Library Policy: Selection
Shell Lake Public Library Selection Policy
I. Library Objectives
The Public Library of Shell Lake provides free service to all patrons residing in Washburn
County. A knowledge of the County and its resident’s interests are vital to the responsible selection of library materials.
Within the limitations of its available space and approved budget, the library will provide
materials that will aid persons of all ages in their pursuit of education, information and recreation.
The Library believes in the following basic policies as stated in the Library Bill Of Rights:
The Council of the American Library Association reaffirms its belief in the following basic policies which should govern the services of all libraries.
1. As a responsibility of library service, books and other library materials selected should be
chosen for values of interest, information and enlightenment of all the people of the community. In no case should library materials be excluded because of the race or nationality or the social, political, or religious views of the authors.
2. Libraries should provide books and other materials presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times: no library materials should be proscribed or removed from libraries because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
3. Censorship should be challenged by libraries in the maintenance of their responsibility to
provide public information and enlightenment.
4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
5. The rights of an individual to the use of a library should not be denied or abridged because of age, race, religion, national origins or social or political views.
6. As an institution of education for democratic living, the library should welcome the use of its meeting rooms for socially useful and cultural activities and discussion of current public questions. Such meeting places should be available on equal terms to all groups in the community regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of their members, provided that the meetings be open to the public.
II. Criteria for Selection
The following shall be considered as criteria for the selection of library materials. However, an item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable:
1. Accuracy of material
2. Authority of author
3. Current usefulness or permanent value
4. Relationship to the existing collection
7. Scarcity of material on subject matter
8. Availability of material elsewhere in the County
9. Popular appeal and demand
10. Reputation and professional standing of publisher
11. Critical reviews
The following are some of the selection tools used for reviewing library materials:
A. Public Library Catalog
B. Fiction Catalog
C. Children's Catalog
D. Booklist Magazine
E. Reference Books for Small and Medium-sized Libraries
F. Various periodicals that review materials.
G. “High Demand Holds” in Sierra
I. NY Times Best Seller List
J. Patron Recommendations
K. Baker & Taylor – Automatically Yours
III. Responsibility for Selection
The responsibility for selecting library materials rests with the Head Librarian (although actual selection is a collaborative effort), operating within the framework of policies and objectives determined by the Library Board.
Responsibility for the reading of minors rests with either their parents or legal guardians.
IV. Maintenance of Collection
1. Duplication- The library will avoid, for the most part, duplication of titles. If demand is heavy, a duplicate copy will be purchased if necessary. The extent of duplications determined by need, budget, and proximity of other collections.
In the case where multiple copies of a title are needed, the request will be sent through the inter-loan system.
2. Replacement- The library will not automatically replace all books withdrawn because of loss, damage, or wear. The need for replacement will depend upon demand for a specific title and the extent of adequate coverage in the particular subject area.
3. Weeding- The library will attempt to maintain an active, continuous process of discarding materials that are outdated (2 or more years since item has been checked-out), worn or damaged, or no longer in demand. Local history materials, Non-Fiction and Classics, are an exception to this rule.
4. Mending and rebinding- Keeping library materials in good, useable condition is essential. A decision is made on each worn book - whether to mend it, rebind it, replace it, or withdraw it. The following criteria are used in making such decisions.
A. Condition of the book
B. Validity of the book's contents
D. Cost of the various above choices
E. Historical value
Any rare book or irreplaceable item (such as local history materials), are used only in the library to ensure against their loss and/or mutilation.
5. Gifts- Gifts of money or materials must meet the same standards of selection as other library materials. The library retains unconditional ownership of any gift and also makes the final decision on its use.
6. Inventory- An inventory of library materials will be attempted every 2 years to ensure an accurate count of resources and to check on the maintenance of the collection.
V. Inter-library Loan
Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan (Northern Waters Library Service or WISCAT) is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library's collection.
VI. Complaint Procedure
Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. To handle complaints, the following procedure is established:
1. Objector fills out a "Statement of Concern" form. This form is available at the library and must be signed by the objector.
2. The librarian will then review the material and decide if it should be retained in the collection or removed. An explanation of either decision shall be made in writing to the objector.
3. If the objector is not satisfied and wishes to pursue the matter further, the complaint will then go to the Library Board, who will make the final decision and settle the issue.
VII. Revision of Policy
The preceding statements of this library's policies shall be subject to periodic review.