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, encompassing both physical and digital formats. The library chooses which formats to include/retain based on patron usage, requests, and trends. “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 selected with consideration to the standards outlined below. Items need not meet all the criteria to be included in the library’s collections, but must adhere to some combination of the following guiding principles:

  • Accuracy of content
  • Attention of critics, reviewers, media, and the public
  • Authority, reputation, or qualifications of the author, artist, publisher, or producer
  • Availability for purchase
  • Availability in other area libraries, the internet, or other means
  • Condition of material
  • Date of publication
  • Demand for the material
  • Price and other budgetary considerations
  • Relation to the existing collection's strengths and weaknesses
  • Relevance to the interests and needs of the community
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Scarcity of information in the subject area
  • Significance, timeliness, or permanence of the subject matter
  • Suitability of the format to library circulation and use

Material Specific

  • Branch Collections: Because of space limitations, the branch shall provide primarily materials of popular interest and those specific to community needs.
  • 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.
  • Youth Collections: Materials for Youth Services are selected to meet the needs of youth from infancy through high school, and are housed in the children’s room or teen area. Special attention is paid to meeting a wide variety of needs and interests across various reading levels.
  • 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.
    • Kanopy - Due to the vast size of this collection, we do not routinely evaluate titles that are made available.


Selection is only one aspect of collection development. Library materials are continuously assessed within the context of the full collection, as well as for their continuing relevance to library users. The withdrawal of materials is a formal process conducted by knowledgeable staff as a necessary method to maintain collection vitality, size, and scope. This process is known as deselection or weeding.

The following criteria are used in selecting materials for withdrawal:

  • Damage or poor condition
  • Infrequent use and lack of demand
  • No longer accurate
  • No longer relevant to the needs and interest of the community
  • Materials in the format are no longer collected
  • Availability elsewhere including other libraries and online

The library does not automatically purchase replacements or substitutions for all items withdrawn. The same criteria that apply to selection also apply to replacements and substitutions.


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.


Selection of an item for the library collection does not constitute an endorsement by the library of either the content or viewpoint expressed in that item.

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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