Collection Development

Collection Development Policy 

The Collection Development Policy exists to guide librarians in the selection of materials and to inform the public about the principals behind collection decisions.

Collection Goals

Materials selected for the collection will meet the current and long-term needs of Indianola and area residents of all ages and abilities for information, education, discovery, and recreation.

Criteria for Selection

The following criteria are considered during the selection process.

  1. Merits of a work in relation to the needs and interests of the community
  2. Popular demand, particularly concerning books on the bestseller lists for which there is a persistent local demand.
  3. Longevity of public interest 
  4. Representation of a range of subjects and views in varying formats and reading levels
  5. Artistic or literary excellence
  6. Technical quality
  7. Consideration of the work as a whole

Poor quality of materials or inability to endure public usage may disqualify otherwise suitable materials

Budget and physical space may restrict the acquisition of materials.

Purchasing materials does not confer endorsement by the Indianola Public Library or City of Indianola.  Individual items that may be controversial or offensive to some users or staff may be selected if their inclusion will contribute to the range of viewpoints in the collection as a whole and the effectiveness of the library’s ability to serve the community.


Censorship is an individual matter. While a person may reject materials for themselves and their child(ren), they may not exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others. 

  1. Selection of materials is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials their parents consider inappropriate. Responsibility for children rests solely with their parents or legal guardians.
  2. The guiding principles of this policy are the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.

 Responsibility for Selection

  1. Responsibility for collection development lies with librarians who apply professional knowledge, experience, and the criteria of this policy.
  2. Ultimate responsibly rests with the director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees.

Collection Maintenance

  1. To ensure the collection remains up-to-date and relevant to the community’s needs, it is the responsibility of assigned librarians to revaluate the usefulness of materials in the collection.
  2. Materials that are badly worn, damaged, or are no longer used will be removed.
  3. Materials withdrawn will be recycled, donated, or sold with proceeds benefiting the library.

Public Input

  1. Patron suggestions will be considered using the selection criteria.
  2. Gifts and donations are subject to these same selection criteria.
  3. Any resident of Indianola or rural Warren County who objects to the presence or absence of a work may do so by completing a Statement of Concern About Library Resources form, which may be obtained in person at the library. The director will consider the request and respond to the complainant. If the complainant wishes to appeal the director’s decision, they may do so by asking for an appeal to the Library Board of Trustees.