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Collection Guidelines

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General Objective

Mesa Public Library provides materials that meet the interest of the community. The library provides resources to support lifelong learning.

In its selection of Library materials, the Mesa Public Library subscribes fully to the principles adopted by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights and endorses its stand that the freedom to read is essential to our democracy.

We are one system with one collection distributed throughout our service area, easily accessible to all patrons.


Responsibility for Selection of Materials

Responsibility for selection of materials lies with the professional staff of the Library. The general public and all staff members are welcome to recommend materials for selection. Collection management is a system-wide approach, allowing for the most effective and efficient use of staff time and funds.

Customer use is the most powerful influence on the Library’s collection. Circulation, customer purchase requests and holds levels are all closely monitored, triggering the purchase of new items and additional copies of high demand items. A community library such as the Mesa Public Library should not attempt to collect materials at a comprehensive or research level for any subject area other than local issues. A broad range of materials should both serve and await the needs of the library’s patrons.

Materials for children and teenagers are intended to broaden their vision, support recreational reading, encourage and facilitate reading skills, supplement their educational needs, stimulate and widen their interests, lead to recognition and appreciation of literature, and reflect the diversity of the community. The reading and viewing activity of children is ultimately the responsibility of parents, who guide and oversee their own children's development. Mesa Public Library does not intrude on that relationship. Selection of library material will not be limited by the possibility that it may come into the possession of minors.

The Library recognizes that materials selected for the collection may be controversial and that any given item may offend any individual. Selections will be made, not on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to building the collections, and to serving the needs of library users in accordance with the library’s stated goals.


Specific Principles for Selection

The following principles apply to all types and formats of library materials. An item need not meet all of these criteria to be selected.

  • Patron demand and interest;
  • Popular appeal/demand including hold ratio;
  • Existing library holdings;
  • Library budget and purchase price;
  • Author’s reputation and significance as a writer, without regard to political, racial, religious, etc. affiliation;
  • Reputation and standing of the publisher;
  • Merit of the item as determined by documentation, awards, prizes, or reviews;
  • Presentation and readability;
  • Reflection of all sides of issues;
  • Availability of the material or information elsewhere;
  • National or local significance;
  • Quality of the physical format.

Selection aids may include:

  • Recommendations from vendors based on current and projected demand/purchasing activity of other libraries in the region;
  • Reviews in professionally recognized periodicals and journals;
  • Standard bibliographies;
  • Lists by recognized authorities;
  • Advice of competent people in specific subject areas;
  • User requests, including Interlibrary Loan.



Mesa Public Library accepts donations of books and other materials. The Library retains the authority to accept or reject gifts with the understanding that the same standards of selection are applied to gifts and donations as to materials acquired by purchase. Gifts and donations become the sole property of the library, and the Library’s staff makes all decisions as to the use, housing, and final disposition of donations. The Library does not evaluate or appraise gift materials for tax purposes.


Special Collections

Mesa Authors

Additions to the Mesa Author collection will adhere to the guidelines.

Local History Collection

The role of the Local History Collection is to provide research materials relating to the history of Mesa and surrounding areas. Such materials will be relevant to the social, physical, economic and political heritage of Mesa. Due to the extensive collection efforts of the Family History Center, the library will not attempt to acquire a collection of genealogical resources.


Collection Maintenance

Mesa Public Library believes that a high quality library collection must be kept up-to-date by judicious weeding, which removes outdated and worn items, while preserving, and when necessary and possible, replacing, classics and items of lasting value.

The Library reviews the collections on an ongoing basis with the goal of maintaining the quality and vitality of library resources. The process of collection management incorporates the use of output measures, circulation reports, database use statistics, and other information of continuous collection evaluation.

Discarded materials become surplus property and may be sold by the Library for fund raising purposes or discarded in another manner at the Library’s discretion.


Materials Reconsideration

The usage and enjoyment of library materials by users is a matter of individual choice. Responsibility for monitoring the usage of materials by children and adolescents rests with their parents and/or legal guardians. The Mesa Public Library supports freedom and endorses the Freedom to Read (American Library Association) intellectual statement. While a person may reject materials for him/herself and for his/her children, he/she cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.

The library carefully investigates and considers suggestions from patrons to consider the removal or reclassification of any material in the library collection. Patrons may challenge materials by completing the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form. Please note, the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form and the written response to it becomes part of the public record.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials


Library Bill of Rights

Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights - Diversity in Collection Development