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Collection Development Policy

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1.  The responsibility for the collection rests with the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) Board of Trustees.  The responsibility for selection of materials and collection maintenance rests with the Director, who delegates this task to qualified professional staff.


      2.  General Collection

  1. The selection of library materials is based on a comprehensive knowledge of the nature and special characteristics of both the local community and Erie County.
  1. The collection includes subjects of permanent value and current general interest on international, national and local levels.
  1. A "complete" collection of library materials is not the goal, but the best and most useful materials are selected.  Some materials may be acquired primarily on the basis of their artistic merit, scholarship or value to humanity, while others are selected to satisfy the informational, recreational or educational interests of the community.
  1. Materials are acquired for individuals of varying ages, educational levels and interest, and in formats for persons with disabilities.
  1. The B&ECPL acquires a wide range of materials in a variety of formats according to their suitability for public library use and their cost effectiveness.  Each type of material is considered in terms of its own merit and its intended audience.
  1. Wherever possible, the B&ECPL provides materials to anticipate the needs and interests of potential users.
  1. Gift materials are judged by the same standards that apply to purchased materials.  (See "Gift and Donor Recognition Policy.")
  1. The collection is maintained by retaining or replacing essential materials and removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, or no longer in demand.

3. Special Collections

  1. The Special Collections of the B&ECPL (including but not limited to:  Rare Books, scrapbooks, sheet music, genealogy resources, William A. Miles Center for African and African-American Studies, government documents, serials, certain reference collections and databases) represent unique resources, and special conditions may apply to the management of these collections as determined by the Director.
  1. The Rare Book collection is evaluated and maintained by staff trained in rare book collection and care, based on established collection development procedural guidelines and in keeping with the strategic plan of the department.  Any proposals regarding de-accessioning significant works in this collection will be presented to the Executive Committee of the B&ECPL Board of Trustees.  

4. Suggested Additions or Removal of Items from the Collection

  1. No library materials are excluded based on expressions of race, religion, nationality, or political or social views.  This policy defends the principles of freedom to read, view or hear.  No material shall be removed from the collection, except for routine collection maintenance or conditions as determined by the staff and/or Board of Trustees, pursuant to “Reconsideration of Library Materials.” 
  1. Patron requests to add specific titles to the collection may be made using the Suggest an Item to be added to the Library’s Collection form.
  1. Patron requests to reconsider specific items already in the Library’s collection may be made using the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form.

5.  The Library does not stand in loco parentis.  Parents and/or legal guardians, not library staff, are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of reading, viewing, and listening material.

6.  Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Board of Trustees has adopted and declared that it shall adhere to and support:  The B&ECPL Mission Statement and Library Bill of Rights.


Adopted January 18, 2001.
Amended June 17, 2010 Resolution 2010-23.
Amended September 19, 2013 Resolution 2013-31.