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Collection Development

View the Charleston Archive Collection Development Policy.
View the full Collection Development Policy.

To achieve the goals outlined in the CCPL's mission statement, the Library must take a careful, systematic approach to building collections that meet the needs of all the residents of Charleston County. It is fiscally and operationally impossible to include all possible titles and formats in the libraries' collections. CCPL will make decisions as to what specific titles and formats will be added to each specific library collection.

The Charleston County Public Library acquires print, audio-visual, and electronic materials of both permanent value and current interest in all subject areas and for all age and reading levels.  The library recognizes and respects the cultural diversity of the many communities it serves, and selects materials that will meet the interests and needs of those varied communities. The following general criteria are used in adding specific materials to the library's collections, either purchased with library funds or gifts.

  1. Timeliness and/or popularity of a subject or title.
  2. Reputation of author, artist, publisher or producer.
  3. Local interest.
  4. Relationship and importance to the collection.
  5. Critical reviews and publicity.
  6. Professional review journals.
  7. Local media reviews and publicity.
  8. Regional, national & international awards.
  9. Standard bibliographies.
  10. Recognized websites and databases.
  11. Availability of materials on the subject.
  12. Provision of alternative viewpoints.
  13. Purchase price.
  14. Accessibility to materials elsewhere in the area.
  15. User suggestions and requests.
  16. Suitability of format to library purposes.

Each of these criteria may not and need not be used to evaluate each item, but are applied as general guidelines for consideration of all materials, regardless of format.

The Charleston County Public Library recognizes that materials selected for the collection may be controversial and that any given item may offend some individuals. Selections will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the collection as a whole, and to serving the needs of our diverse community of library users.  The Library is committed to the principles and ideals contained in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View declarations.

While the ultimate responsibility for the selection of materials rest with the Library Board, it is the responsibility of the Collection Development Department, under the supervision of the Library Director and the Deputy Director, to implement this policy by delegation of authority and duties.

Library users occasionally object to titles that have been selected for the collection. Persons seeki
ng the reconsideration of any library material are asked to complete a reconsideration form. The library, upon receipt of this form, reviews the item for inclusion in the collection in light of the library's overall objectives, the Collection Development Policy, the basic selection criteria as stated, and the Library Bill of Rights.

The Library accepts donations of books, magazines, and audio-visual materials. The Library reserves the right to make final disposition of all gifts. Before being added to the collection, all gift materials must meet the same criteria as materials purchased with public funds. Gifts may be added to the library collection or rejected at the discretion of the library. Rejected gifts may be sent to the Friends of the Charleston County Library for public sale, may be discarded, or may be disposed of in some other way. Gifts are not returned to the donor.

Reaffirmed by the CCPL Board of Trustees June 2016