Collection Development Policy


The Library seeks to provide breadth and depth within the collection, various points of view, and differing formats. The Library endeavors to balance materials of permanent value with those of current interest. Materials are selected based on their content as a whole, not on selected excerpts. Race, nationality, or political, social, moral, or religious views of an author will not affect the selection of materials.

Collection Objectives

It is the intent of the Board of Library Trustees (“Board”) that the Newport Beach Public Library provides a contemporary, relevant collection of resources in order to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of the entire community. The Library strives to meet these needs within the limitations of space, budget and availability of items.

Selection is based on merit of the work; value of the work within the collection; and the needs and interests of the community. Consideration is given to specific types of material; to materials for specific age groups; to materials for special interests of patrons; and to differing formats of materials. These selection criteria will apply equally to materials purchased and to those accepted as gifts.

Responsibility of Selection

Ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Services Director (“Director”), who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board. The Director delegates the major responsibility of materials selection to the Librarians on staff.

Guidelines for Materials Selection

Collection Development is based on these specific criteria:

  • Community needs, interests and demands
  • Significance and compatibility of the work to the collection
  • Recommendations of reviews from professional journals or publications of national repute
  • Reputation and qualifications of the author, illustrator, publisher or producer
  • Availability of other information on the subject
  • Literary, artistic, historical, scientific or intellectual merit
  • Suitability of format
  • Author or creator already has popular works in the collection
  • Significance of the author’s work to the Newport Beach area
  • Suitability of subject and style to intended audience

The importance or weight of each of these factors will vary from one acquisition to another, others may be considered, and materials for adults, teens and children will each be judged differently.

Patrons making requests that items be added to the permanent collection will be referred to the “Suggest a Title” form located on the Library’s website. Suggestions from Library patrons are encouraged and receive serious consideration.

Reciprocal Lending

Many items which are not in the collection are available to Library patrons, through established interlibrary loan practices. Concurrently, the Library participates in universal borrowing, established by the California Library Services Act, Article 4, California Education Code Section 18731, which states, “A California public library may participate in universal borrowing. A public library participating in universal borrowing shall not exclude the residents of any jurisdiction maintaining a public library.” This allows Newport Beach Public Library patrons direct access to materials housed in other participating public libraries in Orange County and throughout the State of California.

Patron Rights

The Library believes that the use of library materials is an individual and private matter. Parents and caregivers have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the use of library materials by the minor children under their care and supervision.

In support of the above principles, in general the Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement as adopted by the American Library Association Council.

Library patrons with concerns about a specific title in the collection shall be provided with a copy of this Policy and asked to complete the "Patron’s Request for Evaluation of Library Resources" form, Attachment I to this Policy.

Library staff shall evaluate the material, based on this Policy. A recommendation shall be forwarded to the Director who shall respond in writing to the patron (“Director’s Decision”). Once the Director has made the Director’s Decision, copies of the Patron’s Request for Evaluation of Library Resources and the Director’s Decision shall be provided to the Board at its subsequent regular meeting. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in this Policy, any materials in the Children’s Collection or Teen Collection considered not age appropriate by the Director will be relocated to another Library location or the Director may take other actions pursuant to the Collection Maintenance section in this Policy. If a patron disagrees with the Director’s Decision, the patron may appeal to the Board for final resolution. The appeal shall be filed on the “Application for Appeal of Evaluation of Library Resources to the Board of Library Trustees” (“Appeal Application”), and the Board’s final resolution shall be determined in accordance with the “Procedures for Patron’s Appeal of Evaluation to the Board of Library Trustees” (“Procedures”). The Appeal Application and the Procedures are set forth in Attachment II to this Policy.


The Library only accepts materials in useable condition. All donations become the sole property of the Newport Beach Public Library upon receipt and cannot be returned. The Library reserves the right to decide whether donated items are added to the collection and to determine the conditions of display, storage and access.

All donated materials added to the collection must meet the same collection criteria as purchased materials. Donated items not added to the collection are given to the Friends of the Newport Beach Public Library for sale in their bookstore. Proceeds from the Friends of the Library Bookstore directly benefit the Library.

Collection Maintenance

The Library and the Director are continually evaluating the collection and, on their own initiative, may take actions with respect to the collection based on this Policy.

To maintain the quality and relevance of the collection, the Library regularly withdraws materials that are worn, outdated, superseded or obsolete. Space limitations require that duplicate copies no longer in demand also be withdrawn.

As materials become worn, damaged, or lost, replacement will be based on whether or not:

  • The item is still available
  • There is an ongoing demand or need
  • Another item or format might better serve the same purpose
  • Updated, newer, or revised materials would better replace a given item
  • Another library system could better provide the item or a comparable item in the future


[Attachment I – Patron’s Request for Evaluation of Library Resources]

[Attachment II – Application for Appeal of Evaluation of Library Resources to the Board of Library Trustees and Procedures for Patron’s Appeal of Evaluation of Library Resources to the Board of Library Trustees]


Adopted - October 22, 1990

Amended - October 28, 1991

Amended - January 24, 1994

Reassigned - April 8, 2003

Corrected (Att. II) – October 10, 2006

Revisions Approved – November 16, 2010

Amendments Approved by City Council – September 27, 2011

Amended – August 20, 2018

Formerly I-16

Amended – August 17, 2020

Amended – August 15, 2022

Amended – September 18, 2023

Amended – October 16, 2023

Amended - January 16, 2024

This Policy will be periodically reviewed by the Board of Library Trustees on the first to occur of (i) as circumstances may require or (ii) every two years from the date of adoption, last amendment, or last review. Adopted, last amended, or last reviewed on January 16, 2024.