Library Collections

  • Library Collections

Library Collections

Purchase Requests

The East Hampton Public Library encourages community input on collection selection.  Persons seeking a specific item or items on a particular subject should submit a Purchase Request Form.

A request for purchase may be considered when:

  • The item fits within the library’s collection development policy.
  • That item is not owned by the East Hampton Public Library or another LION library.
  • The copyright date is within one year of the request date and the work has received good reviews in professional journals or the title is widely considered to be classic or core as identified in The Public Library Core Collection: Non-Fiction, Fiction Core Collection, or Children’s Core Collection.
  • The library does not have an item on the same or similar subject.

If the library purchases the requested material, the patron who made the request will be placed on hold for the requested item.  If the material is not purchased, the library will attempt to borrow the item from another library in Connecticut.


Collection Development

Purpose and Scope of the Collection

The purpose of a public library is to encourage education, a love of reading and freedom of thought through open access to a variety of information and ideas.  The East Hampton Public Library serves a diverse community and its collection must reflect our diversity of ideas and viewpoints.   Therefore, the library will acquire materials that meet the educational, intellectual, cultural and recreational needs of our community.

Special Collections
The East Hampton Public Library has a dedicated collection of reference materials preserving the histories of the town of East Hampton, CT, its key figures, and the community in general. The range of items in this collection includes original works, archives, historical town documents, genealogical records, and other local histories. These materials are accessible and researchable, but do not circulate. Other special collections are defined by genre, format, or donor related identifiers. They are usually purchased with designated materials funds or donated. The East Hampton Public Library also considers works of local authors a special collection and may waive some of the selection criteria listed below in order to include those items in the collection.

Selection Criteria

Selection of library resources for the East Hampton Public Library is the ultimate responsibility of the Library Director.  Other staff members, however, may be delegated selection and/or acquisition responsibility.

The selection of library materials will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Positive reviews in standard library reviewing sources such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, BookList, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly and other professional publications.
  • Patron demand as well as the needs and interests of the community.
  • The timeliness, accuracy and quality of the information and/or the item.
  • The value of the item to the collection as a whole.
  • Budgetary considerations.

Not all criteria are applied to each selection decision.

Materials will not be excluded for racial, political, religious or moral reasons.

Intellectual Freedom

The East Hampton Public Library does not promote or endorse any beliefs or viewpoints.  The East Hampton Public Library has adopted the standards set forth in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.

American Library Association Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.


Collection Maintenance

The East Hampton Public Library’s collection is reviewed and evaluated on an ongoing basis in order to maintain its usefulness, currency, and relevance. Items may be kept, redistributed, repurchased, withdrawn, or preserved for long-term retention.

Staff rely on a set of criteria to guide their decisions to withdraw items from the collection:

  • Format or physical condition is no longer suitable for library use
  • Content is available in multiple formats
  • Obsolescence – information that is no longer timely, accurate, or relevant
  • Insufficient use or lack of patron demand
  • Little or no relevance to current trends and events
  • No long-term or historical significance
  • Space limitations
  • Sufficient number of copies in the collection
  • Easy availability in other collections locally or nationally

Not all criteria are applied to each withdrawal decision.

Items withdrawn from the collection may be offered for sale with proceeds returned to the library, donated to a non-profit agency or recycled.


Material Reconsideration

Any patron residing in East Hampton who objects to the inclusion or exclusion of any material in the East Hampton Public Library’s collection may do so by completing a Material Reconsideration Form.  It is the responsibility of the Library Director to review the concern and respond in writing.   If the Director’s response is not acceptable, the patron should request in writing that the concern be reviewed by the Library Director and the Library Advisory Board.  While the material is under review, it shall remain in the collection.  The patron will be informed in writing of the Board’s decision regarding the material of concern. 

Digital materials may be held by a consortium and may have been selected by other libraries.  Only materials selected by the East Hampton Public Library shall be subject to reconsideration under this policy. 

The Library neither approves nor disapproves of the views expressed in materials included in the collection.  Responsibility for the use of materials in the collection by children or adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians.


(Approved by the Library Advisory Board 11/5/18.  Approved by Town Council 11/27/18.)
(Updated and approved by the Library Advisory Board 4/3/23. Approved by Town Council 4/11/23)

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