Collection Management Policy


This policy serves as a guide for the selection and retention of materials and is designed to support the library's mission. This policy guides the library staff in the selection of materials of contemporary significance and of permanent value and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made. Its primary purpose is to ensure that public money is spent wisely so that the library can provide the community with relevant materials in sufficient supply to make the library a dependable resource for most people most of the time.

It is the goal of the library to provide a high quality collection of books and other materials in a variety of formats and languages for all ages that is responsive to the needs and interests of the community.  The collection shall also reflect the diversity of the community and represent various points of view.

The West Linn Public Library (WLPL) will provide free and equitable access to library collections for all users. In selecting materials, library staff will use reference resources, judgment, knowledge, and experience to select these materials, and will proactively solicit advice from, as well as anticipate the needs and interests of the community.

The WLPL neither encourages nor discourages any particular viewpoint. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social views of the author. Selection of materials by the library staff does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials.

Within budgetary and space limitations, the collections will serve to enhance the cultural, literary, aesthetic and educational pursuits, and personal enjoyment of library users and further the mission and vision of the West Linn Public Library.

As a Department of the City of West Linn, the library follows all Purchasing and Retention policies of the City.  The West Linn Public Library endorses the principles documented in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to View, and Freedom to Read Statement.


The library's collections will emphasize the development of literacy and learning skills and reading for enjoyment. The collections will also emphasize the importance of stimulating a lifetime interest in continuous learning by providing access to accurate and interesting factual materials. Recognizing the different levels of interest and expertise based on age, experience, and educational or professional attainment, the library will select a wide range of materials in various media/formats. These media/formats include, but are not limited to, electronic resources, electronic books, audio books, videos, hardcover books, paperback books, periodicals, and electronic readers.

When selecting materials for the library, the following criteria are considered:

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Popular demand, even if not enduring in value, interest or accuracy
  • Purpose and quality of the material
  • Representation of important viewpoint, trend or cultural movement
  • Author's reputation, skill and significance
  • Authority of the publisher
  • Listing in professionally recognized selection aids
  • Favorable reviews in professional, literary or general periodicals
  • Suitability of physical format for library use (size, paper, print, binding)
  • Price and ease of use
  • Scarcity of information in subject areas
  • Size and extent of the current materials budget
  • Size and extent of the existing collection
  • Holdings of other libraries within the region
  • Materials of regional interest
  • Present and potential needs of the community


Ultimate responsibility for selection of materials which shape the development of the collections rests with the Library's Director, who operates within the framework of the policies, goals, objectives, and the library budget determined by the City of West Linn.

The authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials are delegated to the Library Director and professional staff qualified for this activity by reason of education and training. However, purchase suggestions from the general public and staff are encouraged given serious consideration.


The library recognizes that many books are controversial and that any given item may offend some patron. Selections will not be made on the basis of any assumed approval or disapproval, but solely on the merit of the work as it relates to the library's objectives and serves the expressed or anticipated needs and interests of the community.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of contents, and nothing will be sequestered except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft. The use of rare and scholarly items of great value will be controlled to the extent required to preserve them from harm.

Responsibility for the reading selections of minors rests with their parents or legal guardian. Selection of adult materials will not be limited by the possibility that books may come into the possession of minors.

Patrons not finding desired material in the library's collection may request that it be borrowed on interlibrary loan or that it be purchased.

Patrons finding certain library materials objectionable to the community at large may request that it be reconsidered by using the "Request of Reconsideration" form.


The library welcomes gifts of needed materials, funds for the purchase of such material, or funds in support of other library services, such as programs. The library reserves the right to evaluate and dispose of gifts in accordance with the criteria applied to purchasing material. The library discourages the attachment of conditions to gifts, and no conditions may be imposed relating to any gift after its acceptance by the library.

Gifts which do not comply with the library's objectives and policies will be declined and, when possible, referred to a more appropriate recipient. Gifts of materials are accepted by the Friends of the West Linn Library with the understanding that they will be looked over by selectors for inclusion in the collection. WLPL reserves the right to choose not to add gift materials to the collection and to allow the Friends to sell or dispose of them as deemed appropriate.

When WLPL receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature of subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based upon the wishes of the donor. Selection of specific titles, however, will be made by staff in accordance with the needs and selection policy of WLPL.


In order to maintain the collection in its most useful and attractive condition, the professional staff will consider for withdrawal material that is no longer in demand, that has been superseded by newer or more accurate resources, or that is in such poor physical condition it can no longer be used successfully. When appropriate, deteriorating items will be repaired or rebound. Replacement of a withdrawn item is not automatic; the decision to replace will be based on the selection policy.

To ensure a vital collection of continued value to the community, materials which have outlived their usefulness will be withdrawn. An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained by retaining or replacing essential material and removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance or no longer in demand.


This policy will be reviewed regularly by the library staff to ensure that it meets community needs. It may be revised only with the formal review of the Library Board.


This policy was adopted on July 24, 2013.