Collection Development

Collection Development

Hastings Memorial Library

 Collection Development Policy

 Mission Statement

The purpose of the Hastings Memorial Library is to meet the information needs of the citizens of the community by providing resources to assist in their pursuit of lifelong learning, cultural enrichment, recreation, and solutions to everyday problems.


The collection development policy of Hastings Memorial Library is designed to support and carry out the objectives outlined in the Library’s mission statement.  We seek to foster an environment of free inquiry and to provide information without bias or discrimination.  We work in partnership with other agencies and institutions in an effort to expand and encourage public awareness and access to information.

Selection of Materials

The public library has a responsibility to attempt to provide equal access to viewpoints on a wide variety of topics of interest in order to meet the diverse needs of the community.  These may include materials with political, social, and religious views that could be considered controversial.  Hastings Memorial Library selects materials representing different points of view, limited only by our selection criteria, budget, and space available in our facility.

In considering which materials to include in the collection, the Library will not automatically include or exclude an item based on any of the following criteria:

·       Race, religion, nationality or political views of an author

·       Frankness or coarseness of language

·       Controversial nature of an item

·       Endorsement or disapproval of an item by an individual or organization in the community

Responsibility for material selection rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Hastings Memorial Library Board of Trustees.  Materials will be selected using standard selection tools including, but not limited to:

·       Reviews from professional journals, best-seller lists, and other professional or respected literary publications

·       Expressed or anticipated patron demand

·       Timeliness or permanence of the material

·       Quality, accuracy, or authenticity of materials

·       Reputation or authority of the author or publishers

·       Format and price of material as well as space available to house it

·       Scope of the present collection or availability of materials from other sources

Patron Requests and Donations

Patron requests for materials and donation of materials to the Library are encouraged and welcomed.  All material added via a patron request must meet the same criteria as other purchased items.  Books and other materials will be accepted on the condition that if not deemed useful or necessary to the collection at the time of donation, the materials may be sold to purchase new library materials or given to other institutions or organizations.  For more information, please refer to the Library’s full Gift and Donation Policy.

Collection Development Programs

Because Hastings Memorial Library cannot purchase all materials recommended by patrons, the Library participates in programs such as rotating collections and Interlibrary Loan in order to better serve our patrons.  We currently have rotating collections of audio books with the Central Plains Library System and large print books with McCook Public Library.  Materials can be requested on the patron’s behalf via Interlibrary Loan through the Nebraska Library Commission.  Use of the Interlibrary Loan service is dependent on the patron’s good standing with the Library.  Typically, materials published within the last year are not available for borrowing through this service, and may be submitted as a request for purchase instead.  Patrons are responsible for return postage on the material, and must abide by the lending library’s due dates and policies.  The Baker and Taylor Lease program allows the Library to lease books from the company and then choose to return them or purchase and add them to the permanent collection. This is determined based on the item’s circulation and/or value to the collection as a whole.  In addition to these services, the Library is also a member of the Nebraska Overdrive Libraries consortium which includes access to eBooks, audiobooks, and digital magazines via the Libby app.  The Library also purchases additional content on this platform exclusively for Hastings Memorial Library patrons.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library recognizes its responsibility to provide a wide variety of viewpoints on all subjects of interest in its collection.  Materials will be selected in a professional, fair, and balanced manner, regardless of the personal opinions and/or beliefs of library employees.  Hastings Memorial Library makes a concerted effort to avoid censorship by taking no sides in public issues, not promoting or disparaging any beliefs or points of view, and not endorsing any of the opinions expressed in the materials in its collection.

The Library supports the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement, all endorsed by the American Library Association, ensuring free and open access to our materials for all age groups. (Copies of each are attached.)  The Library’s collection is organized in order to assist patrons in material discovery.  Patrons, regardless of age, are free to check out any materials in the collection.  Adults, children, and teenagers alike all have the right to seek and receive the information they choose.  It is the right and responsibility of parents/guardians to guide their own family’s library use while allowing other families to do the same.  Parents and guardians should discuss family rules regarding library use with their children.  If they are concerned their children will not follow their wishes, it is each parent/guardian’s responsibility to visit the Library with them.  Patron selections are not monitored by staff members.  Librarians are not authorized to act on behalf of parents/guardians, but are always happy to provide suggestions and guidance to all patrons at any time.

Reconsideration of Library Materials

The Library recognizes the right of individuals to have concerns about materials.  Questions regarding materials should first be directed to Library staff.  If these conversations do not fully address the concern, patrons may file an official written objection to the material to be addressed to the Library Director.  For this purpose, “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” forms are available at the library’s circulation desk.  Upon proper completion and review, a written response from the Library Director will be communicated to the patron within 14 business days of receipt of the official written objection.  For more information, please refer to the Library’s Challenged Materials Policy.


            In order to keep the library’s collection relevant, presentable, and easily accessible, materials which are no longer useful will be systematically weeded from the collection.  Accepted professional standards will be used during this process.  General criteria for weeding include: outdated or inaccurate information, circulation numbers, future usefulness or value, condition, and availability of other items on a subject.  Weeding will be performed throughout the year constituting at least 3-5% of the total collection.

            Weeded materials are withdrawn from the collection and then offered to the public through the Library’s book sale, donated to other community groups or organizations, taken to used book stores, or in cases of items in poor condition, recycled.  Materials are also scanned and sent to the company Better World Books, which posts the books online to sell on the library’s behalf.

Reviewed and Approved 9/13/2017

Revised and Approved    12/14/2022