Appendix 7: Collection development guidelines for local and self-published authors

Saratoga Springs Public Library endeavors to collect materials with strong local interest, particularly books by local authors. A local author is one who is a current or longtime resident of the Saratoga Springs City School District, or whose work is set in the district, or who created the work while living in the district. There are two primary ways that such books are added to our collection:

Books by Mainstream Publishers

Books by mainstream publishers have generally gone through several rounds of quality control before they come to the attention of our selectors. These include editing, design, production, and reviewing by professionals. Because of the volume of books published annually, our professional librarian selectors rely on established review sources such as Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, etc., to help guide their decisions. Generally, we purchase these items from wholesale booksellers with whom we maintain contracts. Less often, we purchase them from retail booksellers. Author donations are welcome. These items are integrated into the general collection.

Self-Published Books

In order to support the literary creativity and expression of people in our community, the library will maintain a circulating collection of donated self-published materials by local authors. This collection will primarily incorporate fiction and poetry. These works will be evaluated by our professional librarians according to criteria in our Collection Development and Materials Selection Policy. The library does not purchase unsolicited materials, nor does it generally purchase self-published books if those books are not reviewed in established sources. These items will be shelved in a separate Local Authors collection for one year, after which they will either be withdrawn or added to the general collection.

Guidelines and Considerations for Submitting Self-Published Materials

  • The author must be a Local Author according the definition above.
  • All donated books become the property of Saratoga Springs Public Library, and cannot be returned.
  • Only one copy of a donated self-published book will be accepted.
  • Donated books must have been published within the past three years and in unused, new condition.
  • No more than three titles by an author will be considered each year.
  • Books must be professionally printed and bound in a format suitable for circulation. Items that are spiral bound or stapled, and pamphlets and brochures, will not be accepted. We are unable to accept materials in any electronic format.
  • Authors are encouraged to include professional reviews with all donations. Please note that customer reviews from retail booksellers or websites like Goodreads are not considered professional reviews.
  • All items that are considered for permanent addition to the collection are evaluated by the criteria outlined in the Collection Development and Materials Selection Policy.
  • The library is solely responsible for determining the disposition of donations, which will either be addition to the collection, donation to the Friends of Saratoga Springs Public Library Book Shop, or recycled.
  • All items added to the Local Authors collection will be subject to the same retention standards as any other material, and may be withdrawn and disposed of over the course of time. Items that are lost or withdrawn are not automatically replaced.
  • The library is not responsible for reviewing, marketing, or publicizing a local author’s work, nor can library staff provide editorial service or advice.