To provide an explanation of the principles guiding collection decisions at Pillsbury Free Library and act as a guide for Library staff who make those decisions about the library’s collections, through purchases, determining which gifts to encourage, and which materials to bind, to replace or remove.
Principles and Philosophy
As a public library, our collection shall represent a wide range of viewpoints, opinions, and tastes to satisfy the needs and interests of our entire community. Minority views, both sides of controversial issues, current political issues, a wide variety of recreational and special interest materials, all have a legitimate place on the Library’s shelves. A variety of media shall also be represented in order to serve diverse needs.
The Pillsbury Free Library adheres to the ALA Library Bill of Rights, The ALA Freedom To Read Statement, and the ALA statement on Labels and Rating Systems.
Responsibility for Selection and Removal
The Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director the authority for selection and removal of library materials. The Director may further delegate purchasing for selected sections to other staff members; for example, the Children’s Librarian may be authorized to select Children’s Room titles. The ultimate responsibility for selection lies with the Board of Trustees.
Principles for Selection
- Acquire up-to-date materials that are responsive to the interests and needs of every segment of the community, and that do not discriminate against any political, religious, economic, or social view / group through deliberate exclusion of their views.
- Provide a diversity of materials and interests in our collections without exercising direct or implied censorship.
- Expending available funds in an equitable manner across all areas of the collection.
- Selecting the children’s and young adult’s collections to supplement and support school materials without necessarily duplicating them.
- Continually review collection strengths and weaknesses and improve weak areas with new materials.
Selection and Removal Criteria
- Individual merit of each item
- Permanent or local value
- Diversity of viewpoint
- Popular appeal & demand
- Current relevance
- Relationship to existing holdings and availability of better alternatives
- Acquisition Information Sources
- Reviews in professional journals and popular media
- Recommendations from staff and borrowers.
- Lists of quality titles in respected sources including award lists.
- Established reputation or popularity of an item.
- Local reading lists such as School District summer reading lists or author programs
- State reading lists such as Ladybug, Great Stone Face, Isinglass, or Flume lists.
Collection Gifts and Donations
The Library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or age, the Director may dispose of them as he/she sees fit.
- The Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations. Selection criteria for purchased materials shall apply to gifts. See Gifts and Loans Policy for further information.
- Memorial gifts of materials fitting the selection criteria may be accepted by the Library, and provided with special bookplates. It is preferred that gifts of specific titles be offered after consultation with the Director.
Removal of Materials (“Weeding”)
An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. As new materials are added, space must be made available for them, usually requiring removal of other items.
- Standard Professional guidelines such as the CREW method and MUSTIE criteria shall usually be the basis for removal decisions. Special collections may have different criteria.
- Replacement of worn materials shall be dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions and availability of new editions.
- Low circulation items determined not to have retention value shall be removed from the collection where more space is needed to house the collection.
- Low circulation items determined to have retention value may be removed to less accessible storage when more space is needed to house the collection.
- Materials of value for preservation as a historical record shall be transferred to a suitable archive and/or may be converted into an alternative archival format. The Pillsbury Free Library’s institutional records and important memorabilia shall be preserved indefinitely.
- Materials of value to another library but not to this library’s collection shall be offered to suitable institutions where possible. See also the policy for de-accessioning equipment.
- For electronic, off-site resource materials requiring an annual renewal, continuation of access shall be determined based on criteria similar to other materials, and budget considerations.
The Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection or removal of materials shall not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principals stated in this policy. No library material shall be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft. In the event of a complaint or challenge to a library resource, a Request for Reconsideration form may be submitted and the approved procedure for handling such requests will be followed. The resource will remain available until any final decision has been made.
In addition to the collections usual to most public libraries (general fiction and non-fiction, children’s titles, magazines, audio and video), the Pillsbury Free Library is currently committed to maintaining the following special collections which are accessible to the public on request but stay in the building except by special permission.
- Warner Collection: print, electronic, audio and video materials by and about people who reside in Warner or have a strong connection to Warner. These are organized by the name of the person who has the Warner connection. Duplicates are offered to the Warner Historical Society or the NH State Library. Occasional memorabilia objects are also saved where relevant, but may be housed in the historical archive.
- Local newspaper collection: Publications produced in Warner and articles covering Warner news. Articles from non-Warner publications are clipped and saved in acid-free storage by date. Microfilm and digital (.pdf) versions are created or accepted when funding is available.
- Town Records: the Pillsbury Free Library houses copies of various archival microfilm and digital files of local records such as Town meeting records, vital statistics, and other Town or Organization record books. The library maintains equipment to access these. A print collection of town reports and school reports is also maintained.
- Paul Knudson Music Collection: copies of sheet music composed by South Sutton resident Paul Knudson (1931-2012) and a set of recordings of music composed and/or played by him. There is one other official repository, at the Bagaduce Music Lending Library at Blue Hill, Maine. This music has permission from the composer for public use.
- History Archives: a collection of unique and/or fragile and/or important materials mostly directly related to Warner. Formats include photos, print materials and some audio materials, and some objects such as buttons, T-shirts, or Stamps. These are kept in fireproof safes, acid free storage, and other secure files.
- Library Archives: a permanent and ongoing archive of materials and records of the Pillsbury Free Library, including official records, photos, posters, print and non-print memorabilia. Kept in fireproof safes, acid free storage, and other secure files.
- Art by Warner Artists: a selection of local art in various media, most items were donated to the Library by the artists or their families.
Networking (Resource Sharing)
No library can house or purchase access to every material of interest or relevance to its community of users. Access to an expanded collection can be achieved through networking and cooperation, and the library will participate and reciprocate in such opportunities when available and appropriate.
- Interlibrary Loan: the Pillsbury Free Library is committed to both borrowing and lending within the greater library community. See the Pillsbury Free Library Interlibrary Loan Policy for details.
- Consortiums or group purchases: access to electronic resources such as genealogy or magazine databases, language learning systems, or downloadable books, is sometimes more affordable when purchased as part of a group. The Pillsbury Free library shall participate in such cooperative venues when appropriate.
Cooperation with schools: The library shall make an effort to, when appropriate, borrow or purchase titles that are on required school reading lists, or that provide useful enhancements to typical curriculum assignments. The library shall also seek cooperative arrangements for purchasing or borrowing amongst the school and public libraries of the Towns within the Kearsarge Regional School district.
Policy adopted June 19, 2018
Procedures for responding to requests for reconsideration
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