Collection Development Plan and Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

Collection Development Plan and Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

Tompkins County Public Library and the Finger Lakes Library System

As the Central Library for the Finger Lakes Library System (FLLS), Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL, the Library) also serves libraries in the counties of Cayuga, Cortland, Tioga, and Seneca. TCPL is the largest and busiest public library within the five county region. Resource sharing through FLLS delivery and interlibrary loan enables virtually unlimited access to other library collections in FLLS and across the country.

Objectives of the Collection

Public libraries are responsible for providing materials to patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and opinions. The collection serves the general educational interest, recreational, and entertainment needs of the public, and reflects the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the community.

Widespread interest and usage are the most powerful influence on TCPL’s collections. The collection is presented to provide individual access to information, materials in various formats, and to serve a wide variety of needs:

  1. To encourage and enhance personal, artistic, and intellectual growth
  2. To educate and to inform
  3. To promote the joy and fun of reading
  4. To encourage lifelong learning

TCPL neither encourages nor discourages any particular viewpoint. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political, or social views of the author. Selection of materials does not mean the library endorses the content or the views expressed in those materials.


Collection management decisions are the responsibility of Library staff. Collection development supports TCPL’s mission statement and strategic plan.

Selection of materials is based primarily on positive reviews in credible sources, such as trade and popular journals, magazines, and subject bibliographies. All collection materials are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Appeal to community needs and interests
  2. Support or enhance library collections, programs, and services
  3. Literary and artistic merit
  4. Authority, accuracy, clarity, and integrity of content
  5. Author / publisher reputation and significance to a wide audience
  6. Persistent and/or timely value
  7. Suitable and generally accessible format for library and/or home use
  8. Quality and suitability of the physical format and medium
  9. Cost proportionate to expected use and ability to collect on item loss
  10. Availability from member libraries in the Finger Lakes Library System

The Library encourages and welcomes public suggestion of items and subjects to be considered for the collection. Suggestions can be made through the library’s website or by visiting a service desk.


The Library considers reading, listening, and viewing to be individual, private matters. The Library believes that full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or minors in their care, no one can interfere with the freedom of other patrons to read or inquire. The Library does not act in loco parentis.

Withdrawal of Materials

The Library recognizes that withdrawing materials from (weeding) the collection is an important part of collection development and maintenance. Withdrawal of Library materials is the responsibility of staff. The Library’s withdrawal criteria shall be based upon the same factors as the selection criteria.


Gifts and Donations

TCPL partners with two supporting organizations that receive gift materials and monetary donations on behalf of the Library: the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library and the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation. Please see the Gift and Donation Policy for more information.


Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy

Materials reflecting the diversity of values and viewpoints present in our society are included in the collection. The public library is a forum for information and ideas. The Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL) provides books and other library resources for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community.

TCPL will not remove an item unless it can be shown to be in violation of the collection policy. To request the reconsideration of an item in the collection, patron must submit a completed Request for Reconsideration Form. If the item is deemed to have been properly selected by the terms of the collection policy, public use of it shall not be denied, restricted, or abridged in any way, nor shall the item be relocated. An item is evaluated as a whole work, not by excerpts.

Collection Development Plan approved by Board of Trustees on 09/24/2019.
Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy adopted by Board of Trustees 03/2005.
Revised 2019.
Collection Development Plan and Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy revised,
consolidated, and adopted by Board of Trustees 2023.