Collection Development Policy



As a free public association library serving the New Canaan community, New Canaan Library provides a diverse collection of current materials and resources for the interest, information, education and enlightenment of such community.  This Policy is intended to inform the public about the principles underlying the Library's selection decisions, which are guided by the Library's Mission Statement set forth below:

To be an essential place for lifelong learning, culture, and connection for everyone in our community.

and the following:

·       First Amendment of the Constitution;

·       Library Bill of Rights as adopted and further revised by the American Library Association (ALA) (; and

·       The Freedom to Read Statement as adopted and further revised by the ALA (

Responsibility for Selection

Ultimate responsibility for the Library's collection and the resources for same rests with the Executive Director who operates in accordance with this Policy and other relevant policies approved by the Library's Board of Trustees.  The Manager of Collections oversees the selection process for the adult collection, but other staff members contribute to this endeavor. 

The Manager of Services to Families, children's librarians and teen librarians are responsible for selecting materials for the children's and teen collections.  The child and their parent, legal guardian or caregiver are solely responsible for determining the suitability of any material for a specific youth. 

Scope of Collection

The Library offers materials and services which are intended to meet the diverse cultural, educational and recreational needs and preferences of its users.  Accordingly, the collection offers a choice of format and level of difficulty so that a user's needs can be met, and services provided to accommodate all ages and proficiencies.  Formats include the following, where appropriate:

·       Print (e.g., hardcover, paperback, large print, newspapers, magazines);

·       Non-print (e.g., audiobooks, DVDs);

·       Downloadable content (e.g., ebooks and e-audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, online databases, periodicals); and

·       Digital and creative resources (e.g., 3D printers and scanners, Cri-Cut machine, mini computers; virtual reality equipment; sewing machines).

New formats are considered for the collection when, by industry report, survey results and user demand, a significant portion of the community has the technology to make use of the format, where applicable, and/or the Library's resources allow for their acquisition. Similar considerations determine the decision to delete a format from the collection.


The Library is primarily a popular materials library, emphasizing breadth of subjects over depth and general over specialized knowledge. The Library allocates its resources largely to popular works which will be of interest or educational value to as many area residents as possible. It does not maintain the resources of an academic, scientific or research library, but when feasible, will attempt to borrow such resources from other libraries upon request.

Specifically, the Library endeavors to:

·       collect, organize, and make available a diverse collection of materials of contemporary significance and of long-term value;

·       make available materials in a variety of formats for collaborative learning and innovation, even if they are of limited interest or enduring value; and

·       offer a range of points of view and levels of difficulty to accommodate all ages, interests and abilities.

Individual selections may be based on all or some of the following criteria:

·       literary merit, critical acclaim, artistic quality, vitality and originality;

·       educational and informational value;

·       accuracy, objectivity, effectiveness and timeliness of presentation;

·       current interest and demand;

·       diversity and representation of viewpoint;

·       representation of a literary, political, or social movement, genre, trend or national culture;

·       availability in a format appropriate for circulation and multiple use; and

·       availability at a cost within the Library’s budgeted resources.

The Library will purchase multiple copies of materials in high demand in different formats when warranted and based on available resources.  Additional copies of other materials may be purchased at the discretion of the Library. 

Selection Resources

Resources for collection selections include standard bibliographic works, published reviews in professional periodicals, publishers' catalogs, staff suggestions and recommendations by local specialists. 

User "Requests for Purchase"

"Requests for Purchase" of an item by a user on the Library's website are welcomed and will be considered applying the same criteria as that used for the collection.  If an item is unavailable for purchase, the Library will attempt to obtain the item for any New Canaan resident through Inter-Library Loan.

Deselection Guidelines

Collection evaluation and maintenance is a continuous and ongoing process based upon quantitative and qualitative evidence and professional judgment.  Materials that have outdated information, are in poor condition, or are no longer of use or interest will be removed from the collection. Materials are viewed as entire works, not based on isolated passages or sections.


The Library may accept gifts of new materials with the understanding that the same guidelines of selection are applied to gifts as to materials acquired for the collection.  The Library reserves the right to evaluate and to dispose of gifts in accordance with criteria applied to purchased materials. The Library does not currently accept donations of used materials.

Monies donated for the purchase of materials are gratefully accepted.  Library staff will make the final determination of the materials to be purchased with such donated funds.

Concerns about Library Resources

Free access to the collection is important to the Library's mission and the protection of the First Amendment rights of the Library's users.  Therefore, the Library may acquire items which meet the aforementioned selection criteria even though some Library users may find them offensive, explicit or controversial in nature. 

When acquiring and managing its collections, the Library follows the intellectual freedom policies of the ALA cited above and is also guided by Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights: Access to Library Resources and Services.  Copies of these statements are available on request.

Such persons who wish to submit a Request for Reconsideration should read the material in question in its entirety. Depending on the location of the item in the Library, either the Manager of Family Services or the Manager of Adult Collections will review and send a written decision regarding the disposition of the item.  In the event that such person is not satisfied with the decision, they may appeal to the Library's Executive Director by making a written request for a reconsideration of the decision, providing such additional material as they deem appropriate.  The decision of the Executive Director on the Request for Reconsideration will be final and will be communicated to the person making the Request. 



Next Review Date: December 2024


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Title of material:________________________________________


Format of material:__________________________________________ 


Author/Director of material:  ______________________________ Publication year                    __________


Request initiated by:  ___________________________________


Address: ___________________________________________ ______


Email ­­____________________________________  Phone:  _________________                   



1.  Have you read or watched the material in its entirety?    

Yes______ No ________


2.       What brought this material to your attention?



3.       Please cite specific examples of ideas or passages that prompted this submission.  Use page numbers when possible.



4.   Would you like to receive a written summary of what reviewers have written about this work?          Yes _____  No ______



5.  What would you like the Library to do about this work?




Thank you for your interest.



Signature:  ___________________________________  Date: ________________


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