Collection Development Policy




The Wellesley Free Library’s selection of print and non-print materials is intended to ensure that the collection fulfills our library’s mission (our full Mission Statement can be found here).  As part of our mission we strive “to serve as a community gathering place, a cultural destination, and a gateway to ideas for residents of all ages and interests.  Through comprehensive collections and innovative spaces, technologies and programs, the Wellesley Free Library provides free and convenient access to information both within and beyond our walls.”


The careful selection of materials in all formats is a critical step towards the realization of the library’s goals and objectives.

Materials in the library’s collection are chosen for their relevance in meeting the diverse intellectual, cultural and recreational needs of the community. The library also recognizes its responsibility to provide materials presenting diverse points of view. Thus, materials selected shall range from the simple, familiar and conventional to the complex, unusual and sophisticated.  Practical considerations in the selection of materials shall also include budget constraints, relative size of each subject area and the availability of materials within the network and through inter-library loan.

The library collection development policy is guided by the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and the Free Access to Libraries for Minors Statements of the American Library Association, all which statements can be found on the website of the American Library Association at

Responsibility for material selection

The ultimate responsibility for material selection, as for all library activities, lies with the Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Library Trustees.

Scope of the collection

The Wellesley Free Library collects materials in many formats.  The scope of the collection shall be inclusive and present different points of view.  An effort shall be made to appeal to all demographic groups.

Beyond Wellesley’s Collection

The library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network, the Massachusetts Library System and OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) all of which provide access to materials beyond Wellesley’s collection.  When requests are made for materials beyond Wellesley’s collection, every effort shall be made to either refer patrons to neighboring libraries or to borrow the desired materials from another library.

Selection Process

The material selection process shall follow established professional standards and shall not reflect the personal interest or bias of any individual.  Materials shall be selected on the basis of numerous criteria, including, but not limited to, specific relevance to the citizens of Wellesley, current usefulness, popular demand and/or permanent value.

The library welcomes comments and suggestions from the general public regarding the selection of materials. Final decisions on additions to the collection are made in accordance with this collection development policy.  All suggestions will be considered within the context and intent of the above-stated philosophy.

Juvenile and youth materials

The library supports a collection for children and youth that includes print and non-print materials servicing a wide variety of ages and reading levels.  The principles and criteria for the selection and maintenance of children’s and youth materials are the same as those for adult materials.

The library cooperates with the Wellesley Public School libraries in meeting the needs of children and youth by complementing the school libraries’ collections when possible; however, the public library’s mission is different and therefore the scope is broader.

Reconsideration of materials

A patron who would like a title reviewed for either inclusion or exclusion from the collection may submit a written Request for Reconsideration Form to the Director.  The Director will consider the request within the context of the library’s goals, guiding philosophy (including the referenced statements of the American Library Association), selection criteria, collection assessment data, and collection profiles. The Trustees will review appeals of the Director’s decisions and shall use the same factors to inform their decision.

 Maintaining the collection

The Director and staff continually evaluate materials to insure a useable and vital collection.  Withdrawn materials that are no longer suitable for the collection may be given to the Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries for sale to benefit the library, or to another suitable non-profit organization.  Materials will be discarded on the basis of numerous criteria, including condition, outdated information, space restrictions and usage statistics.

The Wellesley Free Library also maintains a systematic program for the replacement and repair of library materials.

Review of collection development policy

In order to maintain a dynamic materials selection program that reflects current community needs and best library management practices, this policy shall be evaluated, periodically, by the Board of Library Trustees with input from the Director and a staff collection development committee.

Notwithstanding the above, this policy may be subject to exception at the discretion of the director and/or board of library trustees.

Approved 12/04/2017 by the WFL Board of Trustees