Collection Development Policy


The intent of this document is to set forth the collection development policies of the Anderson County Library, so as to guide the library staff in collection development and maintenance and to outline for the public how the library collection is managed.


The function of the library as set forth by South Carolina law and Anderson County ordinance is to provide library services to the citizens of Anderson County.

Mission Statement

The Anderson County Library System is dedicated to providing access to information of all types and facilities for education, recreation, and personal development to the County’s residents, without regard to race, gender, creed, age or location. We are committed to freedom of access for all, offering a forum for ideas.


Certain principles shape the nature and use of the collection. These include:

● The Anderson County Library collects materials, in a variety of popular formats, which support its function as a reliable information source for the people of Anderson County. The collection also serves the popular and recreational needs of the general public, and reflects the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of the community. 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.

● The collection contains original, critical and abstract ideas necessary for the functioning of a democratic society, and therefore public opinion is not the sole guide for the selection of material. It is the library’s position that society is at greater risk through the suppression of information and ideas, than from their free and open discussion.

● Library materials are free and open for use by all. Individual choice is paramount and protected. Materials are arranged to facilitate access to the information. They are not marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of contents. No restriction is placed on their use except for the purpose of protecting them from injury or theft.

● The collection covers the interest and views of all ages. Selection of materials for adults is not restricted by the possibility that children and adolescents may obtain materials some consider inappropriate. Parents or guardians, not the library staff, are responsible for monitoring and approving the selection of materials by their children.

The Anderson County Library System supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which reaffirms these principles.

Collection Development Objectives

The collection development plan of the Anderson County Library centers around different levels of service: the Main Library, the branch libraries, and the Mobile Library. This permits the allocation of resources to meet the broad needs of library users.

The collections of the Main Library are designed to serve the residents of the Greater Anderson area within its primary roles as a reference library and a popular materials library. These collections also serve as the backbone of the entire system, providing a generally high level of subject strength that supports the broad scope of user interests. Main Library collections can be used by individuals directly or materials may be sent to patrons via the branch libraries and mobile library.

Branch libraries are smaller units with smaller collections. Branches fill the need for popular materials and basic information service for their service areas. They often serve as the primary library for people whose opportunities to use other libraries are limited by geography, transportation, physical ability or distance.

The Mobile Library serves areas of the county which are distant from other library facilities, assisted living facilities, and those citizens who have difficulty visiting library facilities for any reason.

The Anderson County Library is part of the SCLENDS Consortium sharing materials with libraries around the state.

Selection, Responsibility and Criteria

Selection refers to the decision to add to the collection, as well as whether to retain items. It is based upon awareness of the diverse needs and interests of the individuals in the county, balanced against evaluation of materials and knowledge of the collection’s strengths and weaknesses. The selection process is also shaped by budget, space considerations, and accessibility of alternate information sources, including materials owned by other SCLENDS libraries.

The Board of Trustees of the Anderson County Library System has the legal authority to establish and amend policy. The Director and staff present draft policies to the board for discussion, revision, and adoption.

Collection management under this policy is administered by the Director and implemented by the Librarians working in the Main Library and Branches. Suggestions from the public are welcomed.

Materials are measured by objective guidelines. The entire work, rather than the individual parts, is evaluated. It is the overall contribution of the work that is critical for acceptance or rejection. No single criterion can be applied to all materials. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of one or more of the following criteria:

● Contemporary significance, permanent value or popular interest
● Reviews and standard lists
● Accuracy and reliability
● Balance
● Clear presentation and readability
● Specific features: plates, illustrations
● Public recognition of author, editor, illustrator, filmmaker, or source
● Relation to an existing collection
● Price and availability
● Format, durability, indexing, and ease of use
● Scarcity of information on subject
● Anderson or South Carolina author, or local references


Library materials are continually evaluated on the basis of condition, currency and accuracy of information, and patron demand. Items that no longer meet the criteria outlined above may be removed from the collection to make room for new materials. Items deselected may be turned over to the Friends of the Library for resale, or recycled at the discretion of library staff.

Additions or Reconsideration of Library Materials

The public has a right to request additions to the collection and to question material now in the collection. The library will purchase material suggested by customers if the material is available through our normal purchasing sources, is available new, and meets the criteria outlined in this Collection Management Policy.

The Anderson County Library supports intellectual freedom and subscribes to the principles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Libraries: An American Value and its statements on Freedom To Read and Freedom To View. The Library makes an effort to represent all sides and viewpoints of controversial issues and does not endorse particular beliefs or views. The selection of an item does not express or imply approval or disapproval of the contents.

Comments from members of the community frequently provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the Library. The Library welcomes the expression of opinion by patrons on the collection as a whole, parts of the collection or individual items. While a patron may personally object to certain materials in the Library collection, he/she may not restrict access to those materials by other library users. Censorship of library materials must be challenged by the Library in maintenance of its responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment through the material.

If a patron objects to material owned by the Library, he/she may complete a Request for Reconsideration Form for submission to the Director. The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Anderson County and hold a valid borrower’s card.

The following procedure will be followed when a Request for Reconsideration is submitted:

1. The Director will appoint a staff committee to study the request and determine if the material meets the Library’s selection criteria. The committee will prepare a written recommendation of its findings.
2. The Director will consider the committee’s recommendation and will respond in writing to the person who submitted the request.
3. In the event the person who initiated the reconsideration request is not satisfied with the decision of the Director, he/she may request in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision that the matter be forwarded to the Board for final review.
4. The Director will present the reconsideration request to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Based on the information presented, the Board will make a final determination of the matter.
5. The Director will send a written response detailing the Board’s decision to the person who submitted the request.

The decision on reconsideration of a specific title will remain in effect for three years. During the review process the Library will take appropriate action to insure that the item will continue to be available to the public.

Donations, Gifts and Memorials

The Anderson County Library System welcomes donations of books and other library materials, provided said donations are made unconditionally. All items become the property of the Anderson County Library System. All items will be subject to the same careful selection process as purchased materials. Items will be accepted with the understanding that they will be cataloged, identified, housed and used as best suits the needs and organization of the library system. Items not chosen for inclusion in any library’s collections may be given to the Friends of the Anderson County Library for sale, or discarded. Upon request, the library will supply a receipt to be used for tax purposes, stating a donor’s name and the number of items donated. The library is not qualified to put a value on the items donated.

No newspapers are accepted as donations. Only magazines two years old and less from the date of donation are accepted.

The library system also welcomes gifts of money, and of books and other appropriate library items as memorials. All items must conform to the criteria for selection used for purchased materials. All items must be in good, clean condition to be accepted. Books purchased as memorials will be commemorated with a bookplate indicating the names of the donor and the honoree.

Approved and adopted by the Anderson County Library System Board of Trustees, July 9, 2018.