Collection Development Policy

Last Revised May 2022.


“The mission of the Clinton Public Library is to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment, offer programs and services to benefit all ages, and connect people to resources with the goal of enriching our diverse community.”

In accordance with the library’s mission, the Clinton Public Library strives to provide a balanced and inclusive collection to benefit citizens of all ages in the community it serves. The purpose of the library’s collection is to support the residents of the City of Clinton in their pursuit of education, information, entertainment, creativity, and leisure. Materials are selected and collections maintained according to the guidelines of this Collection Development Policy. Collections are promoted through displays, social media, and other outreach initiatives to create awareness of various physical and online resources to the community.

Intellectual freedom, defined by the American Library Association (ALA) as “the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction,” is the foundation of our collection development policy. In accordance with ALA, the library seeks to provide “free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.” Clinton Public Library Board of Trustees endorses ALA’s statements and interpretations of: Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View. Materials selected in accordance with the library’s Collection Development Policy are considered protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Collection Development Policy serves as a guideline for building the library’s collections of print, non-print and electronic materials. The Library Director is responsible for material selection and may delegate this responsibility to the appropriate staff. All questions or concerns about this policy or how it is executed are to be directed to the Library Director. The Director may, if necessary, direct questions and concerns to the Library Board of Trustees for response and/or resolution. Requests for removal of materials from the collection will be processed as indicated in The Request for Removal of Materials Policy.


1. Material Selection

The library staff will attempt to select materials that represent a wide range of viewpoints and will do its best to exercise impartiality in all selection activities. The addition of an item to the collection does not represent an endorsement by the library of its content. All sides of controversial issues will be represented in the library's collection as far as budget, space, and availability of materials allow. The race, religion, nationality, or political views of an author, the frankness or coarseness of language, the controversial content of an item, or the endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group in the community will not cause an item to automatically be included or excluded. Every attempt is made to acquire titles by local authors that are published by mainstream publishers. Titles that are self-published are not added to the regular collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so; i.e. valuable local content or high local interest. Print on demand titles that are self-published, even though available via mainstream distributors, will not be added unless they meet the library's collection criteria. Processing and shelving of materials does not reflect a value judgment of the materials. The Library accepts gifts of materials from patrons if the material fits within the scope of this policy. See separate Gifts to the Library Policy.

Materials currently provided for library customers include books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, music, kits, films, fitness trackers, and other items in physical, digital and/or streaming formats.

Criteria which are used, where applicable, in materials selection are as follows:

  • Popular demand
  • Available and durable physical format
  • Award-winning or classic titles
  • Contemporary or historical significance
  • Favorable reviews in professional reviewing resources
  • Patron suggestions, which can be given at the front desk or through our online form
  • Budget constraints, which dictate if a copy is purchased in multiple or at all
  • Contribution to a diverse and representative collection
  • Accuracy of content
  • Author’s qualifications

All criteria are measured by the professional judgment, knowledge, and experience of Clinton Public Library and alignment of material with the mission and strategic plan of the library.

The library does not collect or retain:

  • Textbooks
  • Abridged print materials
  • VHS, cassettes, or vinyl recordings
  • Personal or historical collections or artifacts
  • Periodical/magazine archives, aside from local historic publications


2. Local History & Genealogy Special Collection

Currently housed at the Lyons Branch, the Local History & Genealogy Special Collections include material pertaining to Clinton County and its surrounding communities in Iowa, and neighboring Illinois counties. The Genealogy materials consist of various media connected to ancestry, cemetery, military, and records of area communities, as well as some material of local interest from other areas. Items included in Special Collections are not available for circulation due to the rare and fragile nature and/or unique nature of these items.


3. Collection Maintenance

The library’s collection is one that is intended to be current, useful, and circulating. The criteria for weeding (i.e., the periodic discarding of library materials) are continuing accuracy, frequency of use, physical condition, space limitations, changes in format, excess copies of low demand items, and relevance. Replacements and updated editions are purchased when warranted.


Policy Reviewed, Revised & Scheduled for review by the Clinton Public Library Board of Trustees

Adopted Revised Reviewed Date of next review
  April 2018 Feb 2022 April 2024
  April 2022