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Policy Manual - I. Materials Selection and Collection Development Policy

    1. Materials Selection and Collection Development Policy

      1. The objective of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library is to provide a full range of basic library services. The library will serve as an unbiased source of information and protect the individual’s right to full access to that information. Guided by a sense of responsibility to the past, present, and future in adding materials, the library seeks to constantly enrich the collection and maintain an overall balance. The library acts to fulfill its mission by selecting, acquiring, organizing, preserving, maintaining, and providing access to a collection of materials and electronic resources that address the interests and needs of the members of a diverse community. The collection may also reflect the special interests and history of North Idaho. The library seeks to cooperate with other libraries in the county and region to avoid unnecessary duplication of services and materials and to collaborate when possible to maximize availability of various resources.
      2. Purpose
        1. To provide the framework within which collections are planned, resources are allocated, individual selections are made, and collections are maintained over time.
        2. To inform the public of the principles governing collection development at Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
        3. To set forth the library's commitment to the principles of free access to ideas and information, and to providing collections that reflect a variety of viewpoints.
      3. General Principles
        1. Founded on the principles of intellectual freedom and equal access for all, the library makes available a wide diversity of ideas and information to support an informed citizenry and a democratic society. The library upholds the freedom of library users to read, view, and listen.
        2. Within budget constraints, the library strives to provide a collection in formats suitable to a variety of learning and recreational interests and skills. Using selection practices that are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the community, the library builds and maintains collections for the general public while recognizing the needs of special population groups.
        3. Materials are not marked, labeled, or sequestered to show approval, disapproval, or judgment as to suitability of content for particular audiences. Inclusion of an item does not constitute endorsement of its content by the Library Board. Selection of materials for adults is not constrained by possible exposure to children or young adults. It is only the parents and legal guardians who may restrict their children’s – and only their children’s - access to library materials, resources, and services.
      4. Access to materials and information
        1. Committed to fulfilling patron requests for materials, the library will make efforts to provide access to materials and information beyond the holdings of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. Many materials from partner libraries within the Cooperative Information Network and Washington Idaho Network systems are available through patron reserves. Interlibrary loans (see page 11), online searching, internet access, and photocopying will be used when needed.
        2. Providing access to electronic databases and resources is an integral part of the library’s collection development efforts and these services are provided online outside of regular open hours.
      5. Responsibility
        1. Ultimate responsibility for the purpose, direction, and scope of collection development rests with the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Board. Operating within the framework of policies set by the Board, the library director is responsible for the administration of library policy and delegates material selection to the librarians who maintain collections in their particular areas of service.
        2. Selection and purchasing decisions will be guided by qualified reviews and based on the literary value and social importance of the material, the needs of the community, anticipated demand, availability of other materials on the subject, and funds available. Library materials should not be excluded because of the race, nationality, political or social views of the author.
        3. Sources for selection decisions include, among others, patron requests or recommendations; publisher or vendor catalogs; bestseller lists; advertisements; published reviews.
      6. Selection criteria
        1. Suitability of format or physical form for library use
        2. Cost relative to the value the item contributes to the collection
        3. Relevance to observed and anticipated community needs and desires
        4. Reputation and qualifications of the author, creator, or publisher of the work
        5. Distinguishing awards or merits
        6. Local significance of the author or creator of the work
        7. Consideration of the work as a whole
        8. Evaluation of content accuracy
        9. Representation of diverse viewpoints
        10. Long-term or historical significance
        11. Availability of material in nearby library collections
        12. The library does not attempt to acquire textbooks except as such materials also serve the general public
        13. Duplicate copies may be purchased to fill demand as finances allow.
        14. Electronic format criteria
          1. Ease of use of the product
          2. Remote access
          3. Accessibility to multiple users
          4. Continued access to retrospective information

G. Censorship
1. The function of material selection is to obtain the best print and non-print resources suited to the needs of the community within the funds available. It is not to be confused with censorship, and selectors must be constantly alert not to allow their own preferences or prejudices, pressure by individuals or groups, or fear of such pressure to influence selection. Following the democratic principles under which it operates, the library is obligated to make all sides of a controversial question available as far as possible.
2. The decisions to purchase materials should be guided by qualified reviews, and based on the topical interest, literary value, and social importance of the material as well as the needs of the community, availability of other materials on the subjects, and available funds.
3. Materials which come within the Supreme Court’s definition of obscenity (see below) should be excluded, but no item should be eliminated because of coarse language, violence, or frank discussion of sexual episodes, when such are pertinent to the plot or character delineation.
i. Supreme Court – definition of obscenity: The average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law; and the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. From The Evolving Constitution: How the Supreme Court Has Ruled on Issues from Abortion to Zoning (Random House, 1992).
4. Indicating a material’s point of view or bias by labeling it or shelving it in a special area, is considered an unwarranted assumption on the part of the library. Cataloging and classification should in no way reflect a value judgment of the material.
5. The presence of material in the library does not indicate an endorsement of its contents by the library board, staff, and/or funding agency.
H. Collection Management
1. In order to maintain an up-to-date collection, staff will continually re-evaluate worn and obsolete materials. Systematic evaluation and weeding of the collection is required in order to keep the collection responsive to patron needs, to insure its vitality and usefulness to the community, and to make room for newer materials. Weeding (removing materials from the collection) is the responsibility of the professional employees of the Library. Weeding both the purchased and donated material collection will be done continually in order to keep the materials collection relevant to the needs of the community.
2. Evaluation criteria
i. Age and condition of items
ii. Comparison of the collection with accepted core collection lists
iii. Frequency of requests
iv. Circulation and in-house use
v. Long-term or historical significance
vi. Relevance to observed and anticipated community needs
3. Disposition Procedure – Material withdrawn during the weeding process will be given to the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library for sale to benefit the Library or will be otherwise disposed.

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