The following statement is the general policy adopted by the Clermont County Public Library Board of Trustees by which the Library is guided in developing a collection of books and related library materials such as periodicals, films, music, digital materials, etc. This policy applies to gifts donated to the Library as well as to materials purchased.
Responsibility for Collection
The Library Board of Trustees has designated the Director as responsible for the development of the Library’s collection within the framework of this policy. Authority for collection development in various subject areas may be delegated by the Director to trained staff members who meet and consult with the Director.
- Within the limitations of available financial resources and physical space, the Library is committed to providing a collection which spans most areas of knowledge and to giving free and equal access to this material to the total community. The collection can be categorized as a popular materials collection. As such, it is characterized by breadth, since it represents most areas of knowledge, while providing depth in those areas where particular emphasis is necessary to serve the needs of the community.
- The Director and the professional staff of the Library, in making collection decisions, should do so in a manner based upon principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship. It should be clearly understood and emphasized that the Library does not endorse any opinions expressed in the materials which are stocked.
- It should also be recognized that some materials chosen may be offensive to some library users, but may be meaningful and significant to others. Works being considered should be viewed as a whole, not in isolated parts.
- The Library provides a balanced collection of materials and information that presents various points of view on current and historical issues. The Library selects and supports the access to materials on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the community served by the Library. This includes materials that reflect political, religious, social and cultural issues, allowing all sides of an issue to be explored.
- In selecting materials for the collection, the Library takes into account the materials and collections of other educational institutions in the community, such as colleges and universities, school libraries, film collections, and special libraries. In some instances, the resources of these institutions may be available to the community and sufficient for the community’s needs. Collection development responsibilities include selecting materials in the languages in common use in the community the library serves.
- The Library must serve not only today’s community, but tomorrow’s as well. Resources of apparent limited use now must be considered for purchase in light of their present availability and the needs of the rapidly developing community.
Classification of Materials
- Although classification is divided into sections such as Juvenile, Reference, Fiction, Non-fiction, etc., customers of any age may use all parts of the library. The classification scheme, reviews by professionals, and the librarians’ expertise contribute to proper placement of materials.
- Responsibility for the use of library materials by minors rests with their parents or guardians. The collection of library materials will not be restricted by the possibility that these materials may come into the possession of minors. The Library should not be expected to act in loco parentis.
- The library accepts gifts of materials for the collection using the same criteria that are applied to purchased materials. Decisions regarding the final disposition of gifts are the responsibility of staff at individual branches or the Collection Development department.
Collection Maintenance and Discarding of Materials
- Once materials have been added to the Library’s collection, they are managed through an assessment and evaluation process to ensure the ongoing collection priorities are met; that the collection remains up to date, balanced, and attractive; and that space limitations are minimized. Library staff utilizes professional judgment and expertise in deciding which materials to retain, replace, or discard. Discarding materials from the library collection is an integral part of collection development. The evaluation of materials already owned is as important as the selection of new materials.
Reconsideration of Library Materials
- The Library welcomes expressions of opinion from customers concerning materials selected or not selected for the collection. If a customer questions the content, tone, or placement of an item in the collection, he/she should first address their concern with a Library staff member. Customers who wish to continue their request for reconsideration of library material may submit the Request for Review form.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, December 10, 2007