The Library collection provides materials for the community in a variety of formats that contribute toward recreation, education, information and use of leisure time.
A selection policy provides guidance in the purchase of books and other Library materials. Library materials may include print books and periodicals, non-print items such as audiobooks on CD or DVDs, equipment and household items, and born digital items, such as those created in a digital format. They are distinct from analog items that are subsequently digitized, such as paper manuscripts or photographs. In order to accept born digital items, the Library addresses:
- Copyright and licensing
- Redaction of personally identifiable information
- Any restrictions on use or circulation
- Maintenance and evolution of accepted format
Points I, II and III of the Library “Bill of Rights” of the American Library Association, attached as Annex B to this Manual, are central to this policy. The Library also endorses the Freedom to Read Statement and Freedom to View Statement of the American Library Association, attached as Annexes C and D to this Manual.
The primary objective of materials selection is to collect items of contemporary significance and permanent value. The Library shall be guided by a sense of responsibility to both the present and future in adding materials that will enrich the collection and maintain an overall balance of the total collection.
The Library also recognizes the duty to make available materials for enlightenment and recreation, even though such materials may not have enduring interest or value. Criteria for materials selection for children and adults include literary excellence, accuracy of content, suitability of subject matter and vocabulary to the age and interest of the item’s probable users, and the contribution of the item to the balance of the total collection.
The inclusion of an item in the Library’s collection in no way implies endorsement of its author, publisher, contents or views. Furthermore, the exclusion of an item does not imply disapproval. The Library recognizes that tastes vary widely in a given community and an item which is pleasing to one borrower may be unacceptable to another; however, no one person or group has the right to impose standards on other members of the public. Decisions are not made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the building of the collection that will serve the interests of the public. Materials will be provided that appeal to Library users of various backgrounds, ages and interest, and will be equally available. Language, situations, or subjects that may be offensive to some community members to not automatically disqualify material, the value of which is determined in its entirety and measured against the selection guidelines described in this policy by the Library in its sole discretion. Responsibility for children’s and teen’s use of Library materials rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of materials shall not be inhibited by the possibility that such materials may be accessible to use by children. All patrons have access to all collections.
Selection of materials for adults is the responsibility of the Library Director and the Circulation supervisor, and for children/teens, the Youth Services Director (or Co-Directors) who will take into account familiarity with the strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection and interpretation of the needs of patrons.
- The children’s library offers developmentally appropriate materials that meet the information and recreational needs of children ages birth through twelve. In addition, the children’s library collects materials on child-rearing for parents and caregivers. The children’s library maintains a collection that is relevant, of appropriate size and quality, and that represents a diversity of views and expressions. To ensure that all parts of the collection are appropriate and well-chosen, the Youth Services Director (or co-Directors) consult professional review sources before purchase. The Youth Services staff also rely on the recommendations of readers, including children, educators, parents, and caregivers.
- The Young Adult collection offers developmentally appropriate materials that meet the informational and recreational needs of preteens and teenagers ages twelve to eighteen. The YA collection strives to be relevant, of appropriate size and quality, and representing a diversity of views and expressions. To ensure that all parts of the collection are appropriate and well-chosen, the Youth Services Director (or co-Directors) consult professional review sources before purchase. The Youth Services staff also rely on the recommendations of readers, including children, educators, parents, and caregivers. Some materials in the YA Collection might not be considered appropriate by all adults for all teenagers. While some books may be too mature for one teen, other teens may be ready for them. Only each teen and their parent or caregiver can decide what materials is suitable for that teen to read.
Suggestions from patrons are welcome and will be given serious consideration in accordance with the terms of this policy. Requested items not purchased for the collection will be borrowed for the person requesting them whenever possible. The Library welcomes gift books and other materials, applying the same standards of selection that govern purchases. Major factors that influence the selection of all materials, including children’s and teen collections, include content; authority; literary merit, artistic quality, originality and creativity; accuracy, objectivity, clarity, logic, and effectiveness of material; relevance to the needs of the community, current interest in subject matter, local interest in subject or author, popular demand, limitations on space and funds.
Electronic (or digital) materials play an important role in the Library’s collection. These materials include databases, e-Books, e-Audiobooks, and downloadable and streaming media. Criteria used in selecting digital resources include ease of use, uniqueness of content, technology requirements, vendor reputation and customer service, availability for remote access, and cost. Some material available in digital collections might not be considered appropriate by all adults for all children. Only each child and their parent or caregiver can decide what material is suitable for that child to read or view. It is the responsibility of the parent or caregivers to ensure appropriate access to digital collections. The fact that children possibly may access materials their parents or guardians consider inappropriate does not impact the selection of databases or digital platforms.
Weeding is the continuous evaluation of the Library collection and is an integral part of collection development and maintenance. Factors involved in the decision to withdraw an item may include physical condition, the number of copies in the collection, age or obsolescence, questionable value, amount of use, space and availability of other formats. The Library Director will cull Library inventory pursuant to professional guidelines.
This policy will be reviewed periodically by the Library Director and Board of Directors.
The Library welcomes residents’ expression of opinion concerning materials purchased. Patrons wishing to express views concerning specific material in the collection of the Library are invited to complete the form entitled “Request For Reconsideration of Library Material” attached as Annex E to this Manual, which may also be obtained from the Library Staff and available on our website.
Upon receipt of the completed form, the Library Director, and if appropriate, the Board of Directors, shall review the Request within the framework of this policy and then communicate with the patron in writing. Appeals may be requested by submitting a written request to the Library’s Board of Directors. All Board decisions are final. Materials under review remain in the collection during the reconsideration process.