Collection Development Policy

The Board of Trustees of the Greenfield Public Library endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement as in existence on the day this policy is adopted.

Collection Development Statement

The Greenfield Public Library will provide, without bias, free access to library materials in a variety of formats. The library will develop and maintain a collection of quality materials designed to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the community. Collection development decisions will be limited only by the constraints of physical space and financial resources.

Responsibility for Selection

Final authority for policies governing the selection of materials rests with the Board of Trustees. However, collection development is a process guided through all its stages by the professional expertise of the librarians under the supervision of the Library Director. Therefore, the Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director and his/her designated staff the day-to-day responsibility for the selection of materials within the framework of this policy.

Selection of Materials

A. Selection Criteria
The library considers all acquisitions in terms of the following:

  • Accuracy of content
  • Availability
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Community demand
  • Format, durability, and ease of use
  • Price
  • Relevance
  • Timeliness

B. Selection Aids and Balance of Collection
Various reviewing media and lists of standard works are used as selection aids.
The library attempts to provide differing viewpoints on all major public interest issues. Inclusion of a particular item does not indicate endorsement of its contents but, rather, is acknowledgement of the existence of that point of view. The library recognizes that many works are controversial and that any given item may offend some individuals. Selection is not made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the merits of the individual work. No item in the library’s collection is marked or identified to indicate approval or disapproval of its contents or to restrict its use except for the purpose of protecting it from damage or theft.
The library does not purchase textbooks. Collection development choices attempt to meet the needs of the layperson rather than the technical or scholastic specialist.

C. Selection for Children
The goal of collection development for children is to provide materials that suit their varied interests and reading abilities. The same criteria are applied in the selection of materials for children as are applied in the selection of materials for adults.
Responsibility for the use of library materials by children rests solely with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of or access to materials in any area of the library is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials which their parents might consider inappropriate. The library does not operate in loco parentis.

D. Self Published Materials
In the interest of supporting the Greenfield writing community and providing a place for residents to share their work, the library will accept donations of self-published materials. Self-published work must be in a format suitable for circulation and the author must reside in Franklin County.
The works must fit within the library’s general guidelines for acquisition, except the requirement that they be reviewed in professional journals will be waived. Self published materials will fall under the same guidelines as the rest of the collection regarding removal.

E. Gifts
The library welcomes gifts of materials in good condition with the understanding that once donated the items become the property of the library. The library will not accept any item that carries stipulations about its use, placement, or retention. The same criteria are applied to gifts as are applied to items purchased by the library in determining their suitability for the collection. Gift items which are not added to the collection are made available to the Friends of the Greenfield Public Library.

Maintaining the Collection

Systematic evaluation of library materials is an essential part of collection development that helps ensure a relevant, accurate, and useful collection. Materials which are no longer useful, or are not in suitable condition for circulation, may be removed from the collection. The decision to withdraw an item from the collection is based on accepted professional practice and the judgment of the Library Director and his/her designated staff within the framework of this policy.

The general criteria for withdrawal of an item from the collection include:

  • Availability of updated or revised material
  • Circulation and usage
  • Condition
  • Duplication in the collection
  • Inaccuracy of content
  • Value as a classic

Items withdrawn from the collection will be transferred to the Friends of the Library, donated to other non-profit organizations, recycled or discarded.

Reconsideration of Library Materials

Formal requests for reconsideration of materials in the library’s collection must be made in writing. Forms for this purpose are available at the main circulation desk. A form is also appended to this document.

Policy Review and Revision

The Collection Development Policy will be reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees and is subject to revision as circumstances require.

Collection Development Policy

Library Hours

GPL is open at the following times:

  • Monday-Wednesday from 9:30am-8pm
  • Thursday-Friday from 9:30am-5pm
  • Saturday from 9:30am-2pm

Call or email us with any questions you may have.


  • Circulation Desk: 413-772-1544, option 4
  • Children’s Room: 413-772-1544, option 5
  • Information Services: 413-772-1544, option 6


  • Greenfield Public Library
  • 402 Main Street
  • Greenfield, MA 01301


  • 413-772-1544 x 5109