Acquisition Policies

by moonlightaileen

1. The purpose of the Avalon Public Library collection development policy is to guide librarians and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.

2. The library builds its collection based on patron usage.

3. The Library sets as its major goal in collection development: the provision of recreational, educational, and professional reading needs of the people of the community.
4. The library will set as it secondary goals:
a. The library will place special emphasis on stimulating the young children’s interest and appreciation for reading and learning.
b. The library will support students in Pre-K-12th grade in meeting their educational objectives.
1. The words “books”, “library materials”, or other synonyms as they may occur in the policy have the widest possible meaning; hence, it is implicit in this policy that every form of permanent record is to be included, whether printed or in manuscript; bound or unbound; photographed, computer CD-ROMs or otherwise reproduced. Also included are audio recordings in the form of tapes, discs or otherwise; video cassettes and pictures in the form of photographs, paintings, drawings, etchings, etc.
2. “Selection” refers to the decision that must be made either to add a given book to the collection or to retain one already in the collection. It does not refer to reader guidance.
The primary objectives of collection development shall be to collect materials of contemporary significance and of permanent value. The Library will always be guided by a sense of responsibility to both present and future in adding materials which will enrich the collections and maintain an over-all balance. The Library also recognizes an immediate duty to make available materials for recreation, even though such materials may not have enduring interest or value. The Library will provide too, a representative sampling of experimental and ephemeral materials, but will not always attempt to be exhaustive. The Library does not consider it necessary or desirable to acquire all books on any subject if these books tend to duplicate each other. The library has adopted the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, the Freedom to read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement. The Library believes in unrestricted access to all  informational and recreational materials in our collection. It is the responsibility of the individual to select or reject materials for his or her own personal use; the individual cannot infringe on the rights of others to make their own personal choices. Parents have the ultimate responsibility to supervise and guide the selections of minor children. These responsibilities also apply to materials requested through inter-library loan and to the information found on the on-line catalog, the CD-ROM products and the Internet.
The Board of Trustees of the Avalon Public Library delegates the responsibility of collection development to the Library Director. The Director along with qualified staff members has the responsibility to implement the selection of library materials following the Collection Development Policy. Selection of library materials is made by qualified staff members at the professional level. The Heads of
Adult and Children’s Services are primarily responsible for the selection of materials, under the supervision of the Library Director. Staff members of the Adult and Children’s Services departments may also be assigned to assist with selection. The library also gives serious consideration to suggestions from library staff members and patrons in the selection of materials. The Library encourages these suggestions, but reserves the right to evaluate them according to the criteria for selection and to add them if appropriate.
As a popular materials library, patron input is essential in providing the materials most desired by our patrons. To determine what our patrons want, the staff maintains a number of statistics. These statistics include circulation statistics of what is checked out,  interlibrary loan statistics of what is requested and subject statistics of reference questions. These statistics tell the staff what is being used in our collection and what needs to be used in our collection but is weak or missing. Supplemental sources for our selection will include assignments, general patron requests, current popular culture such as “Batman”, and popular book lists such as the “New York Times Bestseller List”. Experience plays a large role in book selection and guides the staffs judgment where other statistics do not reveal a clear selection strategy.

1. Criteria for Selection

a. Relationship to present collection, and related materials on the subject.

b. Current and potential relevance to subject area and community needs.
c. Evaluation of the material by critics, reviewers and professional reviewing
d. Stated and anticipated demand.
e. Reputation and significance of the author, publisher, artist, and director, or
f. The physical and technical quality of the material.
g. Appropriateness of the material for the intended audience, based on subject
matter, writing style and reading level.
h. Availability and suitability of physical format for library use.
i. Demand for duplicate, or additional materials within the collection.
j. Ownership and popularity of other materials in a series, or subject area.
k. Inclusion of the title in bibliographies of recommended titles.
l. Local author or setting.
m. Price
n. Timeliness
o. Physical limitations of the building.
p. Demand for information related to school assignments and projects.
q. Demand highlighted by current events
r. Availability, through interlibrary loan, in other libraries
2. Selection Tools
Following the criteria for selection the librarians examine professional journals for
recommended titles. The reviews are read on a regular basis from the following
a.. Library Journal
b. Horn Book
c. Booklist
d. Kliatt
e. New York Times Book Review
g. School Library Journal

h. In addition to these sources the staff reviews catalogs, reviews in popular newspapers and magazines, bibliographies of award winning and recommended materials, publishers’ flyers, best seller lists, Books-In-Print, bibliographies in books, Baker and Taylor’s Book and Video Alerts, as well as the Standard Catalog series from H. W. Wilson.


All the materials the library selects are available to every patron who wishes to use the library. Parts of the collection are aimed at specific patrons because of interest or reading ability.
1. Adult Collection
a. Fiction: The adult fiction consists of current and classic pieces of popular literature. This is the most popular part of the collection. The works consist of general, mystery, romance, science fiction, Christian, and any other fiction genres. The library staff tries to spend the allotted money equally among the genres.
b. Paperback Exchange: This grouping of books is completely donated. We accept any and all paperbacks for this collection provided they are in good condition with both of their covers. (The exchange works on the honor system. Patrons bring in any number of books and may leave with any number of books. We ask only that they tell us at the desk for circulation purposes how many they are taking.) The paperback exchange is currently operated by the Avalon Library Friends.
c. Non-Fiction: Books are chosen on the basis of meeting the criteria listed under Selection Criteria. The print collection is selected to fulfill the commitment to provide and maintain pertinent and current titles at a variety of reading levels. In addition, the current selectors set yearly subject goals determined by reviewing usage and interlibrary loan statistics. The Library does not seek to acquire textbooks in local use but may acquire other curriculum-related materials to the extent that such materials also serve the
general public. These selections will be general and basic in nature.

d. Legal, tax, and medical works will be acquired only to the extent that they are useful to the general publications reference works. Legal works which provide sample legal forms will be purchased only if the form is representative of that used in Illinois. These forms are not intended to replace the need for an attorney. Tax forms and tax information are selected as a service. Specific tax advise should be acquired from a qualified tax consultant. Medical works will define and present factual information about a disease and are not intended for self diagnosis.

e. Adult Easy: These items are chosen on a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade reading level. They are items with an adult interest level. These items are usually purchased with a grant and supplement the literacy effort being conducted in the area.
f. Braille: The Braille collection is funded through gifts from civic groups like the Lions. Books chosen for the collection are chosen to meet the needs of the individual patrons using the collection.
g. Avalon: The Avalon materials are chosen to cover in depth the history,geography, geology, and people of the Avalon Township Area. We collect menus, postcards, pictures, minutes, pamphlets, newspaper articles, death notices, birth notices, diaries, genealogies and writings to name a few. We try to collect anything in print or handwriting about the area or generated in the area. We collect all works written by authors or poets who live in the area. We do limit the number of family Bibles we collect. Genealogical information from family Bibles is usually copied and the Bibles are given to the Lakes Region Historical Society. Information about special commercial, cultural, civic, and industrial organizations will be collected exhaustively. Regalia such as uniforms and artifacts will also be donated to the Avalon Region Historical Society. This collection does not circulate.
h. Large Print: The large print collection is provided for patrons with difficulty viewing standard print. The collection consists of popular fiction and non-fiction titles, a small selection of classic literature and biographies.  The collection will be added to on a yearly basis at a modest level.
i. Oversize Materials: These items are considered part of the general nonfiction classification. They are simply to large to be space efficient if shelved with the main body of the collection.
j. Professional Materials: These books are works which have been acquired on the subjects of library science, management, computers, and personnel which will help the library staff better manage and operate the library. These materials are available for circulation
k. Reference: The reference collection is a non-circulating collection which provides general and specialized information in a variety of subject areas, reflecting the total collection. This collection is provided to supply the library with a ready source of information to answer the questions posed by the public. The materials in this collection are continually updated although not necessarily on an annual basis. Additional copies and older editions may be circulated when appropriate. Titles not normally considered reference
materials may be added to the collection if they provide information not found in standard reference sources, or when the format is best suited to reference.
l. Video and DVD Recordings: The Avalon Public Library District has neither the financial resources nor the physical storage space to compete with the many vendors of videos in Avalon Township. The library district does however see a need to provide access to viewable materials as a means to supplement the studies of certain disciplines. In that vein, the library’s primary collection thrust will be non-fiction material which will supplement the science, history, social studies, applied science and literature collections.
Its’ secondary thrust will be to acquire movie presentations of classic and award winning literature. Lastly, it will acquire outstanding and award winning motion pictures to aid in the study of film making in so far as the budget will allow.

m. Magazines: Magazines are chosen to supplement the print collection. Research is the primary function of this collection so accordingly the collection must be accessible through an indexing source. However, as more and more magazines become available in a full text electronic format, the trust of the collection will be changed to browseable and special interest magazines.
n. Compact Discs and Cassettes: These collections represent the publics interest in music and other sound recordings. Every effort is made to include the best sound recordings of each type as money will allow to provide a well rounded music collection. As new types of media are developed and take the place of the current recording media, they too shall be considered for purchase.
o. Computer CD-ROM: The primary focus of this collection will be educational and research materials. Programs such as Word Perfect or Excel while educational are intended for continued use. The library cannot afford to license these kinds of programs for public use. The library will purchase only materials which aid our patrons in research or self education. These materials must be available with mutli-use licenses that are affordable for this library.
p. Pamphlets: Pamphlets are used to supplement the non-fiction collection. The most current information in product safety, medical conditions and other topics often appears in pamphlet form before becoming a book. This collection supports and updates the printed collection.
q. Recorded Books: Recorded books are selected on patron demand. A selection of both abridged and non abridged items are kept.
r. Young Adult Fiction: These items are selected for content and vocabulary that would appeal to readers in junior high to high school.
2. Children’s Department:
a. Juvenile Easy Books (Picture Books): Juvenile easy books or picture books are selected for their illustrations and story content. The vocabulary of these materials may not be suitable for a child learning to read. They are meant for an older reader to read to the child.
b. Juvenile Books: Juvenile fiction books are selected with a 3rd – 6th grade reading level vocabulary and with a story that will appeal to children in that age bracket.
c. Easy Readers: Easy readers are selected with a vocabulary designed to encourage beginning readers. They will cover grades K – 3rd grade. Since the story content is limited to a restricted vocabulary they may not have a strong story line.
d. Juvenile Non-Fiction: These materials are selected for readers from 2nd –8th grade. They are factual materials about subjects which interest readers in this age bracket both educationally and recreationally.
e. Juvenile Cassettes: These materials are usually picture books which have an accompanying cassette recording of someone reading the story. These materials are popular as they supplement parental reading to the child.

f. Juvenile recorded Books: Like the adult recorded books these are works geared to older school age children. They are intended to supplement the reading process.
g. Juvenile Large Print: These are works for the older child but they are printed in larger type for the child who has difficulty reading smaller type.
h. Juvenile Magazines: A small selection of magazines available to children are collected both for research and for further reading stimulation.
i. Computer Games: This new medium is being collected for its educational value. It is intended to stimulate and supplement the reading process.
j. Developmental Games: These games are offered to help parents and teachers improve pre-reading and pre-math skills. This collection which if funded by the Mental Health Association of Antioch is aimed at the child who is slower in developing these skills.
k. Children’s Video’s: The Children’s Video collection is chosen to expand the imagination of pre-readers and young readers. The market is collected as actively as funding in a given year will allow.
l. Juvenile pamphlets: Pamphlets for children are used to expand the limitations of the non-fiction market. Materials on composers or some Indian tribes may not be available in book format for children at this level. In that event the library seeks to supplement the collection with items in such areas.
m. Juvenile Reference: Reference materials at this level are collected to support the research needs of the children. Primarily they support the curriculum of the local schools.
The Library is grateful for gifts, and its collection has been enriched by many fine donations of materials and artworks as well as monetary contributions. Through Donors, the Library has been able to obtain many important acquisitions which could not have been purchased otherwise. The Library accepts gifts of books, but reserves the right to evaluate and to dispose of them in accordance with the criteria applied to purchased materials. No conditions may be imposed relating to any donation after its acceptance by the Library.
1. Memorial/Gift Book Programs
The purpose of these programs is to expand the ability of the library to add new books to it collection in any given fiscal year. Materials selected under these programs are funded by individual patrons who wish to purchase materials that relate to the lives of
ones friends or family. Books purchased will carry a book plate indicating the person being remembered or honored. Patrons are allowed to selected the subject area in which a book will be chosen. The actual book will be selected by the staff. These
books are subject to approval by the purchasing patron. In addition our discount will be passed along to the patron.
2. Donations – Others, e.g. Monetary

The Library welcomes cash contributions. It is our custom to expend the cash on materials, equipment or a project which is acceptable to the donor. Although it is unlikely, there may be an occasion in which the restrictions set by the donor may
make it impossible for the Library to accept the contribution. All donations are subject to the approval of the Library Director with the backing of the Board of Trustees.
3. Recognition of Gifts
For all materials donated to the Library, the Library will place a book plate within the item which gives the name of the donor. If it is possible, all art objects or equipment will contain a small plaque honoring the donor.
4. Use of Gifts
All gifts are accepted with the understanding that it may someday be necessary that they be sold or disposed of in the best interest of the Library. All donors are to be informed that the Library cannot commit itself to perpetually housing a donation. Of
course, no donation will be disposed of in a careless manner, and every donor can be assured that the Library will respect his donation and house it as long as feasible.
5. Restrictions
No donation is to be accepted unless it is given to the Library with no strings attached. In accepting a gift, the Library acknowledges no present or future expenses to be borne by the Library. All gifts may be used, sold or disposed of in the best interest of the Library. All donations are accepted only if in the opinion of the Library Director they can be utilized by the Library.
The Avalon Public Library District shall participate in the Coordinated Cooperative Collection Development Program organized by the North Suburban Library System.
Library book selectors are committed to keeping the materials collections up-to-date, relevant, and attractive. To accomplish this, the selectors practice informed, careful, acquisitions, and they continually identify material to be weeded out of the collection. This identification of material to be weeded is done formally and informally. Formal weeding happens in two ways: first, selectors comb through their assigned sections regularly, withdrawing out-of-date and/or worn out or damaged material and replacing it as needed currently. Second, selectors work from a computer generated list of materials that have not circulated for 10 years. The same criteria used to select the material is applied to de-selection of the material. Each item on such a list is examined and evaluated for retention or withdrawal or replacement. This process is done on an annual basis.Informally, all staff identify damaged, worn out, or outdated materials in the normal routines of retrieving, checking out, and checking in. Materials thus identified are checked out to Technical Processing for repair or deletion form the collection.
J. RECONSIDERATION OF MATERIALS-Procedure for Handling Complaints
The library supports the American Library Association Bill of rights and affirms the concept of intellectual freedom. Materials owned by the library will meet the criteria set for them in the selection policy. However, because of the diversity of materials, some individual complaints may arise. The following procedures will be used when a patron registers a complaint:
1. If complaints about materials arise, the patron should be referred to the Reference Desk. The librarian should listen attentively and offer the patron the “Request for Reconsideration of Library materials” form. The form, when filled out will be given to the Director.
2. The Director may request reviews (when appropriate) to be supplied by the staff member responsible for selection of the material. After reviews are supplied, the Collection Development Policy consulted, and appropriate staff interviewed, staff recommendations will be made. The Director will then write to inform the patron of the recommendation. The form and the letter will then be made part of the Board packet for the next regular meeting.
3. Should the patron challenge the decision, he/she may appeal to the Board in writing. The Board will then appoint a task force of two Board members, and two staff members (the staff member responsible for selecting the material.) This task force will again review all the material available about the book and read the book itself. The recommendation of the task force will be sent in writing to the patron. A copy of this letter and all accompanying documents will be included in the Board packet at the next regular meeting at which time the board will consider the recommendation of the Task Force. The decision made at this time will be the final board action taken on this matter. Personal appearance may be made at the Board Meetings under the agenda item “Notices and Communications.”
Adopted January, 2013