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|Subject: Collection Development Policy||Last Updated: 05/26/2009|
NARROW CONCENTRATION: public administration; military science; sociology; statistics of populations; political science; real estate; etiquette.
NARROW CONCENTRATION, WITH SOME TITLES WHOSE VALUE WILL NOT ENDURE OVER TIME CHOSEN IN POPULAR CONCENTRATION: crime and criminals.
INTERMEDIATE CONCENTRATION: English language, written and pronouncing dictionaries, and standard usage.
NARROW CONCENTRATION: other modern Romance languages and Latin and Greek, written and pronouncing dictionaries and standard usage, sign language.
500 Pure Sciences
INTERMEDIATE CONCENTRATION: mathematics; astronomy; physics; chemistry; earth sciences; paleontology; life sciences; botany; zoology.
BROAD CONCENTRATION: consumer health; family living and child rearing.
INTERMEDIATE CONCENTRATION: gardening; home economics; home building; and cookery.
NARROW CONCENTRATION: automobiles; technology; livestock; agriculture; other medical science; business management; engineering; engineering; applied physics.
700 The Arts
INTERMEDIATE CONCENTRATION: decorative and useful arts; painting and paintings; music; sports.
NARROW CONCENTRATION: historical and geographical treatment of the fine arts; art dictionaries and encyclopedia; architecture; graphic arts; photography and photographs; the performing arts.
POPULAR CONCENTRATION: some biographies of popular artists in music, show business, and sports.
INTERMEDIATE CONCENTRATION: American and English literature.
NARROW CONCENTRATION: American and English literature history and description; literary criticism; literary dictionaries and encyclopedias; foreign language general surveys and representative works of major authors in translation.
900 History and Geography
BROAD CONNECTION: Bedford history; and geography.
INTERMEDIATE CONCENTRATION: Bedford genealogy; general geography and travel; general history of the United States; history of the Civil War; history of the Southeastern United States; history of Virginia.
NARROW CONCENTRATION: historical dictionaries and encyclopedia; general world history; general ancient history; history of other areas of the world.
All areas not specifically listed will be collected in a Minimal Concentration.
Broad Concentration: authors or genres collected most extensively by the library. These will include all new materials by an author, all in-print titles by an author, a broad selection of recommended titles in a genre, titles that complete a series. Duplicates will be purchased based on projected circulation.
Intermediate Concentration: authors or genres to be collected more selectively than in broad concentration. These include recommended titles of major authors and recommended titles in a genre. Some duplicates may be purchased.
Narrow Concentration: authors or genres in which only a few representative selections are purchased. These include best known titles of major authors and best-known samples of a designated genre. Few duplicates will be purchased.
Minimal Concentration: authors or genres in which only one or two basic selections are purchased.
Popular Concentration: authors, genres or titles currently in vogue from bestseller and projected bestseller lists as well as from past experiences of what titles will be locally “hot.” Many of these titles will not have value over time and may be purchased in paperback when possible.
If a title is considered to have lasting value, but not to be in continued heavy demand, some copies will be purchased in hardback and others purchased in paperback when possible.
The BPLS concentrates its fiction collection in the following manner:
Adventure - man against nature or enemies in exotic settings
Animal - plot follows animal’s natural experience in the wild or with people
Award Winners, Local
Award Winners, National and State
Beginning Readers - controlled vocabulary and style on a first and second grade level
Classics - works no longer contemporary, recognized by critics and curricula
Easy Readers - wordless picture books and/or books to be read aloud to a toddler through third grade level
Family Saga - traces the fortunes of several generations
Fantasy - uses magic or other fantastic elements
Foreign Literature - contemporary authors in English translation
Gothic - romantic suspense in lonely or exotic places
Graphic Novels - book length collections of sequential art containing a single story or set of interrelated stories.
High/Low - reading is three or more grades below interest level.
Historical - setting is a known or imagined period of human history.
Holiday - stories for religious or cultural events.
Horror - natural or supernatural.
Humorous - exaggerations or reality for entertainment.
Inspirational-plot demonstrates philosophy of faith.
Media-tie-ins - offshoots of popular entertainment
Mystery - explores how and why a crime or other event occurred.
Popular Reading - general appeal, no specific characteristics of other categories.
Realistic - explorations of human relationships and self-understanding.
Romance - theme is search for love.
Science Fiction - projections in time and space of scientific hypotheses.
Short Stories - anthologies or single author collections.
Sports - -athletic contest provides the focus of the plot.
Suspense/Intrigue - -through plots and counter plots, threat is prevented or survived.
Tales - original stories in a traditional or folk style.
Toddler - materials for infancy through two years.
Young Adult - materials for seventh through twelfth grades.
Western - adventure on the frontier, usually North American.
Any other genre will be collected at minimal concentration.
The Bedford Public Library System encourages unrestricted, irrevocable gifts of monies or library materials from organizations, businesses and individuals. These gifts are accepted with the understanding that they will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the Collection Development Policy. However, the library reserves the right to sell or dispose of these donations through
Gifts donated to any facility in the system become the property of the system as a whole.
The BPLS, in accordance with IRS regulations, will not assign a value to donated materials. However, for tax purposes the library will provide donors with a receipt of X number of books, boxes of books, books on tape etc.
Deselection is an integral and ongoing part of developing a collection. The Collection Development Committee, assisted by the System Library managers, is responsible for judicious and timely deselection of the collection.
Content: items that are outdated, superseded, obsolete, or inaccurate will be deselected. Materials older than three years in the fields of science, health, medicine, finance, law, and inter-related topics should be carefully examined.
Condition: items that are worn out, books whose pages are torn, soiled or missing, or with broken spines, torn covers or frayed bindings will be de-selected. These items may be considered for binding or repair, if the value of the material warrants the expense, and replacement is not possible or cost effective.
Use Patterns: items not circulated more than three times in the past five years, unused duplicates, or unneeded materials acquired through selection errors should be examined for possible deselection.
Decisions on whether to replace deselected materials, and with what, will be made by the Collection Development Committee with the assistance of the System Library managers.
In making deselection decisions, no distinction will be made among donated materials, memorial materials, and purchased materials.
As is stated in section 2, part 2 of this Collection Development Policy, the library tries as far as budget, space, and availability of materials will allow to provide free access for the public to all points of view. Items will not be included or excluded because of political views, frank language (including expletives); controversial content; the race; religion, or nationality of the author or other responsible party; or the approval or disapproval of an individual or group. The library will attempt to impartially select materials that represent a wide range of views.
If a library patron objects to any item in the collection and wants to have the item formally reconsidered, the following procedures will be followed:
The individual must already have a current Bedford Public Library patron card or must have signed the parent/guardian permission statement on a minor’s registration card as parent or guardian responsible for that card.
A “Request for Reconsideration of Material” form must be completely filled out and signed.
The request will be forwarded to the Library Director. The Director will consult with the Collection Development Committee. The results of this consultation will be communicated in writing to the patron in a timely manner.
If the patron wishes to appeal that decision, he/she may request a hearing by the Library Board. After receiving the patron’s request, the Board will schedule a hearing, taking into consideration that Board members will need time to become familiar with the material. After this hearing the Board, in consultation with the library director, will make its final decision. No item will be removed from the collection without a court order if the Board decides that it is appropriate for the collection.
Every two years the Collection Development Policy will be reviewed by the Library Director and the Collection Development Committee. The policy as a whole with revised sections will then be submitted to the Board for approval.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980, inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, June 30, 2004, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association
Association of American Publishers
Subsequently endorsed by:
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
The Association of American University Presses, Inc.
The Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
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:
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. Endorsed by the ALA Council January 10, 1990
An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources available to other users violate the Library Bill of Rights. The American Library Association opposes all attempts to restrict access to library services, materials, and facilities based on the age of library users.
Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states, "A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views." The "right to use a library" includes free access to, and unrestricted use of, all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of, library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V.
Libraries are charged with the mission of developing resources to meet the diverse information needs and interests of the communities they serve. Services, materials, and facilities that fulfill the needs and interests of library users at different stages in their personal development are a necessary part of library resources. The needs and interests of each library user, and resources appropriate to meet those needs and interests, must be determined on an individual basis. Librarians cannot predict what resources will best fulfill the needs and interests of any individual user based on a single criterion such as chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation.
Libraries should not limit the selection and development of library resources simply because minors will have access to them. Institutional self-censorship diminishes the credibility of the library in the community, and restricts access for all library users.
Children and young adults unquestionably possess First Amendment rights, including the right to receive information in the library. Constitutionally protected speech cannot be suppressed solely to protect children or young adults from ideas or images a legislative body believes to be unsuitable for them.1 Librarians and library governing bodies should not resort to age restrictions in an effort to avoid actual or anticipated objections, because only a court of law can determine whether material is not constitutionally protected.
The mission, goals, and objectives of libraries cannot authorize librarians or library governing bodies to assume, abrogate, or overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents. As "Libraries: An American Value" states, "We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children's use of the library and its resources and services." Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources. Parents who do not want their children to have access to certain library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their children. Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child.
Lack of access to information can be harmful to minors. Librarians and library governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to ensure that all members of the community they serve have free, equal, and equitable access to the entire range of library resources regardless of content, approach, format, or amount of detail. This principle of library service applies equally to all users, minors as well as adults. Librarians and library governing bodies must uphold this principle in order to provide adequate and effective service to minors.
1See Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205 (1975)-"Speech that is neither obscene as to youths nor subject to some other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable [422 U.S. 205, 214] for them. In most circumstances, the values protected by the First Amendment are no less applicable when government seeks to control the flow of information to minors. See Tinker v. Des Moines School Dist., supra. Cf. West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)."
Adopted June 30, 1972; amended July 1, 1981; July 3, 1991, June 30, 2004, by the ALA Council.