COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Purpose of policy
The purpose of the policy is to define the goals and methods of material selection and maintenance to aid the staff in acquiring a well-rounded collection of books and other materials to meet the needs of the community.
It helps the library board to determine if the collection is being built relevant to these needs as well as to explain to the public the basis upon which the materials are selected and maintained, and to explain the presence or absence of certain materials.
The Rockville Public Library enriches the lives of the community by providing free and equal access to a variety of library resources and technologies necessary to meet residents’ need for information, education and cultural growth.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and that the following basic policies should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points view on current and historical Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.
Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Responsibility and Method for Selection
Criteria and method of selection:
The Selection Committee is responsible for the selection of adult materials and shall consist of a group of staff members including the Director, the Head of Adult Services, and other appropriate staff members. Selectors will be assigned specific areas and will use book reviews in recognized library reviewing sources as well as patron requests to guide their selections.
In the area of general non-fiction and fiction, the selection committee will select materials for general reading, information, and recreation aimed at all backgrounds, abilities, and levels of education which are identifiable in the community. Multiple copy best sellers will be leased or purchased in response to anticipated demand.
In the area of reference materials, selections will be guided by general knowledge, exposure to current events, the interests expressed by library patrons, requests for materials on specific subjects and the need for sources to answer questions.
Professional library staff will select books for teens using such library sources as School Library Journal and Booklist, etc.
Newspapers will be purchased to provide current local, national .and international news for informational and recreational needs.
Periodicals will be purchased to supplement other information as a source of current information as well as to serve as aids for the selection of material and for professional reading.
Selectors will read reviews of audio-visual materials in Booklist, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly and other sources, and they will make selections based on these reviews, requests received, and with consideration to budget and space restrictions.
The Head of Children’s, Services oversees the selection of all children’s materials using School Library Journal, Publisher’s weekly. and other pertinent sources.
Relation to schools
The library will support public and parochial schools by having materials that support curricula in a general way. Textbooks will not be purchased except in areas where material is only available in this format. The library does not provide multiple copies of individual books for student assignments.
The Head of Children’s Services and the Teen Librarian will be in contact with school library staff and teachers to acquaint themselves with the collections and to discuss matters of mutual concern.
The library will maintain materials for a variety of levels of difficulty for subject areas in the adult, teen and children’s departments. Staff will, however, encourage and facilitate the use of all departments by patrons, regardless of their age.
All material will be kept on open shelves, freely and easily accessible to the public, except for local historical materials. At present, due to the current set up of the building, back issues of periodicals must be retrieved y library staff. Children are not limited to the children’s collection, although juvenile materials are kept together to facilitate use.
Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian.
Purchases will be made to meet the demand for popular titles. New books requested by patrons will be purchased whenever consistent with collection development policies. In order to keep the wait for bestsellers within reasonable bounds, the library will attempt to acquire approximately one book with every seven reserves. In addition, a rental collection will be leased to
help fulfill the demand.
The library welcomes gifts of books or other materials with the idea that the staff will evaluate them in accordance with the criteria applied to purchased materials. Gift materials not meeting those standards such as those that are out-of-date, duplicates, or unsuitable formats will be given away or sold.
When the library receives cash gifts for the purchase of books or materials, the selection will be made by the library staff in consultation with the donor; however, the final decision will rest with the staff. A bookplate will be placed in each gift if requested by the donor.
The library reserves the right to integrate gifts into the general collection. In addition, whenever a gift is no longer needed, it will be disposed of in the same manner as purchased material. The library does not appraise gifts or provide evaluations of gifts for tax deductions or other purposes. If requested, the Head of Fund Development will send a letter of acknowledgment for the donation listing the number of items donated.
Interlibrary Loan/ Consortium Borrowing
Should a tile be requested that have not or intend to purchase, effort shall be made to request it through our Consortium Bibliomation. If materials are not available through Bibliomation’s 80 libraries, a statewide search will be made by the interlibrary loan staff. If the material cannot be located in state, we will search through WorldCat . WorldCat might require a fee to be paid by the patron if requested by the loaning institution.
Works of local authors may be purchased by the library if they meet general selection criteria. Gifts of works by a local author will be accepted by the library as consistent with the principles outlined in the gift policy.
The general policy of the library will be to acq_uire one copy for reference use of printed items contributing to a knowledge of Vernon area history.
An effort will be made to collect and identify materials deemed to be historically significant. Duplicates of material likely to be useful for circulation are acquired when available.
When a patron finds material unsuitable for any reason they are to be given the Request for Reconsideration Form. The completed form is given to the director and the matter will be discussed with the Board of Directors. A letter is then sent to the patron informing them about the decision about the material.
To keep the collection current, materials will be re-evaluated on an on-going basis, at which time decisions will be made about the disposal of materials.
Assigned materials selectors will weed the collection. Several factors may be involved in the decision to withdraw a book or other material. These may include physical condition, number of copies in the collection, age, dated material, and/or frequency of circulation.
Weeded materials that are usable will be done as follows:
Useable items are given to the Friends or to the Historical Society for their book sales. Items that are unsalvageable and cannot be sold or given away will be destroyed or recycled.
Confidentiality of records
As provided in Section 11-25(b) of the General Statutes of Connecticut all circulation records and borrowers application files are confidential regardless of the source of inquiry. Such records will not be made available to anyone, except under court order or other forms of due process which has been reviewed by the library’s legal counsel.
Special constituencies to be served
Children and Teens
The Children’s Department purchases materials based on the following criteria
Age groups using the collection: Pre-schoolers, elementary school age, young adult, parents, and other adults
To supplement the curriculum needs of children
To maintain a current collection using review sources for new publications
To maintain a balanced collection using_ retrospective sources for older publications
With the growing percentage of retired and elderly people in the community, the library will provide materials to meet the information and leisure needs of this age group.
Emphasis will be in the areas of health, finance, leisure-time pursuits, and fiction. Particular emphasis will be on enlarging the large print collection.