Materials Selection Policy
RESOLUTION #2009-7 ESTABLISHING THE MATERIALS SELECTION POLICY OF THE
Avalon PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT WHEREAS one of the objectives of the Avalon Public Library District is to maintain a materials collection which will serve the community needs;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Trustees of Avalon Public Library District that the following Materials Selection Policy be adopted to ensure the attainment of this objective:
The Materials Selection Policy is intended to implement the Mission Statement, Long Range Plan, and Service Goals of the Avalon Public Library District. The purpose of the selection process is to acquire books and other materials to meet the needs of the patrons in their quest for general information as well as current popular topics and titles.
The Avalon Public Library District strives to build an excellent general collection of materials and resources with which to satisfy the greatest number of library district
residents within budgetary limitations. The Board of Trustees of the Avalon Public Library District endorses the Library Bill of Rights (Exhibit A), the Freedom to Read Statement (Exhibit B), the Intellectual Freedom Statement (Exhibit C) and the Freedom to View Statement (Exhibit D) of the American Library Association. All residents of the Avalon Public Library District have access to the entire collection. The parents, not the library staff, are responsible for supervising the use of books and other materials by children and young adults. The Library does not take the place of a parent or legal guardian. A detailed selection procedure has been created to assist the staff in selection of library materials.
B. PURPOSE OF THE COLLECTION
The purpose of the collection is to assist patrons in:
1. Keeping pace with current developments
2. Learning about the past
3. Supporting their basic educational needs
4. Fulfilling their recreational interests
5. Forming an opinion on controversial subjects
6. Developing individual skills and talents
7. Stimulating spiritual and creative capacities
8. Developing aesthetic and cultural appreciation
9. Discharging political and social obligations
10. Developing and maintaining personal, physical, emotional and intellectual well-being
11. Obtaining information to support personal, community and employment-related interests.
C. SCOPE OF THE COLLECTION
The collection will be current, general in scope, and balanced in terms of subject coverage, point of view and age / interest level. It is beyond the general scope of the Library District to provide materials of a highly technical or specialized nature. There will be duplication to meet reasonable demand. Efforts will be made to borrow materials not owned by the library through interlibrary loan.
The collection will include materials and resources in a variety of formats, including print, non-print, electronic, and online. The library collection will include materials, as well as auxiliary aids for in-house use, that can be used by patrons with limited vision / hearing and other disabilities. Patrons who have visual or physical impairments that prevent their use of a book will also be referred to the Library of Congress Talking Book Program.
Due to the demographics of the community, the library collects primarily materials in English, materials that provide instruction in English to non-English speaking patrons and materials that provide instruction in foreign languages to English-speaking patrons.
F. RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION
The Board of Trustees of the Avalon Public Library District delegates to the Library Director the ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials. The Head of Adult Services and the Head of Youth Services are responsible for overseeing collection management in their own departments. They may delegate selection of specific subject areas and formats to appropriate staff. All staff members as well as the general public may recommend materials for consideration. No employee may be disciplined or dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance with the written Materials Selection Policy of the Avalon Public Library District. Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in developing the materials collection. The librarian, as selector, observes the affirmative declaration in “Not Censorship but Selection” by Lester Asheim (Wilson Library Bulletin, September 1953): “The selector’s approach is positive, while that of the censor is negative… The aim of the selector is to promote reading, not to inhibit it; to multiply the points of view which will find expression, not limit them; to be a channel of communication, not a bar against it.”
G. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
In selecting library materials, the library staff will evaluate each work as a whole utilizing the following criteria:
1. Relevance to community interests, needs, and standards
2. Favorable ratings in standard reviewing media, general or specialized, such as library journals
3. Authority and competence of the author or illustrator
4. Reputation and authority of the publisher
5. Comprehensiveness in breadth and scope
6. Relationship to the existing collection
7. Importance as a record of the times or for presentation of a unique point of view
8. Relative importance in comparison to other available books on the subject
9. Justifiability of cost in relation to budget and need
10. Availability of other area resources
11. Inclusion in standard library or subject lists
12. Factual accuracy
14. Nature of physical qualities and format (e.g., technical quality, size, binding, illustrations, typography, design, level of indexing)
15. Literary value or importance as a document of mankind
16. Effectiveness of expression readability
17. Local demand In selection of electronic and online resources, the following are to be considered:
1. Ease of use
2. Timeliness of updates
3. Retrospective data
4. Licensing restrictions and remote access
5. Technical support
6. Hardware and software requirements In addition to the above, the following criteria are especially relevant to the selection of materials for young people:
1. Maturity of theme / topic
2. Reading level
3. Grade level
4. Interest level
5. Age of characters
6. Target audience
Standing orders are materials which are updated regularly and are necessary to maintain a current and timely collection. These items include reference materials as well as circulating series. Standing orders are reviewed regularly.
H. AUDIOVISUAL COLLECTIONS
1. Video Recordings
In addition to general selection criteria, the following will be considered in selection of a video collection: Standard lists, including but not limited to the Library of Congress National Film Registry of culturally, historically or aesthetically important films, the American Film Institute best films, the annual “best of” lists of professional reviewing tools such as Booklist, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Video Librarian, and other appropriate professional selection tools.
The collection will include fiction and non-fiction videos, with special consideration given to items not readily available through consumer outlets for rental and retail purchase, for example travel, educational and instructional videos, foreign and independent films.
Video recordings in Youth Services will include a broad selection of titles and subjects suitable for and of interest children and their caregivers.
2. Audio Recordings – Spoken Word
Criteria used for selection of print materials will be used for audio recordings in various formats. These may include recorded books, language learning, lectures, instructional materials and inspirational messages. Format and appropriate packaging for library use will be primary additional considerations.
3. Audio Recordings – Music
In addition to general selection criteria, the following will be considered in selection of a recorded music collection:
a. Artists and music of enduring value according to standard resources
b. Major fields and styles of music with an emphasis on classical music
c. Music providing cultural awareness
d. Music programmed and performed by local individuals and community groups, including local symphonies.
e. An edited version of a recording may be purchased if available.
I. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
1. Reference Collection
The Reference Collection is comprised of print materials and electronic resources purchased outright or by subscription. Reference materials are selected according to the general selection criteria above. Value for research as well as the professional needs of the library staff are given top consideration. Print materials in this collection are designated for in-library use only. Remote access is a critical consideration in selection of electronic and online resources.
2. Local History Collection
A special Local History collection will be housed in the reference area for in-library use only. Items in this collection will be selected to meet one or more of the following criteria:
a. It is about Illinois, Rivera County, or Avalon history
b. It is rare or irreplaceable (i.e., out of print)
c. It is written, illustrated, or published by a present or former Avalon resident
d. It relates to Colonel Fabyan and his many interests
The weeding of the Local History Collection should be done by the Adult Services Department Head, and all items weeded should be first offered to the Avalon History Center with second offering to the Rivera County
Items in the Local History Collection are considered Reference materials and do not circulate.
Textbooks are not normally purchased as part of the circulating collection. In cooperation with local schools, special textbook collections may be established to aid local students in their homework assignments. Textbook collections may be subject to Board Approval. Textbooks from the current local curricula are considered reference materials and are for use in the library only.
4. Young Adult Fiction and Periodicals Materials in the Young Adult collection are intended to bridge the gap between materials in the Youth collection and materials in the Adult collection. Young Adult materials are related to the abilities and interests as well as personal and social needs of the young adult. Recognizing that books can serve as tools of growth in approaching and reaching maturity, materials included in this collection reflect the unique concerns of the young adult. Criteria for selection of materials for the Young Adult collection are the same as stated in the general section above.
5. Pamphlet File
The pamphlet file is a collection of auxiliary resources that is maintained to supplement the main book collection. Materials include pamphlets, brochures, maps, pictures, brief monographs, and articles of local interest. Some materials in the pamphlet file do not circulate. These items are clearly marked and may be photocopied.
Periodicals are purchased as the most up-to-date materials on current issues for professional staff, reference service, information and general reading. Periodicals include newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, and print and electronic subscription services. Principles governing selection of periodicals include:
a. Authority of the publisher
b. Accessibility to indexing
c. Community interest
d. Cultural and educational value
e. Availability of space
f. Budget constraints
Subscription titles will be reviewed annually or at renewal.
J. IMPACT OF ELECTRONIC ACCESS ON COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT
Advances in electronic publishing and other forms of electronic access have far-reaching implications for Avalon Public Library District’s collection development plan. Limited space and budget as well as the possibility of simultaneous and remote users make electronic access an attractive alternative to some print resources. As more materials become available electronically, the selection process will involve deciding which format, print or electronic, is the most appropriate to provide optimum accessibility, ease of use, and cost effectiveness.
K. COOPERATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES
Avalon Public Library District recognizes the wealth of resources available through loan or checkout from other libraries and agencies, and does not needlessly duplicate materials.
Some materials, because of greater risk of theft, may be maintained in a separate area of the library at the discretion of the Library Director. The materials can be obtained upon request.
Library materials in all formats shall be evaluated continually according to the current Library District procedures. Items may be withdrawn from the collection if they contain outdated or inaccurate information, are superseded by a newer edition, become worn, badly marked or damaged, or are duplicates or seldom-used materials. Space, replacement cost, and the quality and appearance of the collection are factors in this decision. The de-selection process is an integral part of collection development and maintenance. Withdrawn library materials may be donated to The Friends of Avalon Library for their used book sales. Withdrawn reference materials may be given to other libraries. Items that are very worn and have no resale value will be discarded. The library cannot reserve discarded items for individuals.
N. GIFTS AND MEMORIALS
Avalon Public Library District accepts monetary gifts as well as donations of materials or other items within the guidelines here outlined. A procedure has been established to accept donations in memory or honor of individuals or special events. Donors who wish to contribute to a 501(c)(3) organization will be referred to Avalon Library Foundation.
2. Monetary Donations
The library welcomes monetary contributions. It is the Library District’s custom to expend the money on materials, equipment or a project that is acceptable to the donor. All donations and expenditures are subject to the approval of the Library Director.
3. Donations of Materials
In accepting a gift of materials, the Library Director and Library Board of Trustees reserve the privilege of deciding whether items donated should be added to the collection. Some materials cannot be used for one or more of the following reasons:
a. It is duplication of an item of which the library already has a sufficient number
b. It is outdated, interesting but not of sufficient present reference or circulating value to the library
c. It is in poor physical condition, which would not justify the expense of preparing it for the library collection
d. It does not meet the criteria for selection of new purchases
4. Donation of Art Objects, Furniture, Equipment, Live Plants and / or Animals, and Other Real and Personal Property Gifts of this type are usually welcomed and valued. Their acceptance is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees and the Library Director.
5. Recognition of Gifts
The donors of all gifts to the library will be recognized in a manner deemed appropriate by the Board of Trustees.
6. Income Tax Statements
The library cannot assess the value of a donation of materials or art. It will, however, issue the donor a letter acknowledging the donation. It will then be the donor’s decision whether he will determine the value of the donation himself or utilize an independent appraiser.
The Board of Trustees may refuse a gift upon which the donor has placed restrictions. All gifts may be used, sold, or disposed of in the best interest of the library.
8. Deed of Gift
At the discretion of the Library Director, donors may be asked to sign a Deed of Gift form. (See Exhibit I)
O. RESIDENT RESPONSE TO LIBRARY MATERIALS
The library staff makes every attempt to read adequate reviews and select materials appropriate to the needs of the community. While this is one of the basic duties of the professional library staff, it is not always possible to thoroughly examine every item added to the library’s collection. It is recognized that a resident of the library district may find an item personally objectionable. Residents of the library district should bring their concerns regarding any specific title or item in the library’s collection to the attention of the Library Director in either an informal discussion or through the formal complaint process. A library district resident wishing to use the formal complaint process is referred to the form “Resident Response to Library Materials” attached to this policy. (Exhibit E)
Following the receipt of a formal complaint, the Library Director will appoint a committee of appropriate staff to review the title in question and make a recommendation to the Library Director. The material in question shall be checked out to the Director’s Desk during the review process. Interested persons may use the material only in the library until a decision has been reached. The Director will study the recommendations of the committee and a make a decision regarding the retention of the material in question. Copies of the “Resident Response to Library Materials” form, the committee recommendations and the Library Director’s decision will be forwarded to the Library Board for their information. The complainant will be notified of the decision and if not satisfied may appeal to the Library Board of Trustees upon written request to place the item on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the Board.