Collection Development Criteria

Collection Development Policies

The San Anselmo Public Library (the Library) Confidentiality of Customer Information Policy supports the Library’s mission to cultivate community and advance equity by welcoming all people to experience the shared joys of literacy and learning. The Library strives to provide inclusive experiences for all individuals, regardless of race, religion, creed, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, citizenship, or housing status. Any behavior that reduces or interferes with others’ equitable access to library materials, services, and spaces - including acts of racism or hate speech - will not be tolerated.

Criteria for Materials Selection

The San Anselmo Public Library uses judgment, experience, and expertise in the application of the following Criteria for Materials Selection. Decisions are made as objectively as possible. 

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the following criteria:

  • Popular interest 
  • Critical assessments in a variety of professional journals and attention in media
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Current, accurate, and authentic
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Relationship to existing materials in collection
  • Readability or ability to sustain interest
  • Appropriateness of subject to the age of the intended audience  
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, producer, or illustrator
  • Creative, literary, or technical quality
  • Format and ease of use
  • Circulation as monitored through the Library’s automated system
  • Cost and availability
  • Relationship to materials in other area libraries
  • Local emphasis  

Librarians use a variety of tools to aid in the selection of materials, including professional review journals, popular print and broadcast media, bookstores, publishers’ catalogs, and patron and staff recommendations. The following publications are consulted in the selection of materials, but selection is not limited to these: Booklist, Hornbook, Library Journal, Kirkus, New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review and School Library Journal.

Deselection and Collection Maintenance

Deselection of materials from the circulating collection is a vital part of successful collection maintenance. Continuous evaluation is necessary, and materials are regularly removed to maintain a current, accurate, and appealing collection and to facilitate ease of use. 

  • An item may be deselected for several reasons, including but not limited to:
    • Information is out of date
    • Item is worn or damaged
    • Item no longer responds to current needs or interests
    • Materials in the format are no longer supported by publishers or platforms
    • Lack of available shelf space
    • Insufficient use
  • Replacement of materials withdrawn is not automatic. The decision to replace is influenced by: 
    • Availability of copies in Marin County
    • Popular interest
    • Adequacy of coverage in the subject area
    • Significance in the subject area
    • Cost and availability

Requests for Reconsideration

Persons raising an objection to a book or other materials in the library will be asked to fill out our “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form, which includes citing specifics from the material in question and providing a written explanation to their objections. Staff receiving the complaint will refer it to the Selecting Librarian, who will evaluate the material and make a recommendation to the Town Librarian. If requested by the patron, the Town Librarian will send a written response. 

Materials by Local Authors

Every attempt is made to acquire titles by local San Anselmo and Marin authors that have been issued by mainstream publishers. Self-published titles by local authors are not added to the library’s collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so, such as valuable local content or local interest. Materials by self-published local authors may be added to our Local Author Collection, which can be found in the Historical Museum. If you would like the librarians to consider your work, please submit a Local Author Submission Form to the Reference Desk. 

Librarians follow the criteria below when considering items for the Local Author Collection: 

  • The author or illustrator is a resident or former resident of San Anselmo or Marin County.
  • The item meets the basic criteria of our Collection Development Policy. 
  • The library may add donated items to the Local Author Collection but does not purchase titles for the Local Author Collection. 
    • Please note: the library cannot accept donations of e-books or e-audiobooks.

Suggestions for Purchase

The San Anselmo Public Library welcomes input from the community concerning the library collection. A suggestion for purchase procedure enables San Anselmo Public Library patrons to request specific items or subjects for purchase. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. You may suggestion a title for purchase with the librarian at the Reference Desk or online through our catalog (note: you will have to sign in with your library card number and password). 

Collection Development Policies and Local Author submission form