Collection Development Policy


Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this collection development policy is to guide the library staff in building and maintaining the library’s collection of materials and to inform the public about the principles upon which collection development decisions are made.

Mission Statement

The Van Buren Public Library is committed to providing informational, recreational, and educational materials and programs that meet the needs of the community and township it serves.  It is the mission of the library to promote literacy, education and joy of reading and learning through its commitment to a constant expansion and updating of its materials and technology.

Community Analysis

The Van Buren Public Library is a small rural community serving the town of Van Buren and the township of Van Buren.  It does not serve Washington Township and Monroe Township, which is a part of the Eastbrook Community School System.  Of the 3,000 people it serves, most of the community are white Anglo.  The community makes a living through farming, livestock and industrial factories nearby in Marion and other communities.  A college nearby in the school system is Taylor University, located in Upland.  It is a small Christian Liberal arts college.

Responsibility for Selection

Within the framework of the collection policy, the Van Buren Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director the responsibility of selecting library materials.  The Director is responsible for all materials being selected to the interests and needs of the patrons of the library.  Staff members and general public are welcome to recommend materials for consideration.

Materials Selection

Materials refer to the physical entities that serve as carriers of information, for example:  books, magazines, videorecordings, audiobooks, graphics, microforms, audiocassettes and puzzles.  CD-ROMs and other forms of information will be anticipated in the near future and added to the collection in the near future.

Materials should include the widest possible coverage of subjects and viewpoints consistent with the needs and interests of the community, the budget available, and the physical limits of the collection.  These materials shall address the needs of current and potential users regardless of age, race, sex, physical challenge, nationality, economic and social background, educational level, religion or political affiliation.  Any materials and formats may be collected or purchased to meet identified collection needs.

Materials, which have deemed to be obscene, shall not be included in the library collection.

In acquiring materials, the library shall apply one or more of the following selection criteria:




Relative importance of subject matter to the collection

Timeliness and social significance

Importance of the author in the field

Qualities conducive to critical thought and understanding

Community uses or demands

Cost and availability elsewhere

Suitability of format for library purposes

Attention of critics, reviewers, media and public

The overall value of each item is the chief criterion of selection.  Works by local author or of regional interest may be given special consideration.  The library will also welcome patron suggestions for purchase.  It is the library, however, that has the final responsibility for the selection of materials.


Duplicate titles are supplied within reasonable limits.  This may be accomplished through the acquisition of paperbacks.

New Formats

New Formats will be considered as they are developed.  The addition of online  services will follow the same material selection criteria as stated earlier in this policy.

Give and Memorials

Gifts are accepted and acknowledged with the understanding that the library reserves the right to handle or dispose of them in its best interest.

Memorials are also accepted in accordance with the library selection policy.  Donors may suggest titles or subjects.  Memorials and gifts will be acknowledged and inscribed.

Copyright Guidelines and Policy

The Van Buren Public Library will comply with federal copyright laws in the reproduction of books, or parts of books, periodicals, and all other materials.

Selection Tools


Library Journal

Library Bulletin

Public Library Catalog

American Libraries

Suggestions from patrons, staff and teachers

Internet Top Booksellers


It is the routine practice of the library to systematically remove materials, which are outdated, worn-out or no longer in high demand.  It is a continuous process which follows the application of the criteria of selection.  Frequency of use, community interests, and availability of new and relevant materials are primary reasons for retaining or discarding materials.

Special Collections

Indiana History–pertains to materials about Indiana and materials by Indiana authors.

Van Buren History–a section in our library that pertains to the Van Buren town history.

Van Buren High School–a collection of Van Buren High School yearbooks.

Grant County–materials in the library that have some aspect of the county towns and surrounding communities and their histories.

Genealogy–a collection of family records, photographs and books to view of Van Buren and Van Buren Township.


The Van Buren Public Library affirms its commitment to the interlibrary cooperation.  In some cases, the most satisfactory service to the library patron is to receive materials via an interlibrary loan network.  The library offers to use all avenues of resource sharing available to library patrons in order to meet their informational needs.

Revision of Policy

This Collection Development Policy of the Van Buren Public Library states the general guidelines for building and maintaining the library’s collection of materials and reaffirms the library’s commitment to the spirit and intent of the “Library Bill of Rights” as adopted and revised from time to time by the American Library Association.

This policy she be periodically reviewed and revised by the Van Buren Public Library Board of Trustees.


Library Bill of Rights–American Library Association


The 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 their 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 abridgment 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.

*Adopted June 18, 1948; Amended February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; and January 23, 1980, by the ALA Council.