Collection Development Policy

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The mission of the Thousand Oaks Library is to Inspire, Inform, and Engage. The Collection Development Policy guides the selection of materials as it does the development of services and the allocation of resources. This document ensures that over time, the Thousand Oaks Library’s collection reflects the needs of the Thousand Oaks community, while creating meaningful experiences and inspiration for the individual library patrons.

The Library selects materials in a variety of formats and languages that best serve the community's needs. The greatest value is received by focusing on the most popular and widespread formats and by not duplicating the comprehensive collection efforts of college and research institutions. Material selection is based on awareness of community interests and concerns, national and international issues and events, publishing trends, societal trends, and the professional judgment of selectors regarding the material's value to the Library's collection. Since no library can possibly acquire all materials, libraries must employ a policy of selectivity in its acquisition practices.


Library staff select materials to provide a broad and relevant collection in accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to View Statement. The library collection shall be an unbiased and diverse source of information, representing as many viewpoints as possible.

The Thousand Oaks Library selects materials for all ages and relies extensively on professional review sources. Material is not excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political and social views of the author. The inclusion of materials does not imply agreement with or endorsement of content.

Selectors use their training, knowledge and expertise along with the following general criteria to select materials for the collection:

  • Relevance to interests and needs of the community
  • Extent of publicity, critical review and current or anticipated demand
  • Current or historical significance of author or subject
  • Reputation and qualifications of author, publisher, or producer, with preference generally given to titles vetted in the editing and publishing industry
  • Suitability of format to Library circulation and use
  • Date of publication
  • Price, availability, and Library materials budget
  • Online resources are evaluated based on accessibility and the availability of library licensing

The inclusion of materials does not imply agreement with or endorsement of content.
Through interlibrary loan agreements, the Library may request print materials not owned by the Thousand Oaks Library from other libraries in the United States.


Thousand Oaks Library welcomes suggestions from the community for possible purchases of materials. Titles are considered by the same criteria as all other materials purchased for the Library.


Authors who live within the boundaries of Los Angeles and Ventura counties may donate one copy of their book to be added to the Local Author Collection. The Library accepts donated copies but does not guarantee inclusion in the collection. Items donated to the Library become the property of the Library and may not be returned to the donating party.


The Special Collections division within the Library collects historical reference materials about the Conejo Valley including local newspapers, local history photos, pamphlets, and published printed materials related to local history and Book Arts. Titles are considered by the same criteria as all other materials purchased for the Library.

The Special Collections division accepts responsibility for the preservation of visual materials from the Library's photo collections. The Library also houses a unique collection of local newspapers. Specific responsibility for developing and overseeing the planning, creation, and preservation of the Library's digital collections is delegated to qualified and knowledgeable staff.


The Thousand Oaks Library welcomes donations of previously owned materials in good condition. Some items may be added to our collection or sold in the Friends of the Library used book sales to generate funds for the Library. Because of limitations of space and staff, the Library reserves the right to accept or discard, at its discretion, any donated materials. Donations are accepted at all locations during open hours, and an acknowledgment form is provided upon request.


Deselection of material from the circulating collections is essential for successful collection maintenance. Knowledgeable staff continuously evaluate materials to maintain a current, accurate, and appealing collection and facilitate its ease of use. Deselection of materials is a formal process, combining evidence-based usage analysis and understanding of the community’s evolving collection preferences.

An item may be deselected for several reasons: physical condition, accuracy/currency of both content and formats, relevancy and demand, space and budget considerations. If an item is deselected due to physical condition but is still timely and relevant, a replacement copy will be purchased. De-selected materials may become part of the Friends of the Library Book Sale, online resale, or other means of repurposing materials.


The Library's collections must be diverse and inclusive to offer windows into, and reflections on a vast array of people, stories, and experiences, empowering people to build a community with mutual respect and appreciation.

While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or their minor children, parents and guardians, not the Library or staff, have the responsibility to guide and direct their minor children's reading, listening, and viewing choices.

Persons objecting to a book or other material in the Library collection may obtain a Request for Reconsideration of Materials form at a Reference desk or the Children’s help desk at both libraries.

Library staff will investigate the patron’s concern or request.

  • Reviews of the material in professional journals and other reliable sources, the reputation of the publisher, circulation data on the item, and other background on the material will be considered.
  • Within two weeks Library Staff will make a recommendation to the Library Director regarding the patron’s request.
  • The patron will be notified in writing of the Library Director’s decision regarding the “Request for Reconsideration.”