Collection Development Policy

The Worcester County Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following Collection Development Policy to guide the staff and inform the public about the principles on which the library collections are developed and maintained.

The library collection reflects our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Worcester County Library is to promote reading, thinking, learning, and the enjoyment of the arts.

Therefore, the Library acquires and makes available, within its financial means, a general collection of materials covering broad areas of knowledge. Within this framework, selection is also based on the evidence of interest and demographics within the different communities we serve.

Relevance of information to meet immediate need, and local significance of an author or creator of a work will guide the staff regarding collection development. Access to local history resources which include strategies to digitize unique and fragile collections will guide the staff regarding collection development.

Collection development is also based on other community resources and library systems. Recommendations of interest groups comprised of consortia library staff, including Eastern Shore Regional Library staff, will be taken into consideration regarding selection of databases, and digital content such as downloadable eBooks and audiobooks. Electronic resources will be selected using the same criteria as print material. Through interlibrary loan and electronic resources, information may be obtained to supplement our collection, thus eliminating unneeded duplication of materials.

The Library subscribes to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the American Library Association's Freedom to Read Statement, and the Worcester County Library's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion statement (see below). The Library also adheres to Maryland's Freedom to Read Act. The Library supports the individual’s right to access ideas and information representing all views. The Library welcomes comments from the public about the collection and its development. A Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form is available at all library branches.

The Library’s Vision Statement: The Library serves as the community’s learning center where the pursuit of knowledge, the exploration of the arts, and positive interactions are encouraged through innovative educational and cultural opportunities for all. With this vision in mind, the Collection Development Policy may change as needed.

Branch Managers, the Youth Services Manager and the Technical Services Manager oversee the selection and acquisition process, with the cooperation and input of all staff; however the Director has the ultimate responsibility for material selection within the guidelines of the Library Board of Trustees.

Sources used for selection include: professional journals, book reviews, best seller lists, subject catalogs, specialist’s recommendations, and staff and customer suggestions. Principles of selection are based on need, literary merit, accuracy, authoritativeness, social significance, and the quality and suitability of format. All non-print materials are selected according to the same principles.

The Library accepts unrestricted donations of books and other material. They may be considered for the collection in accordance with this collection development policy. The Library reserves the right to sell or dispose of the materials through book sales, recycling or other means. Library employees cannot assign a dollar value to donations although a receipt documenting the number of items donated will be given to the donor if requested.

The Library collection is continually maintained by removing outdated, damaged, and infrequently used materials. Current editions of outdated materials are ordered as needed and available. Consideration of content is also evaluated as materials are weeded. By continually evaluating the collection, the Library avoids keeping outdated, inaccurate, or irrelevant material on the shelves.

Approved by Board of Trustees March 18, 2008; Revised November 14, 2017; Revised March 8, 2022; Revised June 11, 2024