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Collection Development and Management

A downloadable version of this document is available via the Related Files section at the bottom of this page.

(updated April 2022)


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s (CLP) collections support the educational, leisure and general informational needs of the community and strive to reflect the diversity of the community we serve. CLP supports reading, listening, and watching for people of all ages in multiple formats. Acquisition decisions are based on the utility of the materials to the everyday needs and interests of our customers, current strategic priorities, budgetary and space limitations, and the materials’ availability elsewhere. We avoid duplicating the scholarly research collections of the area’s university libraries.

CLP selects materials for its collection in whatever format is most appropriate in accordance with professionally accepted guidelines. We attempt to represent all approaches to public issues of a controversial nature. CLP does not sanction particular beliefs or views, nor is the selection of any given item equivalent to an endorsement of the author or publisher’s viewpoint.

Collection development and management at CLP is guided by the following Collection Philosophy:

Collection Philosophy  

The collections at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh support the Library’s mission, vision and values.

Mission: To engage our community in literacy and learning.

Vision: Through Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh the people of our region will develop the literacies and connections that support individual achievement and strengthen the power of community.

Values: We build community. We prioritize people. We provide access. We enable learning.

In addition, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) builds its collections under the principles set forth in the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights and endorses the principles set forth in the ALA Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements.

We build collections with the following goals:

  • To effect positive change in the communities we serve
  • To emphasize truthful and trustworthy information, fighting all forms of disinformation, censorship, and barriers to free inquiry
  • To contribute to welcoming, inclusive spaces for every customer
  • To dismantle exclusionary structures including racism, sexism, and xenophobia
  • To advance individual and societal goals for equity, inclusion, and social justice

These foundational documents and goals guide all collection-related discussions and decisions.

Public Involvement

Community input is an important part of the collection development process. To that end, there are several ways in which the public can be involved in the use and development of library collections.  All customer input is considered using the criteria outlined in CLP’s Collection Development and Management Policy.


CLP welcomes suggestions and comments regarding items that may further meet the needs of the community or other otherwise enhance the collection. Recommendations can be made through the Suggest a Purchase form in the Library Catalog, the “Recommend to Library” feature in OverDrive/Libby, or directly to the Library via email, chat, or phone or to a staff person at any CLP location. Authors or publishers wishing to bring an item to our attention should follow the Author and Publisher Submission Guidelines.

Selection decisions are made in accordance with the criteria outlined in this policy. Due to the volume we receive, we are unable to provide notification about the outcome of a recommendation.

Gifts and Donations

In accordance with the Donated Library Materials policy, CLP may accept gifts that meet our collection development criteria in formats currently collected. Donated materials become the property of CLP, and CLP reserves the right to utilize donated materials wherever the need is greatest. Donated books may be added to the collection, used in CLP book sales, or sent to a third-party book distributor in support of CLP services. Donated materials in poor condition may be discarded. 

Due to the volume of donations, donated items not added to the collection will not be returned to the donor. Unsolicited materials sent to CLP will be treated as donations. Final decisions regarding the disposition of donated materials are made by Collection Services staff. 

For more information, see Books and Materials Donations.


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) will consider the request of a CLP or other ACLA member library cardholder or staff member not to add an item, to remove an item from CLP’s collections, or to relocate an item elsewhere in CLP’s collections. CLP builds its collections under the principles set forth in the American Library Association Bill of Rights.

Customers wishing to submit a request for reconsideration can do so using the Materials Reconsideration Form.

For more information see our Requests for Reconsideration Statement.

Parental Responsibilities

CLP respects the rights and responsibilities of parents or guardians in determining and monitoring the use of library resources by the children under their care, who are under the age of 18. While available to provide guidance on selections, library staff members are not responsible for monitoring a child’s use of and selection from library collections.

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