Collection Development


  1. The Collection Development Policy of the Milanof-Schock Library guides the selection and maintenance of the collection materials of the Milanof-Schock library. It formally outlines the principles and responsibilities for the selection of its various materials, including, but not limited to the following: print, non-print, audiovisual and electronic materials, and other future formats.
  2. The Collection Development Policy also considers the mission of the Milanof-Schock Library which is “to maintain and improve public resources, programs, and services reflecting informational, educational, and recreational needs of the residents of the service area.”  The Milanof-Schock Library’s service area includes: Marietta Borough, East Donegal Township, Mount Joy Borough, Mount Joy Township, and Rapho Township.
  3. The Milanof-Schock Library is a member of the Library System of Lancaster County and participates with the current material borrowing policies and practices with the other member libraries of the Library System of Lancaster County. The Milanof-Schock Library also has the ability to interlibrary loan material from outside of the Library System of Lancaster County. These services and collaborations provide the Milanof-Schock Library patrons with a greater variety and depth of materials available for their use.
  4. The Milanof-Schock Library’s Collection Development Policy considers the following statements of the American Library Association (ALA) an integral part of library’s mission and philosophy and therefore they are a critical part of our Collection Development policy:
    • The Library Bill of Rights (See Appendix A)
    • The Freedom to Read Statement (See Appendix B)
    • The Freedom to View Statement (See Appendix C)

Authority and Responsibility

  1. Final authority for the selection of materials and resources belongs to the Executive Director of the Library, who operates within the authority of the Library Board of Trustees. At the discretion of the Executive Director, qualified library staff are given selection responsibility based on their education, training, and experience.
  2. Under agreements with the Library System of Lancaster County and the Lancaster Public Library (District Center), the collection may also include materials and resources selected and purchased by the System and District Center for member libraries.

Objectives of Collection Development

The purpose of the Milanof-Schock Library is to provide the community a usable and accessible collection of materials and resources to meet the ever changing educational and recreational needs of its residents and users. The guiding principles in collection development include:

  • meeting the informational needs of the community
  • meeting the recreational needs of the community
  • supporting the life-long learning needs of area residents
  • reflecting a variety of opinions (majority, minority, even controversial) on a subject
  • supporting schools, business, and cultural, recreational, and civic activities in the community
  • stimulating self-understanding and growth, economic self-sufficiency, optimum physical and mental health, as well as access to the arts and cultural enrichment
  • serving all people, regardless of age, race, religion, gender, physical ability, or economic status.

Criteria for Selection

There are many criteria when considering items for addition to Milanof-Schock Library’s collection. These criteria are used to guide the selection of materials for purchases, memorial, gift books, and donations.

Materials are evaluated as a whole, not on the basis of a single passage or section. A work will not be excluded from the collection because it represents an aspect of life honestly or because of frankness of expression.

Criteria considered when selecting materials:

  • Accuracy and authority
  • Current and anticipated needs and interest of the public, as well as relevance to community needs
  • Timeliness
  • Social significance and enduring value
  • Demand
  • Consideration of materials is given to evaluations and reviews given by critics, reviewers, professional book selection aids, and featured in the media.  Materials suggested by library staff and library patrons are also highly considered.
  • Reputation and/or significance of the author, illustrator, artist, and/or publisher
  • Contribution to a balanced point of view as well as contribution to the diversity and breadth of the collection.  Materials may also present a unique or controversial position. Its relationship to the collection’s existing materials on the same or similar subject will be considered as well.
  • Suitability of subject, style and reading level for the intended audience
  • Suitability and availability of various formats
  • Quality of production
  • Cost and budget constraints
  • Space constraints
  • The ability to get an item from another Lancaster member library via the holds process or through Inter Library Loan (ILL)

Special Collections: Mount Joy Area Collection

The Milanof-Schock Library houses and maintains the “Mount Joy Collection.” This is a non-circulation collection which focuses on the history of Mount Joy and its service area, as well as Lancaster County and Pennsylvania in general. It is our goal to continually add relevant, accurate, interesting, and historically valuable information to this collection.

This collection includes history and current information about local/regional: government units, people, businesses, educational and religious institutions, and includes non-fiction and fiction materials.

The collection includes: local school yearbooks, Mount Joy Area Historical Society publications, local [historical] maps, centennial programs, etc.

Collection Maintenance

  1. Withdrawal of Materials
    • Materials are regularly deselected (weeded) from the library’s collection.  This may be due to several factors, such as: condition of an item, dated information, space considerations, superseded materials, demand decreases or ceases to circulate.
    • The Milanof-Schock Library staff responsible for the selection of the collection is also responsible for the de-selection of the materials.
    •  Library staff follow the guidelines found in Crew: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries.
    • When possible, deselected materials may continue to benefit the library through sale in the Friends of the Library Bookstore, eBay, at the Friends’ book sales.
    • If a title selected to be withdrawn is the last noted in the union catalog of the Library System of Lancaster County, it will be offered to the District Center, Lancaster Public Library, for its archival collection.
  2. Replacements
    • Some materials that are deselected due to their condition may be replaced with a donated item that is in better condition, if possible, or it may be purchased. •
    •  Replacement is not automatic as this determination is also based on circulation, subject, and other selection criteria.
  3.  Gifts and Donations
    • The same criteria and guidelines that apply to the selection of all library materials are used to evaluate donations and gifts. It is understood that donations and gifts are freely given without conditions attached, unless specifically negotiated beforehand, and that all donations and gifts will be used and disposed of as the library deems appropriate.The Milanof-Schock Library does not provide evaluations of gifts or donations for tax deductions or other purposes.

Reconsideration of Materials

  1. The Milanof-Schock Library strives to acquire materials that represent a wide variety of subjects, topics, views, and opinions so as to have a well-balanced collection as is possible based on funds, space, and staff.
  2. Recognizing that the collection represents such a diverse collection that may cause concern, objection, or offense for an individual, the library has provided a procedure for an item to be reconsidered for inclusion in the collection.
  3. An individual wishing reconsideration of library materials may request a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material” form (See Appendix D). This form is available at the circulation desk and through the Executive Director’s office. The form will only be considered if the complainant has read, listened to, or viewed the material being challenged, at least until the part the individual found objectionable. Once the original form has been completed in its entirety, the complainant must return it to the library, in-person or by mail. Only completed forms, which must include the patron’s name and be signed by the patron, will be considered for review.
  4. Upon receipt of a completed Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form, the Executive Director will appoint a staff committee to evaluate the materials in light of the patron’s request, using published reviews and the above-stated selection criteria. Evaluators will submit their recommendations to the Executive Director, who will make a decision concerning the materials. The Executive Director will notify the patron who originated the request in writing.
  5. If the individual is not satisfied with the action taken, he/she may appeal to the Milanof-Schock Library Board of Trustees. The President of the Board will appoint a committee consisting of board and staff to review the request and recommendation. Once a decision has been made, appropriate action will be taken and the patron will be notified, in writing, of the decision.


(Appendix A)

Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  • Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  • Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  • Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  • Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  • A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  •  Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.


(Appendix B)
Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
    No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
    To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.
    The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.
  8. We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.


(Appendix C)
Freedom to View Statement

The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:

  1. To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
  2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
  3.  To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
  4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.
  5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.

Endorsed January 10, 1990, by the ALA Council


Back to Policies