Collection Development Policy


I. Purpose

This policy serves as guidance for Dickinson Area Public Library (DAPL) staff when developing and maintaining the library’s collection.  It defines the overarching principles that shape the development of the library’s collection to provide direction to library staff when making selections, acquisitions, maintaining, or withdrawing material from the collection.  This policy establishes a process for addressing patron questions and concerns, and defines the roles and responsibilities for addressing those questions and concerns. 

II. Identification of Users

The Dickinson Area Public Library provides free service to all residents of the City of Dickinson, Stark County, Billings County, and Slope County. 

III. Goals of Material Selection

  • Meet the information, education, and recreation needs of all of the community.
  • Provide material that reflects the interests and diversity of the community. 
  • Provide material in many formats.
  • Maintain a current and representative collection within allotted budget and space limitations. 
  • Provide resource sharing among cooperative library networks to broaden all patrons’ access to resources and information. 
  • Materials will not be excluded because of origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. 
  • Materials will not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal approval or disapproval. 

IV. Intellectual Freedom

DAPL is committed to the principles of intellectual freedom. The Library provides an impartial environment in which individuals and their interests are brought together with the universe of ideas and information spanning the spectrum of knowledge and opinions. The DAPL’s selection of materials for the collection does not indicate the Library, its Board, or its staff agrees with the ideas and viewpoints presented. 

V. General Selection Criteria

The library typically classifies materials according to the target age group as established by the publisher. 

The criteria below apply to the general selection of materials for the DAPL. Materials will not satisfy all criteria listed, but will fall into at least one category:

  • Permanent value. 
  • Contemporary significance and attention of professionally recognized review sources. 
  • Popular interest.
  • Date of publication.
  • Availability elsewhere in the community. 
  • Structural integrity of the physical item. 
  • Size of the item.
  • Authority, the item must be available from a trusted source. 
  • Impact on materials budget. 
  • Local interest or community relevance. 

VI. General Deselection Criteria

Deselection, or weeding, is the systematic removal of materials from the collection and is an important component of collection development. Deselection improves the accessibility of remaining materials and helps improve the overall circulation. The CREW method is considered when deselecting materials as endorsed by the North Dakota State Library. Books may not meet all of the criteria for deselection but will fall into at least one of these categories.

  • Usage/Age
    • Frequency and currency of circulation. 
    • In-house use.
    • Outdated or inaccurate information.
  • Value/Quality
    • Subject matter no longer of current interest or historical or literary significance.
    • Availability of other materials in the field.
    • Physical appearance/condition relative to other factors of importance. 
  • Availability
    • Lost or damaged materials by either a patron or within the library may be replaced dependent on the aforementioned selection criteria regarding the material at the time it is lost or damaged. 

Deselected items in good condition may be donated to the Friends of the Library or other institutions at the discretion of library staff. 

VII. Children’s materials

In addition to the general selection criteria, consideration is also given to the following:

  • Determined value for stimulating the informational, recreational, or cultural reading interest of children within the community 
  • Appropriate content

NDCC 12.1-27.1-03.5. Public libraries prohibited from maintaining explicit sexual material - Report. 

1. As used in this section:

a. "Explicit sexual material" means any material which:

(1) Taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of minors;

(2) Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community in North Dakota as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and

(3) Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

b. "Public library" means a library established under chapter 40-38.

2. A public library may not maintain in its children's collection inventory books that contain explicit sexual material.

VIII. Roles and Responsibilities

  • The City of Dickinson Board of Commissioners appropriates Library funding and approves monetary allocations, which include collection development. The Commissioners and the DAPL Library Board oversee and approve monetary allocations. Additional funding support can be provided by the Friends of DAPL, the DAPL Library Foundation, grants, local groups, trusts, and other donations. 
  • The library director works under the direction of the DAPL Library Board and within the framework of this policy. The Library Director delegates to staff the authority to interpret and apply this policy in daily operation. 
  • Library staff provide continuity for the development and management of the Library’s collection. They plan, budget, select, acquire, catalog, process, replace, remove, and generally manage library materials. They participate in collection development and management to serve all members of the community; balance individual patron and local community needs; handle all requests equitably; and seek continuous improvement through ongoing data collection and evaluation.   

IX. Reconsideration of Library Materials

DAPL is committed to freedom of speech, thought, and expression as stated in the Constitution of the United States. DAPL attempts to reflect a wide range of viewpoints within our community. DAPL does not endorse the viewpoints expressed in the materials in its collection. 

  • DAPL maintains a “Request for Reconsideration Form” if DAPL cardholders or residents of DAPL’s legal service area wish to challenge library materials. 
    • A person may fill out a “Request for Reconsideration From” the outcome of which could include the following: the item remains the same within DAPL’s collection; removal of the item from DAPL; relocation of the item within DAPL; balancing the collection with other suggested material within DAPL. 
    • Notification that the request has been received along with an estimated time frame for a written response will be given to the patron within 10 business days. 
    • The Request will be reviewed by DAPL’s director and staff in relation to DAPL’s mission and the selection criteria stated in this policy. 
    • Requests will be reviewed in the order they are received. 
    • No patron may challenge more than three items per month. 
    • A written response to the “Request for Reconsideration Form” will be provided by DAPL’s director. 
    • All complaints brought to DAPL are public record.
    • If a patron wishes to appeal the decision of DAPL’s director they may do so to DAPL’s Library Board.
    • The appeal must be submitted in writing at least 10 days prior to the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
    • Decisions will be based on the review of the patron’s stated objection, the nature of the material, and library policy.  
    • The DAPL Library Board will not reconsider more than three appeals per board meeting, the appeals will be addressed in the order they are received. 
    • A vote by DAPL’s Library Board will be made to retain, remove, relocate, or balance the material. 
    • An item that has been challenged and retained by DAPL’s Library Board may not be challenged again by any person for three years. The decision of the board is final.   

X. Special Collections

  • The library reserves the right to maintain some archival materials relevant to local history; including letters, pictures, and manuscripts.  Deselection of special collection materials are primarily based on space constraints. 






Approved by the DAPL Library Board December 12, 2023