Collection Development

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

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

  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. Cost to acquire and maintain the material.  Poor quality of materials or inability to endure public usage may disqualify otherwise suitable materials
  6. Budget and physical space may restrict the acquisition of materials

Purchasing materials does not include endorsement of their contents by the Indianola Public Library or City of Indianola.


  1. Censorship is an individual matter.  While an individual or group is free to reject material, no one shall restrict access to the rest of the community.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Materials withdrawn will be recycled, donated, or sold with proceeds benefiting the library.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. The Library Board recognizes that the diversity of the collection may offend some patrons.  A procedure outlined in the Reconsideration of Materials Policy was developed to communicate public concerns.

Related Policies

            Reconsideration of Materials

            Gifts and Memorials

            American Library Association's Bill of Rights Statement

            American Library Association's Freedom to Read Statement