Materials Selection Policy

Materials Selection Policy

  1. Mission Statement

As the information center of the community, the East Brunswick Public Library strives to deliver the highest level of timely service to library users of all ages as it promotes literacy, lifelong learning, personal fulfillment, and the principles of intellection freedom.

  1. Statement of Purpose
    1. To develop collections of materials to meet the public’s diverse and ever-changing library needs for information, research, learning and recreation;
    2. To provide library staff with a policy framework from which to select library materials;
    3. To provide the public with a statement of library policy as a framework for understanding or questioning selection decisions made by library staff.
  1. Philosophy of Selection

In support of its mission “to promote literacy, lifelong learning, personal fulfillment, and the principles of intellectual freedom,” EBPL fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association.  The library upholds the right of the individual to secure information, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others.  Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints enabling patrons to make informed choices.

  1. Statement of Scope

Collections include popular and in-demand materials as well as special formats, such as large print books, foreign language materials, test and study guides, financial, tax and business information, company directories, school and career information, and consumer, health and medical information.  In addition, the East Brunswick Local Materials Collection preserves and documents East Brunswick history.

The variety of formats collected include:

  • Print: books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and maps.
  • Audiovisual Media: videos on DVD, books on CD, music on compact disc.
  • Electronic Media: databases, electronic books, downloadable audiobooks, videos and music.  The library also provides access to the Internet.  Selected Internet sites are cataloged and linked to the library’s website.
  • Other: non-traditional lending items, educational toys, devices for the visually impaired.
  1. Criteria for Selection

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below.  An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.

  • Relevance to interests and needs of the community
  • Contribution to the diversity and scope of the collection
  • Popular appeal
  • Current or historical significance of the author or subject
  • Prominence, authority and/or competence of author, creator or publisher
  • Accuracy and timeliness
  • Attention of critics and reviewers
  • Suitability of format to library circulation and use
  • Date of publication
  1. Materials Authored by East Brunswick Residents

The library accepts a donation of a single copy of any item authored and published by an East Brunswick resident that satisfies library criteria for selection.  Accepted items are added to the appropriate library collection and are subject to the selection criteria stated above.  Items that do not meet library criteria for selection are returned to the author or, if the author prefers, donated to the Friends of the Library Book and Media Sale.

  1. Non-traditional Lending Items

Lendable kits are a collection of non-traditional library items that complement the library’s mission to spark creativity and promote lifelong learning.  The library’s professional staff will select materials based on the needs of library patrons and popular appeal.  Lendable kits are not intended to be comprehensive and the library is limited by a finite amount of storage space.  For a full list of available items, visit

Items that are no longer popular and do not circulate will be withdrawn from the collection according to the library’s de-selection process.  The library reserves the right to take a lendable kit out of circulation temporarily to use for library purposes (workshops, demonstrations, or other programs), or to repair a damaged item.

  1. Multiple Copies

To meet high demand for popular titles in a timely manner it is necessary to purchase multiple copies of a work.  Typically, the number of copies purchased is based upon a ratio of copies available to the number of people waiting on reserve.  One additional copy may be purchased for every four requests on reserve.

  1. Suggestions for Purchase

East Brunswick Public Library strongly encourage input from the community concerning the collections.  A suggestion for purchase procedure enables East Brunswick residents to request that a particular item or subject be purchased by EBPL.  All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection.  It is the library’s intent that suggestions for purchase be used to help EBPL in developing collections, which serve the interests and needs of the community.

  1. Availability in Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium (LMxAC)

When possible and appropriate, requested materials may be borrowed from other LMxAC libraries in lieu of purchase. 

  1. Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is not a substitute for collection development, but is meant to expand the range of materials available to library users.  ILL materials are materials not available through the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium.  All ILL requests for recent material are considered for purchase.  It is possible that not every title will be available through ILL or purchase, so all requests may not be filled. 

  1. Gift Materials

The selection of donated materials for inclusion in the collection is made using the same criteria as selection by purchase.  Disposition of all gift materials not used is at the discretion of the Library Director or his or her designate.  The library has a separate policy on gifts, monetary contributions and bequests.

  1. De-selection of material

In order to maintain up-to-date, useful collections, worn and obsolete materials are continually removed from the collections.  Materials may be withdrawn if they are little used or superseded by a new edition or better work on the same subject.  Depth and coverage of varying degrees are desirable in various areas of the collections.  The Collection Development Policy serves as a guide to de-selecting (commonly known as weeding), and maintaining the collections as well as for the selection of materials.

The C.R.E.W. (Continuous Review Evaluation and Weeding) method of systematic evaluation and weeding of collections is used by every selector in order to keep the collections responsive to patrons’ needs, to ensure its vitality and usefulness to the community, and to make room for newer materials. 

Collections will be reassessed for relevancy and currency on a regular basis.  No materials will be held or given to individuals after de-selection, and materials may be sold, donated, or discarded by the library. 

  1. Requests for Reconsideration

Public or staff may request reconsideration of materials owned by the library by completing the East Brunswick Library Statement of Concern About Library Resources.  Upon receipt of a formal written request, the Director will discuss the matter with the appropriate professional staff in a timely manner.  In making their decision, the Director will contact the patron in writing with the final decision unless the request was made anonymously.

The patron, if unsatisfied with the decision, may request a hearing before the Board of Trustees.  The Board will then determine whether the request for reconsideration has been handled in accordance with stated policies and procedures of the East Brunswick Public Library.  Based on this determination, the Board may vote to uphold or override the decision of the Director.  The Board’s decision will be final.



Periodicals, Newsletter, & Newspaper Selection Policy

  1. A Professional Reference librarian oversees the content development and maintenance of the library’s collections of popular magazines, newsletters and newspapers. The librarian monitors current trends; assesses potential audiences for new titles; adds/drops subscriptions with vendors; and analyzes circulation statistics and in-library usage.
  2. Magazines for Adults, Teens, and Children are selected by the Information Services librarian with input from designated staff. The library will consider recommendations from the public.
  3. A Professional Reference librarian conducts an annual review of magazines, newsletters, and newspaper holdings to assure that collections are continually aligned to the interests of the community. Titles are added/dropped by weighing content relevance against current price, potential audience, usage, and yearly budget allocation. New titles are added ad hoc throughout the year that meet the aforementioned criteria.
  4. A Consumer Health Team is responsible for selecting magazines that address community health priorities.
  5. Print magazines are displayed in the Lounge, Youth Services Department, and Teen Space.  Health magazines and newsletters are displayed on a standalone unit in the Lounge.
  6. Back issues of periodicals in hard copy are retained for the following periods of time:

Adult Popular Magazines

Weekly & Bi-weekly                       Current month + 6 months

Monthly                                          Current year + 1 year

Bi-monthly & Quarterly                  Current year + 2 years

Business Newsletters                   

Monthly                                          12 months

Children’s/Teen Popular Magazines

Weekly & Bi-weekly                       Current month + 6 months

Monthly                                          Current year + 1 year

Health Newsletters        

Monthly                                          12 months


Daily                                               3 weeks

Weekly                                           4 weeks


  1. Hundreds of eMagazines are available by shared access through the Libraries of Middlesex County Consortium. The consortium subscribes to RBdigital, a digital newsstand of hundreds of titles in all genres.  RBdigital offers access to digital magazines from desktops, mobile devices, and apps.  Patrons must visit the library’s RBdigital page to register an account in order to access eMagazines or register from within the RBdigital app. The LMxAC Digital Content Committee selects digital titles and billing is cost-shared among members.
  2. The library subscribes to the Digital Home News Tribune through Innovative Document Imaging, LLC (IDI) located in East Brunswick.  This is a shared annual subscription with three other libraries as part of a Memorandum of Understanding with IDI that was originally signed on September 8, 2014. These libraries include: 1) New Brunswick Free Public Library, 2) Edison Township Free Public Library and 3) Woodbridge Public Library.  The digital Home News Tribune is available only to library staff on SharePoint.  Librarians may search the IDI database to furnish copies of articles and other materials to customers. Database access shall continue for the duration of the agreement between the four participating libraries and IDI. The database is updated annually by IDI with five additional years of scanned newspapers added each year to increase historical coverage.
  3. The library licenses the Qikan Library database, a Chinese-language database that includes a full Chinese interface with magazines from mainland China that are multidisciplinary in scope. The database can be accessed in the library or remotely using an EBPL library card. The library will consider purchasing serials databases in other languages upon request.
  4. Thousands of full-text magazine articles for children, teens, and adults can be accessed through the library’s website on the Adult, Teen, and Kids database pages.  These databases can be accessed in the library or remotely using an EBPL library card.
  5. The library purchases annual issues of Top Doctors, Dentists, and Lawyers.  These issues are retained behind the Information Desk and are available upon request. 
  6. The library purchases professional journals and newsletters that are routed to staff via a distribution list.