Collection Development Policy
The Orange County Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning, and the joys of reading for our diverse community. This policy is to provide guidance for the selection and withdrawal of library materials in order to meet the needs of the community. As the community changes, the library will continue to reassess and adapt its collections to reflect new and changing areas of interest and concern. However, no changes will be made that violate the principles contained in the Library Bill of Rights, adopted and amended by the Council of the American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read policy statement.
Overview of Orange County Library Locations (updated July 2021)
Orange County Main Library
The Orange County Main Library is located in the Town of Hillsborough, offering a full selection of materials in different formats.
Orange County Cybrary
The Cybrary is located in the Century Center in downtown Carrboro. The Cybrary focuses on computer access and digital literacy and, therefore, provides a small collection of popular materials.
Note: Most materials in the library's systemwide collection may be transferred between locations via courier service, therefore if customers have a home library and desire to checkout something from the library's other location, they may make that request using their online account.
Scope of the Collection
The library provides materials and services that reflect the diverse educational, information, and recreational needs of its users and provides access to content through print, multimedia, and technology:
- Assistive technology; magnifiers, assistive listening, and software
- Circulating non-print; audio and visual formats
- Circulating print; hardcovers, paperbacks
- Electronic equipment; e-readers, laptops, iPads, hotspots, and other computing devices
- Electronic resources; resources for learning and research; e-books, audiobooks, videos, music, images, and digital historical archives
- Non-circulating print; reference, local history
Selection & Collection Maintenance
Professional staff reviews the collection on an ongoing basis in order to maintain its relevance and usefulness to the community. Responsibility for materials chosen and resource access is shared with designated selectors who work as a team to represent all aspects of the collection. All staff members are encouraged to participate in the selection of library resources.
It is the Library Director’s responsibility to support collection development through staffing and resources.
Selection is an ongoing process. Staff considers the following criteria when selecting materials, though an item need not meet all of the criteria to be selected:
- Access of material elsewhere in the area
- Consideration of vendor / publisher availability to libraries
- Currency and accuracy of the information
- Popular demand
- Positive reviews in professional journals and review sources
- Price and affordability
- Qualifications of the author, creator, or publisher of the work
- Relevance to the interests and needs of the community
- Representation of inclusive points of view based on our diverse population
- Space availability
- Suitability of format or physical form for library use
In order to provide the best service to our community, the collection is regularly evaluated. The following are the criteria for withdrawal from the collection:
- Availability of shelf space
- Items are out of date, contain inaccurate data, or are not historically significant
- Items are worn, stained, or damaged beyond repair
- Low circulation
- New, current, or more comprehensive resources are available
Whenever possible, items removed from the collection will be sold by the Friends of the Library or selected vendors with proceeds to benefit the library.
If items are withdrawn by reason of condition, loss, or damage, they will be considered for replacement.
Consideration for Purchase
The library encourages input from the community concerning the collection. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials. It is the library’s intent that suggestions for purchase are to be used to help the library in developing collections which best serve the overall interests and needs of the community.
The library accepts donations of books and other materials in good condition. These items will be considered for addition to the collection and subjected to the same selection criteria as purchased items. The library may give donated materials to the Friends of the Library or use them for program giveaways.
Local History Donations
Due to preservation limitations, the library does not collect rare books or personal papers, photographs or artifacts of public officials and citizens past or present.
The library is pleased to accept monetary gifts intended for the purchase of library materials when the donors’ intentions for the gifts are consistent with the library’s collection development objectives. Those who wish to make donations of this type should contact the head of the division or branch where the material will be housed.
The Orange County Public Library recognizes and supports the talent of local authors and, whenever possible, wishes to include their works in the collection. Donations by local authors are welcomed with the understanding that acceptance of material does not guarantee addition to the permanent collection.
Request for Reconsideration
The library selects materials using established criteria. Requests for removal of items from the collection may be made using a formal procedure, beginning with a written request (PDF).
Staff reviews the request in relation to the library’s mission statement and the selection criteria. A written response to the request for removal is sent to the patron from the Library Director within 30 days of receipt of the request.
Professional staff reviews the collection on an ongoing basis in order to maintain its vitality and usefulness to the community. Responsibility for materials chosen and resource access is shared with the Library Director and designated selectors who work as a team to represent all aspects of the collection. All staff members are encouraged to participate in the selection of library resources. The Library Director is the final authority with regards to enforcing this policy.
Policy Revised March 2017