Collection Development Policy

It is the goal of the Hawkins County Library System to obtain the maximum use of its collection by the greatest number of people.

The library service area of Hawkins County Library System consists of people of all age groups, education, abilities, and interests. The objectives of the Hawkins County Library System are to select, organize, label, and maintain the library collection, to help the citizens living in our service area to find the materials they want. Further, the Hawkins County Library System adheres to and wholly supports the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read, and The Freedom to View statements which are to be considered as part of this collection development policy.

The Board of Directors of the Hawkins County Library System has adopted this Collection Development Policy based on the library’s mission statement to guide its librarians in the selection of materials, and to inform the public about the principles upon which the library’s collection is developed and maintained.

It is the policy of the public library to provide differing points of view within its collection. The Hawkins County Library System does not endorse particular beliefs or views. Using the selection criteria described in the Collection Development Policy, the library endeavors to provide a collection of materials that reflects the diversity of viewpoints and interests within the community the library serves.

The Library System will not indicate, through use of labels or other devices, particular philosophies or moral situations expressed in a book.  Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents. Nothing will be sequestered except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft


The final responsibility for the selection of materials at the Hawkins County Library System rests with the Branch Managers with the approval of the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies adopted by the Library Board members in accordance with the System’s Collection Development Policy.  All professional staff members have collection development responsibilities.  All staff members and library patrons may recommend material for consideration and are encouraged to do so.


The library selects materials, within the limitations of its budget, based on reviews in the media both print and electronic, recommendations from the public, and the knowledge and expertise of the library staff. Materials are selected on the basis of content and style, usefulness, and factual accuracy. The primary objective is to ensure that monies are spent wisely to select material that will meet the educational and recreational needs of the community.

The library makes a positive effort to provide materials of sound factual data and honest opinion representing all points of view on topics of public interest and importance.  Titles are not excluded on the basis of moral, racial, religious, or political prejudice. The following criteria will be considered when making selection decisions.  An item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable:

  • Accuracy and authoritativeness
  • Cost and availability
  • Literary quality
  • Availability of material elsewhere in the community or through interlibrary loan
  • Format, durability and ease of use
  • Currency of information
  • Popular demand and/or interest
  • Regional interest
  • Social significance
  • Objectivity
  • Reputation of author, editor, illustrator, publisher, producer, performer or translator

The library collects materials in various formats, including physical formats such as print and non-print media, and electronic formats.


Memorial editions

Memorial and/or commemorative editions are purchased only when they will add notably to the stature of the library collection or when they are of local interest.

Tennessee Collection

Books and materials of local and state history are acquired, but no attempt is made to have a  historically comprehensive Tennessee collection.

Local History Collection

The Library System strives to be aggressive in its collection of materials relating to the history of   Hawkins County.  The history of families that passed through this area and the areas where they originated are also of interest to the library.

Youth services collection

Materials for the Youth Services Collection are chosen to serve the needs of children of varying backgrounds and interests, ages and developmental levels. The library makes available a collection that satisfies the informational, educational, recreational, cultural and inspirational needs of children from infancy through young adulthood, and the needs of those who serve the child – parents, teachers, and youth workers.

The young adult collection includes materials particularly appropriate to adolescents age 12  through 18. It is not intended to be a comprehensive collection serving all the needs and interest of young adults, nor is it the library’s intention that young adults should be confined to the use of this material.

Parents and legal guardians are responsible for their minor’s use of library materials. The library does not serve in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to restrict the access of minors to library materials. Selection of adult materials will not be limited by the possibility that books may come into the possession of minors.

 Media Collection

 If R-rated feature films are purchased, or accepted as donations, for the adult media collection, they will have the appropriate rating designation clearly marked on the box.  Patrons must be 18 years old or older to check out such items, in accordance with T.C.A. 39-17-911 (Sale, loan or exhibition of material to minors).

Textbooks/Homeschooling needs

School libraries serve the curriculum needs of students. The library does not attempt to acquire textbooks or other curriculum-related materials except as such materials may also serve the general public. The library recognizes the need to provide a wide variety of cultural and recreational matter for students in traditional schools and those being homeschooled.


Gifts/donations to the collection can be in the form of money or actual library materials.  Items are accepted without donor stipulations or conditions, and become the sole property of the Hawkins County Library System. Accepted items are accepted with the understanding that they will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with this Collection Development Policy, and may be sold in a book sale, or otherwise disposed.

Special Collections

It is the policy of the library not to accept special collections of books to be kept together as a separate physical entity.


Direct Monetary Donations

Monetary donations can be made to any branch or to the Hawkins County Library System to purchase library materials, equipment, or to sponsor library programs. All gifts of money received by the Library will be processed within five business days of receiving the money. Gifts of money:  All endowments, bequest, etc. must remain separated for their intended uses for the library.



Memorial & Honor Contributions

Monetary gifts in Memory or in Honor of a family member or friend are welcomed. Contributions can be made to any branch to purchase library materials. Memorial and Honor books are subject to the same Weeding Policy as all other books in the Collection.

There are several ways to make a contribution to your library:

Memorial Book

Memorial books may be purchased with contributions. A memorial book is a simple, thoughtful way to honor the memory of a loved one. Library staff will select a book for the section of your choice. A bookplate is placed in the front of each memorial book showing the name of the deceased and the donor. For donations of $25 or more we will send a letter to family members notifying them of your gift.

Honor Book

Honor books may be purchased with contributions. An honor book is a wonderful way to honor loved ones on a special occasion — such as a birthday or holiday, wedding or anniversary, graduation or promotion — to recognize a special achievement, or to show thanks to a business or a friend. Library staff will select a book for the section of your choice. A bookplate is placed in the front of each honor book showing the name of the honoree and the donor. For donations of $25 or more we will send a letter to the honoree notifying them of your gift.


In order to maintain a vital, interesting, and usable collection, the Hawkins County Library System Staff withdraws materials from the library’s collection in accordance with the CREW Guidelines. At least 5% of the collection is removed each year and at least 5% is added. This process allows the library to better utilize space, locate materials which need to be repaired or replaced, identify areas where additional material is needed, and have a current, reliable collection.

The following criteria will be considered when making weeding decisions:

  • Antiquated appearance
  • Duplicate copies no longer needed
  • Materials which have not circulated in the last three years
  • Outdated, invalid information(much material, such as scientific, medical, technical and travel, is expendable within three years)
  • Poorly bound, printed or constructed
  • Superseded editions
  • Worn beyond use
  • Online availability and access

Items meeting one or more of these criteria will not necessarily be removed.

It shall be the responsibility of the Library Director, assisted by the Library Staff to use their knowledge of books and materials to decide to remove materials from the shelves and dispose of them in a suitable manner.


Comments from members of the community about the collection or individual items in the collection frequently provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection.  The library welcomes expression of opinion by patrons, but will be governed by this Collection Development Policy in making additions to or deletions from the collection.

The Board of Directors considers all materials selected under this policy to be protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  If a patron claims that a particular item is not constitutionally protected, the burden of proof rests with that patron.

Patrons finding certain library material objectionable may request that it be reconsidered by filling out the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials”.

The library will respond to a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” (the Request) in the following manner:

  • The staff member on duty receiving the initial request for consideration will supply the patron with a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form and ask the patron to complete the form.
  • When the Request Form is completed and turned in to a staff member, it will be given to the Library Director immediately.
  • The Director refers the form to the Library Board Chair.
  • A review committee is appointed by the Board Chair. The committee shall consist of five members:  One shall be a librarian currently on the staff of the library, one shall be a current board member and three shall be local citizens who are not affiliated with the library.
  • Each member of the committee reads or views the material.
  • The committee recommends appropriate action
  • The Board of Directors will then make a final determination on the Request.
  • The Library Director and the Board Chair will convey in writing the Board’s decision to the initiator of the Request.

The Request for Reconsideration form is on the next page.


This Collection Development Policy including any attachments will be reviewed periodically, at least every five years, by the library staff and the Library Board of Directors.  It may be revised only with the formal approval of the Board.

Adopted by the Hawkins County Library System Board of Trustees March 2, 2015.

Revised and Adopted May 2016

Revised and Adopted June 2018