Purpose of Collection Development Policy

The collection development policy is intended to provide guidance, within budgetary and space limitations, for the selection and evaluation of materials which anticipate and meet the needs of the Ludlow area community. It directly relates the collection to the library's mission statement, and defines the scope and standards of the various collections.

As the community changes, the library will need to reassess and adapt its collections to reflect new and differing areas of interest and concern. The collection development policy will be periodically evaluated and revised as necessary to provide guidance for implementing changes in the collection.

Philosophy of Selection

In support of its mission "to preserve and encourage the free expression of ideas essential to an informed citizenry," the Hubbard Memorial Library (The Library) fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. The Library upholds the right of the individual to secure information, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy. The Library Board has adopted and declares that it will adhere to and support the following American Library Association statements and policies:

The Library Bill of Rights

The Statement on Labels and Rating Systems

Freedom to Read

Freedom to View

Access to Electronic Information

Diversity in Collection Development

Scope of the Collection

The primary responsibility of The Library is to serve the citizens and employees of Ludlow by providing a broad choice of materials to meet their informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs. Materials are selected to aid individuals, groups, and organizations attain practical solutions to daily problems, and to enrich the quality of life for all community members.

Selection Criteria

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.

•    Popular interest
•    Contemporary significance or permanent value
•    Currency of information
•    Accuracy
•    Local emphasis
•    Readability or ability to sustain interest
•    Treatment of subject to age of intended audience
•    Reputation of author, publisher, producer or illustrator
•    Creative, literary or technical quality
•    Critical assessments in a variety of journals
•    Format and ease of use
•    Circulation as monitored through the automated system
•    Cost and availability
•    Relationship to existing materials in collection
•    Relationship to materials in other area libraries

Suggestions for Purchase

The Library strongly encourages input from the Ludlow community concerning the collection. A suggestion for purchase procedure enables Ludlow citizens to request that a particular item or subject be purchased by the library. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. It is The Library's intent that suggestions for purchase be used to help the library in developing collections which serve the interests and needs of the community.


The Library is grateful for gifts of used or new books and other materials in good condition.  The Library accepts gifts of materials for the collection using the same selection criteria that are applied to purchased materials. Not all gifts are added to the collection. Gift materials not added to the collection are not returned to the donor.

•    The Library retains unconditional ownership of the gift.
•    The Library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing and access to the materials.
•    Gifts added to the collection are housed in the most appropriate location, determined by evaluating staff.
•    Unused gifts may be given to the Friends of the Library for public sale.
•    The Library does not place a value on gifts, nor provide appraisals for income tax or any other purpose.

The Library is pleased to accept monetary gifts intended for the purchase of library materials when the donors’ intentions for the gifts and the library’s collection development objectives are consistent.

See Also Materials Donation Policy.


Once materials have been added to The Library’s collection, they are managed through an assessment and evaluation process to ensure that ongoing collection priorities are met; that collections remain up to date, balanced, and attractive; and that space limitations are minimized. This process identifies items for replacement, retention or deselection. The Library staff utilize professional judgment and expertise in deciding which materials to retain, replace, repair or deselect.

Weeding (removing items from the collection) is an integral part of collection development. Weeded materials will, at The Library’s discretion, be donated to the Friends of the Library for book sales, or disposed of through other means determined by The Library. The Library retains those materials that continue to have enduring or permanent significance to its mission and overall collection goals.

Along with the same criteria used to select new materials, general criteria for retaining, replacing, repairing or deselecting include:

•    Availability of item in alternative formats
•    Feasibility, cost of repair
•    Historical significance, interest, or value
•    Physical condition
•    Relative usefulness of item
•    Space considerations
•    Superseded, inaccurate, or out-of-date content
•    Usage

Controversial Materials & Intellectual Freedom

The Library provides materials for various opinions, which can apply to important, complex and controversial questions, including unpopular and unorthodox viewpoints. Language, situations, or subjects that may be offensive to some community members does not disqualify material whose value is to be judged in its entirety.

The Library recognizes parents and legal guardians as the parties responsible for the reading and viewing habits of their children.  The selection of materials for the adult collection is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials their parents or guardians consider inappropriate.

In the interest of protecting the individual’s right to have access to materials, the Library supports the following documents:

•    The Library Bill of Rights.  Adopted June 18, 1948, amended February 2, 1967, and June 23, 1980, inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council
•    Freedom to Read
•    Freedom to View
•    The Statement on Labels and Rating Systems
•    Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks
•    Diversity in Collection Development

Challenged Materials

Any individual or group of individuals has the right to judge or express concern as to whether or not an item is acceptable; however, that individual or group of individuals may not legally abridge the rights of other individuals to have access to information. If a complaint is made, the following procedure must be followed:

  1. Require the attached form "Request for Reconsideration" to be filled out. The library will retain a copy with an additional copy provided to the patron.
  2. The "Request for Reconsideration" form should be submitted to the Library.
  3. Copies of challenged materials will be accessible to the public during the duration of the reconsideration process.
  4. All Board members should read and/or evaluate the material of concern, weigh values, and form opinions based on the accepted Collection Development Policy.
  5. Library Board members and the director (at a regular scheduled meeting) shall determine the disposition of the material and then meet with the complainant to review the Board's decision.
  6. Copies of the complaint and resolution should be kept on file and a copy of the disposition should be given to the complainant.


Local History Collection Policy

This policy supplements the library’s Collection Development Policy.

Role & Scope of the Collection

The Library preserves and provides access to the history of Ludlow and envisions that all patrons interested in local history will have access to appropriate materials resulting in better knowledge of the community. The historical materials included in the Local History Collection are part of the community’s collective heritage, holding permanent value. It is the responsibility of The Library to preserve these resources for current research and future generations.

The emphasis of the local history and genealogy collection is on documenting Ludlow’s government, settlement, industry, commerce, education, recreation, and historically significant individuals, as well as the history of its civic, religious, cultural, and social organizations.

The Library primarily collects paper-based primary and secondary resources such as books, pamphlets, official reports, maps, historically significant works of local authors, photographs and unpublished diaries and manuscripts. Materials must be accurate, suitable for community need or interest, and serve a public rather than personal interest.


The Library welcomes donations to its local history collection. Each donation to the collection will be recorded in a donor file that will contain a copy of the Deed of Gift and all correspondence and memoranda relating to the transaction.

All donors must complete a Deed of Gift Form in order to establish the transfer of ownership of donated materials (and copyright, if appropriate) to The Library. The transfer to The Library of the copyright owned by donors in individual items makes it easier for The Library and its users to use the items in unique and creative ways. Once the Deed of Gift is signed by the donor, the donated material becomes the unrestricted property of The Library.

The Library reserves the right to refuse an offered donation. The Library will not accept material that shows damage from mold, mildew, water, insects, smoke, or dirt, as such material can harm other items in the collection. The library may also refuse a donation based on the Selection Criteria.

The Library reserves the right to decide how the donated material will be displayed or stored, how the material may be used by the public, and how long the material will be retained.

Donated materials may be scanned and placed on the internet for viewing or otherwise reformatted. They may also be moved from the local history and genealogy collection to other sections of the library, sold, transferred to another library, or discarded.

The Library will not, and cannot, conduct any monetary appraisals for donors nor give tax advice. If donors plan to take a tax deduction for their donations, they should consult a tax accountant or attorney. Any monetary appraisals are the responsibility of the donor and should be conducted before transferring materials to The Library.


Materials that are not donated together as a single collection may be dispersed among other historical collections according to subject or personal name. Individual files may be organized by type of documents or in chronological order.

Single collections donated, will to the greatest extent possible, retain their identity as a unique collection.

Preservation & Access

Preservation of library materials is an integral part of the development of the collection. New acquisitions will not be available to the public until proper archival storage arrangements are made.

The local history and genealogy collection is mainly housed in the reference room, which is open for public use during normal library hours. Every effort is made to make the collection as accessible to the public as possible, but due to the nature of this collection, materials are non-circulating and must be used inside the reference room. Users of the collection must consult with a librarian before removing items from the reference room for any reason.  Irreplaceable, fragile, or valuable materials may be locked away in order to ensure their long-term future use, but these materials can easily be accessed in some cases online or through the help of a librarian.

Policies regarding photocopying and the reproduction of items are spelled out in the Reproduction Policy for Historical Materials. Anyone who copies or reproduces materials from the collection should be aware of Title 17 and especially the provisions of Section 108 of the U.S. Code (Copyright Law) and takes full responsibility for complying with it. A librarian can help point users to resources that can aid in determining a work’s copyright status. Library staff may refuse to allow the photocopying or reproduction of fragile material.

Cooperative Agreements

The Hubbard Memorial Library may enter into cooperative arrangements with other organizations in order to preserve historical materials and/or make them more widely available.

Reappraisal & Deaccession

From time to time, the local history and genealogy collection will be reappraised, and the deaccession of some materials may take place. The library will offer the deaccessioned materials to other institutions if appropriate, sell the items, or discard them.


The library director, or a delegated staff member, has the authority to make exceptions to this policy when benefiting the library and community.



Adopted by the Board of Library Trustees. 02/21.