Collection Development


The Collection Development Policy (the “Policy”) sets goals for the collection that reflect the library’s mission statement. The Policy provides information to the Library’s stakeholders about the selection, acquisition, processing, weeding, retention, and preservation of the collection in regard to print and electronic materials. It also provides information on the decision-making responsibility for the collection. The Demarest Library Director and qualified members of the staff, who operate within policy guidelines set by the Board of Trustees, are responsible for collection development. The Demarest Free Public Library strives to provide materials that will meet the informational, educational, recreational, and cultural needs of the residents of Demarest.

Material Selection Criteria

Appropriate materials will be selected on the basis of their quality and permanent value to the collection, as well as on the basis of their timeliness and popular appeal. Those selecting materials will take into consideration the content of the existing collection and will represent a variety of viewpoints on current and historical issues. An item need not meet all of these criteria to be selected.

Within these standards, and limited only by budgetary considerations, materials will be acquired to meet the needs and interests of the Demarest community. Selection tools may include, but not be limited to: Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, The New York Times Book Review, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, publisher’s announcements, advertisements, catalogs, patron requests, and reviews published in specialized subject publications. While the Library recognizes that some material may be controversial, selections are not made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but on the merits of the work in regard to the aforementioned criteria.

Materials published or released in new formats will be considered for the collection when there is evidence that a significant portion of the local population has the required equipment to make use of the format. Availability of items in the format, the cost per item, and the Library’s ability to obtain and circulate the items will also be factors in determining when a new format will be acquired.

Although no categories of materials are generally excluded, textbooks are not ordinarily purchased.

As the most basic unit of service, the Demarest Free Public Library shall maintain a collection of current materials and standard reference works to meet the normal needs of its clientele. To meet specialized needs, the Library is able to utilize the resources of those libraries designated as Reference Centers by the New Jersey State Library.

Selection of Materials on Controversial Topics

A balanced collection attempts to represent all relevant arguments regarding controversial issues as far as availability of materials, space, and budget allow. Selection is based upon criteria stated in this policy. The race, religion, nationality, or political views of an author or creator; offensive language; depictions or descriptions of violence or sexually explicit activity; controversial content of an item; or endorsement or disapproval by an individual or group in the community does not cause an item automatically to be included or excluded from the library’s collection

All public libraries contain materials that some patrons may find objectionable. Libraries may omit from the collection materials that some patrons feel are important. In either case, the library has procedures that patrons may use in requesting the reconsideration of addition or removal of materials.

Reconsideration Policy

The library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy. 

The library also selects a wide variety of library materials that satisfy the diverse interests of our community. The library upholds the right of the individual to secure these resources, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some. The library’s varied collection is available to all; however, it is not expected that all of the collection will appeal to everyone.

Patrons who live or own property in Demarest and wish to request the withdrawal or reclassification of materials currently owned by the library are encouraged to discuss their concerns with a librarian or the Library Director. If the patron is not satisfied with the response to their request, they will be provided with information and a form to request formal reconsideration of the library resource.

Procedure for Handling Requests for Reconsideration

  1. A concerned Demarest patron who is dissatisfied with earlier informal discussions will be offered a packet of materials that includes the library’s mission statement, selection policy, reconsideration form, and the Library Bill of Rights.
  2. Patrons are required to complete and submit a reconsideration form for each title to the Library Director.
  3. The Library Director, with appropriate professional staff, will review the reconsideration form and the material in question, to consider whether its selection follows the criteria stated in the collection policy.
  4. Within 15 business days, the Library Director will make a decision and send a letter to the concerned person who requested the reconsideration, stating the reasons for the decision.
  5. If the individual is not satisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be submitted within 10 business days to the Board of Trustees.
  6. If the Board plans to address the appeal at their board meeting, the individual will be notified of the date and location of the meeting.
  7. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to limit the length of public comments.
  8. The decision of the board is final.

Request for Purchase

Patrons may request that the Library purchase specific titles via the BCCLS Suggest a Title webpage or by contacting the Library directly. Patrons are asked to provide as much information about the requested title as possible, especially an ISBN or UPC number. Patrons are also encouraged to explain their interest in the title. Suggested titles will be considered under the Library’s Criteria for Selection policy. The Library does not guarantee that a suggested title will be purchased.


The Library welcomes gifts of funds to enrich the collection. If requested, monetary gifts will be applied to the selection of materials by the Director in consultation with Library staff and the donor as appropriate. Criteria for gift and memorial purchases will follow standard written policies for collection development and weeding. Within that framework, every effort will be made to meet the purpose designated by the donor. The Library reserves the right to determine the use and disposition of all gifts unconditionally.

The Library does not accept donations of materials for its collection except under special circumstances as decided by the Library Director.

Collection Maintenance

The Demarest Free Public Library strives to maintain a collection that meets the current needs of the community. In doing so, a regular and systematic weeding of the Library’s materials will improve the efficiency and vitality of the Library’s resources.

Materials pertinent to the collection and in good condition will be given preference for shelf space. Materials whose contents are still of value, but that have worn out or have fallen into disrepair, will be repaired or replaced if possible. If new editions have been released, newer editions will supersede older copies. Patrons can use Interlibrary Loan or Regional Reference services to obtain items not held at the Demarest Free Public Library. Standards for materials withdrawal are detailed in CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries.

Except in the field of local history, materials outdated or seldom used shall be systematically removed and/or updated to maintain quality of resources. Discarded materials may be sold, donated, or recycled as the Library determines.

Display Policy

The Demarest Public Library has adopted the following Book/Media Display Policy to guide library employees and to inform the public about the principles upon which display themes and materials are chosen.

Displays are used to highlight new materials, educate the public about the variety of subjects, genres, and formats offered, and to stimulate interest in the library collections, services, and resources. Placement of materials on displays does not imply the Library’s endorsement of ideas, opinions, or viewpoints expressed therein.

Criteria for Selecting or Approving Displays

  • Format and style are suitable for intended audience (e.g. adult materials will not be included in displays in the children’s area);
  • Appropriateness to seasonal events, holidays, etc.;
  • Relation to current events;
  • Historical or regional relevance;
  • Relation to events in the community;
  • Representation of a genre, trend, or culture;
  • Interest of patrons and the public.

Guidelines for Displays

  • Themes and materials selected should fulfill the Library’s mission to provide materials which meet patrons’ interests and needs.
  • Materials should be in good condition.
  • Topical displays should represent the wide variety of viewpoints offered in the collections.
  • Displays should not promote a specific religion or political party.

Approval of Displays

  • Youth Services Librarian is responsible for Children’s and Teen displays.
  •  Adult Services Librarian is responsible for Adult displays.
  • Final approval of all displays lies with the Library Director. The Youth Services Librarian and Adult Services Librarian are expected to consult with the Library Director on the themes of displays.
  • Patrons who request the reconsideration of library display materials will be asked to follow the procedures concerning reconsideration of library materials as outlined in the Demarest Public Library’s Collection Development policy.

Adopted by the Demarest Library Board of Trustees March 21, 2022