Collection Development Policy
Morgan County Public Library
Approved by the Board of Directors on July 23, 2007
Reconsideration of Materials
The purpose of the Morgan County Public Library Collection Development Policy is to provide guidelines for day-to-day acquisition and withdrawal decisions, resource allocation and long-range planning of collection needs in accordance with the Library's mission statement of service to individuals and groups of all ages in the community in meeting of their educational, informational and recreational interests and needs.
Ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director who operates within the policies determined by the Board of Trustees. The Library Director delegates the responsibilities for specific subject areas and formats regarding the evaluation, acquisition, retention and withdrawal of materials.
Materials are purchased in the most appropriate format for library use. Formats include print, audiovisual, digital and multi-media materials. The library recognizes the place of non-print formats in the collection as legitimate educational and recreational resources for the community it serves. The library monitors the development of new formats and, within budgetary and technical limitations, adds these to the collection. Choice of new formats will be based on patron demand, community trends, new product development, and positive critical reviews.
The purpose of the selection process is to obtain the best possible library materials on levels satisfying the needs and interests of all those within the community, within limitations of the budget.
The following criteria are considered in the selection of factual materials:
- Accuracy and authoritativeness
- Clarity and readability
- Importance of subject matter to the collection and availability of the material elsewhere
- Timeliness or permanence of the work
- Literary quality
- Physical characteristics
- Potential Usefulness
Criteria considered in selecting fictional works are:
- Artistic expression
- Originality and imagination
- Honesty and integrity
- Sustained interest
- Depth of characterization
- Potential amount of circulation
Since materials will seldom meet all the above qualifications, the librarian or delegated personnel, as executor of the Library Board's policies, will be responsible for weighing strong and weak points and base decisions on resources that include but are not limited to professional and trade journals, bibliographies and lists, publishers' catalogs, and reviews published in reputable sources. Purchase suggestions from patrons are also an important source. If suggested items are not purchased, patrons are directed to other sources including Interlibrary Loan.
The Library will make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority. Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until his idea is refined and tested. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth and to take from the individual the right to think and make his own decisions would mark the end of the democratic process. We need to know not only what we believe, but why we believe it.
Books of doubtful value will be included occasionally for their timeliness, such as campaign biographies, books on current media topics or works of fiction about which curiosity has reached a fever pitch.
Controversial books will not be labeled in any way as to particular philosophies outlined. Americans do not need to be told what to think.
Since the Library cannot limit its selection to books suitable for only for children or adolescents but must consider its adult audience, some books may be deemed by parents as inappropriate reading material for their children. However, since parent's feelings differ and children of the same age differ greatly in levels of maturity, the Library, while attempting to guide youth, will not act as judge of books a child is mature enough to borrow. This responsibility must remain with the parents.
Books obviously attempting to convert a reader to a certain viewpoint are not generally considered public library material. However, representative books such as The Communist Manifesto are included when they have historical significance and bring into the open the ideologies which democracy seeks to combat.
The acceptability of a book will be judged on the merits of the book alone and not on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author. No society of free men can flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, no matter what they have to say.
A special effort will be made to improve the existing collection of books and other materials concerning Indiana and specifically Morgan County and local history.
Weeding (de-selection) is a continual process and necessary component of collection development. It is a subjective activity, and cannot be dictated by a mechanical formula or based solely on circulation statistics. Weeding may include replacing materials, updating editions or discarding items. Criteria for weeding an item include:
- Physical condition
- Literary merit
- Publication date
- Additional copies
- Other materials on the same topic in the collection
- Integrity of a series or completeness of works by an author
- Inclusion in professional bibliographies
- Local interest/local historical significance
- Inconsistency with current selection criteria
- Circulation statistics
Reconsideration of Materials
The library serves a pluralistic community and library materials that are acceptable to one patron may not be acceptable to another. Responsibility for screening what a child reads, views or listens to belongs to the parent or guardian. The Library Board of Trustees believes that individuals may reject for themselves library materials which they do not approve, however individuals do not have the right to restrict the freedom of others to use those materials. Nevertheless, the library permits patrons in its service area to request that materials be reviewed for reconsideration.
A form is provided for a patron wishing to request that the library staff reconsider a specific title currently in the collection. The patron completes the form and submits it to the director. The director will review the title and write a letter of response to the patron within two weeks. If the patron has further concerns after receiving the letter, they will be allowed to address the library board at the next regular meeting. All complaints about library materials are viewed in the context of the collection development policy.
The Morgan County Public Library gratefully accepts gifts and donations with the following conditions:
Books and materials:
The Library accepts gifts of books, movies, magazines and sound recordings but reserves the right to evaluate and dispose of them in accordance with the same criteria applied to purchased materials. Generally, items will be selected for the Libraryâ€™s collections if they are in good condition and likely to be in demand or fill in gaps in the collection. Materials may be disposed of without notifying the donor if later examination indicates that the library cannot use it.
The Library retains the right to determine where donated items will be utilized.
Donated materials that are not added to the collection are disposed of at the discretion of the Library. The majority of those materials are given to the Friends of the Library for their book sales. Materials that are determined to be of an unsalable condition are recycled.
The Library will not appraise donated books for tax purposes. The Library will provide (upon request) a receipt for tax purposes of the donor with a space for the donor's estimated value of the materials.
Individual or groups may wish to make donations to the Morgan County Public Library in memory of a friend or a relative. Memorial gifts are acknowledged as follows:
- An acknowledgement is mailed to the donor.
- Notification is mailed to the designated family member or friend of the deceased informing them a donation has been made and who made it.
- Donor plates are attached to the materials purchased with the gift when appropriate.
Memorial donations are used to purchase books, audio books, movies or to fund programs, depending on the wishes of the donor. The purchase of specifically identified titles with gift funds cannot be guaranteed, nor does the donor have the right of approval of titles before purchase. However, donors are encouraged to recommend subject areas.
Created on 07/26/2007 10:03 AM by krista
Updated on 05/09/2012 05:10 PM by krista