Desert Foothills Library Collection Development Policy

Updated: 09/09/21 


The mission of Desert Foothills Library is to enrich our community by promoting literacy and advancing knowledge through library resources and programs that inspire and support lifelong learning. We appreciate the diversity of the community and of individual library users, and as such will provide a library collection reflecting all points of view. 

The Library makes every effort to comply with national copyright laws (Title 17, U.S. code) and guidelines designed for the protection of authors and publishers. Notices about the use of copyrighted materials are placed on or near copy machines and Internet terminals to remind users of legal restrictions. 

 Collection Development  


 The Desert Foothills Library collection of books and other materials provide high-quality materials in a variety of formats and languages for all ages. 

 The Library neither encourages not discourages any particular viewpoint. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religious, gender, sexual orientation, political or social views of the author.  

 Selection of materials of the library does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials. 

 While the Library strives to make available materials in support of student research needs, the Library does not support the specific curricula of local educational institutions. 

Library staff, while professional, are not qualified to and may not interpret medical, legal, or tax information to the public. 

When appropriate and cost effective, the Library adds new proven formats, integrating the old with the new, ultimately eliminating the obsolete. 

Intellectual Freedom is one of the fundamental principles of a democratic society and as such will be protected by the Library and staff. The Library supports individual access rights of adults and youth, to books and other library resources and services, as expressed in the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read, the Freedom to View, and the Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records, as well as the Intellectual Freedom Manual for Arizona Libraries. The library also supports American Library Association policies in regard to an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, as related to the Intellectual Freedom Statement, Challenged Materials. 

The Library seeks to maintain a balance of material on all sides of issues and accepts the democratic principles expressed by the American Library Association in the Library Bill of Rights1. 

  1. The freedom to read, along with the freedom to hear and to view, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States2. This freedom, essential to our democracy, will be upheld, supported, and defended in the selection and accessibility of all library materials. In this regard, the library upholds the principles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights3, Freedom to Read4, Freedom to View5, Statement on Labeling6, and Free Access to Libraries for Minors7, and well as to the Arizona Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Statement8. 


Authority and responsibility for selecting library materials rests with the Library Management Team, and is delegated to the Acquisitions Librarian. The role of the Acquisitions Librarian is to identify, assess and acquire the materials that support the Library’s mission and in response to the needs and interest of a diverse population. 

Selection Criteria: 

The Library provides equitable access to materials that meet the unique and diverse recreational, cultural and informational interests of our community, regardless of race, age, creed, or political persuasion. Within budgetary and space limitations, as well as availability of materials, the Library’s collections will serve to enhance these values: 

  • Building a diverse collection to reflect the various ethnic and social groups of our community, which meets the needs of all ages, backgrounds, and educational levels, and which provides alternative perspectives, in addition to popular materials. 
  • Reviewing circulation statistics, customer purchase requests, and holds levels, to determine the need to purchase additional copies of higher demand items.  
  • Selection preference will be given to materials which, in the experience of staff, will be used most by patrons. Technical works written at a comprehensive or research level, and materials available elsewhere to special interest groups, are generally excluded from the collection. 
  • Undue duplication of materials is avoided, either in the library itself, or with other institutions in the community. 
  • Material will not be selected which cannot withstand repeated circulation. 
  • Responsibility for materials chosen and borrowed by children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of minors.  
  • Customers may be asked by staff to use electronic resources or interlibrary loan to obtain material if, in the judgement of staff, the item does not fit the criteria for inclusion in the collection. 
  • Self-published works, defined as when an author has paid for the publication of their work, will be selected if the work meets the standards of commercially published works and presents a unique work of particular interest to Desert Foothills Library’s customers. Items with positive reviews in standard consumer and professional media will be preferred.  


Formats collected include books, periodicals, newspapers, maps, audio and video recordings, graphic novels, and online databases. New and/or emerging formats will be considered when appropriate.  

The Library staff responds to community interests by careful consideration of the following: patron requests for purchases, use patterns for existing materials, purchase trends of similar materials from retailers, and any other source of information indicating community interests. The Library collection serves, to the degree possible, the interest of a diverse community without exclusion. Responsiveness to the interest of one individual or group is not restricted on the basis of dislike or objection of another individual or group. 

Quality is pursued by applying professional discretion and standards established by the library profession and through the use of appropriate selection aids, including book reviews, best seller lists, etc. 

Materials selections are made on the basis of any one, several, or all of the following specific criteria: 

  • Merit of the item as determined by awards, prizes, or positive reviews from a professional journals or publications of national repute 
  • Popular interest or demand 
  • Relevance to the Library community 
  • Reasonable cost with regard to budget restrictions 
  • Contents that are timely, accurate, impartial and representative of various viewpoints 
  • Significant reputation of the author, editor, publisher, producer, or illustrator 
  • Quality of organization, readability and style 
  • Social significance, historical value, potential usefulness, appeal, or cultural value of the title 
  • Availability of the subject in the library 
  • Appropriateness for age 

Material selectors rely on number of professional tools for selection. These may include: 

  • Booklist 
  • Library Journal 
  • New York Times Book Reviews 
  • Kirkus Reviews 
  • Publisher’s Weekly 
  • School Library Journal 
  • Science Books & Films 
  • Horn Book 
  • Voya 
  • Local publications 

Other selection aids include, but are not limited to: 

  • Recommendations from vendors based on current and projected demand 
  • Purchasing activity of other libraries in the region 
  • Standard bibliographies 
  • Lists by recognized authorities 
  • Advice from competent people in specific subject areas 
  • User requests, including interlibrary loan

Purchase Suggestions 

The general public and all staff members are welcome to recommend materials for selection. 

Suggestion for Purchase 

All library patrons are encouraged to request items the Library does not own. Suggestions are welcome and each is given serious consideration based on similar considerations as materials which are purchased such as date of publication, subject matter, existing materials owned on the subject, and customer demand. The Library determines the best method of acquisition of requested materials. In some instances, inter-library loan may prove a better means. Suggestions may be made online from the Library’s website or by using a paper suggestion form available at the service desk. Because of the volume of suggestions received, staff is unable to notify you about a decision. We encourage you to check the catalog periodically. 


The collection requires continuous evaluation in order to maintain its quality. 

A collection that presents a well-maintained physical presence maintains credibility with Library members. Materials should be deselected when they no longer meet the original criteria for adding them to the collection. Examples of this include titles that are dated or have inaccurate information, superseded editions, duplicates that are no longer needed, classic titles that need to be replaced, and items that are damaged or seriously worn. Such items complicate space constrictions and storage costs, prevent the speed of access to accurate and current information, or remain on the shelves unused. 

Statistical tools such as Circulation and Holds reports, as well as in-house use reports, are utilized to determine how the collection is being used, and how it might better evolve to meet community needs.  

With the exception of some classic materials, or materials presenting important minority viewpoints, materials are expected to present up-to-date information. 

Certain subject areas will be targeted for more stringent de-selection than others due to more frequent changes in current information on the topic. These areas include but are not limited to economics, law, medicine, current business practices and annual testing and travel guides. 

Materials whose physical appearance is unacceptable must be mended, replaced by a newer copy, or de-selected. 

Items deemed to not meet current interest will be deleted from the collection. Deselected materials may be sold through the Chapter2 Bookstore, library book sale events, saved as backup copies, donated to Better World Books, or recycled. 

Replacements will be based on factors such as availability, whether there is an ongoing demand or need, items hold historical value, revised editions existing that would better enhance the collection, or if another library system could better provide the item or a comparable item in the future. 

Re-Evaluation of Library Materials 

The Library believes that reading, listening to, and viewing library materials is a matter of individual choice, as supported by the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Intellectual Statement9. Members of the community will not be denied access to any materials or information deemed objectionable by another member or group in the community.  

Some Library materials may be controversial and any given item may offend some person. Selections for the library will not, however, be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the materials in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interests of the community. 

Patrons may challenge materials by completing the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” Form (See Appendix A), which is reviewed by the Library Management Team for evaluation. A written response is sent to the patron generally within six weeks.  Please note, the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form, and the written response to it, becomes part of the Library record. 

Material that has been questioned will remain in the active collection until the Library Management Team has made a determination of its status. 

Gifts and Donations 

Desert Foothills Library accepts donations of recent books and other materials, with the understanding that donated items become the sole property of the Library, and upon receipt the Library may discard, sell, trade, or otherwise dispose of any material at any time without notification to the donor. Donations should be clean and in good condition.  

Magazine donations – the library appreciates offers of donations, but due to limited space and staffing, we are unable to accept all items. 

  • We can accept current issues (current month plus the last 6 months) of popular magazines.  
  • What we cannot accept: weekly magazines such as People, Newsweek, etc., issues older than 12 months; collections of past issues such as Arizona Highways and National Geographic. 

Gifts and donations for placement within the Library’s collection will be evaluated by staff using the same selection criteria as for purchased items. 

The Library reserves the right to decide whether donated items are added to the collection. The Library is not bound to add donated items to the collection. Gift items not selected for addition to the collection will be given to the Chapter2 Bookstore. Proceeds from the bookstore directly benefit the library. 

Donations can be acknowledged with a receipt, however the Library does not evaluate or appraise gift materials for tax purposes (The Tax Reform Act of 1984, Sec. 155a). 

The Library maintains the right to refuse donations at any time. 

Donations of books, audiobooks, music CDs, and DVDs created by Arizona residents may be considered for the Library’s collection, and designated as “Local Authors”.   

Appendix A 






Whom do you represent? 





Author _______________________________Title ______________________________ 

Publisher/Date ___________________________________________________________ 

Type of Material _________________________________________________________ 

Did you review the entire item? _____________________ If not, what sections did you review? _________________________________________________________________   

To what in the item do you object? (Please be specific; cite pages, etc.)_______________ 


Have you seen or heard review of this material?_________________________________ 

If yes, please name source(s) ________________________________________________ 

What do you think the subject of this material is? _____________________________________________________________________________________ 


State your comment, suggestion or criticism of the material as specifically as possible: 



In the place of this item, would you care to recommend other materials which you 

consider equal or superior quality for the purpose intended? ____________________________________________  


Have you read Public Library’s Collection Development Policy and the 

Freedom to Read Act (available upon request)? ________Yes______No 

Do you wish to make an oral presentation to the Library Board? ______Yes ______No 

If yes, (a) call the library to learn how and when your issue will be on the Library Board Agenda; and (b) be prepared at that time to indicate the approximate length of time your presentation will require. 

If no, your comments will be forwarded to the Library Board, and they will respond to you by letter. 

The Desert Foothills Library appreciates your interest.   

Use the back of this form or additional sheets if necessary.