Collection Policy

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The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District (FVRL) offers a collection of library materials and information resources (collection) in keeping with its mission and values. The Board of Trustees (Board) has a strong commitment to support the acquisition and maintenance of a balanced library collection and recognizes that the libraries’ physical and digital collections are contained in varied, evolving, and divergent materials and formats.


FVRL is committed to a collection of library materials and resources that allow for free access to ideas and information to reflect the broad range of interests of the communities we serve.


FVRL is responsible for providing materials to patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and opinions. The collection taken as a whole will be an unbiased and diverse source of information, representing as many viewpoints as possible. Subjects will be covered in sufficient depth and breadth to meet anticipated and expressed individual and community needs.

The primary objectives of the collection will be:

  • To educate and inform
  • To promote the pleasure of reading
  • To develop the skills and abilities needed for personal success
  • To encourage and enhance personal, artistic, and intellectual growth

The collection will be selected and maintained to enable each individual to choose materials and information according to her or his own free choice. The collection as a whole will be a diverse source of information representing as many viewpoints as possible. FVRL neither encourages nor discourages any particular viewpoint. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social views of either the author or the material. Selection of materials by FVRL does not mean the District endorses the contents or the views expressed in those materials.

The Board recognizes that FVRL’s resources are not unlimited. Selection of materials must be consistent with budget allocations. Resource sharing with other libraries, as well as electronic and other methods of information access, are valid and necessary ways of meeting patron needs.


The Board believes reading, listening, and viewing choices are individual, private matters. People are free to select or reject materials for themselves and their own minor children but are not to infringe upon the freedom of others to read or inquire.

FVRL does not stand in place of the parent (in loco parentis). Parents and guardians have the responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own minor children. The collection will be organized and maintained to help people find the materials they want. Materials will not be restricted, sequestered, altered, or labeled because of controversy about the author or the subject matter.

The Board considers materials selected under this policy to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution. If a person claims that a particular item is not constitutionally protected, the burden of proof rests with that person.

If a court having jurisdiction over the District decides that any material in the collection is not protected by these constitutions, such material will be removed immediately. Material under court consideration will remain available until a final court ruling is made after all appeals are exhausted.


Selection of materials is vested in FVRL’s Executive Director, who may authorize staff members qualified for this duty by education, training, and job classification to assist. The Executive Director has full authority to use her or his judgment in interpreting this Policy. Materials selected will be deemed to have been selected by the Board.

Criteria to be considered in adding specific materials to the collection include, but are not limited to:

  • collection objectives
  • present collection composition
  • public interest
  • community relevance
  • critical merit
  • patron requests
  • level of demand 
  • timeliness of topic 
  • diversity of viewpoint
  • diversity of formats to meet user needs
  • cost, availability, and durability of formats

Items selected must meet one or more of these criteria but not every item that meets one or more of them will be selected. FVRL strongly encourages patrons to suggest items, topics, or authors they would like to see included in the collection. Requests may be met through purchase, resource sharing with other libraries, electronic delivery, or other means.

Individual items, which in and of themselves may be controversial or offensive to some patrons or staff, may be selected if their inclusion will contribute to the range of viewpoints in the collection as a whole and if they meet one or more of the criteria listed.

Gift items are subject to the same selection criteria used for purchased materials.


The Board recognizes the right of individuals or groups to question materials in the collection and FVRL will give serious consideration to each opinion so expressed. A formal material challenge is initiated when a fully completed and signed copy of the Collection Review Request Form is received by FVRL. Collection Review Forms, available at any library branch and online, will be accepted only from residents within the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District service area for items owned by the District.

The Collection Review Request Form will be sent to the Executive Director, who will refer it to a staff committee for review. The committee will consist of the Collection Manager, a Collection Development Librarian, a site supervisor from the branch where the challenge was received, and other appointed staff as needed to perform an independent review of the challenged item. Material under consideration will remain available to patrons until a decision is made.

The review committee will give the Executive Director their recommendation based on the judgment of the members of the committee as to whether the material was appropriately selected and made accessible under this policy. Because of the need to accommodate individual as well as group requests, the number of forms received will not be a factor in reaching a recommendation. The Executive Director will make a final decision regarding the material and reply to the individual or groups in writing as soon as practical.


The Board recognizes that discarding materials is an important part of maintaining the collection in order to keep the collection fresh and free of outdated and worn/damaged materials. Discarding materials is vested in the Executive Director, who may authorize qualified staff to assist. Materials discarded will be deemed to have been discarded by the Board.

When discarding materials, the District will consider the same criteria as for selecting materials, as well as physical condition. Materials will not be removed because of controversy. Replacement of materials will be based on collection objectives.

The District is not a library of historical record. To ensure a vital collection of continuing value to the communities we serve, except in the area of local history, materials that are not well used may be withdrawn.


The Executive Director is responsible for the administration of this policy, for establishing administrative procedures for its implementation and for making the policy available for the public at each branch and via the Library’s website.


The Board hereby declares its intention that the provisions of this policy are declared to be separate and severable. The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, chapter, title, or other portion of this policy, or the invalidity of the application thereof to any person or circumstance shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the policy, or the validity of its application to other persons or circumstances.


The Board hereby declares its intention that the provisions of this policy shall be construed and applied as a continuation of the provisions of the policy, as amended, insofar as applicable, and the repeal of any part of this policy shall not be construed as affecting such continuous application.


Relevant policies


27.12 RCW

42.56.310 RCW

Board approved: Original Policy: November 29, 1972
Revised and Adopted: October 26, 1981
Revised and Reaffirmed: September 11, 1989
Revised and Reaffirmed: October 14, 1991
Revised and Reaffirmed: August 16, 1993
Revised and Reaffirmed: August 30, 1995
Revised and Reaffirmed: August 14, 2000
Revised: April 21, 2008 (replaces former policy titled "Selecting and Discarding Materials")
Revised and Reaffirmed: February 21, 2023