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Collection Policies

Collection Policies
Collection Development
Collection Development

Approved by:
Board of Trustees




Revised Date:




The purpose of this document is to describe the method by which library materials are selected, maintained and evaluated, and to inform the public about the principles of materials selection for the library system. The approval and adoption of the Collection Development Policy is the responsibility of the Hall County Library System Board of Trustees. Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the library director and the library system staff. The policy will be reviewed periodically. Limitations on the budget, changes in population, diversity in population, current events, technological innovations, the collections of other institutions, availability of materials from other sources, and other unforeseen situations and conditions are factors to be considered and monitored.



The Hall County Library System has libraries throughout Hall County. The library system participates in a statewide and national interlibrary loan network and reciprocal borrowing agreements with other types of libraries. Professionally trained and certified librarians are employed by the system to oversee collection development.



The HCLS connects you to the tools that empower you to explore the world and enrich your life.



The Board of Trustees and the Staff of the Hall County Library System envision a library that will be recognized as a dynamic force in the community by creating an environment that nurtures intellectual freedom, sparks lifelong learning, offers open access to resources, supports new technologies, respects cultural diversity, and embraces the future.



The Hall County Library Board and staff recognize and adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom found in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. HCLS strives to create an attractive, up-to-date, balanced collection representing all subjects and all sides of issues in a neutral, unbiased manner, as budgets, availability of materials and space permits. Efforts are made to ensure that a wide variety of views are represented and made available to all citizens regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or social or political views. Materials are not added or removed from the collection for partisan or doctrinal reasons. HCLS endorses the rights and freedom of parents/legal guardians to decide what materials are suitable for their minor children, and HCLS encourages parents or legal guardians to be active participants in the selection and rejection of materials for their own children. The parent or legal guardian is ultimately responsible for the selection and use of a minor age patron’s library materials. The library system or any library staff member will not act in loco parentis for minor children. The selection of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children. The library system will not mark materials to show approval or disapproval of contents, and materials are not restricted in access except for the purpose of protecting them from theft or damage. HCLS endorses the freedom and rights for individuals to select or reject materials for use for themselves or their minor children only, but not to select or reject materials for groups or populations as a whole. Staff will not develop or arrange the collection based on the curriculum needs of local schools or institutions of higher education.



The selection of print, non-print, and electronic resources does not constitute an endorsement of contents. The Hall County Library system recognizes that many materials are considered controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Reasonable effort is made to provide a balanced collection, equitable access to materials, and a collection that meets the reading and information demands of the general public. Materials are selected from review sources using standard library criteria based on the characteristics of the materials, characteristics of the community, budget limitations, current deficiencies in the collection and library roles. Requests for purchase from the general public are welcomed when the materials meet the criteria established by the collection development procedure. The library system cannot honor every patron request or purchase every item desired, however. Patrons are encouraged to make use of the library system’s reciprocal borrowing agreements to obtain materials not in the collection. Local author donations are welcome.  Please see Local Author Policy.



Hall County Library System will develop and maintain a collection of local history and genealogy materials. This will serve as a research collection and will be housed in the special collections area of the Headquarters Library. The collection will include Georgia authors, genealogy materials and Southern history materials. Rare books, documents, regalia, manuscripts, autographed works and valuable works may be assigned to this area for security purposes, and special preservation techniques may be utilized to maintain the integrity of such items Singular materials of this type may require that use be confined to direct supervision by library staff Individual family histories shall not normally be purchased for the collection, but will be accepted as gifts and subjected to standard collection criteria. GIFTS (see separate gift policy).



Residents of Hall County may submit a Patron Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials for materials owned by the Hall County Library System. Requests may only be submitted by individuals. Forms submitted by groups, organizations, or businesses will not be accepted.


Only one title per form may be submitted; forms with multiple titles or general topics listed

will not be accepted. Items may only be formally reviewed once every twelve months unless specific new information is provided which would prompt further action. Items under review will remain in the collection until the review is complete.  Patron complaints regarding materials that are a part of the library collection are handled in the following manner:


  1. The patron is offered an opportunity to file a formal written complaint using the Board adopted PATRON REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS form. A copy of the Hall County Library System Collection Development Policy will be provided to the patron.
  2. The request will be considered by the library system materials review committee. The committee is composed of professional library staff appointed by the library director.
  3. The library director will assume responsibility for, and the possession of, the completed request form and the materials in question. The director will acknowledge the request in writing to the complainant. The materials review committee will begin the review process within seven business days after their receipt of the filed complaint. The committee will review the materials and make recommendations. The director will inform the complainant in writing of the decision of the materials review committee.
  4. The decision of the materials review committee may be appealed to the Hall County Library Board by making a request in writing to the Board. The Board decision will be considered final.
Local Author Policy
 Local Author Policy Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date: 8/23/2022
  Revised Date:

The Hall County Library System receives numerous requests from local authors to add their books which they have self-published or published at their own expense through one of the many independent publishing companies.

Although this type of publishing has experienced rapid growth, these books often do not meet the requirements outlined in the HCLS Collection Development Policy to be candidates for the permanent collection. They typically have not received a review in one or more the of the major review journals (such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Publisher's Weekly), and may not meet other criteria the Library normally sets for inclusion in its collections.

HCLS wishes to support local authors while maintaining the standards needed in its permanent collections. Therefore, the Library has established a Local Author Collection at the Gainesville Library and will accept one donated copy of a local author’s work for consideration.

Guidelines for placement in the Local Author Collection are as follows:

  • Authors must be current Hall County residents. If the author is not a Hall County resident, the book must take place in Hall County or otherwise demonstrate a strong local interest.
  • Each book must be approved by the Adult or Juvenile book selection team before being accepted for placement. Library staff are not able to provide reviews or feedback on these materials.
  • Books for the Local Author Collection will be accepted as donations from the author or publisher; however, at the discretion of the selection team, a book may be considered for purchase if published reviews in standard sources are available or there is strong evidence of appropriateness.
  • If an author’s work is selected, HCLS bears no obligation for marketing that work. Authors are fully responsible for promoting their work.
  • Items will be clearly labeled as belonging to this special collection.
  • Items will rotate out of the collection and may be withdrawn after one year unless they have circulated regularly.
  • Self-published family histories or other similar genealogical materials may instead be added to the Sybil Wood McCray Genealogy and Local History Collection.
  • Materials that are donated become the property of the Hall County Library System and as such cannot be returned to the donor.
  • Books donated to the Local Author Collection must be professionally bound.
  • Text books and eBooks will not be considered for inclusion.
  • Submissions must be accompanied by the HCLS Local Author Collection submission form. Send a completed Local Author Submission Request form (see next page), and a copy of your published, bound and printed work to:
Hall County Library System Collection Development Team (Local Author Submission)

127 Main St. NW

Gainesville, GA 30501


The Hall County Library System offers a small area at the Gainesville Library for local authors who want their work sampled by library users. This collection is designed to give new and emerging writers, especially those whose books are not yet widely reviewed or stocked by libraries and bookstores, an opportunity to be read by their friends and neighbors. Please review the Local Author Policy for full guidelines before submitting a title for consideration. Submission of this form does not guarantee selection and inclusion in the local author collection.

To submit your book for consideration, please complete the following:

Book Title:_____________________________________________________________________

Author’s name: _________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

Local contact number: ___________________________________________________________


Please check one or more of the following:

______ I am a Hall County resident.

______ My book is set in Hall County.

______ My book holds particular local interest: ____________________________________


If your book has been reviewed, please list the title of the review publication, page number, & date of the review. You may also attach reviews, publicity materials, or other supplementary information if available.



Please send one copy of your book along with a completed copy of this form to:

Hall County Library Collection Development Team (Local Author Submission)

127 Main St. NW

Gainesville, GA 30501

Reconsideration of Library Materials


Approved by:
Board of Trustees




Revised Date:


The library system strives to maintain a current, balanced collection of materials that meets the needs of our diverse population. An important component in maintaining this collection is weeding, the process of reviewing materials in the library collection to determine suitability based on specific criteria set by the library. Weeding is done by professional and licensed librarians to:

  • ensure the collection meets the current and anticipated needs of the community,
  • make the most effective use of available space,
  • remove outdated and misleading materials from the collection, and
  • remove materials that are damaged or in poor condition from the collection.
The library system has adopted the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding) method to be used along with local item use statistics to maintain the collection. Library staff follows these general guidelines for identifying items to be removed from the collection:

Misleading and/or factually inaccurate
Ugly, worn out and beyond mending 
Superseded by a new edition, new title or better book on the subject. 
Trivial, of no discernible literary or scientific merit
Irrelevant to the needs and interests of our community
Elsewhere—material may be obtained easily through PINES or ILL.

This is a continual process. Titles recommended for withdrawal from the collection will not be replaced automatically. The replacement decision will be made on a case by case basis taking into account the title’s accuracy and availability, current holdings on the topic, and demand for the title.

Weeding will not be used as a means for withdrawing challenged or controversial materials. These materials will be handled according to the library system’s Collection Development Policy using a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials.” Materials withdrawn from the collection will be donated to the Friends of the Hall County Library for their book sale, recycled, or discarded.

Local History and Genealogy Collection:

The Local History and Genealogy Collection is designed to house historic materials which are generally cataloged as reference materials.  The goal is to provide a research collection which will aid individuals as they search for their ancestors and learn local history.

Standard CREW Methods and circulation reports may not always be used when evaluating the Local History and Genealogy Collection.  When evaluating materials in this collection, staff will also consider the following:

  • Does the material fit within the special collection’s goals and scope?
  • Are there duplicates?
  • Has the physical condition of the material(s) deteriorated to the point that it can no longer be repaired or preserved for the collection?
  • Is the library system able to physically store, care for, and house the material(s)?
  • Has the item(s) met the donor’s requirements? Will weeding the material(s) violate a donor agreement?
  • Has the item(s) been found to be a forgery or inauthentic?
  • Will removing the item(s) greatly affect the preservation of the history of Hall County and/or the surrounding areas? 
  • Can the item(s) be donated/housed/preserved in another collection outside of Hall County Library System? Can the item(s) be returned to the original donor?

Items weeded from the Local History and Genealogy Collection must have approval from an administrative librarian.  Items with a high value and originals must be approved for weeding by the Library Director.