­vate mat­ter. Full, con­fi­den­tial, and unre­strict­ed access to the library col­lec­tion is essen­tial for res­i­dents to par­tic­i­pate in our democ­ra­cy. While library patrons are free to select or reject mate­ri­als for their own use or for the use of their minor chil­dren, the free­dom of oth­ers to use the library col­lec­tion will not be restrict­ed. Library staff is avail­able to assist patrons in iden­ti­fy­ing mate­ri­als that meet their needs, but par­ents and guardians have the respon­si­bil­i­ty to guide and direct the use of the library col­lec­tion for their own minor chil­dren. Library staff does not serve in place of par­ents (in loco parentis).

Mate­ri­als Selection

The library col­lec­tion will include as wide a selec­tion as pos­si­ble with­in the con­fines of bud­getary and space lim­i­ta­tions. Cri­te­ria to be con­sid­ered in adding mate­ri­als to the library col­lec­tion are:

  • Rel­e­vance to the needs and inter­ests of the community
  • Mate­ri­als of long-last­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty or importance
  • Reviews by approved media or experts in the field
  • Price and bud­get considerations
  • Suit­abil­i­ty of sub­ject, style, and read­ing lev­el for community
  • Works of region­al inter­est or works by local authors, artists, pub­lish­ers or producers
  • Con­ve­nience of access and ease of use
  • Con­tri­bu­tion to diver­si­ty and scope of the collection
  • Accu­ra­cy and timeliness
  • Suit­abil­i­ty of for­mat for library use and qual­i­ty of tech­ni­cal production
  • Rep­u­ta­tion, sig­nif­i­cance and qual­i­fi­ca­tions of the author, cre­ator, pro­duc­er or publisher
  • Receipt of nom­i­na­tions for rec­og­nized awards, prizes and notable lists

These cri­te­ria are not list­ed in order of impor­tance. The num­ber and weight of them may vary in pro­fes­sion­al selec­tion decisions.


Gifts of books and oth­er mate­ri­als are accept­ed by the Library with the under­stand­ing that the Library reserves the right to han­dle or dis­pose of them in the best inter­est of the insti­tu­tion. Such gifts may be added to the col­lec­tion, sold, exchanged or dis­card­ed, but can­not be returned to the donor.

Mate­ri­als to be added to the col­lec­tion must meet the Library’s selec­tion cri­te­ria. Gift items are acknowl­edged, but not appraised for tax pur­pos­es. The Library encour­ages memo­r­i­al or com­mem­o­ra­tive gifts of mon­ey to the DeKalb Library Foun­da­tion which will be used for the pur­chase of books and oth­er materials.

Rare books and valu­able collector’s edi­tions are not ordi­nar­i­ly includ­ed in the Library’s col­lec­tions because of the spe­cial care and facil­i­ties nec­es­sary for their preser­va­tion. Reten­tion of such col­lec­tions is dis­cre­tionary, and items may be sold or exchanged to ben­e­fit the Library.

New and Emerg­ing Formats

Because tech­nolo­gies of sound, image, and elec­tron­ic deliv­ery of infor­ma­tion con­tin­ue to evolve, the Library will mon­i­tor and eval­u­ate new for­mats, imple­ment­ing them when appropriate.

Before adding new for­mats, spe­cif­ic cri­te­ria are con­sid­ered. They include:

  • Impact on equip­ment, staff, stor­age, and space
  • Demand for for­mat in community
  • Dura­bil­i­ty of for­mat for library use
  • Tech­ni­cal qual­i­ty of pro­duc­tion or reproduction
  • Com­pli­ance with indus­try stan­dards and specifications
  • Avail­abil­i­ty of ade­quate start­up and con­tin­ued funding
  • Capa­bil­i­ty for net­worked dis­tri­b­u­tion, down­load and printing
  • Suit­abil­i­ty to be cir­cu­lat­ed or housed in a stur­dy, safe and con­ve­nient manner
  • Avail­abil­i­ty of tech­ni­cal sup­port and staff training
  • Acces­si­bil­i­ty of material
  • Ease of use by patrons and staff
  • Own­er­ship of or access to product

Mate­ri­als Deselection

In order to main­tain a col­lec­tion that is cur­rent, in good con­di­tion, well used and rel­e­vant to the needs and inter­ests of the com­mu­ni­ty, mate­ri­als are with­drawn on a sys­tem­at­ic and con­tin­u­ing basis. Dam­aged, unat­trac­tive, out­dat­ed and unused mate­ri­als are sub­ject to dis­card. In most cas­es, items with­drawn from the col­lec­tion are giv­en to the Friends of the Library for fundrais­ing activ­i­ties that ben­e­fit the Library.

Gen­er­al cri­te­ria used in eval­u­at­ing whether an item should be removed from the col­lec­tion include:

  • Accu­ra­cy
  • Cur­rent or poten­tial use
  • Obso­les­cence
  • Phys­i­cal condition
  • Com­plete­ness of sets 
  • Ref­er­ence value
  • Avail­abil­i­ty of sim­i­lar materials 
  • Local com­mu­ni­ty needs

DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library main­tains a col­lec­tion of rel­e­vant, but infre­quent­ly used titles in the Ask-at-Desk Col­lec­tion at the Decatur Library.

Recon­sid­er­a­tion of Library Materials

While the Board of Trustees rec­og­nizes the right of indi­vid­u­als to ques­tion mate­ri­als in the col­lec­tion, the Library will be gov­erned by this pol­i­cy in mak­ing changes and dele­tions. Mem­bers of the pro­fes­sion­al staff will respond to inquiries by explain­ing selec­tion and main­te­nance poli­cies. Indi­vid­u­als may state their opin­ion in writ­ing on a form sup­plied by the Library. Upon con­fer­ring with mem­bers of the mate­ri­als selec­tion com­mit­tees, Library admin­is­tra­tors will send a response with­in one month of receiv­ing the form. If fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion is request­ed, the mat­ter will be referred to the Direc­tor and to the Library Board of Trustees who make the final deter­mi­na­tion. Mate­r­i­al under ques­tion will remain active in the col­lec­tion dur­ing the review process.


  • DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library Board of Trustees, March 51984


  • July 131998
  • May 192015