Collection Development Policy


Effective September 29, 2022

The Acton Memorial Library strives to serve the informational, educational, and recreational needs of Acton residents of all ages and backgrounds. Recognizing the diversity of the community and the high level of demand, the library develops collections in a variety of formats to meet known and anticipated community needs and makes these resources as accessible as possible both on-site and through electronic means.



The responsibility for the selection of materials rests ultimately with the Board of Library Trustees. The Board delegates this responsibility to the Library Director, under whose direction professional library staff use the criteria listed in this policy to make selection and withdrawal decisions for the collection.



The library selects hardcover books, paperbacks, large print, DVD, CD, periodicals, equipment and technological devices, electronic resources including e-books, streaming and downloadable audio and video, and databases. It maintains a collection in Chinese, and smaller collections in French, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Tamil. New formats and languages are added as community needs and interests dictate and funds allow.



Library staff use a variety of selection tools including professional journals and other reviewing media when considering materials for the collection. Materials are selected in support of the Library’s mission statement and are evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the informational, education, and recreational needs of the community
  • The item supplements, expands upon, or supports the current collection
  • Reputation or qualifications of the author, creator, or publisher of the work
  • Popular demand
  • Contemporary usefulness or permanent value
  • General appeal and readability
  • Cultural or historical significance to the community
  • Availability from another library or source


In order to provide accurate information, particular care is taken in the selection of current materials for certain subject areas including health, medicine, science, law, and technology.



Materials will be removed from the collection using the criteria listed above. This will be done on a systematic basis and is necessary to maintaining a useful and appealing collection. Materials that are no longer useful, outdated, or are not in a condition suitable for circulation may be withdrawn.



All materials offered to the library as gifts are subject to the same criteria for selection as purchased materials.



The Board endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement in providing library services for all. Responsibility for the reading choices of minors rests with their parents or legal guardians. Patrons may fill out a Request For Reconsideration form for an item in the collection. This form is attached here and available at the public service desks.


Recognizing that a diversity of materials may result in some requests for reconsideration, the following procedures have been developed to assure that objections or complaints are handled in an attentive and consistent manner. The material in question will remain available for circulation during the review process.

  1. The person bringing the request for reconsideration must be an Acton resident with an active library card.
  2. The resident with the request for reconsideration shall be referred to the Director.
    1. The Director will discuss the library’s Collection Development Policy with the resident.
    2. The resident must fill out a Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form.
    3. The Library Director will review the request and consult with the selector(s) responsible for that collection area. The Director will also consider the request within the context of the library’s goals, the referenced statements of the American Library Association, selection criteria, collection assessment data, and this policy.
    4. The Director will inform the resident of the decision in writing within 30 business days of receiving the request for reconsideration.
  3. All requests for reconsideration shall be submitted (without patron information) to the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.

If the resident is not satisfied with the decision they may submit a written appeal within 10 business days of receipt to the Board of Library Trustees. The Trustees will review appeals of the Director’s decisions and shall use the same factors to inform their decision. The decision of the Board is final.

This form is attached here and available at the public service desks.



This policy will be reviewed every 2 years.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, July 28, 2016.

Last reviewed September  29, 2022.