Collection Development Policy
POLICY NUMBER: 20
TITLE: Collection Development Policy
DATE ISSUED: March 23, 2000
REPLACES: Previous policy no. 20, issued February 27, 1971
PURPOSE: A collection is defined as an accumulation of objects gathered for study, comparison or exhibition. Mt. Lebanon Public Library's collection consists of a wide diversity of materials that have been accumulated to accommodate patrons' interests. The purpose of Policy No. 20 is to describe the nature of the Library's collection and to provide guidance and direction to the Library staff for the development and maintenance of the Library's collection. The continuous review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users.
STATEMENT OF POLICY:
1. MISSION AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
1.1. Mt. Lebanon 0Public Library acquires, organizes, and provides open access to information, resources and services that inspire and help community residents meet their lifelong personal, educational, cultural, vocational, recreational and professional information needs. The Library, as a leading force in the community, emphasizes local resources, popular materials, and educational enrichment for all ages and abilities.
1.2. It recognizes that the freedom to read is essential in a democracy, and it subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights and to the Freedom to Read Statement adopted by the American Library Association, June 25, 1971. The Library recognizes the attached interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights as guidance for carrying out the Bill of Rights. Mt. Lebanon Public Library additionally respects the confidentiality of all patron records.
1.3. In order to meet this mission, the Mt. Lebanon Public Library's collection must provide a wide range of materials for users of all ages; all educational levels, and all socio-economic backgrounds.
2. COLLECTION PRIORITIES
2.1. The Mt. Lebanon Public Library's collection will encompass contemporary titles and notable works of classical literature in every field. The following collection development priorities have been determined for all material formats:
• Audio-visllal Materials
• CD Roms
2.2. Materials on Pennsylvania and genealogy are of particular interest to Mt. Lebanon residents and will be given priority. These include non-fiction books in many subject areas and, to a limited extent, fiction.
3. MATERIALS NOT COLLECTED
3.1. Due to finite resources, there are certain materials that the Mt. Lebanon Public Library does not specifically collect:
3.2. Rare books. Since it is the public Library's function to make materials available to all users, the Mt. Lebanon Public Library does not collect rare or unusual materials that require special handling.
3.3. Textbooks. Although school and college libraries are the primary resources for students, students at all levels of formal education make up a large part of the Library's clientele, and the Library recognizes students' needs in selecting materials. Textbooks will, however, be purchased in those 'subject areas where there is little or no material in any other form or in those instances where they substantially add to the collection.
4. SELECTION CRITERIA
4.1. The Mt. Lebanon Public Library selects material for its collection in accordance with professionally accepted guidelines. The Library will attempt to represent all approaches to public issues of a controversial nature. The Library does not sanction particular beliefs or views, nor is the selection of any given item equivalent to an endorsement of the author's viewpoint. If a scarcity of information in a particular subject area exists, material in that area may be selected, even though it does not meet the usually applied standards.
4.2. The selection of materials is governed by the Library's general objectives, its assessment of the community's present and future needs, its recognition of and cooperation with other libraries accessible to residents, and the limitations of space and budget.
4.3. Nonfiction Criteria. The Library acquires materials of both permanent and current interests in all subjects, based upon the merits of the work in relation to the needs, interests, and demand of the community. As with fiction selection, the Library intends to foster independence of mind and to uphold the individual citizen's right and duty to make decisions for him/herself. Each item is evaluated in its entirety and not on the basis of a particular section. While a single standard cannot be applied to each work, the following general criteria are to be considered when selecting materials for purchase:
• .Authoritativeness of the writer and reputation of the publisher
• Accuracy of information
• Clarity and fairness of presentation
• Recency of data
• Adequate breadth and depth of coverage
• Appropriateness and relevancy of subject to the Library's users
• Popular demand
• Historical significance
• Organization and style appropriate to the material and to the Library's users
• Good quality illustrations
• Special features, such as bibliography and index
• Durable binding and paper
• Publication date
4.4. Fiction Criteria. The Library aims to provide a variety of types of fiction and satisfy readers of differing tastes, interests, educational backgrounds and reading skills. There is, no single standard by which to judge fiction, which is a form of imaginative literature. In the case of fiction, the following criteria will be considered:
• Popular demand
• Reputation of the author and publisher
• Appropriateness to the Library's users
• Importance as a document of the times
• Relationship to the existing collection and to other titles and authors dealing with the same subject
• Interest and originality of the plot
• Interest and development of the characters
• Style of writing
• Literary merit
• Inclusion in standard Library bibliographies
• The physical qualities of the book
• Part of existing series
4.5. Periodicals. Periodicals are publications issued and received on a regular basis. They form an important part of the Library's research collection and are intended to complement the book collection. The Library does not subscribe to highly specialized technical periodicals or to professional journals other than those in the field of library science. Periodicals are selected according to the following criteria:
• Indexed in one of the standard indexing resources
• Requests by patrons
• Whether the periodical has local or regional interest
• Whether a subject area needs to be expanded to help balance the collection
4.6. Reference. Reference materials are those designed by the arrangement and treatment of their subject matter to be consulted for definite items of information rather than to be read consecutively. They can provide quick, concise, current or historical information or they may serve as an index to other materials in the collection. Since they are typically used daily by the public and Library staff to answer specific questions, they are designated for use within the Library.
4.6.1. However, large academic libraries and special collections are located in Allegheny County, and within the rules of inter-library loans, the Library may call upon the resources of other libraries in the Pennsylvania State Public Library System, particularly those of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
4.6.2. In selecting for the reference collections, the primary concern is the Library's patrons and their information needs. According to their primary use, these materials may be located at the Adult Reference or Children's desks. In addition to the general selection criteria mentioned above, the following criteria must be considered in acquiring materials for the reference collections:
• Usefulness of the publication, considering the existing collection
• Favorable reviews or inclusion in basic reference collection guides
• Reputation of the author or publisher
• Currency of the topic
• Date of publication
• The expense for ongoing maintenance, if the title in question is a serial publication which will require frequent updating
4.6.3 Duplicate copies of reference materials may be purchased for the circulating collection if the price is not prohibitive. To a very limited extent, items not falling strictly within the reference format but in high demand by Library users, may be included in the reference collection to allow maximum use, for example legal forms, tax forms, college guides and the like, in order to ensure their availability in the Library at all times.
4.7. Electronic. This category includes computer-based information resources. Electronic resources include, but are not limited to, citation or full-text databases and instructional multimedia programs. The following criteria should be considered for electronic resources:
• Compatibility with available equipment and/or existing operating systems
• Ease of use by Library patrons, including enhanced searching capabilities
• Price of print format versus electronic
• Frequency of updates
• Anticipated demand by Library users
• Maintenance requirements and updating of database
• Training requirements for staff and the public
• Licensing fees and usage restrictions
4.8. Videos. The Library's goal is to provide a collection of instructional, educational, and literature-based videos that will enhance the Library's existing nonfiction and fiction collections. Feature film selections will be limited to those videos that are culturally, historically or aesthetically significant and will be added as demand and funds permit. It is not the Library's intention to duplicate the full spectrum of entertainment videos available in the private sector, but rather to provide quality films of educational or entertainment value. The Library video collection is not intended to supplement curriculum requirements of educational organizations within the community. The following selection criteria should be considered:
• Favorable reviews in standard Library reviewing sources
• Appropriateness of the subject to the collection
• Appropriateness to the interests and skills of the intended users
• Technical quality, i.e., clarity of picture and sound quality
• Authority and competency of the producer
• Artistic merit and reputation of the performers
• Availability of public performance rights
• The need for non-fiction and documentaries to present accurate and current information
4.9. Recorded Books. The Library's goal is to provide a collection of recorded instructional, educational, and quality literature that parallels most areas of the general collection. The use of audio players at home and in automobiles has led to a demand for books in audio formats that can be listened to by many people, not only the visually impaired. Efforts are made to select on a variety of topics and to appeal to a range of interests. Both abridged and unabridged selections will be purchased. In addition to the general criteria for selection, the following criteria must be considered when selecting recorded books:
• Authority and competency of producer
• Artistic merit and reputation of the reader
• Quality of interpretation and ease of understanding by Library user
• Technical quality, i.e., sound quality
• Popular demand
4.10. Recorded Music. The Library's goal is to provide a collection of music in recorded formats that is historically significant and of enduring popularity. Selections will include instrumental and vocal recordings in the following genres: classical, jazz, world, opera, pop, folk, show tunes, movie soundtracks, and recordings of local interest. The following criteria will be taken into account when selecting recordings:
• Authority and competency of producer
• Artistic merit
• Technical quality
• Popular demand
5. SELECTION PROCESS
5.1. Responsibility for Selection. The Board of Directors approves the Collection Development Policy for the Mt. Lebanon Public Library. The responsibility for administering this policy rests with the Director. The Librarians under the direction of the Director coordinate the actual selection of materials.
5.2. Community Participation. Involvement by the community in the selection process is encouraged. Several mechanisms are provided for this purpose:
5.2.1. Reserve Requests. The general public may reserve currently checked out circulating materials at the Adult and Children's Service Desks. The Library may consider adding duplicate copies to satisfy the expressed demand.
5.2.2. Purchase Suggestions. Library users are encouraged to suggest titles and/or subjects that they would like to see in the collection. A suggestion form is available at all service desks for this purpose. In such cases, the stated selection criteria will be taken into account.
5.2.3. Reconsideration of Library Materials. There may be occasions when a member of the community may be concerned about a particular item in the Library's collection. If a patron wishes the Library to reconsider material that is in the collection, a form is available at the main service desk. This form must be completed in its entirety and returned to a Library staff member or to the Director. Once the form is received, the Director will review the request, using the criteria used in selecting the item, its place in the collection, and reasons for including the item in the collection. The director will then contact the patron.
5:2.4. If the Library user is not satisfied at this level, they will be invited to attend the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors. The Board, after hearing the complaint, may either wish to appoint a special review committee or recommend a policy regarding the item in question. In either case, a letter will be sent to the Library user informing him or her of the Board's decision. A copy of this letter will be forwarded to the Municipality Superintendent. If the Library user seeks further consideration, final authority rests with the Municipality's commission.
5.3. Selection Tools. Professional staff members are expected to read current Library and review journals in order to suggest materials for purchase. These journals include among others Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Choice, Booklist, School Library Journal, The Hornbook, and Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. In addition, librarians should be aware of materials that are being reviewed in other sources, such as the major national newspapers, local publications, and the weekly newsmagazines, as well as the broadcast media. Since the majority of published materials are not reviewed in the standard selection tools, publishers' catalogs and bookstores may be potential sources of information about this type of elusive material.
6. MATERIAL FORMATS
6.1. Although the majority of the Library's collection is offered in the traditional print format, valuable information is also available in audio-visual and electronic formats. Materials will be selected and purchased in the most appropriate format for Library use.
6.2. Hardcover Books. Books are generally purchased in hardcover editions because of their durability.
6.3. Paperbacks. This format includes paperback books which are comparable in size to hardcover editions but which are typically lower in cost.
6.3.1. Trade. Trade paperbacks are preferred in those cases where the hardcover edition is extremely expensive and the title would be either used infrequently or would be removed from the collection in a few years.
6.3.2. Mass Market. The paperback fiction collection will be primarily limited to those titles published only in mass market paperback format.
6.4. Serials. Serials are publications issued in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. This format includes periodicals, newspapers and annuals or continuations retained in the reference collections. They may include the following physical formats: print, microform and electronic. Decisions as to retention of back issue periodicals and reference annuals or continuations are made on a title by title case. The following factors must be considered in any retention decision:
• Usage rates
• Shelf space required or computer system compatibility
• Availability of the title in another format such as microfilm or electronic format
• Existing indexing in one of the Library's indexing services
6.4.1. Any periodical or newspaper that the Library determines should be retained for historic or research value may be retained in print format indefinitely.
6.5. Microforms. Microforms are used primarily for long-term storage and preservation of periodicals and newspapers. Specialized microform collections may be purchased to complement the Library's indexes. Reference materials may also be acquired in this format if the storage requirements or cost of the print format would be prohibitive.
6.6. Video. Videocassettes are selected in the VHS and DVD format. Special consideration is given to those titles available in closed caption format.
6.7. Audio Cassettes. The majority of recorded books are available in cassette format. Both abridged and unabridged titles are included in the Library's collection. This format also includes musical and instructional recordings.
6.8. Compact Discs. Musical recordings are most readily available on compact disc. This format is distinguished by its durability and technical quality. Therefore, the Library will collect recorded music primarily in this format. Works previously available on audiocassette (such as language instruction and recorded books) may be purchased on compact disc as they become available.
6.9. Large Type Books. See Section 7.1 below.
6.10. Electronic. The electronic format includes on-line databases and CD-ROM resources. Citation databases provide references to sources of information rather than the actual text or information. Full-text databases include complete articles, documents, and any other resources that provide actual text and information.
7. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
7.1. Large-Print Books. Books printed in larger than 16-point type are in demand by those persons in the community with visual impairments. The Library attempts to provide a variety of titles in this format, particularly in fiction, and maintains several standing orders with large-print publishers for the purpose of maintaining and developing this collection. The large print format may also be considered for those books that are out of print in regular print formats.
7.2. Job Bank.
7.4. Young Adult. See Section 8.5 below.
7.5. Resources for Parents of Children with Special Needs. Mt. Lebanon Public Library maintains a collection of books, pamphlets, videos and other materials for parents of children and young adults with special needs. The Library also maintains a collection of books and magazines in Braille for both adults and youth.
7.6. Parent-Teacher. This collection, located within the Children's Library, is comprised of materials to assist educators and parents in developing curriculum activities and addressing child-rearing concerns.
7.7 Local History.
7.8. Vertical File. This collection comprises pamphlets and newspaper clippings relating to Pennsylvania and Mt. Lebanon and curricular support materials. Some of the items in this collection are available for circulation, while others may be used only within the Library.
7.10. Study Resource Center.
8. COLLECTIONS FOR DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS.
8.1. Easy Picture Books. The Easy collection is comprised of picture books of interest to all ages. Because the illustrations are the predominant feature, they are generally designed for adults to read to children. Although most picture books are intended for the young child, there is a growing number of picture books that are specifically written and illustrated for the older child.
8.2. Beginning Readers. Beginning Readers are intended for kindergarten through early third-grade readers. A controlled vocabulary, large print, heavy use of illustrations, and a limited number of pages characterize them.
8.3.1. Fiction. This collection serves students from late second grade through eighth grade. The books feature age-appropriate vocabulary and subject matter.
8.3.2. Nonfiction. The Juvenile non-fiction collection includes materials to serve the information needs of preschoolers, elementary-age, and middle school students. The subject matter, vocabulary, organization and scope must be age-appropriate.
8.4. Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction. The Young Adult collection is comprised of popular fiction targeting high school students in the ninth through twelfth grades who could be as young as fourteen and as old as eighteen. Other determining factors for inclusion in this collection are: materials that are clearly reviewed and/or labeled as young adult, characters are of high school or college age, and the theme or subject matter is of interest to and intended for young adults. The Young Adult non-fiction collection is integrated in the Adult non-fiction collection.
8.5. Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction. The Adult collection includes fiction and non-fiction titles for adults of all ages and reading abilities.
9. GIFTS AND MEMORIALS
9.1. Library materials donated to the Library and books given as memorials must meet the same standards as other materials selected for inclusion in the Library's collection. If a donated item is not added to the collection of the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, it may be given to another Library or to the Friends of the Mt. Lebanon Public Library to sell as part of their fund-raising efforts.
10. DESELECTION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS AND REPLACEMENT OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
10.1. Deselection. Deselection of Library materials, or weeding, is an integral part of collection development. An active and continuous deselection program is essential in maintaining a viable and useful collection. Materials are withdrawn from the Library's collection through systematic weeding or because of loss or physical damage. The following categories of materials should be considered for deselection:
• Worn or mutilated items
• Duplicate copies of seldom used titles
• Materials which contain outdated or inaccurate information
• Superseded editions of specific titles
• Materials no longer of interest or demand
10.2. Replacement. While the Library tries to maintain copies of standard and important works, it does not automatically replace all materials withdrawn due to loss or damage. Decisions concerning the replacement of individual items are based on the following considerations:
• Demand for the specific item
• The number of copies held
• The existing coverage of the subject within the collection
• The recency of its contents
• The availability of the title for reorder
• The cost of mending versus the cost of replacement
• Availability of the title from other libraries
11. CONSORTIUM, NETWORKING AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS
11.1. The Library will abide by any and all agreements into which it enters.
12.1. Library Bill of Rights and Interpretations.
12.2. Reconsideration of Library Materials Form.
12.3. Request for Addition of Materials Form.
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