Collection Management

Date Issued: 03/20/2002
Date Revised: 05/19/2021
Attachment(s): 1-Request for Review of Library Materials Form

I. Purpose

This policy defines the criteria and selection process for all library materials and management of the library collection. The library bases its selection and management policy on the philosophical statements of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights and its Interpretations and other pertinent ALA Position Statements.  Please see the links to access the documents Library Bill of Rights | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues ( and Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues (

II. Policy

General Considerations

The Mary Riley Styles Public Library is committed to providing open, free, and equitable access to quality resources to meet the needs and interests of the City of Falls Church and the communities in the surrounding region. The selection and evaluation of library materials reflects an understanding and knowledge of the diverse and dynamic demographics in these communities.

Patrons have the right to explore ideas without fear of judgment or censure. Selected materials represent popular as well as unpopular points of view which allow individuals to examine different sides of issues and make their own decisions. The library does not endorse any particular views expressed in the materials that are selected.

The patron’s choice of library materials for personal use is an individual matter. While a person may reject materials for themselves, they cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others. Resources are provided equally to patrons of all ages. The monitoring of the use of library materials by children and adolescents is the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians.  The library does not act “in loco parentis”. Any patron who objects to the presence or absence of a work must complete the Request for Review of Library Material form.

Responsibility for Selection

The Library Director is ultimately responsible and has the final authority for the selection of materials. The Director delegates responsibility for various areas of the collection to appropriate members of the staff with subject expertise. Patron suggestions are welcomed and given serious consideration. Gifts of materials and funds for collections are accepted and considered for inclusion into the collection according to the library’s standard selection criteria. (See also Gifts/Donations Policy.) 

Criteria for Selection

Selection criteria are intended to ensure that the collection includes: 

  • representation of a wide variety of ideas and experiences through diverse authorship and subject matter;
  • responsiveness to community needs and interests;
  • materials recommended by professional and critical reviews;  
  • items in public demand; 
  • information that is appropriately presented for the age of the intended audience; 
  • items of lasting value and quality presentation;
  • materials pertaining to local history or of local interest;
  • consideration of budget and space limitations.

Every attempt is made to familiarize patrons with other sources of information in the metropolitan area. Citizens of the City can request materials not selected by the library through Interlibrary Loan services. (See also Interlibrary Loan Policy).  

See Falls Church History Room Collection Management Policy for information about the Local History Collection.

Diversity and Inclusion

The library recognizes that many perspectives, which include but are not limited to racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic demographic groups, have been historically underrepresented, stereotyped or excluded from library collections, and items are selected, offered, and maintained to redress this imbalance.

Collection Maintenance

Library materials are continuously evaluated to ensure accuracy, timeliness and relevance. Materials are withdrawn from the library to maintain a current, active, and useful collection reflecting the goals of the library and the needs of its users.  The removal of any particular item from the library collection is not intended to sanction removal of library materials based upon any controversy surrounding the material. Discarded materials become surplus property and may be sold for fund-raising purposes, donated to a third party, sent to recycling facilities for disposal, or discarded.

Last Updated Date
Download Policy