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Salem Public Library

Collection Development Policy

Policy concerning how the library selects materials


Salem Public Library was established for the purpose of providing library service to all residents of the library district.  Its responsibility as a public library is to provide opportunities for self-education and the free communication of ideas, to promote reading as a means of personal learning and to benefit the community by helping to inform and educate its citizens.  The library’s function, therefore, is to fulfill its responsibility by providing historical and current materials and information for its diverse community.

Salem Public Library endeavors to make available a representative selection of materials on subjects of interest to its constituency.  The library purchases and maintains materials in its collection to make them freely available to the public for the purpose of offering access to information, education and entertainment.  The library strives to purchase materials presenting various points of view and does not promote any opinions which might be expressed in these materials.  Salem Public Library supports the Library Bill of Rights, which is appended.

Within the framework of policies adopted by the Library Board, the library director is responsible for the development of the library collection.  The director may delegate this responsibility to library staff who are qualified by reason of training, education, and experience.

Materials are selected on the basis of several factors with the intent to offer a balanced quantity of titles, subjects and points of view.  Examples of such criteria include but are not limited to availability, suitability of subject, format, cost, timeliness, potential demand, relevance, and collection need.  Materials are placed in the collection, in accordance with the publisher’s formats, including, but not limited to printed materials, audio books, DVDs and microfilm.  Printed materials in the collection include books, newspapers and periodicals.  Materials consist of fiction and nonfiction across various genres/subject areas.  They represent a variety of popular bestsellers and classic materials for all age levels: children, young adults and adults.

The library collections for patrons under age 18 are split into the “E” collection, which is intended for ages birth to 2nd grade, the “J” section which is intended for patrons 3rd grade through 8th grade, and the “YA” collection which is intended for patrons in 9th grade and above. There may be some variation in the age appropriateness of each collection.  In general, decisions to place particular items in the collections are done by the standard of the average person, applying contemporary community standards nationwide, would find that the material, taken as a whole, has a tendency to appeal to ages birth through 2nd grade for “E” materials, 3rd through 8th grade for “J” materials, and 9th grade and above for YA materials; and/or the publisher’s suggested age range if available.  This statement is required by Missouri Regulation 15 CSR 30-200.015.

Patrons are not limited by these age recommendations.  All patrons are welcome to check out any materials in our collections.  Responsibility for a minor’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library.

Library staff does not supervise children.  Library personnel do not know what you consider appropriate for your child and cannot be responsible for their selections.  Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not with the library.

Recognizing the necessity to keep the collection current, accurate, and also to provide space for newer materials, a process of continuous review, evaluation, and weeding is utilized.  The library will follow generally accepted professional practices to identify materials to be withdrawn from its collection.  Factors such as physical condition, available space, timeliness, user demand and availability of sufficient copies will be considered.


The Library follows all laws, rules and regulations of the State of Missouri pertaining to libraries and political subdivisions, including, but not limited to, Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 182 and Missouri Code of State Regulations.

The Municipal Library District will endeavor to obtain the greatest value for every tax dollar expended.  We will compare prices in order to purchase at the lowest price goods and services that meet the specifications and requirements set by the Library and that are in compliance with state statutes and federal guidelines.  We will encourage the submission of proposals from local vendors including certified disadvantaged business enterprises, minority business enterprises or women business enterprises but will not limit our purchases to local vendors in order to get maximum value.

All purchases over $2,500 must be reviewed and approved by the Director and/or the Library Board of Trustees.  This does not apply to the purchase of materials for the library collection.

Any purchases of $75,000 or more require a formal bid (with a goal of obtaining at least three bids) with the exception of vendors who are the sole source for the product. 

Locations & Hours

Salem Public Library
403 N. Jackson Street, Salem, MO 65560

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Phone: 573-729-4331
Fax: 573-729-2123

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday:  10:00 am - 1:00 pm

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