Collection Development Policy


The Hatfield Public Library is a small community library serving the residents of Hatfield, Massachusetts. Its primary function is to provide popular materials to adults, children and teens. Secondarily, it is a resource for independent lifelong learning and a supplementary source of educational materials for the Hatfield Elementary School and Smith Academy students. Collection development, therefore, focuses on the acquisition of: 1) current popular fiction and nonfiction for adults, teens and children; 2) picture and early concept books for preschoolers; and 3) nonfiction materials appropriate to independent lifelong learning as well as school assignments.

The library’s mission is supported by its membership in the Massachusetts Library System (MLS). Access to additional resources and information is also available through Delivery and Interlibrary Loan, as facilitated by our membership in MLS and C/WMARS.

The Board of Trustees and the staff of the Hatfield Public Library are committed to facilitating access to all information for all readers; to that end they support and adhere to the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement and the Library Bill of Rights. The Hatfield Public Library does not act in loco parentis; it is the responsibility of parents to monitor their own children’s library materials.

Materials Selection, Deselection, and Gifts

The Library Director is responsible for the selection of library materials in all formats, including but not limited to: books, periodicals, audio and video recordings (on CD or DVD), electronic resources and miscellany such as kits.

Materials will be purchased based on the following criteria (all of which may not apply to all formats and types of materials):

  • accuracy
  • authority
  • scope
  • currency
  • popularity or demand
  • community need
  • quality
  • relevance to current collection
  • local interest

The director may consider the popularity and qualification of the author and/or illustrator and the reputation of the publisher, as well as the availability of other copies within the regional system. Published reviews and standard lists should be consulted. Requests from staff and patrons will be given consideration.

The Library strives to present a balanced and unbiased collection. A diversity of views on controversial topics should be represented. The possible controversial nature or the anticipation of challenges will not preclude the purchase of material. Library materials will not be labeled or restricted due to content.

Materials will be withdrawn or at the discretion of the Library Director and based on the aforementioned criteria as well as the physical condition of the item.

Gifts & Donations

Gifts and donated items are subject to the same scrutiny as purchased or solicited materials. Gifts and donated items not added into the collection may be redistributed, sold by the Friends of the Hatfield Library for fundraising, or discarded at the discretion of the Library Director.

Challenges Procedure

Patrons wishing to challenge the appropriateness of an item to the collection may submit a “request for reconsideration” form. Receipt of the reconsideration form will be acknowledged within 2 weeks. The matter will be brought before the Board of Trustees, at their next regular meeting.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees: March 2, 2011

Updated: July 11, 2017