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Collection Development Policy

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As part of its mission, Chatham County Public Libraries (CCPL) makes available to its patrons a broad range of library materials in order to provide up-to-date and accurate information, and to support services and programs of interest to the library’s service community.

CCPL provides materials in a variety of formats, including print and non-print materials. These may include, but are not limited to, books, periodicals, graphic novels, recorded books, recorded music, e-books, and motion pictures.


Library staff is responsible for selecting materials. Staff members consult with colleagues and professional review media, such as Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, New York Times Review of Books and other sources in determining which materials to lease or purchase, bearing in mind the needs and interests of the service community. Suggestions from library patrons are welcome; however, the library staff and library director have ultimate responsibility for the selection and purchase of materials, even when funds are donated for materials purchases.

CCPL uses the following standards in selecting library materials:

  • The material is considered to be of particular merit for its artistic skill or the literary reputation of its author.
  • The material has received positive reviews from professional review sources.
  • The material is timely, has current social or political significance, and represents all sides of controversial issues.
  • The material adds depth to or completes an existing portion of the collection.
  • The material meets popular demand.
  • The material is representative of the history and/or heritage of Chatham County and/or the state of North Carolina.
  • The material is useful to students or provides information that supports the curricula of local primary and secondary schools and community colleges.
  • The material is instructional or educational in nature and can assist patrons in learning new skills or making career choices.
  • The material has appeal and fulfills the library’s mission of supporting recreational reading as a lifelong pursuit.


All branches of CCPL accept donations of materials in good condition. Library staff will evaluate donated materials according to their condition and the standards outlined in the selection process. If the materials are not added to the collection, CCPL reserves the right to give them to Friends of the Library groups for book sales or donate them to other charitable organizations.

The decision to add donated materials rests with staff of Chatham County Libraries. Library staff cannot make commitments to incorporate large private collections of materials. Likewise, patrons may not purchase materials to be added to a library’s collection without prior arrangement with library staff.


All branches of CCPL accept monetary donations for the purchase of materials in honor or memory of individuals, or for a specific genre or type of collection. Those who wish to make donations of this type should contact the manager of the branch in which the material will be housed. Donors are encouraged to suggest genres or authors they would like the library to purchase, and to let the branch manager know the name of the honoree and any family members who should be notified of the gift.

Donors who wish to give money for the purchase of special collections should first arrange to do so with library branch managers. CCPL reserves the right to refuse monetary gifts for materials that are deemed not to meet the needs of the collection.


CCPL recognizes that the wealth of local artistic talent is one of the qualities that make Chatham County unique. Whenever possible and appropriate, materials by local authors or artists will be added to the collection, providing that they meet the selection standards outlined above.

Donations by local authors or artists are welcome; however, acceptance of donated material does not constitute a commitment to add the material to the library’s collection. Likewise, Chatham County Libraries may choose not to purchase materials offered for sale by local authors or artists.

 Revised 10-2012