The purpose of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library (APAML) is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure and the creative use of leisure time. Because of the volume of publishing as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.
The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection. The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to View Statement have been endorsed by the APAML Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy. The policies can be viewed on the APAML website.
The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.
Responsibility for Selection
The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director (or interim director) who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the APAML Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff, however, because the director (or interim director) must answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director (or interim director) has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.
Criteria for Selection
The main points considered in the selection of materials are:
1. Individual merit of each item (contemporary significance or long-term value)
2. Popular appeal/patron demand
3. Local interest
4. Suitability of material for patron base
5. Existing Library holdings
6. Cost and budgetary constraints
Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary sources or reviews are: Amazon, GoodReads, Library Journal, Kirkus Review, New York Times Bestsellers List, publishing catalogs, and trending topics. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title which is in demand. Therefore, consideration is given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context. No employee may be disciplined or dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance with the written policy.
Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide 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 utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the need of our patrons, the APAML agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network.
Gifts and Donations
The APAML welcomes gifts and donations (items and/or money), as space allows, which are consistent with the Library’s Mission Statement and in accordance with its Materials Selection and Collection Development policy. The library cannot accept donations of the following items: encyclopedias, medical books older than five (5) years old, music and audiobook cassette tapes, music records, Reader’s Digest Condensed books, textbooks, and VHS tapes.
It is the donor’s responsibility to establish fair market value or obtain expert assistance in establishing any value when assigning and documenting monetary value for tax purposes. The library will provide a donation form to be filled out by the donor and will be given a copy of the form, if requested.
The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library director. Book selection will be made by the director if no specific book is requested.
All gifts and donations accepted by the Library Director are accepted with the understanding that they are offered free of any restrictions. Once donated, all gifts and donations become the property of the APAML. The Library may sell, trade, loan, give away, or dispose of the gift(s)/donation(s) in any manner deemed by the Library Director to be in the best interests of the Library. The Library Director will make the final decision on inclusion or disposition of materials.
The library keeps the collection relevant and accurate by retaining or replacing essential materials and by removing on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance or no longer in demand. This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director (or interim director) and is authorized by the Board of Trustees. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.
Potential Problems or Challenges
The APAML recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy. Parents or legal guardians are solely responsible for what their child reads, and for materials checked out on their child’s library card. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents and no library material will be separated from the collection except to protect it from damage or theft.
Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Reconsideration of Library Resources Form” which is available at the Main Circulation Desk.
Approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on September 4, 2014; revised May 15, 2017; reviewed June 6, 2023.