Collection Development Policy

Materials Selection

Criteria for Selection 

The criterion for selection of materials for the Library’s collection is to make available books and other materials that will meet the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational interests and needs of the people of the Walnut Community.

  1. The responsibility for the policy governing the inclusion of materials in the library collection rests with the Board of Trustees. 
  2. The task of selection has been delegated to the Library Executive Director as well as staff who have been trained and educated in collection development. They choose materials which fit within the Collection Development Plan guidelines and the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement and the Library Bill of Rights (appended). 
  3. Staff members, under the direction of the Library Executive Director, use a variety of resources to select materials for the collection such as professional journals and requests from patrons. 

Gift of Books and Library Materials 

Gifts of print or non-print materials are accepted by the Walnut Public Library with the understanding that if the materials cannot be used in the Library collections, they will be made available to other libraries or institutions or disposed of in the best interests of the Walnut Public Library. 

  1. If the title is already in the collection, it will be added only if it is in good condition, if a duplicate is needed, or if copies need replacement and the title has not been superseded. 
  2. If the title is not in the collection, it will be evaluated on the following points: (1) currency and reliability of information; (2) adequacy of the Library collection in the subject field or the author’s work; (3) historical value; (4) local interest. 
  3. Generally, collections of books cannot be accepted with restrictions which necessitate special housing or which prevent integration of the gift into the general Library collections. 
  4. The Library’s materials selectors are the sole authority of placement in the collections. 

The Walnut Public Library will not assign a value to any gift material. However, the Library staff receiving the materials will always offer patrons a receipt. 

Withdrawal, Replacement and Duplication 

  1. The Walnut Public Library cannot, because of space limits, become a library of historical record except in the area of local history. To ensure a vital collection of continued value to the community, materials which have outlived their usefulness are withdrawn. 
  2. The continuous review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. In the process, materials may be added; and physically deteriorated, obsolete. Or unpopular materials may be replaced or removed. Continued evaluation is closely related to the goals and responsibilities of the Library and is a valuable tool of collection development. 

Contested Library Materials 

While the selection of materials appropriate to the needs of the  community is one of the basic duties of the professional library staff and of the Library Executive Director, it is recognized that a member of the community may find an item personally objectionable. Members of the community are encouraged to bring their concerns regarding any specific title or item in the Library’s collection to the attention of the Library Staff in either an informal discussion or through a formal complaint process. 

Community members wishing to use the formal complaint process will be referred to the form appended to this policy, entitled “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material.” 

Following the receipt of a formal complaint, the Library Executive Director will appoint an ad hoc committee of staff members to review the material in question. 

  1. The Library Executive Director will include in the monthly report to the Board of Trustees information on any formal complaints and a recommendation for resolution. 
  2. Following a decision by the Board of Trustees, the Library Executive Director shall promptly notify the community member who filed the formal complaint of that decision. 

Freedom to Read Statement 

  1. It is contrary to the public interest for the Board of Trustees or Library Executive Director to determine the acceptability of a book solely on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author. 
  2. It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees and the Library Executive Director, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large. 
  3. It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees and the Library Executive Director to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality of thought and expression. By the exercise of affirmative responsibility they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad idea is a good one. 

Library Bill of Rights 

  1. The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
  2. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. 
  3. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. 
  4. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. 
  5. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas. 
  6. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views. 
  7. Libraries, which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve, should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Non-Removal of Challenged Library Materials: an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights 

WHEREAS, the Library Bill of Rights states that no library materials should be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval, and 

WHEREAS, Constitutionally-protected expression is often separated from unprotected expression only by a dim and uncertain line, and 

WHEREAS, any attempt, be it legal or extralegal, to regulate or suppress material must be closely scrutinized to the end that protected expression is not abridged in the process, and 

WHEREAS, The Constitution of the United States requires a procedure designed to focus searchingly on the question before speech can be suppressed, and 

WHEREAS, the dissemination of a particular work, which is alleged to be unprotected should be completely undisturbed until an independent determination has been made by a judicial officer, including an adversarial hearing, 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Board of Library Trustees of the Village of Walnut declares as a matter of firm principle that no challenged library material should be removed from any library under any legal or extralegal pressure, save after an independent determination by a judicial officer in a court of competent jurisdiction and only after an adversary hearing, in accordance with well-established principles of law. 

Citizen’s Request For Reconsideration Of Library Material 

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