Collection Development Policy


The Gunn Memorial Library (GML) strives to provide diverse materials representing a range of values and viewpoints. Inclusion in the Library’s collection does not constitute institutional endorsement of all viewpoints. Ultimate responsibility for inclusion in the Library’s collection rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of this policy. GML maintains a Local History collection that supports the larger collection of the Gunn Historical Museum as well as a Local Author collection recognizing those who have lived or worked in Washington.

Censorship, Intellectual Freedom, & Challenges

The Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and contained within the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View principles adopted by the American Library Association. (See appendix)
The Library complies with all state and federal copyright laws. (See appendix)


The primary responsibility of the Library is to serve the community of Washington by providing a wide range of materials to meet their informational, educational, and recreational needs. The range of formats purchased recognize the various accessibility needs, learning styles, and preferences of users.


The responsibility for the selection of materials for the Library collection rests with the Library staff. All or some of the following criteria are considered when selecting items for the collection:

Popular demand
Accuracy and timeliness
Cost and availability
Literary merit
Space and budget constraints
Availability of materials elsewhere
Public request (see appendix)
Relevance to community
Support of Library programs and initiatives
Not all the works by an individual author may be considered for purchase
The Library does not purchase textbooks to support educational curriculums
Self-published materials must meet selection criteria

Children’s & Teen Materials

Children’s and Teen materials must meet the above criteria, but other factors are considered for selection:

Artistic quality, originality, and creativity
Accuracy, objectivity, clarity, logic, and effectiveness of material

Some materials in the Children’s or Teen Collections might not be considered appropriate by all adults for all readers. While some materials are too mature for one reader, other readers may be ready for them. Only each reader and their parent or caregiver can decide what material is suitable.


The Gunn Library staff stays current with trends in the maintaining of library collections to meet the standards of its users, both in terms of content and physical quality, as well as access and delivery. To that end, we continuously assess the collection regarding typical use or damage. Items are evaluated for possible repair, replacement, or deselection.


The Library strives to provide current, accurate information, and an accessible collection in good condition. Deselection is an ongoing process, and staff systematically inspects and considers materials for withdrawal. All or some of the following criteria are considered when deselecting items for the collection:

No longer in demand
Unsuitable condition
Out of date or contains inaccurate information
More current or comprehensive resources are available
Unnecessary duplications
Available through consortia or interlibrary loans

Once items are deemed no longer appropriate for the collection, the Library first makes efforts to repurpose before considering disposal. If the items are not physically damaged, they either may be recycled through another nonprofit or will be offered in the library book sale.

Gifts & Unsolicited Materials

Acceptance of donated items follows the Library’s Gift Acceptance Policy. Donated items become the property of the Library. Decisions regarding donated items follow the selection and disposal processes as listed above. Materials not added to the collection are not returned to the donor. The Library does not evaluate or appraise materials for tax purposes.

Memorials, Bequests, & Trusts

The Library welcomes gifts, trusts, or bequests for the purchase of every type of library material. Appropriate recognition may identify the donor and/or person in whose honor the donation is made.

The Gunn Memorial Library Board of Directors is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of library patrons, volunteers, and staff, and for preserving and protecting the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.


1. “Library Bill of Rights,” American Library Association, June 30, 2006.
2. “The Freedom to Read Statement,” American Library Association, July 26, 2006.
3. “Freedom to View Statement,” American Library Association, May 29, 2007.
4. Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C.

Gunn Memorial Library Suggestion for Purchase Form
Print, fill out, and bring to the front desk.

Gunn Memorial Library Request to Reconsider Materials- available upon request at the front desk. 


Adopted by Gunn Memorial Board of Trustees on January 20, 2022