Collection-Britton Public Library

Britton Public Library

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IX. Collection Development Policy

A.  Introduction

The Britton Public Library provides free library service to all persons living in Britton and the surrounding areas.

Through cooperation with other area libraries and through the SD State Library, the Britton Public Library attempts to provide a wide variety of library resources and services to individuals and community groups in the area.

This development policy is intended to implement the general objectives of the public library: to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of the community with a full range of modern library services and resources.

B. Selection Statement

            1. General Statement

The library attempts to purchase, within budgetary limitations, the best possible materials of both permanent and current interest in most subject areas. The selection of library resources is a prime activity within the library and is based on the needs and requests of the community which it serves.

            2. Responsibilities

Final responsibility for selection of all library materials rests with the library director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the board of trustees. However, the director may delegate to the assistant librarian involved in selection, the authority to interpret the policy in making day-to-day decisions. Problems will be referred to the director for resolution. Suggestions from board members and library users are encouraged and seriously considered.

            3. Criteria for Selection

Those librarians selecting books and audiovisual materials draw upon their experience and knowledge of available resources, the existing collection, and the community (its needs, demands, and other library holdings.) The overall value of the material to the collection is the chief criteria for selection.

Factors considered in recommending library materials for purchase are:

a. The author's authority and competence.

b. Importance of the subject matters to the collection.

c. Availability of material on the subject.

d. Timeliness or permanence of the item.

e. Appearance of the title in standard bibliographies or indexes.

f. Clarity and accuracy of presentation.

g. Reputation and standing of the publisher.

h. Budgetary consideration and price.

i. Suitability of format and price.

j. Availability of the material in other library collections.

            4. Selection Aids

Printed reviews play an important role in the selection process. Since the library can afford only a small portion of the books and other materials published each year, it is vital that the library select those items which best serve the needs of the community.

Some important reviewing sources are:

a.  Booklist by the American Library Association

b.  Library Journal

c.  Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 

d.  School Library Journal 

Current editions of these standard bibliographies may also be consulted:

       a.  Public Library Catalog and Fiction Catalog

            5. Age of Clientele

a. Children

The childrenís department is for preschool through the 2nd grade. It maintains a collection of easy readers, step books, board books and audio books.        

    b.  Juvenile

       The Juvenile department serves children from 2nd grade through the 5th

       grade.  It includes non fiction books and chapter books.  It also includes

       materials ranging from standard titles to high-interest items. 

c.  Young adults

A separate collection of fiction books is maintained for our young adults (grades 6-12.)  These books are especially suited for young adult needs and interests.

It is recognized that there is a great range of maturity between children and young adults, and that all materials selected might not be equally suited in subject and vocabulary for all ages. Final responsibility for children's and teenagers' choice of library material rests with their parents or legal guardians.

d. Adults

The Britton Public Library has developed the adult collection to serve the interests of the general reader. Resources for patrons engaged in serious and extensive research are available from the academic and special libraries in the area. The library also recognizes the special needs or preferences of some adults for materials such as large print books, and audio books.

            6. Special Areas,

a. Reference material

Although most any item in our library can be used to provide reference service, the library maintains a specific collection of print and reference materials. To ensure access to this information during all library hours, the reference collection is non-circulating, except for overnight use. As a general rule, only the latest edition of a reference title is kept in the reference area.

b. Local History

The library contains historical material about the geographical area defined as the Dakotas. Included are school yearbooks of the Britton Public School, local church directories, Marshall Co. history books, Dakota history and a wide assortment of South Dakota Native American history which are available for checkout.

c. Local Authors

Materials written or produced by local authors are not automatically added lo our collection. Works by local residents and faculty members will be added only if they are of the general interest.

d. Material for school assignments

Studentís school-related needs are served with supplementary reading and reference materials, but the library does not attempt to undertake the curriculum-support function of the school library. It is expected that each school will meet its own curriculum needs with adequate books and other materials.

            7. Maintenance of collection

a. Weeding

Weeding is the systematic withdrawal of items which are outdated, no longer needed or damaged. This process is an integral part of collection development and maintenance. In general, the criteria used in selecting new materials also apply to weeding. Materials that fall into the following categories should be withdrawn:

1) Materials which contain outdated information;

2) Superseded editions;

3) Worn or defaced items;

4) Duplicate copies of seldom used titles.

b. Duplication and multiple copies

Multiple copies of titles are purchased where there is an expressed need. Duplication is kept to a minimum, but materials must be in sufficient supply to make the library a dependable source for the people it serves. Because of over-lapping interests and reading abilities, titles occasionally appear in more than one circulating collection (adult, large print, audio book, young adult, or children's.) Such duplication is made at the discretion of the librarians in charge of these collections.

c. Replacement

Titles for which the last copy has been withdrawn are considered for replacement. The same criteria that apply in the original selection apply to the replacement with consideration given to the following:

1) The continued value of the particular title;

2) The demand for the specific title;

3) The extent of adequate coverage of the field in the existing collection;

4) The availability of newer or better material in the field;

5) The availability of the title for reordering.

d. Binding, Rebinding and Mending

Books are kept in the best condition possible due to humidity, air quality and light of the library building.  Decisions must be made continuously on how to handle worn books - whether to mend, bind or withdraw them from circulation. Decisions are based on:

1) The actual condition of the book;

2) The current validity of its contents;

3) Availability of the title for reorder,

4) The cost of mending or binding versus the cost of replacement.

            8. Special Formats Print

                a. Paperback

Paperback editions are added to the collection for reasons of economy and because this format appeals to many readers. General selection policies and criteria apply to the purchase of paper bound materials.

b. Large Print Books

Books in large type are purchased for patrons with partial vision (they are available for anyone to read.) General selection policies and criteria apply to the purchase of large print books.  The collection is shelved separately.

c. Newspapers

Local newspapers, plus a selection of major newspapers, are purchased for the following purposes:

1) To provide current news coverage;

2) To satisfy recreational reading needs;

3) To provide a unique source of local information.

4) Augmented by the internet

                        Newspapers will be kept for a period of three months except for the local

                      paper (Britton Journal) which will be kept for 3 years. 

d. Periodicals

       Periodicals are chosen for the following purposes:

1) To supplement the book collection as an additional source of information -especially current information;

2) To satisfy recreational reading needs;

3) To serve as book selection aids and professional reading for the staff.

                        Periodicals are kept for a current 6 months.

e. Vertical file material

Maps and some pamphlets are maintained for public use to supplement other print collections. Areas of particular focus are travel and local history. Information previously presented in pamphlet form is often available on the Internet. 

     f. Inter Library Loan

The library cannot attempt to have available in its own collection all the materials for all possible needs.  Fortunately, there are several other libraries in the area which are open to the general public.  The Britton Public Library can cooperate with these and other libraries to ensure broad access to materials for all library patrons

When an item is requested, that is unavailable locally, the library considers purchasing it or tries to borrow the item from another library through the cooperative interlibrary loan service.  If the item is to be borrowed through Interlibrary loan, the library user must pay a fee equal to the price of postage for the transaction.

9. Special Format Non-print Materials

Britton Public library is open to consideration of acquiring information and other resources in a wide range of currently available formats but reserves the right to select those formats that best fit its mission within its limited resources.  Library reserves the right to determine what equipment and software it will make available for citizens. Not all available formats will be supported by either in-house or loanable equipment or software.

a. Sound recordings - this will be addressed as the need arrives.

b. Art prints - this will be addressed as the need arrives.

c. Software and CD-Roms - this will be addressed as the need arrives.

d. Educational toys, games and puppets - this will be addressed as the need arrives.

e. DVD movies and CD books

The library maintains a collection of video and audio sources primarily for the home use of adults, youth and/or children. The library acquires these sources to serve both recreational and informational purposes.

1) VHS recordings will no longer be purchased or accepted by the

     library.  All movies will be in DVD format.

2) Audio cassettes will no longer be purchased or accepted by the

     library.  All recordings will be in CD format.

           f. Braille and Talking Books

                           These books are provided to the library through the SD State Library. 

   The Britton Public Library will not purchase such books.

                      g. Electronic Resources

The same criteria for choosing the general collection will apply to choosing electronic resources, ie databases and reference tools.  Many of the electronic resources are available for the use of South Dakota citizens by the South Dakota State Library. The resources offered by the SDSL are available to all South Dakota residents.

C. Gifts

1. The library accepts gifts of books and other materials in good, clean condition and published within 5 years with the understanding that they become the property of the library and are evaluated in the same manner as purchased materials. Materials which are useful to the library collection are retained, and other materials are disposed of in whatever manner the library deems best-by selling them or offering them free to the patrons.

2. No specific shelves or sections will be designated for gift collections and gifts to be added to the collections will be integrated into the existing collections as appropriate.  No name plates shall be placed on any donation.  The library does not provide evaluation of gifts for tax relief or other purposes.

3. Funds for the purchase of materials are accepted. The library encourages donors to place no restrictions on the funds in order to permit the flexible use of the donation for the enrichment of the library. A list of honored people (those who have donated during the year) will be published once a year.

D. Intellectual Freedom and Controversial Material

The library has a responsibility to serve all segments of the community. Materials useful to some may be objective to others. Selections are based solely on the merits of the work in relation to building the collections and to serving the interests of the readers.

The library attempts to represent all sides of controversial issues. Its function is to provide information, not to advocate specific points of view.  Reading preferences are a purely individual matter; while everyone is free to personally reject books and other materials, this right cannot be exercised to restrict the freedom of others.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no cataloged item will be placed on closed shelves, except for the sole purpose of protecting it from injury or theft. Items may be placed on temporary reserve for specific class assignments or projects.

Responsibility for what children and young adults read rests with their parents and/or other legal guardians. Selections will not be inhibited by the possibility that controversial materials may come into the possession of children or young adults.


E.  Request for withdrawal or addition of material

Any complaints by a patron concerning the presence or absence of any library material are referred to the librarian who will discuss the matter with the complainant. If the complainant is not satisfied, an appointment can be made with the librarian and the library board members to discuss the matter further.

If a patron wishes, the "Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials" or "Request for the Addition of Materials" form will be supplied. On receiving the completed form, the librarian will examine the item in question, and then reconsider it according to the collection development policy, based on the evaluation; the librarian will decide whether or not to add or remove the material in question and will write to the complainant giving the reasons for the decision. If still unsatisfied, the complainant may appeal in writing to the Library Board. Materials subject to complaint will not be removed or acquired pending final action.

F.    Revision of policy

This policy was revised and approved by the board of trustees of the Britton Public Library on April 3, 2005. The policy is to be reexamined on a regular basis by the board in consultation with the library director. The library director is responsible for implementing this policy.