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Collection Development Policy and Requests for Reconsideration of Library Materials

Collection Development Policy

Mission and Goals

The mission of Barton County Library is to make its resources available and useful to the people of Barton County. The Library will provide the community with quality staff, resources, programs and service. The Library recognizes these four main fields of responsibility are:
1. To select and organize a collection of significant books and other resources to meet the expressed and anticipated informational needs of its patrons
2. To provide an adequate distribution of these resources
3. To give competent guidance and assistance in the use of these materials
4. To provide a vital link with all other libraries in the area, state and nation

Criteria for Book Selection

1. The Library will collect non-fiction primarily in subject areas of general
interest to library patrons, including opposing viewpoints. Less emphasis will be placed upon, but will not exclude, other areas of non-fiction.
2. Attempts will be made to purchase best-selling fiction materials during the extent of
their popularity.
3. Older titles may be purchased to fill gaps in series or to fill gaps in the collection as
budgetary funds are available.
4. Patrons will be encouraged to utilize inter-library loan to access needed materials
when this library does not have a particular title.
5. The number of copies of any title shall be dependent upon patron demand.
6. It is not the responsibility of the Library to provide curriculum-supportive materials for students, including home schooled students.
7. The Library will not purchase textbooks but may purchase study guides.
8. Materials that will not be acquired or added to the collection include literature in languages not justified by community needs, religious materials designed for proselytizing or purely propagandistic literature.
9. Addition of an item to the Library’s collection in no way represents the Library’s endorsement of any theory, idea or policy contained in the material.
10. Librarians will strive to find a review of items before considering them for purchase. Materials that receive poor review or no reviews may be purchased if there is local demand. No one publication or source is relied upon exclusively.
11. The director may delegate responsibility for selection to other staff members. The final authority for the determination of policy to guide the selection and acquisition of library materials rests with the Barton County Library Board of Trustees.
12. The Library will provide a wide selection of print, non-print, and electronic resources in order to serve a broad spectrum of users. Innovative formats will be acquired and made accessible as they are judged relevant to the collection and the community and as funds allow.

Requests for Reconsideration

Barton County Library serves people from many walks of life, with a variety of viewpoints and tastes. Materials are purchased to meet these diverse needs, believing that the right to read and the right of free access to library collections for people is essential to the individual’s freedom of thought. It is the obligation of the public library to reflect within its collection differing points of view and a variety of types of writing. The Library does not endorse particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply endorsements of the viewpoint of the author.
Consequently, it is inevitable that some patrons will find certain materials in the Library’s collection objectionable. But, the Library belongs to the entire county and has a responsibility to serve it in all its diversity. That responsibility includes providing materials that may be offensive to certain patrons.
The Library will attempt to present various points of view for controversial issues, but in no circumstance should it take a public stand. The Library’s function is not to dictate, but rather to educate and provide materials from which patrons can make intelligent choices and decisions.
As a responsibility of our library service, books and other materials are chosen to cover a wide variety of subjects for the information, education, and enjoyment of the people of our community. No materials are to be excluded due to the race, nationality, political or religious views of the writer. No reading matter shall be removed from the library shelves because of doctrinal or social content.
Patrons or staff members who wish to request the reconsideration of library materials must complete and sign a Request for Reconsideration Form which is available at the circulation desk. The form must be completely filled out, thus assuring the patron that his/her concern will be addressed by the appropriate library staff. Anonymous communications will not be honored. Action will only occur after the signed Request for Reconsideration Form is returned to the Library.
Once a completed Request for Reconsideration Form is returned to the Library, the board is notified and a formal process begins. During this process, the materials in question will remain in the Library’s collection. The director, in conjunction with members of the board, will review the materials in question and make a decision. The board will forward a written response to the complainant.