Policy: Materials Selection

Overview

The Collingswood Public Library serves the residents of the Borough of Collingswood by providing access to a broad range of information and ideas. Founded in 1910, the Library is a center for lifelong learning for patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. The Library’s collections and services reflect the informational, educational, and cultural needs of the community.

The Library supports a democratic and free society by providing a public forum for ideas, making information available without discrimination, without coercing a viewpoint on the community it serves, and by resisting barriers to information some may wish to see imposed. Inclusion of material in the collection does not mean the Library endorses any or all ideas represented within a text.

Responsibility

The Board of Trustees delegates the responsibility for the selection to the Library Director, who may delegate some selection to others library staff members.

Selection of Materials

Providing a high quality library collection is an art, not a science, and many factors are considered as part of the selection process.

The most important factor in selecting materials is to acquire items of current usefulness and of interest to the community served by the Library. For items in high demand, duplicate copies may be purchased.

Other factors include: anticipated demand; patron requests; price; reviewed recommendations; format; presentation; differing points of view or perspectives; and the needs of the current collection.

The Library may join with other libraries to jointly offer certain materials on a rotating or cooperative basis.

As determined by the Director and library staff members, and in accordance with national and regional protocols, interlibrary loan will be used to fulfill appropriate requests from patrons.

Type of Materials Collected

Information is collected and made available in many formats including, but not limited to:

  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Other printed materials
  • DVDs
  • Compact discs
  • Games
  • Museum passes
  • Digital information
  • CD-ROM
  • Databases and websites accessible through the Internet

Because of space and budget limitations, certain types of materials may be collected in the one format that we believe to be the most useful for our patrons.

Donations of Books and Other Materials

Donations of books and other material to the Library are evaluated by library staff for their usefulness to the collection, being guided by the same general selection principles as for newly purchased materials.

Donations will be acknowledged, if requested. However, the responsibility for assigning a monetary value of the donation belongs to the donor, not the Library.

Removing Materials from the Collection

Space in the Library is finite. The ongoing acquisition of new materials also necessitates the ongoing removal of other materials.

Many factors are used to determine what materials should be removed including:

  • Popularity
  • Subject area strength
  • Currentness
  • Condition

Withdrawn materials will be sold as used items or discarded.

Intellectual Freedom

The Board of Trustees of the Collingswood Public Library affirms its commitment to:

The Library Bill Of Rights

and

The Freedom To Read

Challenges to Materials

Any person who wishes to complain about a book or other material from the Library will fill out a form and return it to the Library Director. The Director and Board will review the complaint and determine the proper disposition of the issue.

During the time any complaint is under review, the material being challenged will not be removed from the active collection.

This policy supersedes all previous policies. Adopted by the Board of Trustees on February 2, 2011.