Collection Development

The Collection Development Policy upholds the mission of the New Castle-Henry County Public Library by directing staff in the development and maintenance of its collection of materials in various formats to support the educational, informational, and recreational interests of the community.

The Library respects the freedom of information for its users and adheres to the principles expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. The goal of the Library is to offer a diversity of ideas and opinions including those which may be unorthodox or controversial. The Library opposes any attempts by individuals or groups to censor items in its collection. Responsibility for the reading choices of minors rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of materials will not be restricted by the possibility that these items may come into the possession of children, nor does the Library use any system of coding, rating or labeling to identify or segregate materials for purposes of censorship.

The Library Director has the authority to make exceptions to this policy when benefiting the Library and community. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend this policy and to rule on situations not specifically covered herein.

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.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. 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.

Censorship and Areas of Controversy

The library is obligated to provide materials on all sides of an issue, if possible, since it operates under democratic principles. This is especially important in the subjects of religion, politics, and philosophy. In an attempt to keep a balanced collection, certain materials may be acquired which some individuals may find offensive. These materials are added to the collection in order to provide various and different viewpoints and to meet the interests of all library patrons. Selection of materials for the collection does not mean the Library endorses the contents or views expressed in those materials.

Criteria for Materials Acquisition

Selectors use several criteria when evaluating and purchasing materials, keeping in mind the Library’s financial resources and availability of physical space. Materials need not meet all criteria for inclusion in the collection. Evaluation criteria for acquisitions includes:

  • Public demand and anticipated demand
  • Relevance to the interest and needs of the community
  • Attention of critics and reviewers, award winners, or inclusion in bibliographies
  • Significance, timeliness, or permanence of subject matter
  • Relevance and suitability of physical format
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Clarity, accuracy, and logic of presentation
  • Relevance to early literacy
  • Responsive to school age and teen interest, and scholastic support and enrichment
  • Literary merit and contribution to the field of knowledge
  • Relationship to the existing collection
  • Reputation or qualifications of the author, creator, or publisher
  • Value of the resource in relation to its cost
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • Availability of content through the internet, subscription databases, or other means
  • Condition of material

Additional evaluation criteria for electronic resources include:

  • Ease of use and remote access potential
  • Hardware, software, networking, and storage requirements
  • Licensing requirements
  • Comparison of content and cost with other available formats
  • Long term availability and perpetual access rights


Deacquisition, or deselection, of materials from the collection is a vital part of successful collection maintenance. Continuous evaluation is necessary and materials are regularly removed to maintain a current, accurate and appealing collection and to facilitate its ease of use. Deselected items may be disposed of through book sales, donations to other organizations, recycling, or other means approved by the Library Director. An item may be deselected for several reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Information is out of date
  • Item is worn or damaged
  • Item no longer responds to current needs or interests
  • Format of material is no longer collected

Local Authors, Self-Published Materials, Publisher Inquiries

We regularly receive inquiries from authors and publishers requesting that materials (including ebooks) be added to the Library collection. All materials requested to be added to the collection are subject to the same selection criteria as materials purchased by the Library. We may acquire self-published material if it fits within the scope of the Library’s collection plan, meets our selection criteria, or has received independent, positive reviews in one or more the of the major professional review journals; paid reviews do not qualify. Due to the number of submissions we receive, we do not notify submitters whether or not material is selected. Materials requested to be added to the collection may be brought to our attention in one of two ways:

  1. Send an email through the Contact Us email address on our website. In the email, include:
  • Basic bibliographic information about the material (title, author, ISBN, publisher, date of publication, number of pages, price)
  • Links to reviews of the material in professional review journals
  • A brief description of the material, its intended audience, and information about how or where to buy it
  1. Mail a flier or promotional information (please do not send review copies) to:

New Castle-Henry County Public Library   Attn: Collection Development

376 S. 15th Street

New Castle IN 47362


The Library accepts donations that may supplement and enhance its collection. All donations must be offered free and clear without restrictions as to use or future disposition, and all donations become the unrestricted property of New Castle-Henry County Public Library. There is a financial cost incurred by the Library associated with the care, preservation, and maintenance of gift materials to ensure that the materials may serve the Library’s mission, therefore, all gift materials are evaluated according to the same criteria as materials acquisition. Donated materials not added to the Library’s collection are given to the Friends of New Castle-Henry County Public Library to sell, the profits of which directly support Library programs.

Request for Reconsideration

The Library welcomes users’ expressions of opinion concerning materials purchased. Complaints about materials in the Library’s collection will be handled as follows:

  1. If a user is dissatisfied with an item, the user may complete the Request for Reconsideration form, listing the concerns that they have about the item.
  2. The form will be reviewed by the Library Director, who will review the item in question from the standpoint of the concerns expressed.
  3. Options for the Library Director include, but are not limited to, explaining why the item will be maintained by the Library in its present location, moving the item to a different area of the Library, moving the item to non-circulating status, removing the item from a display area to a stack area, or any other action deemed appropriate by the Library Director.
  4. Upon request, a written response will be sent to the user explaining the option chosen.
  5. The user may appeal the decision to the Library Board of Trustees.

Updated 1/23/2017