Materials Selection Policy
LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS
The Library Bill of Rights, which follows, is as precise and concise a statement of our beliefs as can be found. We have adopted it as a part of our overall selection policy.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
6. 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.
The library sets as its major goals in materials selection: to inform, enrich and empower all residents of the library’s service district.
The phrase "library materials" as it occurs in this policy has the widest possible meaning. Included are such materials as books, magazines, movies, audio books, e-books, music and computer software.
Ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Director, who operates within the framework of this selection policy adopted by the Library Board. Actual materials selection is done by librarians and other qualified personnel.
No new format may be added without Board approval.
BUILDING THE COLLECTION
The collection, taken as a whole, will be an excellent and unbiased source of information and recreation. It will include as wide a selection as possible. Subjects and viewpoints will be covered in sufficient depth to meet anticipated and expressed needs.
Selection of materials by the Library does not mean endorsement of the contents or views expressed in those materials. The collection as a whole will be sufficiently diverse to promote no causes, to further no movements, and to endorse no viewpoints.
A. By Library
A special effort is made to adapt each collection to the community which it serves and to keep up with population growth and expanding information needs of the various communities.
1. Rensselaer Headquarters and the DeMotte Library: These libraries will provide well-rounded collections of reference and circulating materials for use by the public, including the more specialized reference and bibliographic aids for the system.
2. Wheatfield Library: The Wheatfield Library will make available materials that will satisfy the general and frequent needs of its community. Selection is not limited to materials purchased for the other libraries.
3. Specialized Collections: To more economically use library funds, each library will be responsible for providing more in depth materials and staff expertise in using those materials in certain fields. Staff in that library will then provide needed information in those fields to patrons at any library in the system.
The Rensselaer Library will be responsible for providing in depth collections and expertise in the areas of Business and Grants. The DeMotte Library will be responsible for providing in depth collections and expertise in the areas of law and biographical reference. The Wheatfield Library will be responsible for providing the in depth collection and expertise in the area of health.
B. By Age Group
1. Adult: Selection must be as broad in scope as the interests and needs of the community. Besides aiming at variety and depth, it must recognize a wide range of reading ability and taste.
2. Young Adult: Each library will maintain a collection for young people aged approximately 11-17. This collection is intended primarily as a bridge between children and adult collections. Some titles appear in both the adult and young adult collections or in the children's and young adult collections.
3. Juvenile: This collection will endeavor to satisfy the informational, recreational, and cultural reading interests and needs of children from birth to age 14.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, will be selected in accordance with one or more of the following criteria:
- Critical reviews and information in professional selection aids
- Effectiveness of style, format and content for intended audience
- Need for breadth and diversity of viewpoints and subjects within the collection
- Relation to existing collection and other materials on the subject
- Reputation and significance of author, publisher, composer and/or artist
- Patron interest
- Contemporary significance or permanent value
The Library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. A person may reject certain items for himself/herself or for his/her family, but he/she does not have the right to restrict access to these materials by others. Selection will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but on the merits of the work as it relates to the criteria listed.
The library cannot limit its selection to materials suitable for children and adolescents, but must consider its adult audience; therefore, some materials may be deemed by parents as inappropriate for their children. Since parents' feelings differ and children of the same age differ greatly in levels of maturity the library will not act as judge of what materials a child is mature enough to borrow. This responsibility must remain with the parent.
The Jasper County Public Library recognizes the need to collect materials pertaining to the history and past residents of Jasper County.
The Rensselaer, DeMotte and Wheatfield Libraries will collect and retain a copy of all written and photographic materials reasonably available pertaining to the specific communities within which those branches are located. These materials should include oral and written histories of community families. In most cases, the Library is not able to accept clothing and other such historical memorabilia.
The Rensselaer Library is charged with maintaining a specialized genealogy and local history collection concerning Jasper County and the State of Indiana. The DeMotte Library will collect and retain a copy of all materials reasonably available pertaining to the history of the Kankakee Valley area.
Gifts are accepted subject to the following limitations:
1. The Library retains the right to accept or reject any gift.
2. The Library retains the unconditional ownership of the gift.
3. The Library makes the final decision on its use or other disposition of the gift.
4. The Library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing and access to the materials.
Complaints concerning specific materials in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate department or Agency Librarian, and/or Director. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the patron may make a written complaint using a Request for Reconsideration Form which will be reviewed by a staff committee appointed by the Director. The patron will be notified when the committee has made a determination.
If requested, the decision of the committee may be referred to the Library Board who will determine if Library policy has been followed.
Except in the area of local history, JCPL is not a library of historical record. Therefore, to ensure a vital and useful collection, materials no longer useful to the library system will be disposed of according to good library practice and retention schedules.
USE OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
Library materials are not marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no book or other item is sequestered except for the purposes of protection from injury or theft.
Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended 2/61, 6/67, and 1/80 by the ALA Council
Policy revised 11/96, 11/99; 11/01; 11/03; 11/09; 11/11