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3.3 Collection Development Policy


Adopted Date: June 2014
Reviewed Date: March 2019
Review Date: March 2023

Purpose of the Policy

To provide a statement of philosophy and criteria for developing collections of materials which reflect the mission statement and eventual strategic plan of the West Lincoln Public Library.

Specific purposes of this policy:

  • To state publicly the principles of selection upon which material is chosen.To define responsibility for selection.
  • To establish procedures to deal with recommendations for purchase, and to receive objections lodged against particular materials by community residents.
  • To provide direction for staff in collection development and collection maintenance.

3.3.1 Responsibilities

The West Lincoln Public Library Board assumes ultimate responsibility for the collection, and for the implementation of the Collection Development Policy.

The Library Board delegates this responsibility to the Chief Executive Officer who in turn delegates it to qualified staff. Qualified library staff members are responsible for following the guidelines established to carry out collection development tasks.

The Library Board holds that the responsibility for the use of materials by children and/or young adults rests with the parents or legal guardians, not the staff of the West Lincoln Public Library. The Library’s selection and classification of materials does not eliminate the possibility that children and/or young adults may obtain items that their parents or legal guardians may consider inappropriate.

3.3.2 Scope of Selection

The primary responsibility of the West Lincoln Public Library is to provide a broad choice of materials to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of the people of West Lincoln. Our goal is to establish a balanced collection which adequately represents various points of view on a subject.

3.3.3 Controversial Issues

The West Lincoln Public Library Board recognizes that some materials in the collection may offend some individuals or groups because of language, moral implication or religious or political points of view expressed. Selection will be made solely on the evaluation by staff of the item's merit, authenticity, honesty of presentation and use to the community.

The West Lincoln Public Library Board does not advocate particular beliefs or points of view and the presence of an item in the collection does not indicate endorsement of its content.

The West Lincoln Public Library Board complies with any law enacted at the federal, provincial or municipal level, and therefore does not collect or maintain material which has been judged obscene or pornographic, or has been banned by the courts. The relevant sections of the Criminal Code of Canada are: sedition, hate propaganda and obscenity.

3.3.4 Collection as Part of a System in Ontario

The West Lincoln Public Library Board recognizes that given budget and space limitations, the information needs of the community cannot be met through the resources of the Library alone. To supplement the library's permanent collection, information may be found through Interlibrary Loan, shared pools, partnerships and/or consortia.

3.3.5 General Principles of Selection

The West Lincoln Public Library Board endorses the Principles of Intellectual Freedom adopted by the Canadian Library Association dated June 27, 1974, amended November 17, 1983 and November 18, 1985

Recognizing the responsibility of a Canadian public library to make works on Canada and works by Canadian writers widely available, the West Lincoln Public Library Board shall attempt to acquire Canadian materials in all categories following the established selection guidelines.

The West Lincoln Public Library is responsive to our community by selecting non-print formats such as DVDs, audio books, ebooks and electronic data bases. Materials in these formats are judged by the same criteria as the print materials.

Since the primary language of the West Lincoln community is English, the Library shall collect materials predominately in English. The library shall endeavor to meet the needs of patrons who require material in other languages by participating in the Interlibrary Loan network, and through multilingual resource sharing collections, if available.

Providing access to the historical past of West Lincoln and the surrounding area is an important function of the Library. Works by and about local authors, and materials relating to the history of West Lincoln and area shall be acquired if they meet the selection standards of the Library and prove suitable to the community's needs.

The Library's collection provides materials for self-study, but is not primarily designed to supply material for academic study or exhaustive research. Textbooks and other materials needed for formal courses of study by elementary and secondary schools and post- secondary institutions of learning will not necessarily be provided.

If there is considerable topical interest in the subject matter, and a manifest public desire to read and judge material first-hand, a title may be included which is subject to interpretation.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents.

The library acquires materials not only for its present users, but also for those who have not traditionally been library users.

3.3.6 Criteria for Materials Selection

The purchase of materials for the Library's collections is based on numerous criteria. An item need not meet all criteria to be acceptable. This criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Relation to existing collection and other material on the subject
  • Interests and needs of the community
  • Popular demand
  • Current trends
  • Attention of reviewers, critics and publishers
  • Quality of content
  • Reputation and authority of author
  • Availability of funds and space
  • Clarity, accuracy and logic of presentation
  • Timeliness or permanence of the work
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Balance of viewpoints in collection
  • Canadian content or connection
  • Local content or connection
  • Accessibility of material in other libraries

3.3.7 Composition of the Collection

Adult Collection: The Library's goal is to provide a well-rounded collection of reference and circulating materials that will satisfy the most general and frequent needs of our residents.

Young Adult Collection: Collections of print and non-print materials are provided for young people ranging in age from 13 to 17 years, to ease the transition from children's to adult literature. Based upon the same criteria for adult selection, this collection is designed to appeal to the changing reading levels, interests and informational needs of young people.

Children's Collection: Print and non-print fiction and non-fiction materials are provided for children up to the age of 12 years. These collections are provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of the children in the community. They are selected to reflect the varying ages, abilities and interests of the children.

3.3.8 Sources of Materials

In choosing sources of material for the collection, preference will be given to suppliers who:

  • are Canadian;
  • provide cataloguing and processing services;
  • offer the best discounts; and,
  • provide the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective service.

3.3.9 Donations

The West Lincoln Public Library accepts donations of books and other materials (published within the last 2-3 years). Donations are added according to the same criteria employed for the selection of purchased materials. No condition may be imposed by the donor relating to any item's acceptance. Once received, materials are the exclusive property of the Library, and the Library may make whatever disposition of the materials that they deem appropriate. Materials not added to the collection may be offered to other libraries, sold, or discarded.

3.3.10 Recommendations for Purchase

Suggestions from the public for the purchase of books and other materials not in the Library's collection are referred to appropriate staff and are considered under the terms of the Library's selection criteria.

3.3.11 Reconsideration of Materials

The Library recognizes the right of an individual or group to make a complaint about the inclusion of material in the Library's collection. Requests for reconsideration may be submitted to the Library's CEO, in writing, for review and appropriate action.

Upon receiving the written complaint, the Library's CEO shall review it inlight of the Library's selection criteria.

If the inclusion of the item in the Library's collection is found by the CEO to be legitimate and justifiable based on the guidelines set out by the Collection Development Policy, the policy shall be explained in writing to the complainant and no further action need be taken.

If the inclusion of the item in the Library's collection is found by the CEO to be questionable based on the guidelines set out by the Collection Development Policy, the item will be withdrawn from the collection.

3.3.12 Collection Maintenance

The systematic withdrawal of materials is necessary to maintain an attractive, up-to-date and relevant collection. Weeding is an on-going process of continuous evaluation of the Library's material and is intended to remove from the collection items that are no longer of interest or use to the West Lincoln community.

The decision to withdraw library materials shall be based on a number of criteria including, but not limited to physical condition, use of material as determined by the last date of loan or by the number of loans in a designated time period and the age of the materials.Weeding is conducted by qualified staff under the supervision of the CEO. The withdrawal of material by staff has the added benefits of broadening staff awareness of the collection's scope and of alerting staff to gaps and materials requiring replacement or updating.

The physical condition and content of weeded materials determines whether they are stored for the Library's book sale in order to produce extra income for the Library, donated to another library or non-profit group or sent for recycling.

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