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Collection Development Policy


Introduction The Public Library of New London, serving New London, CT, has a wide variety of books, audiobooks, movies, music, free Wi-Fi, public computers, and programs for all ages. The Library Board is responsible for establishing policies and rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of all library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.
MISSION The Public Library of New London serves the needs of the New London community by providing free access to a diversity of ideas and information through a variety of library materials, services, and experiences.

Collection Development Policy Purpose

The Collection Development Policy is to be updated by the Library Director and approved by the Library Board of Trustees as needed. The aim of this policy is to provide procedural, scope, selection, and removal guidelines that are in line with the library’s mission and approach to patron services. It will also be able to serve as a mediation tool for items under reconsideration.
New London Community New London, Connecticut is a seaport city of about 27,000 residents. This community values its history and education. The Public Library of New London received its start in 1876 with the construction of the original 4,000 square foot library building, and initiating a book collection which was opened to the public in July, 1891.

Collection Philosophy

The Public Library of New London collects materials, in a variety of popular formats, which support its function as an information source for the needs of an urban population. The collection also serves the general educational interest, recreational, and entertainment needs of the public, and reflects the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of the community. Widespread interest, demand and usage are the most powerful influence on the Library’s collection. The Public Library of New London works to maintain best practices for public libraries in collection development including but not limited to the Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement (American Library Association, n.d.).

General Collection

The scope of the general collection contains fiction and non-fiction works that are in current and lasting demand including popular works and classic literature. It consists of materials from a variety of formats including AV materials, books on all subjects, periodicals, newspapers, reference materials, and government communications. These formats are selected to meet the changing needs of adults, teens, children, parents, students, nonprofits and businesses.

Online Collection

The online collection represents a variety of views for everyone in the New London community and in some cases the LION consortium. The online collection consists of content on-demand services for downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and TV. The online collection also consists of research databases, continuing education tools, resume and job help, nonprofit grant searching and more.

Special Collections in the Local History Room

The Public Library of New London has a dedicated collection of reference materials preserving the history of New London, its key figures, families, and the community in general. The range of items in this collection includes original works, archives, historical city documents, genealogical records, and other local histories. These materials located in the Local History Room are accessible and researchable, but do not circulate. The Library is the only repository of The Day newspaper microfilms since 1881.

Government Publications

The Public Library of New London provides access to local and federal government documents as they are made available to the library or requested by patrons. Government documents are made available in the general reference collection.

Donations and Gifts

The Public Library of New London accepts donations of books and other materials. The Library retains the authority to accept or reject donated items. Library staff make all decisions as to the use, storage, and final disposition of donated items. The Library does not evaluate or appraise gift materials for tax purposes.

Selection Criteria

Library staff responsible for collection development use their training, knowledge, and expertise along with the following general criteria to select materials for the collection:
• Meets the interests and needs of the local community
• Level of demand and/or notoriety
• Patron requests
• Current or historical significance of the author or subject
• Authority of the author and/or publisher
• Regularly employ key selection/deselection tools such as review journals and reader reviews
• Format relevance, languages, and quality of condition
• Relevance to library patrons
• Budget allocations for specified materials
• Review of gifts and local author submissions
• Price, availability and Library materials budget
• Monitor circulation performance for duplicates and replacements
• Analyze collection characteristics and collection data to better serve patrons
• Online resources evaluated based on accessibility and availability
• Review new electronic resources
• Collaborate, as needed, with other subject specialists

Selection Process and Management

The Library’s collection is a living, changing entity. As items are added, others are reviewed for their ongoing value and sometimes withdrawn from the collection. Great care is taken to retain or replace items that have enduring value to the community. Decisions are influenced by patterns of use, the capacity of each location and the holdings of other libraries that may specialize in a given subject matter. Staff review the collection regularly to maintain its vitality and usefulness to the community.

Patron Requests

Library Patrons may request items that the library does not own or have access to via Interlibrary Loan or LION consortia sharing, for the library to add to the collection. Patron requests will be given priority consideration based on availability, price, format, collection relevance, the above selection criteria, and/or the librarian’s discretion.

Budget and Resource Allocations

Budget and resource allocations are set by the Library Director. Allocations may be amended based on availability of additional funding. Resources include City of New London, fundraisers, grants, and donations.

Criteria for Weeding and Withdrawal

Materials will be removed from the collection based on the following criteria: items are damaged or in poor condition, items have lost their relevance for use, items have not been circulated or used for a prolonged period of time, the contents of an item become inaccurate, there is greater circulation and availability at other libraries in the LION consortia, spatial limitations deem removal of items necessary, there are an excessive number of copies in relation to demand, approval of a reconsideration request, and/or unknown factors that require the removal of an item.

Adopted 08/16/2022 (Approved by the Board of Trustees)