BOT Approved: February 15 2017
The Rodgers Memorial Library is committed to serving the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of all its patrons and to inspire and stimulate children’s interest in and appreciation of learning and reading. It selects materials in a variety of formats to satisfy the expressed and anticipated interests, tastes, needs, and reading abilities of the diverse community it serves.
A collection development and maintenance policy is the basis for consistent excellence in choice of materials and explains to our community the purpose and standards for selecting library materials.
The guidelines established by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement (appended) are integral to the following policy, which has been adopted by the Library Board of Trustees.
The ultimate responsibility for the selection of Library materials rests with the Library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees and principles of intellectual freedom. While this responsibility may be shared with other members of the Library staff, the director has the authority to reject or select any item.
The public library is unique among institutions as an unbiased repository for the recorded expression of thought. It must, therefore, accept the responsibility for providing free access to all points of view. However, the inclusion of an item in the collection in no way represents an endorsement of any theory, idea, or policy. All sides of controversial issues will be represented as far as budget, space, and availability of materials allow. Selection will be based on criteria given throughout this chapter. Materials will not be selected or rejected because of the race, nationality, political affiliation, religion, or the personal views of the author. Nor will they be selected or rejected on the basis of the frankness or coarseness of language, the controversial content, or the anticipated approval or disapproval of any individual or group in the community.
Librarians use a variety of tools to aid in awareness and selection of materials. Professional selection guides are consulted as appropriate for collection development and core holdings: (including but not limited to) H.W. Wilson’s Core Collections Catalogs and the ALA’s.Guide to Reference Books, as well as recommendation from sources such as professional review journals (including but not limited to: Booklist, Library Journal, School Library Journal, NY Times Book Review, Wilson Library Bulletin, Video Librarian, and Audio File), award winners, bibliographies, popular print and broadcast media, bookstores, electronic interest groups, publishers’ catalogs, and patrons and staff.
Librarians exercise judgment, experience, and expertise in the application of the following Criteria for Materials Selection, making acquisition decisions as objectively as possible. Evaluation of a work includes the entire work, not just individual parts of the work. A work’s overall contribution to the collection is a critical determinant for acceptance or rejection. No single criterion can be applied to all materials, and various criteria carry different weights in different circumstances; therefore, each item is evaluated in terms of its own merits, its intended audience, and its relation to the collection. Contextual considerations – budget and space availability, interlibrary loan availability – also shape the selection process.
Adult, young adult, and children’s collections serve as supplementary sources for student use. Textbooks are not to be included in the collection unless the information is not available from another source.
“Children’s Literature” is defined as material written or produced for the information or entertainment of children and young adults. It includes all literary, artistic genres and physical formats.
The library’s selection policy applies equally to children’s materials and adult materials. It is important, however, to note some aspects specifically related to children’s materials. The children’s collection is designed to meet the needs and interests of children newborn through age twelve and adults working with them. Selection criteria for young adult materials are the same as for adult materials.
Young Adult Collection
Materials for the young adult collection are selected to meet the unique needs of the children ages twelve to eighteen. Selection criteria for young adult materials are the same as for adult materials.
Criteria for Selection
The library considers all acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, in terms of one or more of the following:
- Timeliness: current general interest on international, national, and local levels, importance as a document of the time, relevance to contemporary issues
- Permanent value as a standard work
- Suitability of subject, style, format, and content for the intended audience
- Relevance to community needs and interests
- Proven or potential interest or demand
- Reputation, authority, and qualifications of the author, editor, artist-producer, or publisher
- Artistic merit
- Scholarly merit; accuracy and accessibility of content
- Evaluation by staff, local experts, and the public, and by reviewers in professional journals and popular media
- Availability of the subject in the existing collection
- Importance in relation to materials on the same subject in the existing collection
- Importance in relation to existing areas of coverage in order to maintain a well-balanced collection.
- Importance in order to provide a wide range of points of view on a subject, including points of view that are unique, alternative, experimental, or controversial.
- Availability of the same or similar material in the local area and through interlibrary loan system.
- Cost in relation to the significance of the material according to the above factors.
Special considerations for electronic information sources:
- ease of use of the product
- availability of the information to multiple, concurrent users
- technical requirements to provide access to the information
- technical support and training
The withdrawal of materials, also called weeding, is an ongoing process by which materials that are worn, damaged, outdated, duplicated, inaccurate, or no longer used may be removed from the collection. The professional staff of the Library will be solely responsible for the weeding of materials.
Items removed from the collection may be sold, given away, recycled, discarded, or otherwise disposed of at the discretion of the library. Special Collections or the Town of Hudson Archives do not typically require weeding. See Collection Management of Special Collections/Archives for more information
Replacement of Materials:
A periodic inventory will identify materials that are “missing” or “lost” from the collection. These titles will be evaluated for possible replacement in accordance with the criteria stated above.
The Rodgers Memorial Library recognizes that full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential for patrons to exercise their rights as citizens. The Library believes that reading, listening, and viewing are individual, private matters. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or their own minor children, the freedom of others to read or inquire cannot be restricted.
The Library strives to maintain materials representing all sides of an issue in a neutral, unbiased manner. Selection of materials by the Library does not mean endorsement of the contents or views expressed in those materials. The existence of a particular viewpoint in the collection is a reflection of the Library’s policy of intellectual freedom, not an endorsement of that particular point of view.
The Library patron is an important part of the selection process. An individual request from a patron for a title is usually honored if the request conforms to the guidelines outlined in this policy statement.
All patrons will have free access to all materials and no materials will be sequestered (except items that need protection because of rarity, cost, susceptibility to loss, fragility, or unsuitability of format for heavy use).
The Library does not stand in loco parentis. Parents and guardians, not the Library, have the responsibility of guiding and directing the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own minor children. Selection of adult collection materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that the items may be utilized by minors.