Collection Development Policy

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Collection Development Policy


General Guidelines


The Mattituck-Laurel Library Collection Development Policy exists to provide an outline for the development of collections in conjunction with the Mattituck-Laurel Library’s mission “to enrich the quality of life in our community.” The Mattituck-Laurel Library upholds the principles of intellectual freedom defined by the American Library Association in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements. The Library firmly believes that it is the responsibility of the library user to make choices about what materials they interact with and when it comes to children or adolescents the responsibility falls on the parent and/or guardian. The Library will do its best to select materials that are representative of the community and reflect community interests.


The Library’s Community


The Mattituck-Laurel Library serves the residents in the immediate area of Mattituck and Laurel but also extends service to all Suffolk County card holders. The Library recognizes the need for a diverse collection that is representative of and relatable to different cultures, languages, socioeconomic status and age groups in order to empower, educate and entertain the community it serves.


Mattituck and Laurel are home to the Jr./Sr. High School, a human resource center for senior citizens, a thriving farming and small business community as well as more than 10 churches of different Christian denominations. The Mattituck-Laurel Library recognizes the importance of selecting materials that are representative of its surrounding communities, as these communities change the Library will continue to reassess the collections to best reflect community interests.


Scope of Collection


The Mattituck-Laurel Library’s collections focus on the desires of the community by providing materials in a variety of formats that reflect a range of views, opinions and interests in order to emphasize entertainment, education, discovery and enrichment. The scope of the collection remains broad in order to allow for free expression and access to ideas. The Library contains one specialized collection, of which are materials of local significance or value including genealogical resources, all contained in the Local History Room. If the library is the last institution in the consortia to own a copy of an out of print item, every effort will be made to retain the item.

Selection Guidelines


Material will be considered for selection pursuant to the criteria listed below. Items do not need to meet all of the criteria in order to be considered acceptable.


    • public demand, interest or need, which drives the basic framework of criteria for selection
    • all items purchased will be new or current releases unless otherwise requested or deemed necessary by selectors and/or the community
    • items that have garnered the attention of critics, reviewers, media and the public
    • popular items driven by community demand; multiple copies may be purchased in order to meet this demand
    • timeliness of the item
    • relevancy and relation to existing collections including works that cover diverse viewpoints to balance or fill gaps in the collection
    • cost of the item or resource in relation to its value
    • authority and reputation of the author or publisher
    • reliability, accuracy and purpose of the item
    • quality, durability and general usefulness of the format for library use
    • items that inform the local history collection and are historically significant to the North Fork
    • availability of the item for purchase
    • availability of the item in other libraries through inter-library loan (ILL)

Patron requests are always considered, specific items may be requested for purchase by filling out the Purchase Request Form online or by speaking to staff at the library.


Selection Guidelines for Electronic Resources


All Mattituck-Laurel Library cardholders will have access to the electronic resources provided through consortia agreements by Suffolk Cooperative Library System (SCLS). SCLS holds the right to selection criteria for these resources. The Mattituck-Laurel Library may decide to purchase electronic resources for Mattituck-Laurel cardholders and will do so under the criteria listed below. Electronic resources do not need to meet all of the criteria in order to be considered acceptable.


    • public demand, interest or need
    • ability of community to access the format
    • electronic resources that have garnered the attention of critics, reviewers, media and the public
    • relevancy and relation to existing collections
    • authority and reputation of the producer
    • cost in relation to the value of the electronic resource
    • frequency of updates to the electronic resource
    • ease of use and accessibility
    • terms of licensing agreements; electronic resources that provide both remote and local access will be considered


Format Considerations


The Mattituck-Laurel Library contains a variety of different material formats to meet the

community’s interests. Format considerations include but are not limited to:


    • print; hardcover (library binding if available), paperbacks (trade and mass market), large print and regular print, magazines and newspapers
    • media; DVD, Blu-ray, audiobooks (CD and Playaway), music CD’s
    • electronic; PDF, ePUB, Kindle Book and mp3 (SCLS handles acquisitions of these eBook and E-audiobook formats, requests can be made by following these steps)
    • formats driven by popularity within the library’s community
    • obsolete formats will not be considered unless they inform the local history collection


Collections Budget Considerations


The Mattituck-Laurel Library’s collections budget is funded through the Mattituck- Cutchogue School District’s tax levy and follows the calendar year, January through December. The Library’s Board of Trustees and the Library Director have the responsibility for the proper stewardship of public funds, where collection development is concerned this is done by creating a collection that is reflective of the community the library serves.


Responsibility for Collection Development


The Board of Trustees appoints the Library Director as the authority for selection of library materials. The Director also has the authority to appoint and direct qualified, professional staff members to select materials for purchase.


Gift/Donation Materials Policy


The Mattituck-Laurel Library accepts donations of gently used materials, that have a publication or production date within the last three years (where applicable) and have all parts and pieces included. Once material is gifted or donated, ownership is transferred to the library. No conditions shall be imposed upon acceptance and the library reserves the right to dispose of any unwanted donated material. Materials selected for the library’s collection are evaluated with the same criteria used for purchased materials (see section IV. Selection Guidelines). Gifts and donated material that are not considered for the collection may be used in the Friends of the Library book sales, where proceeds support library sponsored cultural activities.


Deaccession Policy


The Mattituck-Laurel Library recognizes the need for continued assessment of the collection in order to maintain a collection that provides useful and relevant materials to the library’s community. Part of this assessment includes weeding, which is the ongoing, systematic removal of materials that will help to keep the library current and vital. Materials considered for deaccession may be evaluated on the criteria below. Items need not meet all criteria in order to be removed.


    • MUSTIE guidelines as outlined in CREW (misleading or factually inaccurate, ugly or worn beyond repair, superseded by a new edition or by another item on the subject, trivial or of not discernible literary or scientific merit, irrelevant to the needs and interests of the library’s community, elsewhere the material is obtainable through ILL or duplicates are present in the collection)
    • formats that are considered obsolete
    • items that have not circulated within the last four years


Items that are withdrawn are not automatically replaced, replacement decisions are based upon need, demand and budget and follow section IV. Selection Guidelines.


Patrons registered with a Mattituck-Laurel Library card who wish to request a specific item be withdrawn or reconsidered for inclusion in the collection are asked to complete and sign the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form. Please note that the reconsideration process will only occur if the item was read/viewed/listened to in its entirety by the person objecting to the material. The Request for Reconsideration Form may be accessed online or at the library, once filed it will be reviewed by the library Director.


The Director (or their appointee) will reply to the request for reconsideration within 7 days via a letter to the requester. If the requester disagrees with the decision, they may submit a written appeal to the Library Board of Trustees. The written appeal must be submitted within 10 days of the Director's decision. The Board will make a determination on the appeal within 30 days of receiving it. An item that was retained as the result of a reconsideration process will not be subject to reconsideration again for five years. Items undergoing review for reconsideration will not be removed from the collection awaiting resolution. A challenged item will be considered in its entirety and not judged solely on portions taken out of context.


Impact of Collection Sharing Agreement


The Mattituck-Laurel Library is a PALS library (Partnership of Automated Libraries in Suffolk) within the Suffolk Cooperative Library System. All Mattituck-Laurel Library cardholders with cards in good standing may inter-library loan eligible material from other PALS libraries, LI-LINK libraries (Nassau Library System), and U.S. or international libraries through a different integrated library system (ILS) or agent such as OCLC. The Mattituck-Laurel Library will inter-library loan eligible items to PALS libraries and LI-LINK libraries. The Library recognizes that there may be a high demand on new items, locally and system wide. Due to this, new items will not be eligible for ILL, Mattituck patrons will have priority over new items owned by Mattituck-Laurel Library. If an item is available, with no holds, patrons from out of district libraries that are physically present in the Mattituck-Laurel Library may present their library card to check out the item. Local policies of lending libraries govern any loan rules and fines of borrowed material.


Adopted 11/1993

Revised 1/2003, 05/2021, 12/2022, 11/13/2023
































Linked Items[1]


"Library Bill of Rights", American Library Association, June 30, 2006. Library Bill of Rights | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues (


"The Freedom to Read Statement", American Library Association, July 26, 2006.


"Freedom to View Statement", American Library Association, September 29, 2006.


"Make a Purchase Request", Mattituck-Laurel Library, 2019.


"Can I recommend a title for my library to purchase in Libby?", Libby.


"CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries", Texas State Library and Archives Commission, 2012.



[1] In order of link appearance throughout the policy

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