Colchester - East Hants Public Library

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Collection Development and Maintenance Policy


Our vision

We are the community’s primary location for access to books, information, life-long learning and cultural discovery in a pleasant atmosphere.

The selection of  library materials is central to the ability of the Colchester-East Hants Public Library to fulfill its vision. The library realizes that there is a need for a well-balanced and broad collection in various formats. It will strive to provide current and useful information in all subject areas.


The Colchester-East Hants Public Library will meet present and future informational, educational, recreational, and cultural needs of the community. The collection will consist of current and retrospective materials in appropriate formats and will represent a variety of viewpoints. The library will provide a progressive, user-oriented service which anticipates and responds to the needs of the communities in the Colchester-East Hants region. In order to reflect the diversity of the communities in the region, the library’s collection will present as many points of view as possible within the constraints of budget, space and  availability of materials. The collection will also support and promote life-long learning.

Purpose of the Policy

  • The library’s collection development and maintenance policy has been created to:
  • Clearly state the policy of the library board
  • Identify responsibility for collection development
  • Provide consistent guidelines for the maintenance of the collection
  • Provide a process for public input
  • Assist in budget allocation for materials
  • Defend freedom of information and protect against censorship

Selection Responsibility

The ultimate responsibility of the library’s collection resides with the Library's CEO and the Colchester-East Hants Public Library Board. The Administrator of Adult and Extension Services and the Administrator of Youth Services are responsible for overseeing collection management for their respective departments. The decision to purchase materials for the collection is based on favourable reviews in professional journals, knowledge of community needs and interests, publishers’ catalogues, and recommended lists or bibliographies. All staff members and the general public may recommend material for consideration. All selection decisions are exercised within the context of available funds.

Intellectual Freedom

The library board commits itself to the concept of freedom to read, within the parameters set by the Canadian Library Association. 

  • Resources will not be suppressed or removed because  they may be deemed offensive by some.
  • Materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of contents.
  • Responsibility for a child’s selection and use of library resources rests with parents or legal guardians. The library’s selection of resources will not be inhibited by the possibility that they may inadvertently come into the possession or view of children.
  • The Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form provides an avenue for the public to express their views.


The presence of materials in the library does not constitute endorsement of their contents by the library board. The library board does not purchase, retain in its collections or make accessible materials in violation of the Statutes of Canada or Nova Scotia.

The library is aware that some materials are controversial and may offend some patrons. The library recognizes the right of any individual or group to reject library material for personal use, but does not accord to any individual or group the right to restrict library materials to others. Library users who object to materials may ask to complete a written Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form. Forms for this purpose are available at all branches and at the satellite sites.

The complaint is reviewed by the appropriate department head and a written response sent to the complainant. Copies of both the complaint and the response are forwarded to the Library's CEO. If the response is not satisfactory, the complainant may appeal to the Library's CEO, who will bring the complaint to the library board for a final decision.

Adult Collection

Selection of Adult Materials

Within the constraints of budget and facility space, the library endeavours to maintain a current collection chosen from reputable and qualified reviews as well as one which reflects the unique interests and demands of each community served. Materials are selected to enrich human understanding and to provide a means by which citizens may educate themselves on issues in the world around them. Recognizing that library users have different tastes, interests, education levels, literacy competence, and other limitations, the library attempts to provide various print, non-print, and electronic formats. The library provides new materials, selected works of literary value, and works of local interest. A sufficient and timely supply of high demand titles depends in large part on shelving space and budget allocation. Users are actively encouraged to suggest purchases and to take advantage of the well developed interlibrary loan system when materials are not part of the local library collection.


This collection offers many genre fiction categories. Preference will be given to fiction that contributes to the balance of the collection with regard to the diverse interests of the public. Popular titles are duplicated as necessary when funding allows.


This collection provides materials on a wide variety of topics representing al significant points of view. Some materials are designated reference to have the items consistently available.


The library maintains a large collection of paperback format due to the popularity of the format and because some titles only appear in paperback.

Large Print

A collection of large print materials is available in fiction and non-fiction using the general selection criteria for regular print.

Talking Books

A collection of talking books is available exclusively for people with disabilities. The library is required to observe the guidelines established by the Canadian Institute for the Blind.


A small collection of audiobooks is available to all cardhoders. This collection reflects the general tone of the book collection.


Newspaper holdings include on provincial daily and one local weekly, and a selection of regional publications. Hard copies of all papers are retained for about 2 months. Back issues of the local paper is available on microfilm (May 1924 to Dec 2018).


The collection focuses on publications that will provide current information on a wide variety of popular and research topics. Additional titles are available through electronic data base subscriptions. Special consideration is given to Canadian content. Selected back issues are retained and some of them are bound.


The purpose of the video collection is to serve educational, cultural, and recreational needs and complements the print collection. Popular commercial movies are generally not purchased.

Compact Discs

Music CD’s are available for general recreational use and represent a wide range of musical styles.

Literacy Collection

This collection is intended to help adults with low reading skills and those who are learning English as a second language.

Vertical Files

The selection of material for this collection is based on the need for subject matter that is not readily available elsewhere.

Children's Collection

Selection of Children’s Materials

The library strives to maintain a collection that is high quality and broad ranging for children from birth to twelve years old. The library provides the best of new materials and selected older works of lasting literary value. Particular attention is paid to reading levels, quality of illustrations, suitable format and age-appropriateness of content. The collection is mostly print, but does include a growing collection of video cassettes, book / cassette kits, books on tape and compact discs.

Children’s literature in the form of picture books, juvenile fiction, folk and fairy tales, and poetry are of great importance, but the collection also includes non-fiction titles to support children’s personal needs and interests, as well as to assist with school work.

Hardcover Fiction

The library strives to provide a well-balanced children’s collection. Children’s classics will be part of the collection, as well as story books that help children deal with difficult issues such as fears, growing up, illnesses, death, etc.

Hardcover Non-Fiction

Non-fiction titles must be current, accurate, and unbiased. Titles are selected with the following in mind:

  • to satisfy children’s natural curiosity about their environment
  • to develop children’s awareness of the world around them
  • to satisfy a range of ages and reading levels
  • to emphasize Canadian content when appropriate
  • Some materials are designated reference to have the items consistently available.

Paperbacks are purchased so that a number of copies of one title may be in circulation. Popular series, high interest books, and books not available in hardcover are also purchased in paperback.

Easy Reading Books

Easy readers are purchased for beginning readers. They are books with large, well spaced print, short sentences, controlled vocabulary, wide margins, and artwork integrated with text.

Picture Books

Picture books are designed to be read aloud to very young children from birth to approximately seven years of age. They are distinguished by their artwork. The quality of illustration and format are of equal importance to the literary quality.


Children’s magazines are mainly for recreational reading.

Audiocassette / Book Kits

Audiocassette / book kits are purchased for general recreational use. They consist of fairy tales, poetry, songs, stories and nursery rhymes. Also included are popular picture books and easy readers.


Audiobooks are purchased for general recreational use. They consist of popular titles and classics.

Large Print Books

There is a small collection of large print books available.


The purpose of the video collection is to serve the educational, cultural, and recreational needs of children. The video collection complements the book collection. Popular commercial movies are usually not purchased.Compact Discs

Music CD’s are for recreational use. Current, high-demand CD’s are purchased within budget restrictions.

French Language Books

Since more children are interested in French as a second language through the French Immersion program at schools, the library provides a selection of French materials in both fiction and non-fiction to meet the recreational, general informational and educational needs of children.

Vertical / Project Files

The Vertical / Project files consist of material used to supplement the reference collection. Selection is also based on the need for subject matter that is not readily available elsewhere.

Young Adult Collection

Selection of Young Adult Materials

The library strives to maintain a broad ranging collection for youth aged 12 through high school completion. Attention is given to age-appropriateness of content as well as the personal needs and interests of this age group.

Hardcover Fiction

The collection reflects the well known authors and popular titles as well as classics of the genre.

Hardcover Non-Fiction

Emphasis is placed on teen needs and personal interests rather than school assignment requirements.


The paperback collection focuses on recreational reading. Suggestions for titles come from our teen advisory panel.

Graphic Novels

Selection takes into account popularity, longevity, and suitability of text and illustrations.


Magazines are chosen for recreational reading purposes taking into consideration teen interests.


The small collection consists of popular and contemporary titles.


The small video collection focuses on teen issues.

Compact Discs

The music CD collection consists of popular contemporary music.

Weeding Policy

Weeding is the process of determining if an item still deserves a place on the library shelves. It is a formal process conducted by knowledgeable staff.

In order to keep the collection responsive to the community, a systematic weeding of the collection is needed. This will ensure its vitality and usefulness and make room for newer materials. Materials that are weeded may be damaged beyond repair, no longer used by the community, out of date in respects to information or theme, extra copies no longer in demand. The criteria for removal of materials from the collection takes into consideration the frequency of circulation, community and regional interests, intrinsic merit, availability of more up to date materials and space required for acquisitions coming into the collection. The library strives to keep its collections user oriented by giving the public what they want and need.

The decision to replace an item depends upon the demand for the title, availability of more current materials on the subject, extent of the coverage already existing in the collection, and whether it is still in print.

Adopted by the Colchester-East Hants Public Library Board April 22, 2003