Collection Development

The Board of Trustees of the Zion-Benton Public Library District recognizes the importance of materials selection in the fulfillment of the library’s mission. This policy outlines general guidelines for building and maintaining the library’s collection. This policy will guide library staff in selecting materials and inform the public of the principles upon which materials are selected for the library’s collection.

The Board of Trustees fully endorses the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Freedom to View Statement, and the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations. The principles espoused in these documents are incorporated in this policy. The library does not endorse the opinions expressed in materials in the collections.

The library will provide resources in a variety of formats to meet the public’s information needs. Materials will be chosen based on current interest and permanent value. Materials of varying complexity will be collected to serve the library’s diverse community, including a range of ages, educational backgrounds, and reading skills.

Reading is an individual, private matter. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for oneself, one cannot restrict the freedom of others to read or inquire. The library does not stand in loco parentis. Parents have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the reading of their own minor child. People of all ages have free and open access to the library’s collection.

Materials will be evaluated and judged on the basis of the work as a whole. No materials shall be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, political or social view of the author, publisher, artist, director or producer.

Special collections may be established in order to better serve specific library users and may have additional selection criteria.

  • Genealogy Collection: The goal of this collection is to provide in-depth resources for genealogy research.
  •  Local History Collection: This collection includes historical documents, records, and memorabilia relating to Zion and Benton Townships.

The library is a member of Cooperated Computer Services (CCS), a consortium of public libraries in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago. CCS provides an integrated online system with a shared catalog and circulation system. The library uses interlibrary loan to obtain materials it does not own that are in other libraries’ collections. The library abides by the ALA Interlibrary Loan Code and the requirements of the ILLINET/OCLC Services Member Agreement, which is renewed annually.

Collections are evaluated continuously. Weeding is necessary to maintain a vital, useful, and current collection. Each section is weeded at least every three years.

All patrons have a right to choose which materials they will use. Only parents have the responsibility and the right to restrict access to library materials for their own children. Patrons who want to express their opinion about library materials may do so in writing according to the outlined procedure.

Adopted 8/26/14

Click here to download (PDF) the Statement of Concern About Library Materials form.