Teen Services Collection Development Policy

Teen Services Collection Development Policy

Mission Statement

The Library serves the community by promoting reading, supporting the informational and recreational needs of its users, maintaining a responsible and comprehensive collection in all formats, collaborating with community groups and organizations, and welcoming patrons of all ages, abilities, and cultures.

Vision Statement

The Library is the heart of a community, existing to serve everyone from birth to the end of their days. The Library should be a place for reading, learning, innovation, and discovery. The Library should answer questions and provide what is needed without judgment or prejudice. The Library should move forward as fast as the world moves, but should always keep hold of the complexity and the heritage of our past. The Library should encourage youth to find enjoyment in reading, learning, listening, watching, creating, and innovating. Most of all the Library should connect people with the world, with ideas, with services, and with each other.

Purpose of the Collection

It is the primary objective of Teen Services Department to provide and organize materials for people in middle school and high school (grades 6-12), making available carefully selected materials of purpose and quality that will meet the developmental, recreational, and educational needs and interests of the users of the Medford community. The Library strives to maintain a collection with sensitivity to all interests, early recognition of needs before they are clearly expressed, and a diverse range of viewpoints that mark the outstanding collection.

Medford Public Library provides unrestricted access to information. Its programs and resources aim to satisfy our community’s intellectual needs, recreational inclinations, and lifelong learning. This in turn will enrich our community’s quality of life and enjoyment.

The purpose of this document is to establish the rules by which the Library develops its collections.

Responsibility for the Collection

Collection development decisions regarding the Teen Services collections are made by the Teen Services Librarians under the guidance of the Library Director.

Target Audience for the Collection

The Teen Services Department serves Medford youth in middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12), in addition to caregivers and teachers. 


The Library provides materials and services that reflect the diverse educational, informational, and recreational needs of its users. In so doing, the Library provides access to content through print, multimedia formats, and technology. The library recognizes that content and medium should be suitably matched, and that library patrons may have different learning styles and preferences for how they receive information. Therefore, the Library provides materials in a variety of formats, including, when appropriate:

  • Print–such as hardcovers, paperbacks, and magazines
  • Non-print–such as audio and visual formats
  • Digital resources–such as online databases; digital books, recordings, and images; digital historical archives; and software programs
  • Equipment–such as e-readers, other computing devices and demonstration technology

The Teen Services collection offers developmentally appropriate materials that meet the informational and recreational needs of youth in grades 6-12. The Teen Services Department provides materials that are fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, manga, audiobooks, video games, and magazines.

The Teen Services Department maintains a collection that is balanced, relevant, and of appropriate size, quality, and diversity to suit the needs of our users. To ensure that all parts of the collection are appropriate and well-chosen, the Teen Services Librarians consult professional review sources before purchase. The Teen Services Librarians also consider the recommendations of library users with preference given to recommendations from teens themselves.

Some materials in the teen collection might not be considered appropriate by all adults for all teens. While some books are too mature for one teen, other teens may be ready for them. Only an individual teen and their caregivers can decide what material is suitable for that teen to read.

Collection Management

Selection Sources include patron requests and/or recommendations, vendor catalogs, advertisements, and published reviews in journals including, but not limited to, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist

Selection Criteria

The Teen Services Librarians use their knowledge and expertise of Young Adult literature and resources in addition to the criteria listed below to evaluate and select materials for the collection.

  • Content
  • Authority
  • Literacy merit, artistic quality, originality, and creativity
  • Accuracy, objectivity, clarity, logic, and effectiveness of material
  • Relevance to the needs to the needs of the community
  • Current interest in subject matter
  • Local interest in subject or author
  • Popular demand
  • Limits of space and/or funds

Professional and special materials, such as legal, medical, and religious works, are occasionally purchased if they are of general interest.

The Library does not purchase textbooks to support educational curricula. However, in rare circumstances, textbooks may be added to the collection if they provide the best or only source of information on a subject, or to complement an existing area with another perspective.

Periodicals are added to the collection on the basis of relevance and community interest.

Technology is selected with regard to usefulness, interest, and the broadness of its implications and importance.

Audiovisual material is added to the Library’s collection with consideration to patron demand and budget constraints. The Library acquires this material primarily in the most popular format.

The Library holds no obligation to purchase every work by an individual author.

All criteria need not be met for purchase consideration.

General Criteria

  • Accuracy of information
  • Price
  • The extent to which the item supports the existing collection, rather than duplicates it
  • Relevance to observed and anticipated community needs and desires
  • Reputation and qualification of the author, creator, or publisher of the work
  • Local significance of the author, creator, or work
  • Popular demand
  • Current significance or permanent value


The fiction collection contains titles meeting the recreational and educational needs of youth in grades 6-12. The fiction collection includes a variety of Young Adult novels that fit into the following genres: adventure, action, realistic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical fiction, and more. The collection includes novels that address a variety of social issues and potentially contains controversial elements including, but not limited to, strong language, sex, drug use, violence, and abuse. 

Duplicate copies are purchased when demand is high either by popularity (at least 6 Medford residents have a hold on an item at one instance), or its inclusion in the public school curriculum (for example: summer reading lists). Popular titles may also be purchased in paperback in addition to hardback when available.


The nonfiction collection seeks to find a balance between the educational requirements and recreational interests of Medford youth in grades 6-12. Nonfiction titles will be added to the collection if they support the needs of the curricula and current trends in informational and recreational needs of the Medford community.

Particular attention is given to the following criteria: source citations within the material, topic, ease of readability, credibility of author and/or publisher, average shelf-life of material, support for curriculum, and Medford community demand.

Graphic Novels

Graphic novels, manga, and comic books are selected based upon popularity and age appropriateness of the text and illustrations. The collection includes titles for older teens, including texts that are rated T and T+. The collection also includes nonfiction titles and graphic novel formats of “classic literature” and other Young Adult novels. Selections are based upon professional reviews, customer requests, and the popularity of styles, characters, and series.

World Languages Collection

In an attempt to meet the needs of Medford’s diverse multilingual population, the Library strives to maintain a collection of non-English language young adult books. Selection of these items is based on availability, popular demand, and price. Requests for additional books or languages and donations of books are welcome.


When available, audiobooks that meet the selection criteria for fiction and nonfiction materials are purchased in a variety of formats to meet the listening needs of the teen community. Preference is given to popular titles and titles that appear on the summer reading lists of Medford Schools.


Popular and general informational magazines of interest to teens are selected to supplement the book collection and meet the recreational reading needs of teens. Back issues are kept for one year before being discarded. 

Video Games

Popular video games of interest to teens are selected to meet the recreational needs of the teen community. Games selected are for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. The collection includes titles for older teens, including games that are rated T.

Weeding and Collection Maintenance

In order to provide the best service to our community the collection is regularly evaluated. To keep the collection relevant and accurate, the Library maintains a schedule of evaluation. Materials may be withdrawn because of duplication, poor condition, misleading content, outdated information, addition of updated editions, or lack of use.

The following is the criteria for withdrawal from the collection:

  • Items are worn, stained, or damaged beyond repair
  • Items are out of date, contain inaccurate data, or are not historically significant
  • New, more current, or more comprehensive resources are available
  • A more desirable format of the content is available
  • Duplication
  • Low circulation

Items removed from the collection are to be either sold with proceeds to benefit the Library, or disposed of properly.

Current useful items withdrawn by reason of condition, loss, or damage will be considered for replacement.

Controversial Materials and Request for Reconsideration

The Medford Public Library does not exclude titles, other than by budgetary constraints or failure to meet selection criteria. The Medford Public Library upholds the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights. Library staff believes that the parent or guardian holds the final responsibility for the material that their children borrow from the library.

The Medford Public Library judges materials as a whole, not as isolated excerpt(s). Any patron who feels that an item is inappropriate may ask for a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form from a staff member. The item will be reviewed by a staff committee that will take into consideration professional reviews. The committee will submit its recommendation to the Library Director. It is the responsibility of the Library Director to determine the Library’s official response.