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Boylston Public Library Collection Development Policy 



The Boylston Public Library seeks to maintain a collection that represents a broad spectrum of opinions and subjects. The collection should contain up to date and accurate information in diverse formats, be as balanced as possible, and represent various views of controversial issues. Library staff carefully select materials to satisfy the informational, recreational, and cultural needs of the community, and the collection is responsive to changing interests and needs.


The purpose of the Library Collection Development Policy is to guide staff and inform the public about the process of material selection.


Responsibility for Collection Development Policy

The Trustees of the Boylston Public Library are responsible for the adoption of and changes to the Collection Development Policy. The Trustees authorize the Library Director to implement the approved policy. The Director allocates the materials budget and designates staff to assist with the selection of materials based upon established review and reference sources, as well as patron and staff recommendations.

Materials Selection Process and Criteria

When adding new materials, the work’s overall contribution to the collection is considered. Trained library staff utilize their specialized knowledge and professional selection sources, as well as the following selection criteria:

  • Identified, expressed or anticipated needs and interests of the community

  • Quality of content, such as timeliness, accuracy, and literary merit

  • Inclusion of different viewpoints, values, philosophies, cultures and religions

  • Focus on current interests while also maintaining materials in a broad range of subjects

  • Local demand and the availability of material through interlibrary loan

  • The significance of author, publisher and/or producer

  • Availability of various formats

  • Materials budget as well as physical space within the library

  • Relevance to the existing collection’s strengths and weaknesses

  • Relevance to the library’s mission and goals


All materials, whether purchased or donated, will be evaluated critically based on some combination of the above selection criteria.



Materials are withdrawn regularly by library staff to maintain items that are current and in good repair. Staff review the collection annually to assess for deficiencies, ensure usefulness to the community, and make room for new materials. Withdrawal selection follows guidelines set out in the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding) Manual which include:

  • Physical condition

  • Frequency of circulation 

  • Availability through interlibrary loan

  • Currency of information

  • Permanent value to the collection (classics or item of historical value)

  • Presence of similar materials in the collection

  • Space to house the item


Controversial Materials and Intellectual Freedom

The Boylston Public Library adheres to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement. Patrons are free to use or decline materials. The library does not promote particular beliefs or views, but strives to provide free access to a well-balanced collection of topics suitable to diverse members of the community. Materials expressing only one point of view may be selected to provide necessary balance to other materials. Materials containing language, situations or subjects that may be offensive to some within the community will not be disqualified if the material is judged to provide overall value to the collection.

The library places physical materials within areas of the building in which they seem most suitable. Library staff do not restrict the use of any material by age. Responsibility for materials selected and used by minors lies with their legal guardians. 

If a patron has concerns over the inclusion of material in the library’s collection, they may submit a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials.

Process for Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

  1. Be a resident of the Town of Boylston with an active library card.


  1. Have read, viewed, seen, or heard the material.


  1. Review the Boylston Public Library Collection Development Policy and the Library Bill of Rights.


  1. Complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form and submit it to the Library Director.  


  1. Once received, the Request will be presented to the Trustees. A decision will be voted on in the subsequent meeting. The material that is challenged shall remain in the collection during the review process.


  1. The Director will issue a written decision to the challenger. The decision of the Library Board of Trustees is final.


Approved by the Board of Trustees July 13, 2022. 

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