City of Manchester, NH Official Web Site

Collection Policies

This page includes the library's Collection Policy and Reconsideration Policy, as well as a Reconsideration of Library Materials form. You can download a PDF copy of any of these policies or forms by following the links at the end of this page.

Collection Policy


This policy is established by the Library Board of Trustees to guide the library staff in the management of the collection and to inform the public of the principles upon which the library makes decisions regarding the maintenance and use of the collection.

The quality of library service depends to a great extent on the availability of a well-selected, well-maintained collection which provides library materials in adequate numbers in a variety of appropriate formats. Providing such a collection is one of the most important things the Manchester City Library does.


“Materials” is used for all forms of media and has the widest possible inclusion. Materials may be but are not limited to: books, maps, magazines and journals, newspapers, databases, and audio-visual products.

“Selection” refers to the decision that must be made to add a given item to the collection. It does not refer to guidance or assisting a library user.

“Collection development” refers to the ongoing evaluative process of assessing the materials available for purchase and in making the decisions, first, on their inclusion, and second, on their retention if they are added.


Final responsibility for selection lies with the Board of Library Trustees. However, the Board delegates to the Director, who has the authority to interpret and guide the application of the policy in making day-to-day selections. The Director will authorize other staff to apply this policy in building collections.


All staff members selecting library materials will be expected to keep the library roles in mind and apply their knowledge, training, and experience in making decisions.



All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the standards listed below. However, an item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable. Materials are evaluated on the significance of the entire work rather than individual parts. When judging the quality of materials several standards and combinations of standards may be used. The following principals will guide selection.

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Community interest
  • Accuracy of content
  • Reputation and/or authority of the author, editor or illustrator
  • Literary merit
  • Relation to existing collection and to other materials on the subject
  • Price, availability, and demand
  • Format and ease of use
  • Scarcity of information in the subject area
  • Availability of material in other area libraries
  • Attention of critics, reviewers, media and public

Material Specific

  • Branch Collections: The Branch Library collections serve as extensions of the Main Library. Because of space limitations, the branch shall provide primarily current books and materials of popular interest. Not every title will be purchased for the branch. While not extensive, the branch will maintain reference collections consisting of useful, up-to-date information. Requests for unavailable materials or information will be filled from the Main Library if possible, and through Inter-Library Loan (ILL) if unavailable.
  • Children’s Materials: Materials for Children’s Services are selected to serve the needs of children from infancy through sixth grade and their parents. School textbooks and workbooks are generally excluded from the collection.
  • New Hampshire Room Collection: Materials for the New Hampshire Room include NH city and town histories, biographies of famous NH people, Manchester history, and genealogies of major NH families.
  • Periodicals: Periodicals are purchased to supplement the book collection, provide recreational and professional reading, and/or provide material not yet available in book form. Selection of periodicals will be based upon their consideration as authoritative, objective, of local interest and demand, and indexed in standard periodical indexes.
  • Digital Resources: The Manchester City Library upholds the same criteria for digital resources as we do with physical materials. However, we do not have the same level of control over the selection of these resources, as noted here:
    • Overdrive/Libby - The Manchester City Library subscribes to, but does not have direct control over, the titles in the Overdrive/Libby platform. The NH Downloadable Books consortium has its own collection policy, available at
    • CloudLibrary - Member libraries of the GMILCS consortium are responsible for selection of the titles for the CloudLibrary platform.
    • Hoopla and Kanopy - Due to the vast size of these collections, we do not routinely evaluate titles that are made available.


Selection is only one aspect of collection development. Rigorous attention must be given to assessing needs for adding, replacing, and discarding materials in every collection. These responsibilities are a part of all librarian’s duties.

Copies of titles will be added based on heavy use determined by demand and date on use of the copies available.

The weeding/withdrawal of materials is required for out-of-date items, those for which there has been no use in a given period of time, damaged items, and those lost by users. Replacement or substitution of these materials reintroduces the selection process.


The library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some library user. Selections will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to collection building and to serving the interests of Manchester City Library users.

The use of rare and scarce items of great value may be controlled to the extent required to preserve them from harm, but no further.

Responsibility for the reading, listening, and viewing of library materials by children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children.

Reconsideration Policy

The Board of Trustees of the Manchester City Library believes that censorship is a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject material of which one does not approve, one cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom of others. No library material shall be removed from the Library while under a formal reconsideration of such materials by the library’s reconsideration committee. No library program will be cancelled while under a formal reconsideration by the library’s reconsideration committee.

The reconsideration committee will consist of the library director, one library administrator and the library selector for that particular genre or program.

Any member of the Manchester community may request the reconsideration of any library material or program held at the Library. An individual may submit no more than two (2) written Requests for Reconsideration in any given month, and no more than ten (10) in any calendar year.

The first step in the reconsideration procedure is the completion of the Reconsideration Form.
Note: You can pick up a copy of this form at any library service desk, or download a PDF copy to print and complete.
Reconsideration Form

The Committee will review the patron input and respond in writing with the results of their findings within twenty business days.

Any Appeals can be made to the Library Board of Trustees, to be heard at their next regularly scheduled meeting after the decision has been issued, and whose decision will be final and binding.

Materials in the Manchester City Library collection for which decisions have been rendered through the Reconsideration process by the Committee or Board of Trustees will not be reconsidered again for a period of three (3) years following a judgment.

Collection Policy
Reconsideration Policy
Reconsideration of Library Materials Form

Manchester City Library

405 Pine St
Manchester, NH 03104
(603) 624-6550

West Manchester Branch Library

76 North Main St
Manchester, NH 03102
(603) 624-6560

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