This document defines policy to guide Lakmahal Community Library Board and staff in Collection Development. It also serves to inform the public of the philosophy of selection and establishes a framework for continuous collection evaluation and improvement.


  1. This document contains the policy of the Board of Directors regarding the development of the Lakmahal collection of books and materials. The policy can be amended only by the Board.
  2. The Board delegates responsibility for collection development to a collection development manager chosen from the Board or from the staff. The collection development manager will select materials and establish procedures to administer this policy. 


  1. The Library hopes to work towards providing access to materials in a variety of formats (currently in print, and future plans will include electronic, and other media).
  2. The Library has a responsibility to assure that all users have access to materials held in their collection.
  3. Library users make their own choices as to what they will use based on individual interests and concerns. Selection criteria should not unjustly exclude materials on the grounds that they may offend library users or library staff, or that they may be inappropriate for children. Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not the library.


  1. The Lakmahal Community Library values and ensures diversity and the variety that is found among its collections. We value a range of coverage in perspectives, authorship, audience, and subject matter.
  2. We recognize that many available books in Sri Lanka may not necessarily reflect a diverse literary tradition and so we will focus our attention on ensuring that our collection will always reflect diverse literary traditions.
  3. We are committed to prioritizing books that reflect stories from the Global South and books by authors from marginalized communities written primarily for adults in English or translated into English.
  4. We commit to regularly assessing the scope of the existing collections to ensure they are reflective of the available global literature.


  1. The Board places priority on building equitable collections that respond to the current and anticipated needs and interests of our expanding communities.
  2. The guidelines below are applicable to most selection decisions. Other factors may be taken into consideration, and the importance or weight of a particular guideline will vary from one acquisition to another. An item need not meet all these criteria to be selected.
    1. Community needs, interests, and demands
    2. Literary, artistic, and technical values
    3. Potential to add diversity of themes, cultures and perspectives available in the existing collection 
    4. Recommendations of reviewers
    5. Significance of the author’s work to Sri Lanka
    6. Relationship to the existing collection, like belonging to a series that exists in the collection.
    7. Availability in other areas and urban libraries
    8. Price and availability for purchase
    9. Judgment of work as a whole


  1. Suggestions from the community are encouraged. Members will be able to send suggestions by email, in person at the library and through our online library system.
  2. All suggestions will be evaluated by the collection development manager based on Criteria for Selection.


  1. Collection evaluation is not to be employed as a convenient means to remove materials presumed to be controversial or disapproved of by members of the community. Such abuse would be a violation of the principles of intellectual freedom.
  2. To maintain an active, current, and useful collection, Library staff will assess materials systematically every three years. Criteria used in evaluating whether an item should be withdrawn from the collection may include:
    1. Age or poor physical condition
    2. Usage
    3. Available shelving space or excessive number of copies
    4. Item continues to meet the Selection Criteria.
    5. Decisions are based on need, demand, and budget.
    6. All physical items withdrawn from the collection will either be donated to another community library or included in a sale conducted by the library from time to time.


  1. The library will provide access to information across the broadest spectrum of disciplines and points of view. Neither the Library Board nor Staff will either directly or indirectly ban or censor any material that otherwise meets the stipulations of this policy. The presence of an item in the Library’s collection does not indicate any endorsement of its content by the Library, the Board, or the staff.
  2. Library material will not be labeled to restrict access, and no materials will be separated from the collection except rare, fragile, or other items deemed special collections to protect them from damage or theft.
  3. While the Library’s collection is available to all in the community, decisions about the suitability of any materials for minor children will be the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians. Except as otherwise stated in this policy, the Library assumes no responsibility for restricting any patron’s access to items in the collection.


  1. Lakmahal Community Library is open to accepting gifts or donations of books that will broaden and enrich the Library’s collections. 
  2. Each time a book or a collection of books is/are donated, it will be evaluated by the Criteria for Selection and a decision made on retaining the book for the collection. 
  3. The library retains unconditional ownership of donated books and decides if items will be added to the collection, offered in a book sale, donated, or discarded. On request the library will provide a receipt for donated books.
  4. The library reserves the right to refuse donations.
  5. Lakmahal Community Library strives to support local authors. As such, we accept donations of published works by those from Sri Lanka, or with a connection to Sri Lanka. Information about donating to add to the Library’s Local Author Collection can be obtained from the desk.