Purpose of Collection Management Policy
This policy is established by the Board of Trustees to guide the library staff in the management of the collection, and to inform the public of the principles upon which the library makes decisions regarding the selection, maintenance and use of the collection.
- Philosophy and Goals The mission of the Hubbard Free Library (the Library) is to “provide materials and services to all citizens of its communities from pre-school through maturity. The Library shall collect, preserve, and make available a varied collection of media and programs to serve and be responsive to the personal, educational, cultural, and professional needs of the communities it serves.” All Collection Management policies and procedures shall support the above-stated mission, within the limitations imposed by funding, and bearing in mind the proximity of the Maine State Library, which can offer much greater resources for serious research. The Library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom as stated in the “Library Bill of Rights” (see Appendix), a document issued by the American Library Association. These principles include the stand that “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed from libraries because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
- Responsibility for Collection Management The Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director the authority and responsibility for selection and management of all print, non-print and electronic materials, within the framework of this policy. Actual selection and management activities may be shared among trained library staff, who shall also adhere to this policy in making their choices.
- General Selection Criteria Selection decisions will take into consideration one or more of the following criteria. More specific guidelines for particular categories will follow these general criteria.
- Existing or likely public demand
- Practical usefulness
- Artistic, literary, historic and/or scientific merit
- Existence and currency of other resources on the same subject within the Library
- Availability of same or similar resources at the Maine State Library, which may be used by all Maine residents
- Authority and competence of author
- Availability of shelf space
- Price, in relation to total budget
- Children’s Books Children’s books shall be selected for all age groups from pre-school through middle school. Some items may be included that might not be considered appropriate by all adults for all children. While some books are too mature for one child, other children may be ready for them. Only each child and his or her parents can decide what material is suitable for that child to read. There are special goals connected with selecting books for children, which should further influence selection. These goals include:
- Fostering a delight in reading
- Aiding in the development of reading tastes
- Encouraging further exploration in subjects introduced in school
- Stimulating personal interests and hobbies No attempt will be made to purchase children’s textbooks for curriculum support, although a good-faith attempt will be made to assist those who homeschool with materials that can be used in home instruction, and to provide some basic materials for students seeking to complete their classroom assignments outside school hours.
- Young Adult Materials A Young Adult Collection has been developed for the purpose of meeting the recreational reading and informational needs of the middle school and high school age population. However, the young adult user of the Library has access to the entire collection. Limitations to be placed upon the reading materials of the young adult are left to the discretion of the parents.
- Audio/Visual Materials Due to the high cost of these materials, only a limited number of new items can be purchased each year. The Library will depend to a large degree on donations to expand the collections in these areas. Per requests in a patron survey taken November-December 2005, purchased items will be concentrated in DVD and CD format. In general, the Library will not attempt to compete with the local video store, but will limit its film purchases to especially noteworthy films, classics, and instructional or informational videos.
- Textbooks Textbooks will not generally be selected, unless a gap in the collection cannot be filled in any other way. Due to the financial limitations of the Library, patrons are encouraged to utilize the resources at the Maine State Library for these types of materials.
- Paperbacks For the most part, the Library depends on donations for mass market paperbacks, which are shelved on the paperback rack. These will be weeded on an ongoing basis, based on usage and condition. Because these books frequently change, most will not be cataloged; the exception will be those that are filling out a series we may have in hard cover, but for which a hard cover edition is not available. In general the Library tries to obtain hard cover editions of the books it purchases. When a hard cover version is not available, we may purchase the trade paperback version, which will be cataloged and shelved on the regular shelves. This most often happens with non-fiction titles.
- Periodicals Magazines selected will be of general interest, and their continued renewal will depend on degree of usage, as determined by circulation and/or staff observation of in-house use. Due to storage limitations magazines, with the exception of National Geographic and Downeast Magazine, will be kept for, at most, one year; newspapers for about six weeks. National Geographic and Downeast will each receive a shelf and a half’s worth of storage space.
- Software The library will limit its purchase of software to programs most likely to be widely used. Currently on the public access computers word-processing, spreadsheet, and desktop publishing programs are available.
- Controversial Materials As stated in the Library Bill of Rights: “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Material 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 of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” (See Appendix 1)
- Objections to Library Materials Any individual who desires may express his or her objections to particular library materials by completing a “Statement of Concern about Library Materials” form. After the form is completed, it will be brought to the attention of the Library Director who will evaluate the original reasons for the purchase of the material. The Library Director will then respond to the person making the objection. Any remaining objections will be addressed by the Board of Library Trustees.
- Selection Aids The following sources are representative of the many aids used for selection of materials:
- Reviews and articles in professional journals (e.g., Booklist, Library Journal, New York Times Review of Books, Voice of Youth Advocates),
- trade magazines (e.g., P.C. World),
- Amazon.com reviews,
- authoritative subject bibliographies,
- publisher catalogs,
- patron recommendations.
- Gifts Gifts of books, video and audio cassettes, DVDs, and CDs will be happily accepted with the understanding that they will be evaluated with the same criteria used for purchased materials. If they do not meet these standards they may be turned over to the Friends of Hubbard Free Library for inclusion in one of their books sales, or otherwise disposed of. The Library is glad to provide a Deed of Gift, stating the number and types of materials donated, but cannot supply a monetary valuation.
- Discarding and Replacement of Materials In order to maintain a vital, current collection which meets the needs of our communities, evaluation of materials is an ongoing process. An item is considered for discard when it is:
- Worn beyond use.
- Obsolete or outdated.
- No longer circulating and/or used for reference purposes.
- One of several copies of a formerly popular title. A work chosen for discard may be replaced by another copy of the same title, another work on the same subject, or may not be replaced at all, depending on a number of factors, including age of work (it may be out of print and unobtainable), popularity of title or topic, other titles available by same author or on same topic.
- Historical Material
- The library currently has many original historical documents in the form of books, newspapers, letters, photographs, etc. Some of these are cataloged; most are not, which can make locating particular items difficult. All are available for public perusal in the library. A separate Historical Collections Policy will address future selection, maintenance and use of the items in this very important collection. The Library welcomes suggestions for the purchase of materials. Suggestions will be subject to the same standards of selection as other considered materials.Due to the varied demands made upon the Library’s resources, duplicate copies of titles will rarely be purchased.
APPENDIX: Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. Books and other library resources 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.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.
Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.