McIntosh Memorial Library
Collection Development Policy
The McIntosh Memorial Library is committed to serving the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of all its patrons. The Library has a responsibility to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.
Because of the volume of material available as well as the limitations of budget and space, the Library must have a collection development policy with which to meet community needs and interests.
The guidelines established by the American library Association in its Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement are integral to the following policy, which has been adopted by the McIntosh Memorial Library Board of Trustees.
Responsibility for Selection
The ultimate responsibility for the selection of Library materials rests with the Library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the McIntosh Memorial Library Board of Trustees. While this responsibility may be shared with other members of the Library staff, the director has the authority to reject or select any item.
Criteria for Selection
The main points considered in the selection of materials are:
- Individual merit
- Popular appeal/patron demand
- Local interest
- Suitability of material for patron base
- Existing Library holdings
- Cost and budgetary constraints
Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary sources of reviews for the McIntosh Memorial Library include (but are not limited to) Booklist, Library Journal, and the New York Times Book Review.
The McIntosh Memorial Library recognizes that full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential for patrons to exercise their rights as citizens. The Library believes that reading, listening, and viewing are individual, private matters. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or their own minor children, the freedom of others to read or inquire cannot be restricted.
The Library strives to maintain materials representing all sides of an issue in a neutral, unbiased manner. Selection of materials by the Library does not mean endorsement of the contents of views expressed in those materials. The existence of a particular viewpoint in the collection is a reflection of the Library’s policy of intellectual freedom not an endorsement of that particular point of view.
The Library patron is an important part of the selection process. An individual request from a patron for a title is usually honored if the request conforms to the guidelines outlined in this policy statement.
The Library does not stand in loco parentis or in place of a parent. Parents and guardians, not the Library, have the responsibility of guiding and directing the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own minor children. Selection of adult collection materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that the items may be utilized by minors.
Gifts and Donations
The Library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection if they meet the criteria for selection listed above. If gifts do not meet these criteria, they may be sold or otherwise disposed of. Textbooks, outdated encyclopedias, magazines, and items which are damaged, smelly, or moldy will not be accepted.
The Library will not assign a financial value to donated materials. However, if requested the library will make available to donors a receipt for “x” number of items which can be used for tax purposes.
Because of limited budget and space, the Library is not able to purchase all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this Library’s collection. In return for this service, the McIntosh Memorial Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network.
Withdrawal of materials
The withdrawal of materials, also called weeding, is an ongoing process by which materials that are worn, damaged, outdated, duplicated, inaccurate, or no longer used may be removed from the collection. The professional staff of the Library will be solely responsible for the weeding of materials based on the annual weeding schedule.
The McIntosh Memorial Library supports the guidelines established by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement and considers all materials selected under this policy to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Nevertheless, the McIntosh Memorial Library recognizes the right of individuals to question materials in the Library collection.
A formal process has been developed to assure that complaints and requests for reconsideration are handled in an attentive and consistent manner. The McIntosh Memorial Library will carefully reevaluate an item when a Request for Reconsideration form is submitted.
LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
- 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.
- 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.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person’s right to use a Library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.
- 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.
Adopted June 18th, 1948
Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980
Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996
By the ALA Council
THE FREEDOM TO READ
- It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
- Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.
- It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
- There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
- It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.
- It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, 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.
- It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one. Adopted June 25 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991 by the American Library Association Council and the Association of American Publishers Freedom to Read Committee.
FREEDOM TO VIEW
The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore, these principles are affirmed:
- To provide the broadest possible access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
- To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
- To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
- To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video and other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.
- To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.
This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to view Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.