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Board of Trustees Policy Manual

The purpose of this manual is to provide to the members of the Fairfax County Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees, the Library Administration and staff, all of the basic statutes, regulations and policies pertinent to the overall direction of FCPL

Policy Regarding Selection Of Materials

The library shall develop a collection that informs, engages, and inspires the diverse community it serves. Selectors choose materials for varying education levels, reading abilities, age level interests, social/religious customs, and languages. The collection offers users a variety of formats, viewpoints, and subjects that is available on open library shelves and/or through the library’s website. Funding for collection development should not fall below 20% of the total library annual budget.

•    Selection of materials is made based on interest, popularity, and informational content representing multiple viewpoints and formats.
          o    Selection criteria shall include but not be limited to the following, in no particular order:

  • Attention by critics and reviewers 
  • Cost of individual materials as well as total library budget
  • Currency or timeliness of materials
  • Importance as a document of the times
  • Potential user appeal
  • Present and potential relevance to community needs
  • Representation of the diverse community 
  • Requests by library users or library staff
  • Subject matter coverage in relation to the existing collection
  • Suitability of format for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience   

         o    Consideration is given to the work as a whole. Materials need not meet all the above criteria and shall not be excluded solely on any one of the following:

  • Race, religion, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, or political views of an author
  • Frankness or coarseness of language
  • Controversial nature of an item including visual aspects
  • Endorsement or disapproval of an item by an individual or organization             

•    Purchase shall provide the highest possible value to the community through careful management of county funds.
•    Placement shall ensure that circulating materials are available to borrowers in accordance with Policy B Regarding the Availability of Service in Fairfax County and City via: 
      o    A robust holds/reserve system.
      o    Broad collections of materials for browsing in the digital and physical library branches.
      o    Access Services department programs
      o    Interlibrary loan materials do not fall under this policy. 

Definition of Terms: 

  • Materials: items that include, but are not limited to print (e.g. book, magazines, newpapers), non-print (e.g. DVD, AudioBook on CD, realia), and digital (e.g. databases, digital literary material, streaming video) 
  •  Interlibrary loan: a service whereby an institution borrows from another institution on behalf of a cardholder. The borrowing institution is ultimately responsible for making the lending institution whole should the lent material be lost or damaged.


Library Bill of Rights, Addendum 12
Freedom to Read Statement, Addendum 13
Free Access to Libraries for Minors, Addendum 14


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