Collection Development and Intellectual Freedom Policy

Broadwater Public Library Collection Development Policy


The Broadwater Public Library’s collection consists of a wide range of materials for users of all ages, all educational levels, and all socio-economic backgrounds. The library’s collection represents a diverse range of ideas and opinions on a broad range of topics. The ideas and opinions represented may be unpopular and may not be held by the majority of Broadwater residents. Some may find the ideas and opinions to be offensive or believe that the information represented is false or misleading. However, the library does not censor books or other materials because they may be offensive to some library users. The Library adopts and declares that it will adhere to and support the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read, and the Freedom to View statements.

If residents believe certain materials in the library provide false or misleading information, the library welcomes suggestions of books or materials that express opposing ideas or opinions. The final decision to add any such opposing material to the library’s collection will be made by the library following the same guidelines for any and all additions to the collection.


The library collects and makes available materials in formats compatible with current technologies popular with our patrons. Materials are purchased in the most appropriate format for library use and include print, audio and video formats, digital formats, physical items for circulation and historical archives. New formats are considered for the library’s collection when a significant portion of the community has the necessary technology to make use of the format. Availability of items in the format, the cost per item and the library’s ability to acquire and handle the items are also factors in determining when a new format will be acquired. By these same standards, the library may determine that an older format needs to be removed from the collection.


The print collection is comprised of both hardback and paperback editions. Because of their greater durability, titles are purchased in hardback when available. A large print collection is maintained to serve those patrons with visual challenges. However, far fewer titles are published in large print, so that collection is significantly smaller than our regular collection.

Audio Books

Titles purchased for the audio book collection reflect the same criteria used for selecting print materials. The library purchases both abridged and unabridged versions of fiction and non-fiction titles based on availability and cost, with preference given to unabridged editions. Technical quality and price are major considerations as audio editions of books are generally more expensive than print editions.


The library’s music collection is intended to be representative of the most significant and widely known artists. This collection represents the wide variety of music tastes and interests of our patrons. Edited versions (when available) may be purchased for the juvenile/young adult collection when selections have Parental Advisory warnings.


The library’s video collection consists of popular entertainment titles, children’s, informational, and instructional titles. It includes feature length movies (both children’s and adult) intended for home use which does not violate US Copyright Law (Title 17). Patron requests for specific titles are considered and purchased if the film is appropriate to the collection for the long term.


The Library uses its website to provide users with information about and access to library services. The library also provides links from the library website to subscription databases available only to library patrons as well as free resources available to all web users. Quality, reliability, and accuracy of information are among the criteria used when selecting online resources to include on its website. The library is not responsible for the availability or content of any of these sites.

Online resources are selected using many of the same criteria used to select print and audiovisual materials. The primary criteria for web resources are accuracy and ease of use. Price is also a crucial factor when selecting subscription databases.

Patrons who wish to access online resources, including those provided by the State of Nebraska, are subject to all of the Library’s Internet Use policies.



The Library may include some physical items in its collection for checkout to patrons. These may include, but not limited to, items such as cake pans, garden tools, tools used for particular projects, fishing poles, ice skates, and other items. These items will be periodically inspected for being in good repair, suitability for use, and safety. Unusable items may be repaired, replaced, or discarded at the discretion of the Library director or his or her designees.

The patron accepts all risks from use of such items, and is responsible for inspecting and ensuring that the item is suitable for their use before using it. Some items may require special licensing or other credentials for legal use. The patron is solely responsible for knowing such requirements and obtaining any such licenses or credentials, and is responsible for their use of these items.


The library strives to provide materials for users of all ages. The library does not prohibit children from checking out materials from the adult collection (with the exception of CD-ROMs, VHS, and DVD). Occasionally, materials in the adult collection will be duplicated in the children’s or young adult collections and vice versa if demand warrants (one example would be author J.K. Rowling’s’ Harry Potter series, widely read by both children and adults).


The adult collection is comprised of fiction and non-fiction print and audio materials, recorded music, entertainment, informational, and instructional audiovisual materials, reference works, online databases, and local history materials. Informational and instructional materials in the adult collection are more advanced than those in the juvenile collections, although in some cases materials intended for younger audiences may be purchased for the adult collection if needed to meet the library’s diverse community’s needs.


Juvenile collections are selected using the same criteria as adult materials. The library’s goal is to provide materials for a wide variety of interests and reading levels. The Juvenile collection is divided into Children’s Easy/Picture books, Beginning Readers, Juvenile (J) fiction and non-fiction and Young Adult (YA) fiction and non-fiction. The juvenile audiovisuals collection is divided into C and YA collections as well. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for minor children’s reading and viewing.



Works of contemporary fiction and classic works of enduring value are included in the collection. Fiction is selected according to popular demand, reputation of the author and publisher, and appropriateness to the library’s patrons.

Additional selection criteria for works of fiction include:

  • Vitality and originality
  • Artistic presentation
  • Sustained interest
  • Effective characterization
  • Authenticity of historical or social setting
  • Representation of important movement, genre, trend or culture


The library acquires materials of both permanent and current interest in all subjects, based upon the merits of a work in relation to the needs, interests, and demands of the community. Each item is evaluated in its entirety and not on the basis of a particular section.

While the library supports lifelong learning, our non-fiction materials are intended to appeal to the lay reader in any given field. The library does not collect textbooks unless they are the best source of information on a given subject.


Reference materials, whether in print or computer-based formats, are those designed by the arrangement and treatment of their subject matter to be consulted for definite items of information rather than to be read consecutively. In selecting materials for the reference collections, the primary criteria are the library patrons’ information needs and the format in which the information is available.

Additional selection criteria for reference works includes:

  • Authority
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
  • Objectivity
  • Clarity, accuracy and logic of presentation
  • Treatment of subject to age of intended audience


Periodicals are publications issued and received on a regular basis in print or in electronic format. Periodicals are also called Serials. They include magazines, newspapers, and other regularly published materials. It shall be noted that the State of Nebraska provides access to a large number of periodicals through the Internet through NebraskAccess. Patrons will be informed of this resource and instructed or assisted in its use, if needed. Patrons who wish to access online resources, including those provided by the State of Nebraska, are subject to all of the Library’s Internet Use policies.

Local History

The library maintains, in its Local History Section, a collection of reference materials covering local history, local culture, or genealogical research, Broadwater, surrounding counties, and Nebraska. Materials are selected, retained, or preserved based on their value to researchers in the library’s geographic area and their relationship and relevance to Broadwater.

Donations are accepted based on the same criteria. Materials purchased for the collection may be new or used. The Library will seek to purchase used or remaindered copies of material which has been released at least six months before acquisition. Used items shall be in near new, fine, or very good condition if possible.

Local History materials may include print, audiovisual, periodicals, brochures, computer disks, online databases, and loose leaf vertical files. Vertical files may contain clippings of newspaper articles, photos, and both published and unpublished papers. Although the bulk of the Local History collection is non-fiction, some fiction titles, particularly those by regional authors, or are set in the region may be added as part of the permanent collection.

The library identifies and preserves rare materials, using archival storage materials and handling procedures when possible.


Library materials shall be selected and retained in the library on the basis of their value for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all the people of the community in accordance with our mission. The library is also important to those members of the community who have special needs, or whose native language is not English. As a result, special materials need to be selected with those segments of the community in mind. Collection development decisions are made on the basis of staff judgment and expertise by members of the Library staff who are qualified by reason of education and training and in accordance with professionally accepted guidelines.

Selection Tools

Selection tools such as review journals including but not limited to Library Journal, Booklist, School Library Journal, Hornbook, publishers’ catalogs, and online resources (OCLC, Open Library, WorldCat, Goodreads, Amazon, Baker & Taylor, etc.), and communication with librarians outside of Broadwater, are used to alert selectors to forthcoming titles and to those titles’ suitability as part of the library collection. Patron requests and recommendations are also taken into consideration as well as coverage in a particular subject area or author’s works. Advertisements may also be considered if no review source is available.

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria may include but are not limited to:

  • Popular interest
  • Level of material funding
  • Library’s mission and service roles
  • Informational and recreational needs of users, including patron requests which fall within the parameters of the collection development criteria
  • Demand
  • Current usefulness or interest
  • Community needs surveys and assessments
  • Authority, accuracy
  • Importance as a record of the times
  • Relevance to the existing collection
  • Price and availability
  • Format, durability, and ease of use
  • Suitability of format for subject and user’s needs
  • Local emphasis

Requests for Purchase

Our patrons are encouraged to make suggestions for purchase and to alert us when we are lacking in materials on a given subject. The library will be responsive to public suggestions of titles and subjects to be included in the collection. Some of the factors considered when adding or removing materials from the library collection include present collection composition, collection development objectives, interest, demand, timeliness, audience, significance of subject, diversity of viewpoint, effective expression, and limitation of budget and facilities. Other factors include physical characteristics and quality of the items.

In some circumstances where the library is unable to purchase materials requested by a patron, Interlibrary Loan, in which materials are borrowed from another library, may be used. The patron is responsible for any fees, including the actual postage to return the item, as well as any other costs incurred from not returning the item on time in condition it was received.


The library recognizes the need for ongoing evaluation of its collection to assure currency, visually inviting and accessible materials. Ongoing maintenance may include removal, replacement, repair, and restoration of library materials. The most cost-effective option is selected when making replacement verses repair decisions.

In keeping with the Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Accreditation Guidelines, a minimum of 3% of the Broadwater Public Library will be weeded or removed from the collection each year.

The circulating collection (those items which may be checked out by our patrons) is not a depository of historical record. To ensure a vital collection of continuing value to the community, except in the area of Local History, materials that are not well-used may be withdrawn at any time.

In order to maintain a collection that is current, reliable, relevant, in good condition, well used, and which relates to the needs and interests of the residents of Broadwater, materials are withdrawn on a systematic and continuing basis. Materials may be withdrawn when they are judged to be dated, duplicated, inaccurate, seldom used, in poor condition, or otherwise no longer appropriate to the collection.

The library uses the Criteria for Selection when determining whether to purchase replacement copies. Withdrawn materials that are not in extremely poor physical condition are sold on a “for sale” table outside the library or given to the Broadwater Friends of the Library to be sold for a nominal fee to the public. Materials which have been on this table for at least 30 days and are deemed to be of further use may be donated to another library, or other institution or organization which provides reading material to their users or clients. Such institutions may include, but are not limited to, schools, hospitals, jails and charitable organizations. Material deemed to be unusable or which is refused by another organization may be thrown away or recycled.

Criteria for withdrawal include:

  • Materials with obsolete content
  • Materials that are infrequently used
  • Materials that have no anticipated use
  • Materials in poor or irreparable physical condition
  • Older editions which have been replaced by new ones
  • Materials missing vital parts (pages, discs, etc.)
  • Works containing information that has been superseded or presented in newer, more comprehensive or more accessible formats


Gifts of materials may be accepted with the understanding that the same standards of selection are applied to gifts as well as to materials acquired by purchase, and that any gifts may be discarded at the library’s discretion.

Not all gifts will be added to the library collection. The library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, access and withdrawal of the materials. The library will not appraise gift materials for tax purposes. Gifts in the form of “memorials” or “honorariums” are also subject to the guidelines set forth in the Criteria for Selection. Accepted materials will be designated by a special bookplate with the appropriate inscription.

The Broadwater Public Library:

  • Retains unconditional ownership of the gift.
  • Makes the final decision on the use or other disposition of the gift.
  • Reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing and access to the materials.

For monetary gifts, donors may suggest items, subjects or titles to be purchased with their donation but the library reserves the right of final decision.



All items in the Broadwater Public Library collection shall be cataloged. This catalog may be in a traditional library card catalog or stored in digital format using ILS or other software as deemed appropriate. Information included shall minimally be the Title, author, date of publication, copyright, or release, replacement cost and its location in the Library. Other information about the item may be included.

The method used to catalog and arrange items in the Broadwater Public Library will be the Dewey Decimal system. Items may be further categorized according to their type, targeted age group, fiction genre, and format. Some items may be held in special collections, featured items or collections, new or newly-acquired materials and displays.

At least one copy of this shall be stored offsite, away from the Library. The offsite copy should be updated monthly when any additions or deletions have been made to the collection. This offsite copy can be used for various emergency purposes or insurance purposes.





Books and other print items included in the current collection shall have Broadwater Public Library stamped or marked in ink on the first page of the item.


CDs, DVDs, tapes, games, puzzles and other such items shall have Broadwater Public Library stamped or written on the box or case.



The Broadwater Public Library does not promote particular beliefs or views. The Library provides a resource for the various opinions that apply to important, complex, and controversial questions, including unpopular and unorthodox positions. Evaluation includes the entire work, not just individual parts of the work. Language, situations, or subjects, which may be offensive to some community members, do not disqualify materials, which, in their entirety, are judged to be of value. No library materials shall be excluded because of race, nationality, cultural, political, religious, or social views of the author. Not all materials will be suitable for all members of the community.

The Library believes that reading, listening to, and viewing library materials are individual, private matters. Each of our patrons is free to select or to reject materials for him or her. The library does not restrict the freedom of others to read, view, or inquire.

Parents have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the reading and viewing of their own minor children. The library does not stand “in loco parentis.”

The library collection is to be organized and maintained to facilitate access. There is to be no prejudicial labeling, sequestering, or alteration of materials except to protect valuable or irreplaceable items from injury or theft. Sequestered or specially stored materials are available to patrons upon request, with the understanding that the item is valuable or irreplaceable. Library Staff may request particular areas and methods of handling the item.

The Library recognizes the right of individuals to question materials in the collection. A library patron questioning materials in the collection is encouraged to speak with designated members of the staff or members of the Library Board or the entire Library Board in a scheduled meeting concerning such materials. To formally state his/her opinion and receive a written response, a patron may submit the form provided for that purpose. Material that has been questioned will remain in the active collection until the library has made a determination of its status.

The Library adopts and declares that it will adhere to and support the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read, and the Freedom to View statements. This policy shall relate only to materials physically retained by the Broadwater Public Library. Patron access to information obtained electronically from external databases and available publicly on the Internet shall be governed by a separate policy



A patron may note that he or she believes that an item is miscategorized, assigned to the wrong section, or believe that a different Dewey Decimal number or category should be assigned to the material. The person shall bring the item to the librarian in charge, explaining why they believe the item should be recategorized for reconsideration of the category. The Library staff shall re-evaluate the material, using resources available from recognized books on the topic of library science, gaining assistance from other libraries, the publisher, the Nebraska Library Commission, or the Library of Congress.

If Library staff or the Library Director agree that the item is miscategorized, the item shall be recategorized in the catalog, labels, and by shelving it in the correct area. If the librarian disagrees with the patron or is not sure, assistance will be obtained through other libraries, the Nebraska Library Commission, or the Library of Congress. Assistance may be received through direct communication about the item in question or through a publicly-accessible database. Answers received from the Nebraska Library Commission shall superseded any answers obtained through the publisher, any book, or any other person or library, unless an answer has been received from the US Library of Congress. If determination regarding the category of the item is received from the Library of Congress either through a publicly-available database or through direct communication with an official representative of the Library of Congress, that shall be the final answer for library material categorization in the Broadwater Public Library.


American Library Association Freedom to Read Statement:


American Library Association Library Bill of Rights:


American Library Association Freedom to View Statement:

Last Updated: July, 2018


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