Chemung County Library District

6. COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY

6.1 PURPOSE OF COLLECTION
6.2 COLLECTION CONTENT
6.3 COLLECTION STATEMENT FOR MATERIAL FORMATS
6.4 RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION
6.5 SELECTION OBJECTIVES AND CRITERIA OF MATERIALS
6.6 WEEDING – DESELECTION PROCESS
6.7 GIFTS AND MEMORIALS
6.8 PATRON INPUT REGARDING THE COLLECTION – RECONSIDERATION PROCESS


6.1 PURPOSE OF COLLECTION

The primary purpose of the Library District is to provide and organize library materials to assist its users in fulfilling their needs for educational, recreational, and cultural information. Library District staff selects, organizes, and preserves materials on an extraordinarily wide scope. This information may be of lasting importance or temporary use.

The Library District will not usurp the responsibility of parents, caregivers, and guardians who are more properly responsible for supervising the reading, viewing, and listening habits of children.

6.2 COLLECTION CONTENT

Although it is the role of the Library District to collect and disseminate information and ideas, it is not the District’s role to advocate for or endorse any particular idea, opinion, or point of view. The Library District selects information that supports a wide range of competing and often conflicting ideas and opinions for consideration by library patrons.  The collection should and does reflect controversial topics that will generate intense interest, vehement debate, and strongly held and conflicting opinions by many individuals in the community. As long as materials meet our accepted standards of selection and are deemed to contribute to the goals of the library's collection development, the library will not exclude materials that present extreme points of view; that offer a one-sided representation of opinions, ideas, or events; or that may offend some patrons because of frankness of vocabulary or description. It is an essential role of the public library to make these and other controversial materials freely available to individuals.

6.3 COLLECTION STATEMENT FOR MATERIAL FORMATS

Our library collections are composed of information in many formats. While print and image on paper has been a successful format over time, other formats have evolved rapidly. These include audio, video, digital, microfilm & microfiche, Braille and others.  The Library District will strive to keep abreast of new formats and equipment as they emerge and offer them to library users.

6.4 RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION

The responsibility for the selection of library materials is hierarchical in nature. It is delegated from the Library Board of Trustees, through the Library Director, to the staff responsible for the library collections of our libraries. This does not preclude others from making recommendations for purchase based upon their reading, viewing, or listening interest and knowledge.

6.5 SELECTION OBJECTIVES AND CRITERIA OF MATERIALS

It is the intent of the Chemung County Library District to select and organize materials to meet the basic informational needs of the community.   Library staff will give professional, trained assistance in retrieving desired materials in the collection.   They will consider individual patron requests and purchase if they meet the objective criteria for the selection of library materials.

6.5.1 STANDARDS FOR SELECTION

Library District staff uses industry standard professional reviewing literature for regular and systematic purchases of new library materials which are ordered from industry vendors, online companies or purchased locally.  Staff does not participate in previewing of materials and limit selection from publisher representative visits to a select few.

6.5.2 CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Throughout the selection process, professional reviewers and library selectors base their judgment on the following standards. Not all the standards will apply to each item. Evaluation is made with regard to the work as a whole and not necessarily to its individual parts. Each item is evaluated in terms of its own merits, its intended audience, and its relation to the collection. A wide range of materials is selected to meet the demands of the community, including entertainment, which may not be of lasting value.

  1. Accuracy of content
  2. Historical or permanent value of the work
  3. Reputation, authority, and qualifications of the author, editor, artist-producer, or publisher
  4. Quality of expression or visual content
  5. Importance of the work to the Library’s existing collection
  6. Contemporary or timely social significance of the topic
  7. Availability of other materials on the same topic in the District
  8. Accessibility for the general public to the same material elsewhere in the community, including materials in hospital, technical, college, or special library collections
  9. Suitability of the material in representing varied levels of complexity to reflect the educational backgrounds and reading skills of the community members
  10. Quality of the physical format, including binding, print size, durability, and illustration
  11. Cost in relation to the significance of the material according to the above factors

6.5.3 SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

Electronic resources play an increasingly important role in the Library District’s collection and are selected in accordance with this policy. These materials include, but are not limited to, databases, internet based tools, downloadable audio and e-books, downloadable and streaming music and video.  These refer to those materials or services that require a computer or device for access, manipulation, or reproduction.  
Although the standard criteria used in selecting traditional formats still apply, management and selection of some electronic resources are more complex. It involves analyzing a variety of issues concerning technology, access, maintenance, vendor support as well as licensing terms. For this reason, a separate statement of guidelines is necessary for these materials. The library staff will base their decisions on the principles outlined below.

  1. Ease of use and tutorial/help features
  2. Ability to offer to remote users
  3. Compatibility with existing technical set-ups
  4. Service implications, technical support and licensing requirements
  5. Ability by the vendor to provide use statistics
  6. Whether consortium purchase option is available
  7. Amount of promotional materials provided by the Vendor
  8. Availability of content in other formats
  9. Cost in relation to the significance of the service according to the above factors

6.6 WEEDING – DESELECTION PROCESS

In order to meet the goals of the Library District’s mission for “contemporary, well-maintained library collections and facilities,” it is necessary for all collections to undergo continuous review. Any materials subject to deselection may fall in the following category.

  1. Usage: Has the item been checked out frequently or recently?
  2. Physical condition: Can a damaged item be repaired? Should it be replaced? 
  3. Duplication: Is demand sufficient for multiple copies of the item?
  4. Uniqueness: Is the item held only by CCLD?
  5. Accuracy: Does it continue to be factually accurate?
  6. Edition: Is the edition of an item held by the library superseded by a newer edition?
  7. Completeness: Is the item part of a set or series of which the library does not have a complete run?
  8. Relevancy: Has it proved relevant to the needs and interests of the library's community?

An electronic list of the items identified may be created to assist staff in the deselection process. Final decisions will be determined pending review by the library supervisor.

6.7 GIFTS AND MEMORIALS

Gifts of new or used library materials are often delivered to our libraries. They will be included in the collection if, in the opinion of library staff responsible for selection, they meet the objective criteria for the selection of library materials listed in this policy. Reviews may be consulted to assist in decision making. Gifts become the property of the Library District and it maintains the right to dispose of gift materials in the manner it deems suitable, most often to our libraries’ book sales.

Contributions are encouraged for memorials or honorable recognition of community members.  Selection will be done using the same criteria as all other library materials and will fall under the same deselection policy as other library materials.

6.8 PATRON INPUT REGARDING THE COLLECTION – RECONSIDERATION PROCESS

The Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of providing a process whereby opinions from the public regarding materials selected can be voiced. To comply with this policy, a Request for Reconsideration (See APPENDIX G) must be filled out and mailed or delivered in person to the Library Director.

Upon receipt of the signed form, the Library Director will examine the material in question, the issues raised, and the circumstances involved.  He will then make a decision to remove or retain the material in question and respond in writing to the request.

Should the patron believe the decision of the Library Director is not supported by the library materials selection policy, the patron may appeal the decision to a hearing by the Board of Trustees by notifying the Library Director, who will make necessary arrangements. Following the hearing, the decision of the Board of Trustees will be final. Above all, the Board of Trustees has as its concern the fairness of such a hearing so as to protect the rights of all persons who are involved.

Approved by the Chemung County Library District Board of Trustees
February 16, 2012

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