Collection Development Policy

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The Collection Development Policy of the Meridian Library District (District) supports the guiding principles and Strategic Plan adopted by the Board of Trustees (Board) while adhering to the Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read Statement.*

All acquisitions, before being purchased or accepted as gifts, are evaluated in terms of the following criteria and in the context of economic and space considerations. An item will not necessarily be judged against all criteria, but against those appropriate and applicable to it. These same standards determine the replacement, duplication, and withdrawal of materials.

Inclusion in the Library’s collection is constrained by budget and space limitations. Other libraries in the Lynx Library Consortium may offer specialized and comprehensive collections. Patrons may be able to access these collections through reciprocal borrowing or interlibrary loan. 

The presence of materials and other resources in the collection, or their labeling, does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the District. The Meridian Library District uses labels as a means of organizing resources; labels serve as directional aids intended to facilitate access by making it easier for patrons to locate resources. 

* As adopted by the Council of the American Library Association in 1953 with amendments in 1972, 1991, 2000, and 2004


  • Provide a diverse and inclusive collection that contains content by and about a wide array of people and cultures to authentically reflect a variety of ideas, information, stories, and experiences
  • Provide a collection that anticipates the needs and numbers of potential users
  • Consider public interest of item, both specific and general, as expressed through requests**, suggestions, and use to develop the collection
  • Consider the availability of the same, or similar, materials in other libraries or agencies
  • Consider the need for all subjects covered and viewpoints expressed
  • Consider the effect that subjects and viewpoints selected have on developing a balanced collection
  • Consider the appropriateness to scope of the collection as it is developed
  • Consider the unique nature of each branch in developing the overall District collection
  • Consider the unique nature of digital materials in developing the overall District collection
  • Accept only donations that are outright gifts***


*** Items received as gifts will need to meet Collection Development Policy criteria before adding to MLD’s collection - items that do not meet the criteria will be donated to the Friends of the Meridian Library for sale


  • Literary or stylistic quality
  • Content created by and representative of marginalized and underrepresented groups
  • Reputations, qualifications, and significance of author, producer, or publisher
  • Accuracy, currency, timeliness, and validity
  • Attention of critics, reviewers, awards, and public
  • Resources from self-published, independent, small, and local producers
  • Physical quality and effectiveness of format and appropriateness of format to subject
  • Cost, as measured against competing materials on the same subject
  • Resources in formats that meet the needs of users with disabilities
  • Availability of discounts and efficiency in vendors used for purchasing
  • Suitability for intended audience
  • Availability of subscriptions and standing orders for popular materials, reference, and nonfiction items published or released annually

In selection, consideration is given to the work as a whole. Materials are not to be excluded based
solely on any one of the following:

  • Representations of race, nationality, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, age, or social, political, or religious views.
  • Frankness or coarseness of language
  • Controversial nature of an item, including cover art
  • Endorsement or disapproval of an item by an individual or organization
  • The possibility that the resources may inadvertently come into the possession of minors


Pursuant to Idaho Code §§ 33-2720, the Board of Trustees has among its powers the authority to establish policies for the governance of the library. The responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library staff as assigned through the Library Director.

While someone may find a particular item offensive, selection of materials will not be based upon any anticipated approval or disapproval, but rather on the merits of the material and its value to the collection. Removing library material solely on the basis of its content or references without context to the whole may amount to censorship in violation of the First Amendment.

The use of library materials by patrons is an individual matter. Responsibility for children’s and teen’s use of library materials rests with their parents or legal guardians. Meridian Library District staff are available to assist parents or legal guardians in using tools to inform their decisions on what to check out. The library does not act in loco parentis for unsupervised minors.

Meridian Library District is a member of the Lynx Library Consortium, sharing and receiving materials from the other member libraries. Requests for reconsideration are only accepted from Meridian Library District boundary residents for Meridian Library District owned materials.

A patron residing within the Meridian Library District boundary can object to any material, or where it is shelved, by doing so in writing to the Library Director using the [Request for Reconsideration form]. In reviewing the objection, the Library Director shall consider each work as a whole and its place in the library collection as outlined by this policy. Individual passages will not be treated out of context. The Library Director will also consider the literary merit of works recognized as classics, even though classic works may contain words or sentiments which, today, are unacceptable. No materials shall be excluded from the library’s collection solely because of coarse language or implicit or explicit treatment of certain situations, if a reasonably accurate picture of human experience is portrayed, if the work is deemed a significant artistic endeavor, or if the work meets the criteria outlined in Sections A and B of this policy.

Once a completed, signed form is received by the Library Director, the thoughtful, deliberative process for reconsideration of the library materials identified by the library patron will begin. Written notification of the outcome of the request for reconsideration will be issued within 30 days of receipt of a completed form, with up to a 60 day extension in some circumstances, such as availability of the title or volume of reconsideration requests. Should an extension apply, the requester will receive an email notification. Materials that have been challenged within the last 24 calendar months will not be reconsidered again. The Library Director and Board reserve the right to compile multiple challenges of the same item and issue the outcome collectively.


If the patron does not agree with the Director’s determination, then the patron can appeal that determination to the Board using the [Request for Reconsideration form], detailing where they believe the Director and assigned staff did
not follow the Collection Development guidelines. The Board will review the appeal solely on the merit of whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the Director’s determination was not based upon substantial evidence or support as guided by the Collection Development policy. The decision of the Board is final. The Board will provide written notice of its decision to the patron.

Adopted by the Meridian Library District Board of Trustees on 05/14/2013

Revised 10/18/2023

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