Henderson Memorial Public Library strives to serve the diverse members of the Jefferson Community by providing materials for education, information, recreation and research.
A collection development policy is a written document that assists staff in selecting materials, evaluating the collection and maintaining the collection, which includes weeding (withdrawal of materials). No budget is large enough to allow the purchase of every resource published. This policy will guide staff in making selections which meet community needs within the given budget. No policy can take the place of staff members’ judgments; however, this policy will serve as guidelines.
Level of Collection Development
Henderson Memorial Public Library collects materials at the Basic Information Level as defined by the American Library Association’s collection level definitions (Appendix A). This means the library will purchase items that serve to “introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere.” Materials are generally aimed at the non-specialized user.
The collection reflects the collective needs of the community, not any one individual’s needs. Interlibrary loan is available to try to provide access to materials not part of the library’s collection.
The library takes into account other nearby libraries’ collections and tries to avoid unnecessary and costly duplication of materials that are able to be obtained easily in a nearby geographic area. The library is a member of the Independently Cooperating Ashtabula Network (ICAN) and the statewide Ohio Libraries Share-MORE (OLS-MORE). If a patron desires an item not in the library’s collection, every effort will be made to obtain the item from another library. In some cases, dependent on the cost and usefulness to the community, the item may also be purchased for the library’s collection.
Responsibility for materials selection rests with the Director who operates within the framework of policies established by the Board of Trustees. The Director may delegate responsibility for collection development to various, trained staff members. However, because the Director is responsible to the Library Board and general public, s/he may select or reject any materials contrary to the recommendation of the staff. And, therefore, any material selected for the collection shall be considered to be selected by the Library Board.
Selection of Resources
The library collects information in a variety of formats, including print, audiovisual and electronic.
Materials are selected based on space, funds, and varied needs of the community.
Resources are evaluated based on accuracy, scope, timeliness, social significance, literary or recreational value, relationship to other resources in its field or format, clarity, and/or accessibility. A resource which does not meet these standards may still be selected if it presents a view not otherwise represented in the collection or community demand justifies its purchase. Resources of potential future value are selected for lasting importance.
A resource is evaluated as a whole, not by section(s).
Materials will be selected that represent different viewpoints on controversial issues, including those with unpopular or unorthodox positions. The library realizes that a resource that may offend one person may be meaningful to another.
Censorship: The selection of library materials is predicated on the library patron’s right to read, and similarly, his freedom from censorship by others. Many books are controversial and any given item may offend some persons. Selections for the Library will not, however, be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the material in relation to the interest of the readers. This Library holds censorship to be a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject for himself books and other materials of which he does not approve—he cannot exercise this right to restrain the freedom of others. With respect to the use of library materials by children, the decision as to what a minor may read is the responsibility of his or her parent or guardian. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of minors. The library adheres to the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, and The Freedom to View Statement (see Appendix B).
The Library’s selection of materials does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of its content but makes differing viewpoints available.
Materials will not be excluded because of unorthodox language, nontraditional theme or unusual presentation.
Multiple copies of some materials may be purchased to meet heavy demand.
The library does not collect textbooks, unless that material meets the general community’s needs on a given topic. Textbooks are not added in support of a specific curriculum.
The public may make suggestions for selection. This decision rests with the Director and is based on criteria defined above.
Donations are accepted and follow the same criteria as for new materials. Refer to the Gift Policy. A gift will not be added to the collection solely because it is a gift.
Reviews of materials in professional journals, such as Library Journal and Booklist, are consulted for possible selections. Electronic sources, such as Amazon.com, are used. Trends and materials, as reported in the media, are also considered for selection. This is not an all inclusive list.
Weeding (Withdrawal of Materials)
The library collection is not archival and, therefore, needs to be reviewed and revised continually.
The Crew Method (The Crew Method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries. Belinda Boon. Austin, Texas: Texas State Library, 1995.) is followed for deselection of materials.
Materials withdrawn from the collection may be donated to other organizations, put into the book sale, or otherwise disposed of.
Reconsideration of Materials
Questions and complaints should be made to the Director. Any person wishing to have a book removed from the Library will make his/her intentions known by filling out the Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form (Appendix C).
The Library Director will attempt to resolve the request.
If the request cannot be resolved, the complaint may proceed to the next level which will be a committee composed of the library director, one other staff member and two board members.
If the complaint cannot be resolved at the first two levels, the final level will be to present the complaint to the entire library board for board action.
The Library Board defends intellectual freedom and resists censorship. Whenever censorship is involved, no materials will be removed from the library except by a unanimous vote of the Library Board.
Revised August 11, 2009, July 8, 2008
Approved HMPL Board of Trustees, August 16, 2005