CHAPTER III - SELECTION OF MATERIALS
The Elisha D. Smith Public Library is primarily a popular materials library. As such, the first criterion for inclusion in the library's collections is public demand. The library’s collections support the leisure, cultural, educational, self-improvement and economic development needs of the library’s service area. Current materials are emphasized over the development of historical collections. Library content reflects a diversity of issues. The library acknowledges the important role of the community in collection development by inviting suggestions for purchase, monitoring requests, and evaluating the collections on an ongoing basis.
A. RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION
All materials added to the library collection shall support the principles, vision, and mission of the Elisha D. Smith Public Library:
• A free public library is essential to the public good and improvement.
• All library users are entitled to the highest level of service.
• All library users have a right to privacy and intellectual freedom.
VISION: The Elisha D. Smith Public Library shall enhance the quality of life in our diverse community as we lead with exceptional customer service, a vibrant collection, innovative technology, and responsiveness to the people we serve.
MISSION: The Elisha D. Smith Public Library is a dynamic and responsive community center for our diverse population, offering equal access to materials, programming, services, and entertainment to inspire and enrich while supporting learning for all ages.
Selection of library materials is the responsibility of the Library Director. This process is done under the supervision of the Library Director and effectuated by members of the staff who are qualified by reason of education, training, and experience. The public is encouraged to recommend materials for purchase. The most recently adopted Library Bill of Rights (https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill) and the Freedom to Read statements as adopted by the American Library Association are incorporated as part of this selection policy.
C. GENERAL CRITERIA FOR ALL LIBRARY MATERIALS
1. General. Whether purchased or donated, materials added to the collection must meet some of the following criteria based on the discretion of the Library Director:
a. Appropriate format for library use.
b. Suitable subject and presentation for intended audience (not necessarily all library patrons).
c. Author generally accepted as appropriate for public library collections.
d. Contemporary significance or lasting value.
e. Complementary relationship to the existing collection.
f. Scarcity of information in a particular subject area.
g. Community/patron interest or requests.
h. Complementary to established school curricula (MJSD, local private schools, or home schools).
i. Non-availability of otherwise appropriate material elsewhere in the community, particularly if unavailable through Interlibrary Loan, the Winnefox Automated Library Systems consortium.
j. Reasonable price relative to value.
k. Favorable review in one or more publications.
l. Technical or artistic quality.
n. Originality of thought.
o. Conforms to U.S. copyright and trade laws.
2. Controversial material. The library provides a resource where the public can examine issues freely and make independent decisions. The library shall attempt to provide a variety of opinions whenever possible on subjects of interest to the public, including materials on various sides of controversial questions. Inclusion of a particular title or subject in the collection should not be considered an endorsement by the library of the viewpoint expressed. A title which meets the selection criteria shall not be excluded because of the beliefs of the author.
Plans for the development of specific collections may be developed by library staff as
needed. These plans may outline selection and acquisition procedures, reviewing
tools, and maintenance of the specific collection. Collection development plans shall be inclusive of general collection criteria and reflect the values of the community. Some materials may be placed in collections according to age appropriateness.
3. Gifts of Library Materials. Material donations are welcomed with the understanding that they will be evaluated for addition to the collection on the same basis as purchased materials. It shall be understood that the library may add such donations to its collection, offer them to the Friends of the Menasha Library for their books sales, share them with other appropriate institutions, or recycle them. Cash donations made specifically for the purpose of buying books and other materials for the library may be designated for a specific collection. Donors may request that bookplates acknowledging their gifts be affixed to books purchased with their donations. All gifts of money shall be acknowledged.
4. Duplication of titles is determined by popularity, by the continuing importance of the subject or author, and by available funds.
5. Replacement and binding. The library may replace, repair, or rebind books or other materials which are lost, damaged, non-returned, or worn as need and budget dictate.
6. The library collection will be kept in good condition and current by an ongoing program of repairing, discarding or replacing worn, under-utilized, and obsolete materials. When appropriate materials removed from the collection will be turned over to the Friends of the Menasha Library for resale to support library collections and services.
C. REQUESTS FOR RECONSIDERATION
Written or oral requests for reconsideration of materials in the library collection may be made by citizens of the library’s service area.
1. Requests for reconsideration may be made directly to library staff members. Staff members shall refer requests to the Library Director. Staff members may not remove library materials from the collection in response to a patron request without the express consent of the Library Director or Library Board of Trustees.
2. A Request for Reconsideration of Materials form is available to assist in expressing concerns about materials. (see last page of this policy, after the Appendix)
3. Citizens may meet with the Library Director to review the objection and the material in question.
4. The Library Director shall decide whether the material will be maintained in the library’s collection or removed.
5. The Library Director’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees’ decision is final.
Approved by the Elisha D. Smith Public Library Board of Trustees, July 27, 2016
Amended by the Elisha D. Smith Public Library Board of Trustees, November 26, 2019
Amended by the Elisha D. Smith Public Library Board of Trustees, August 24, 2021