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Selection and Collection Development Policy

This policy covers how the library collection is selected and developed.

Selection/Collection Development Policy

Approved: 02/2012

Updated: 01/26/2015

A. Objectives

The purpose of the Wilson Memorial Library is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid our patrons in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure and the creative use of leisure time, as well as:


1)  To meet the informal, cultural and recreational needs of all ages through a variety of media

            2)  To facilitate informal self-education for all people in the area

3)  To enrich and further develop the library as a recreational, cultural and educational resource for the community

4)  To encourage the constructive use of leisure time by providing a wide variety of materials and services for reading, viewing and listening

5)  To provide a library staff that is knowledgeable, courteous, friendly, helpful, and sensitive to the needs of library users

6)  To provide the materials and services free of charge


Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet the community interests and needs.


The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials.


The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Wilson Memorial Library Board of Trustees and are an integral part of the policy.


The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.


B.  Responsibility for Selection:


The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Wilson Memorial Library Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff, however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.


C.  Selection guidelines:



            1)  Fiction books:


            In selecting fiction, the library makes an attempt to satisfy a public varying greatly in education, social background, and taste. An attempt is made to provide a permanent collection of standard fiction by recognized authors. In addition, a wide-ranging selection of contemporary fiction is purchased, including all genres. The basic collection of classical novels of the past will be maintained.


2)  Non-Fiction:


In the selection of non-fiction materials, the library will consider the needs and interests of the community. The usual criteria of authority, scope, accuracy, and quality will be applied to all acquisitions.


3)  Periodicals:


Periodicals are purchased or accepted as gifts to keep the collection current and to meet a variety of interests. News magazines are kept for a period of 2 years, while all others are kept for one year.


4)  Newspapers:


The library purchases The Keota Eagle, The Sigourney News-Review and The Washington Evening Journal. Out of town papers are kept for 30 days. The Keota Eagle is kept and made available on microfilm from 1876 to the present, and digitized from 1876 through 1935. It is the desire of the Wilson Memorial Library Board of Trustees to complete all available editions of The Keota Eagle to a digital form as funds allow.


5)  Non-Print Materials:


Non-print are a supplement of the library collection of books. The same general criteria apply in the selection of these materials.


6) Children’s and Young Adult Books:


The library’s objective in providing reading materials for children is to guide the child toward the enjoyment and appreciation of good books. In selecting materials for children, the library tries to anticipate and meet the diverse skills and interests of readers at all ages from beginning reader to the child ready for adult materials.


7)  Textbooks:


Textbooks will not be purchased unless they are the only sources for information presented. The library will supply supplementary resources for education purposes, as well as supplemental tests which will be made available.


D.  Repair and/or Replacement:


It is important to keep library materials in good, attractive physical condition. Books that are physically worn eventually will be withdrawn, replaced or mended. Worn books whose contents have been superseded are to be withdrawn, except in cases where the contents are considered valuable as a record of earlier times. Worn books that are kept in the collection are to be replaced if costs allow.


E.  Theft and Mutilation:


Access to certain materials may be restricted if it becomes apparent that they are particularly susceptible to theft or mutilation. The library will make a reasonable attempt, within budgetary limits, to replace lost, mutilated or stolen materials that are necessary for maintaining a well-balanced collection. The library will recover the cost of lost, stolen or damaged articles from persons responsible if at all possible. Lost, stolen or damaged materials that are of marginal importance to the collection may not be replaced.


F.  Weeding:


1)  A continuous weeding program represents a conscientious effort to keep the collections well balanced and suited to the present needs and interests of the community.

2)  Weeding should be thorough and consistent.

3)  Materials are to be withdrawn from the collection when they are no longer useful or valid.

4)  Duplicate copies of items no longer in high demand may be withdrawn.


G.  Interlibrary loan:


1)  Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library’s collection.

2)  In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Wilson Memorial Library agrees to lend it’s materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network, and to make an effort to have its current holdings listed in a tool that is accessible by other libraries throughout the state.


H.  Gifts and Donations:


1) 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.

2) If they are not needed because of duplication, condition or dated information the director can dispose of them as he/she sees fit. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts.

3) Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book.

4) Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Board of Trustees. It is desirable for gifts or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library director.

5) Book selection will be made by the director if no specific book is requested.

6) The Wilson Memorial Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations.

7) By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.


I.  Potential Problems or Challenges


1)  The Wilson Memorial Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.

2)  Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents/guardian. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

3)  Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.


J.  Challenged Materials

1)  Although materials are carefully selected, differences can arise of opinion regarding suitable materials.

2)  Patrons requesting that materials be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form which is available in the library.

3)  The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Wilson Memorial Library Board of Trustees.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.