Collection Development Policy

Mission Statement

The Madrid Library is proud to provide quality materials and services that fulfill educational, informational, cultural and the recreational needs of the entire community in a welcoming and respectful atmosphere.


The Board of Trustees of the Madrid Public Library has adopted the following Collection Development Policy to guide librarians and to inform the public about the principles upon which library collections are developed and maintained.

The library collection supports the mission of Madrid Public Library (MPL).

The MPL acquires and makes available materials that inform, educate, entertain and enrich individuals within the community. Since no library can possibly acquire all print and non-print materials, every library must employ a policy of selectivity in acquisitions. The library provides, within its financial limitations, a general collection of reliable materials embracing broad areas of knowledge. Included are works of enduring value and timely materials on current issues. Within the framework of these broad objectives, selection is based on community demographics and evidence of areas of interest.

Other community resources and area library resources are taken into consideration when developing collections. Through interlibrary loan, librarians may obtain materials from other sources. Additional information may be obtained through electronic access and the internet. Information sources made available to the public through the internet will be selected using the same principles that are applied to books and other formats. New formats will be considered for the collection when a significant portion of the community population has the necessary technology to make use of the format.

Impartiality and judicious selection will be exercised in all materials acquisitions practices. Allocation of the materials budget and the number of items purchased for each area of the collection will be determined by indicators of use, the average cost per item and objectives for development of the collection as expressed in the MPL’s Collection Development Plan.

MPL supports the individual’s right to access ideas and information representing all points of view. To this end, the library welcomes and solicits patron suggestions, comments and ideas about the collection and its development.

The Board of Trustees of the Madrid Public Library shall follow the principles set forth in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement and Freedom to View Statement, and in accordance with federal and state laws.  These documents are included in the appendix.


  • Provide materials that meet the patrons’ interest and needs in a timely manner.
  • Provide materials for preschool and grade school children to encourage and promote continued use of the library.
  • Provide a broadly based and diverse collection that can support the roles of the library as a popular materials center, a reference center and an independent learning center.
  • Provide a variety of viewpoints on all subjects in its collections
  • Participate in cooperative collection development programs

Material Selection Plan

Responsibility for Selection

The director acts as the agent of the Board of Trustees in book selection.  Selection procedures shall follow the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association and also in accordance with state and federal laws.  The director is responsible for choosing, replacing and deselecting materials that reflect community demand all the while keeping the collection in good condition.  The director also oversees the information sources made available to the public through the internet.

Placement of Material

The placement of material within MPL is determined by several factors. The library uses the Dewey decimal classification. This classification scheme divides material by subject. Professional catalogers using Dewey Decimal Classification and the Library of Congress subject headings place materials ordered in the proper subject area and assign them to Adult, Juvenile, Young Adult, Reference, etc. areas of the library. Reviews by professionals in the field recommending age appropriateness of material aid librarians in choosing and locating that material.

Although the library facilities are divided into sections such as Juvenile, Reference, Fiction, Nonfiction, etc. for the convenience of the public, patrons of any age may use all parts of the library. The classification scheme, reviews by professionals, and the librarians’ expertise contribute to the proper placement of material.

It is the responsibility of the parents, not the library staff, to monitor library use by children.

Various material formats other than print materials are purchased by MPL. To offer ease of use to our patrons, these formats are usually shelved in separate areas from print materials. These collections may include audio books, DVDs, video and computer games, music CDs, maps, cake pans, magazines and newspapers.

Methods for Selection

Selection is a discerning and interpretive process, involving a general knowledge of the subject and recognition of the needs of the community. Material is judged on the basis of the content and style of the work as a whole, not by selected portions or passages. The library strives to collect and make available differing points of view. Among standard criteria applied are: literary merit, enduring value, accuracy, authoritativeness, social significance, importance of the subject matter to the collection, cost, scarcity of material on the subject and availability elsewhere. Quality and suitability of the format are also considered. Specific considerations for each area of the collection are noted in the Collection Development Plan. At all times selectors should select material that will build a well-rounded collection, which includes varying viewpoints and opinions that will meet supplementary study needs.

Material Format

Material is purchased in the most appropriate format for library use.

Textbooks may be purchased in areas where there is little or no material in any other format or where they add substantially to the collection. MPL does not necessarily buy the textbooks used by the local schools regarding it as the responsibility of the school, community college or university library to provide copies of these course materials for their students.

Non-book materials, such as CDs, DVDs, video games, CD-ROM discs, microforms and electronic databases are selected and deselected according to the same criteria as book materials, in line with library roles.

New formats will be considered for purchase as demand and use dictates. Some titles may be purchased in several formats in order to serve the most patrons. Availability of items in the format, the cost per item and the library’s ability to acquire and handle the items will also be factors in determining when a new format will be collected. Similar considerations will influence the decision to delete a format from the library’s collection.

Assessment of Collection

In order to maintain a collection of current, relevant library materials it is necessary to weed our collections regularly.  The “Crew” method written by the Texas State Library will be the authority used in evaluating and weeding materials.  In doing so consideration will be given to the following:

  • Age of material based on copyright
  • Usage circulation
  • Physical appearance
  • Literary merit or accuracy of material
  • Value to the community

 Gifts of Library Materials

The library applies the same criteria for evaluating gift items as it applies to purchased materials.  If gifts do not meet this criteria, they may be conveyed to the Friends of the Madrid Public Library, sold or otherwise disposed of.

No gifts are accepted unless given to the library without restriction.  All gifts of articles, books, rare items etc. donated to the library shall become property of the MPL and shall be used, displayed or disposed of as the director deems fit.  Used books and movies and other donations can often be used in the library’s collection.  Items not needed by the library are sold at the book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Madrid Library.

Gifts will be withdrawn in the same manner as the purchased material.  Also the library doesn’t accept responsibility for notifying donors for withdrawal or replacement of gift items.

MPL will not assign a value to donated gift materials.  However, the library will make available to patrons a receipt for X number of books, boxes of books, audio books, etc., which can be used for tax purposes.

Memorial books or other library materials may be donated in honor of a friend or relative and are marked with a special bookplate.

Monetary Donations

Gifts of money are always welcome and appreciated. Specific recommendations from the donor are honored as far as the suggestions enhance subject areas of need within the collection and are in accordance with the Material Selection Plan.

Special Collections

MPL will not establish a “Rare Book Room,” however the library may maintain special collections. A special collection is defined as a collection of materials that focuses on one topic to provide more in-depth coverage of that topic than may otherwise be found in the general public library collection. In general, special collections will be limited to topics that fulfill a specific community need or library role.

Reconsideration of Library Material

A singular obligation of the public library is to reflect within its collection differing points of view. MPL does not endorse particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply endorsements of the viewpoint of the author. Library material will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, nor will items be sequestered, except for the purpose of protecting them from theft or damage.

Comments from members of the community about the collection or individual items in the collection frequently provide librarians with useful information about interest or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection. The library welcomes expression of opinion by patrons, but will be governed by the Collection Development Policy in making additions to or deleting items from the collection.

Patrons who request the reconsideration of library material will be asked to put their requests in writing by completing and signing a form, appended to this policy, entitled “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material.”

Upon receipt of a formal written request, the director will refer to the criteria used in ordering the material in question, its place in the collection and reasons for having the material in the collection. Outside consultants may be asked for additional information as is pertinent to the subject in question.

The director will, at the earliest possible date, study the information provided by the library staff and respond, in writing, to the person who initiated the request for reconsideration. The director will keep the Board of Library Trustees informed of all requests for reconsideration of library material and disposition of their requests.

In the event that the person(s) who initiated the request is not satisfied with the decision of the director, he/she may request a meeting before the Board of Library Trustees by making a written request to the Chair of the Board. Upon receipt of the request, the board may make the request an agenda item and the person(s) will be notified of the time and place of the board meeting. The Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to limit the length of presentation and number of speakers at the meeting. After hearing from the person(s) making the reconsideration request, the board will determine whether the request for reconsideration has been handled in accordance with stated policies and procedures of MPL, will review the background information provided by the library staff, will review the position of the patron and will also review the decision of the director. Based on the information presented, the board may vote to uphold or override the decision of the director.

Appendix A

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

  1. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  2. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  3. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; January 23, 1980; inclusion of age reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Appendix B

The Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as

individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of

weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  1. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for

determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  1. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  1. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  1. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or it author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free.  We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004

Board Approved: April 2007

Revised & Approved: March 2011, December 2013, March 2017