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Collection Development Policy

Please note: Our physical space is currently closed to the public. The safety of everyone that we work with is our top priority, and we are especially sensitive to our vulnerable survivor population. While we currently cannot accept donations of library materials, all are welcome to contact Library & Education Associate, Ryan Woodward, rwoodward@hcpgh.org 412-939-7288, to discuss our current policy or referral options for donations.

Mission 

The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh connects the horrors of the Holocaust and antisemitism with injustices of today. Through education, the Holocaust Center seeks to address these injustices and empower individuals to build a more civil and humane society.

Purpose

The Holocaust Center houses an extensive library that is continuously developing as an archive and research center, serving the Center board, staff, area educators, and the general public. The collection consists of thousands of materials in a variety of genres and formats, related to the Holocaust, Jewish history, genocide studies, and human rights.

Responsibility and Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selecting library materials rests with the Holocaust Center Director, who may delegate selection responsibilities to professional staff with the authority to interpret and apply selection policy.

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are subject, but not limited to the criteria listed below:

• Current and anticipated needs and interests of the staff, board, and public

• Enduring value

• Treatment of subject for intended audience

• Physical durability

• Creative, literary or technical quality/merit

• Quality of the production

• Cost and availability

• Evaluations in review media

• Professional or literary reputation of the author, publisher or producer

• Relation to existing collection and other materials on the subject

• Space and budgetary limits

• Suitability of the format for library use

• Availability in other formats

An item need not meet all of these standards to be included in the Library’s collection. The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the reading materials of children and adolescents rests with their parents or guardians.

Valuation

Prior to the donation, donors must notify the Holocaust Center if the material(s) has/have a significant value of $5,000 or more.  Donations of a significant value must be evaluated by a qualified appraiser and the Center will require a copy of the appraisal summary. Due to IRS regulations, the Holocaust Center is not able to provide appraisals of donated material(s).

Retention and Deaccession

Upon receipt of the material(s), the Holocaust Center becomes the owner and reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment and disposal of the material(s).  Items not added to the collection may be donated to other related institutions. 

Routine collection evaluation is crucial to ensure materials are useful and accessible. The Holocaust Center staff may remove materials from the collection due to authority of the author, quality of the publisher, currency of the material, condition of the item, number of additional copies of the title, or relevance to the needs of the Center’s community.  Every effort will be made to repair or replace damaged materials that continue to offer value to the collection.