Collection Development Policy





  1. Introduction
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Statement of Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
  4. Selection Guidelines
  5. Selection Responsibility
  6. Selection Criteria
  7. Selection Aids
  8. Gifts and Memorials
  9. Collection Partnerships
  10. Collection Organization and Maintenance
  11. Citizen Recommendation Regarding Materials
  12. ALA Statement on Intellectual Freedom
  13. Policy Review and Revision Statement
  14. Date and Signatures
  15. Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of an Item (Form)
  16. Citizen's Item Recommendation (Form)


The foundation of any public library is a broad and varied collection of  information resources including books, media, and electronic resources, which meet the educational, informational, recreational, and cultural needs of the community it serves. The purpose of the library selection process is to acquire information resources, which support and enrich personal lives, careers, and businesses. The Collection Development Policy of the Sherman Public Library is intended to provide a basis for the development of library information resources that will serve all persons in the community.

The Sherman Public Library recognizes that it was established to serve everyone within the Library’s service area and that individuals and groups within the community have diverse interests, backgrounds, and needs.


The mission of the Sherman Public Library is to enlighten, enrich, and empower every citizen by providing access to information, and to encourage reading and the use of modern technology in the pursuit of lifelong learning. 

Statement of Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

The Collection Development Policy of the Sherman Public Library is based on the following principles:

1. The essence of democracy is that individuals have the right of unrestricted inquiry and the right of forming their own opinions. In a democratic society, each individual is free to determine what they wish to read, to hear, or to view. Likewise, each group or organization is free to determine what it will recommend to its members.

2. The freedom to read, to hear, and to view is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. These freedoms are essential to our democracy and will be upheld, supported and defended in the selection and the provision for access to all library information resources.

3. Freedom of choice in selecting information resources is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read, to hear, and to view.

4. Selection of information resources and their inclusion in the collection and/or access to resources does not constitute or imply library staff agreement with or approval of the content, viewpoint, implications, or means of expression of the information resources.

5. The Library staff does not act in loco parentis.

It is the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s), and only the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s), who may restrict their children from access to library information resources. For purposes of this policy child, children, or minor shall mean anyone under 18 years of age. Library information resources selection and access will not be inhibited by the possibility that resources may inadvertently come into the possession of minors. As it does with traditional library resources, the Library will provide training on the use of electronic information resources. It will also make available information to help parents and legal guardians in efforts to exercise their rights and responsibilities regarding their own children’s use of electronic resources, including the Internet. 

6. The Library attempts to provide information resources for all persons in the community the Library serves, without exclusion.

7. The Library is not a judicial body. Laws governing obscenity, subversive materials and other questionable matters are subject to interpretation in courts. Consequently, no challenged information resources will be automatically removed from the Library due to complaints of obscenity, subversiveness or any other category covered by law until after an independent determination by and under the orders from a judicial court of competent jurisdiction and only after an adversary hearing in accordance with well established principles of law. Conversely, no information resource will knowingly be selected which has previously been adjudicated to be in noncompliance with the law.

8. The Library has adopted the following American Library Association (ALA) guidelines for public access of information:

Selection Guidelines

In accordance with the above principles, the following guidelines will apply in regard to information resources selection:

 1. Selection

As budgetary constraints limit the procurement of material to a small portion of what is available, selections will be made to maintain diversity, quality, and responsiveness to interest patterns.

a. Diversity will be pursued by attempting to meet the purposes relating to the use of materials for all ages and educational levels, by providing as many subject fields as possible, by providing alternative and/or opposing viewpoints, by providing unpopular as well as popular materials, and by providing a variety of materials reflective of the diversity existing in our culture and society.

b. Quality will be pursued by the application of professional discretion and standards established by the library profession and through the use of appropriate selection aids. Reviews in professionally recognized periodicals will be the primary source for information resources selection. Standard bibliographies, as well as book lists and recommendations by recognized authorities will be used.

c. Responsiveness to interest patterns will be pursued by careful consideration of requests for purchase, patterns of utilization of existing information resources, patterns of purchases of similar information resources from retailers, and any other source of information indicative of community interest patterns. An attempt will be made to meet, to the highest degree possible, the interests of all persons in the community. Responsiveness to the interests of one individual or group will not be restricted on the basis of the dislike or disinterest of another individual or group.

d. Selections may be made on the basis of any one, several, or all of the above considerations.

e. Demand for multiple copies (adult sections) will be handled through the McNaughton (lease) program.

f. The Library utilizes electronic information resources, including online databases, digital audiobooks, e-books, e-magazines, and the Internet. In providing online resources to meet the information needs of citizens, the Library will consider such factors as the availability of the resource, established selection criteria, user responsiveness, costs, and the effectiveness of the resource.

The Internet is a global, unregulated information network with a highly diverse user population which links millions of computers and databases in homes, schools, colleges, universities, commercial enterprises, and government agencies. Not all sources on the Internet provide timely, accurate, complete, or appropriate information; therefore, citizens use it at their own risk. Congress and the courts have recognized that there is no single organization to govern, control, or select information for the Internet. In light of the breadth of information on the Internet, the unstructured and unregulated nature, how quickly site content can change, and the unreliable state of filtering software, the Sherman Public Library cannot control the content of resources available on the Internet, nor guarantee that access to disturbing or offensive sites will be avoided. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from the use of the Internet.

g. Gifts and unsolicited information resources will be evaluated in light of the above policies and principles as per any other selection (see Section on Gifts and Memorials).

h. Citizen recommendations and requests for the purchase of information resources will be evaluated in light of the above policies and principles as per any other selection. The Library recognizes that recommendations from individuals are a vital component in the information resources selection process. Such participation is taken into consideration during the selection of new information resources and/or retention of information resources. The section entitled “Citizen Recommendation Regarding Materials” establishes a mechanism and procedure for citizen recommendations.

2. Access

a. All persons will be assured equal access to library information resources, subject only to library card registration requirements, regardless of origin, race, gender, age, background, or views.

b. Library card registration will be required for circulation services and Internet access.

c.  Access to library information resources will be aided by classification (e.g. Dewey Decimal Classification System), directional aids, and major categorization of interest patterns. Distinction between juvenile, young adult or adult information resources will be made only on the assumed differential reading levels and interest patterns. Appropriateness of material for minors is the sole responsibility of the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s).

d. Library staff are unable to assist with personal Internet transactions or setting up e-mail or social accounts. They may only assist with the initial website address, provided by the patron, and with printing.

Selection Responsibility

Final responsibility and authority for information resource selection rests with the Library Services Administrator, who operates within a framework of policies and principles adopted by the City of Sherman, Texas. The staff of the Library operates under the Library Services Administrator’s delegated authority. The Library is authorized to develop such selection and access procedures as may be necessary to carry out Collection Development policies.

Selection Criteria

General Selection Criteria

A. Importance of subject matter to collection 

B. Serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value 

C. Historical value 

D. Scarcity of material on subject

E. Reputation and significance of author, illustrator, artist, performer, etc.

F. Popularity

G. Local interest

H. Price

I. Format

J. Availability

Nonfiction Selection Criteria

A. Contemporary significance or permanent value

B. Authority of the author in the field

C. Social significance

Fiction Selection Criteria

A. Popularity

B.  Representation of important movements, genres, trends of national culture

C. Artistic integrity

D. Social significance

Periodical Selection Criteria

A. Frequency of use

B. Community interests

C. New titles on subjects of current interest

Commercial Internet Resources Selection Criteria

A. Improvement or enhancement that the resource will give to existing print materials.

B. Broad accessibility of the resource under present copyright laws and licensing agreements.

C. Compatibility of the resource with existing hardware to be purchased or already in the library.

D. Currency of the resource’s information

E. User-friendliness of the resource.

F. Price.

Policies by Clientele Served

The adult materials collection emphasizes resources for education and information. Materials of permanent value as well as those of current interest should be part of this collection. Selection is based upon a general knowledge of the subject and recognition of the needs of the community. The significant factor is balance. One of the primary purposes of public libraries is to provide resource materials encompassing many points of view. Materials of varying degrees of complexity on a wide range of topics are sought. Consideration is given to the industrial, business, cultural, and civic enterprises of the community.

In selecting materials for children, the children’s department of the Sherman Public Library hopes to foster an appreciation of literature while satisfying the child’s cultural, recreational, and informational needs from birth through early teens. Materials are included which meet the general demands of the majority of children along with special qualities, for children with special needs, talents, problems, or interests.

The children’s department attempts to include quality materials in all subject areas relative to children. It recognizes that some books may be for different maturity levels and that any given item may offend some users. Parents or legal guardians have the responsibility for the material their children read.

Blind, Physically Handicapped
Special services are available directly from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin, Texas for the blind and physically handicapped. There is a toll-free number (1-800-252-9605) for users to call.  The Sherman Public Library maintains a large print book collection, books on CD, and online books and audiobooks, for those with poor vision. 

Genealogy and Local History
Public libraries have a responsibility to collect and preserve their local heritage. All published materials on Sherman and Grayson County are acquired. Some newspaper articles concerning local events are indexed from the earlier Sherman newspapers and Herald Democrat. The collection concentrates on Texas and Grayson County. Most of the genealogy materials are available for use in the Library.

Policies by Format of Material

Hardcover books are generally purchased. Paperbacks are purchased as necessary.

Textbooks for various public schools and academic courses are not purchased. 

Audio-visual Materials
The Sherman Public Library endorses the multimedia concept of library service. While books are the primary focus of the Sherman Public Library, the demand for other media must be met. Patrons tend to be heavy users of media, not just books.

The Library maintains a collection of DVDs, entertainment and educational material for children and adults. All patrons 16 and over, with a current library card, can check out DVDs. 

Other Media
Recordings are selected in both CD and digital formats. 

Upon request, a screen, projector, and television are available in the meeting rooms.  Microfilm/fiche machine and die-cut machine are available for use in the Library.

Reference Material
Providing current information is a high priority. Sherman is a progressive community; therefore, the Library strives to build a collection covering a wide variety of subject areas in depth. Since Grayson County maintains a public law library in the courthouse, the law collection at the Sherman Public Library is limited. In addition to print material, purchased and subscription digital materials will be added and will replace previous print editions. The online reference materials are used as a reference tool in the Sherman Public Library.

The Library subscribes to both print and online periodicals. The Library also provides access to full text articles and indexes of a large number of periodicals through an online database. There are current copies of the Grayson County newspapers and a back file of the Sherman newspaper on microfilm. Current copies of several local newspapers, as well as a few standard general and financial newspapers are available.

Selection Aids

It is not possible to read every book before it is purchased. Librarians must depend upon bibliographies, book reviews, and general lists of new materials for guidance. Furthermore, reviews of many materials are not always available. These are the primary selection aids:

1. Publishers Weekly

2. Library Journal

3. Horn Book

4. School Library Journal

5. New York Times Book Review

6. best sellers


Gifts and Memorials

A. Major Gifts

Major gifts to the Library may be accepted by the City Council upon recommendation of the Library Board and the Library Services Administrator. Major gifts may include but are not limited to land, buildings, and substantial collections of books or other materials that have either a significant monetary, historical, or literary value. Memorial plaques may be placed on or near a major gift but permanent placement is not guaranteed.

B. Gift Books and materials

The Friends of the Sherman Public Library organization gladly accepts the donation of books and other items at 1000 North East Street in Sherman, on behalf of the Library with the understanding that the Library may do with them as it sees fit.

Gift materials will be added to the collection if they are needed and if they meet the selection criteria that are applied to all materials added to the collection. Gifts accepted for the collection become the property of the Library. Gifts not added to the collection will be disposed of in a way that will be most advantageous to the Library.

Upon receiving the gift, a receipt can be given to the donor acknowledging the gift item. Due to Internal Revenue Service regulations, the library is prohibited from providing an estimate of the monetary value of the donation.

C. Memorials and gifts

The Library actively encourages donations as memorials and as a way to honor living individuals on special occasions. Such acts provide the library with an opportunity to add materials or equipment, which it might not otherwise be able to afford. In addition, it is felt that such donations provide individuals with a rich opportunity to honor loved ones with a lasting statement of admiration and respect.

These gifts and memorials are typically accepted in the form of monetary donations to a special fund administered by the Friends of the Sherman Public Library. The Library will make every effort to honor the donor’s wishes regarding the selection to be purchased. However, the final decision rests with the Library in accordance with its needs and selection criteria.

A bookplate will be placed in the item purchased. The bookplate will record the honoree, as well as the donor, unless otherwise requested. The Library will send acknowledgements to all parties of this gift.

D. Monetary Gifts

The Library actively encourages monetary donations. Monetary gifts may be administered by the Friends of the Sherman Public Library on behalf of the library or by the City of Sherman Finance Department. Determination as to the expenditure of such gifts will remain with the Library.

E. Gifts of Special Collections

Special collections of materials will be accepted if they meet the Library’s selection criteria. The Library reserves the right to determine such issues as classification, arrangement and shelving of the gift materials. The Library will not accept special collections of materials with any donor’s stipulations that these are kept together as a special collection or entity, or be restricted as to use in any way. Collections will be accepted only with the understanding that they will be integrated into the general collection with the Library determining location and usage of the materials. 


Collection Partnerships

Libraries of all types must share resources as costs for materials continue to escalate at a time when there is much greater demand than ever. As a part of BARR, Sherman, Denison, and Grayson College libraries have reciprocal borrowing privileges and jointly subscribe to databases to defer costs. Austin College is not a member of BARR, but participates in reciprocal borrowing. The Sherman Public Library also accesses other library loan records through OCLC to participate in interlibrary borrowing and lending. Interlibrary Loan Service adheres to the American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code.

Collection Organization and Maintenance

A. Introduction

The maintenance of the Library’s collection is a vitally important aspect of the Library’s services. Without considerable attention to this component, the Library would be little more than an unorganized warehouse. Proper cataloging, classification, arrangement, and maintenance are absolutely necessary if the collection is to be accessible and usable.

The goals of collection organization and maintenance are as follows: 

· To create or provide, for each item selected for inclusion in the Library’s permanent collection, a bibliographic record consisting of the descriptive information used in cataloging to identify a unique title.

· To establish and maintain user-friendly subject access points and cross references pertaining to bibliographic records that will facilitate access to the materials in the collection.

· To provide for logical arrangement of library materials according to subject, format, or type.

· To maintain the collection through an ongoing acquisition, repair, and withdrawal program in an effort to provide timely, accurate information.


B. Classification and Arrangement

Library materials are arranged in order to achieve their most effective utilization by the public and by the staff serving the public.

The Library’s collections are organized through the application of standard classification schemes and professional cataloging practices. The Sherman Public Library applies organizational structure and methods, and utilizes resources, which are recognized as national and international standards in the field of library science.

The classification of library materials allows items dealing with the same or related subject matter to be located together. The Sherman Public Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification System as its primary organizational scheme for non-fiction.

C. Cataloging and Bibliographic Control

Materials are cataloged for better access to library holdings. Descriptive cataloging involves the preparation of a bibliographic description of the item along with other pertinent data, and the selection of relevant access points to be indexed in the library catalog. Subject cataloging refers to the assignment of subject headings applicable to the particular item.

The Sherman Public Library utilizes existing cataloging information to minimize costs and to maintain consistent application of cataloging rules based upon national standards. 

Use of bibliographic databases provides access to millions of bibliographic records cataloged by thousands of participating libraries, including the Library of Congress.

The Library maintains an inventory of its holdings by recording information for each physical item. This is vital to the accuracy of the Library’s circulation records.


D. Physical Maintenance

The collection is continually examined for purposes of replacement, binding, repair and discard of materials. The decision to withdraw materials is based upon the following considerations:

· Irreparable damage

· Obsolescence

· Insufficient use

· Duplicate copies


The decision to replace withdrawn, lost, or missing materials is based upon several factors:

· Extent of adequate coverage of the subject field

· Similar materials in the collection

· Demand for a particular title

· Cost or difficulty in obtaining titles

· Series, importance to series

Reports of overdue materials should be run every 2 years to decide if the replacement of each item is necessary.

Materials withdrawn from the Sherman Public Library are donated to the Friends of the Sherman Public Library for their book sales. The majority of the book sale items are donated by the public in support of the Friends and the Sherman Public Library. The monies from these sales are used to support library programs and services and to purchase items for the library. The Friends have the authority to decide on the proper disposal of materials left after a book sale. 

Potential for theft or mutilation of library materials is not a factor in original selection. Such materials will be replaced when it is deemed necessary for the maintenance of the collection and as funding permits.

The review and evaluation of the collection for physical maintenance will not be used for the purpose of removing or altering potentially controversial materials.


E. Responsibility and Authority

The responsibility for collection organization and maintenance rests with the Library Services Administrator, who will operate within a framework of policies and principles adopted by the City of Sherman. Library staff, qualified by virtue of education, training, and experience, will implement these policies under the Library Services Administrator’s delegated authority.

Further, the Library is authorized to develop such procedures and guidelines as may be necessary to carry out these collection organization and maintenance policies.


Citizen Recommendation Regarding Materials 

A. Introduction

It is recognized by the Library that citizen input provides assistance in determining the ever-changing needs of the community. In conjunction with the general selection criteria, citizen input assists the Library in selecting materials, which are timely, accurate, and meet the literary and information needs of the community. Therefore, the Library actively encourages citizens to make suggestions regarding either materials recommended for inclusion or materials already in the collection. 

B. Recommendation to Acquire Materials

Citizens are encouraged to submit suggestions for possible additions to the Library collection. Suggested titles will be considered for inclusion, judging them on the same criteria for selection as all other items identified for consideration. However, while suggestions are encouraged, the Library is not obligated to add suggested items.

C. Request for Reconsideration of Materials

The Library recognizes that citizens will often be as familiar with the content of certain library materials as the Library staff. For that reason the Library welcomes comments and suggestions regarding materials in the collection. This is especially true of non-fiction in subject areas of a rapidly changing nature, such as technology and computer science, where materials only a few years old may no longer be viable. These types of suggestions and recommendations by citizens will be utilized by the Library in an on-going process of collection management. 

The Sherman Public Library also recognizes that individuals may take issue with certain library materials because such books, DVDs, and other items may not support their tastes and views. The staff is always available to discuss concerns with the individual and to explain the Library’s policies regarding the collection.

If the individual’s concern is not satisfied through discussion with the Library staff, they may complete and submit a formal, written Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials.

Copies of this form may be obtained from the service desk, on the Library website, and email from the Library.

For a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material to be considered, it must meet the following criteria:

1. The Request for Reconsideration of Library Material must be filled out completely.

2. The individual completing the form must be a resident of Grayson County.  

3. The Request for Reconsideration of Library Material must be submitted to the Library Services Administrator.

D. Response to Request for Reconsideration of Materials

Citizens who submit a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material will receive a response from the Library Services Administrator.

 · The Library Services Administrator, along with necessary staff, will evaluate the original reasons for the purchase. 

 · The citizen objections will be considered in terms of the principles of the Library Bill of Rights and the opinions of the various reviewing sources used in materials selection. 

 · The Library Services Administrator, along with necessary staff, will prepare a report, which will determine whether the material in question meets the selection criteria of the Library. The Library Services Administrator will make a recommendation on retention, replacement, reclassification, or removal. 

· The Library Services Administrator will utilize this report in providing a response to the citizen within 30 days from the date the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials was received by the Library. 

· If deemed necessary, the citizen can present the issue to the Library Board for further discussion.  The Library Board and Library Services Administrator will discuss outcomes.  However, the final decision regarding the material rests with the Library Services Administrator.

· Any challenged title may be reconsidered once in a calendar year.

Statement on Intellectual Freedom

The Library Bill of Rights/American Library Association

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their service:

I. 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 those contributing to their creation.

II. 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.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.

VI. 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.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019. 

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Policy Review and Revision Statement

The Collection Development Policy of the Sherman Public Library will be reviewed every five years by the Library Board and the Library Services Administrator to ensure that the policy remains current, pertinent, and an accurate reflection of the changing needs of the community, the Library, and its collection development objectives.

Date and Signatures

This policy was signed on August 11, 2020 by the then current Library Board members: Nick Keating, Ron Cassady, Lisa Hébert, Randy Hudson,  Laurie Mealy, John West, and Donna Nesbit  

Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of an Item (form)

Fill out this form online or print a paper copy here.

Citizen’s Item Recommendation (form)

Fill out this form online or find a paper form at the library.