Print materials remain the primary focus of the Dayton Metro Library. The collection includes a wide range of subjects with a variety of treatments. Print collections are developed primarily in subject areas where there is significant actual or anticipated demand. The Main Library serves as the primary resource and reference center for the library system. However, expensive, highly specialized and esoteric materials may be obtained via statewide resource sharing agreements or interlibrary loan. The collection provides information useful for basic research in most fields of knowledge.
Branch library collections are not intended for in-depth research or scholarly work. They include basic works in major fields of knowledge and are intended to reflect the interests of their communities. Popular titles and subjects are purchased as long as there is a demand for them.
All agencies draw upon the full resources of the library system for titles and topics in lesser demand. Patrons involved in research projects which are beyond the limits of the branch collections are referred to the Main Library, or, if more appropriate, to one of the academic or special libraries in the area. Patrons may also be referred to specific social service or government agencies for their informational needs.
The library purchases a wide range of fiction reflecting the diverse interests of a public that varies greatly in education, taste, and reading ability. The library purchases most fiction pre-publication and researches each title, using a variety of standards. An attempt is made to purchase books representing virtually all categories of fiction.
The library is very much aware of community or public demand and will often purchase fiction titles that are not notable for their literary quality or artistic merit but have substantial popular appeal. Popular titles are purchased as necessary to meet demand. Because of the abundance of available fiction titles, the library uses various criteria, including popular measures for purchasing. Multiple copies are purchased to meet demand.
The library's non-fiction collection includes material on almost any topic which might be of interest to the library's constituency. The library purchases most non-fiction pre-publication and researches each title, using a variety of standards. Popular items and subjects are purchased according to demand but the library also provides materials for those whose interests or needs are not widely shared. Although accuracy of content and authority of a work's creators are important criteria in the selection of non-fiction materials, the library does not assume responsibility for inaccuracies or errors in the works included in its collections. History teaches that what appears to be the truth today often becomes tomorrow's fiction. Opinion, hypothesis, and theory are as important to the library's non-fiction collection as proven facts.
The library attempts to acquire materials representing all diverse points of view on current and historical questions and controversies, including legal, constitutional, political, economic, medical, ethical, religious, social, sexual, and other issues. Inclusion of material representing a particular belief, opinion, or point of view in the library's collection does not constitute endorsement by the library.
Reference materials are typically available at all times for research. Some titles are included as both circulating and reference copies.
Collection Accessibility Services
Whenever possible, Dayton Metro Library applies the principles of universal design to its buildings, services and collections. Concepts of universal design relevant to library collections include:
Dayton Metro Library selects materials in a variety of formats that support use of the collection by patrons with disabilities. Formats like audio books and DVDs with subtitles included as a standard are equally useful to all patrons, regardless of ability. Formats including large type books and magazines, Descriptive Video Service (DVS) videocassettes and DVDs , and books in Braille provide equivalent access to patrons with low-vision challenges. DML staff can connect the patron with resources from the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, located at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Through this service, patrons with vision challenges can receive a Talking Book Machine and a wide variety of materials including books, magazines and newspapers. The Regional Library also has an extensive collection of books in Braille. These materials are delivered to the patron's home at no charge.
Several branches have MagniSight low vision readers, donated by the Lions Club. These machines take standard print materials and enlarge them on the screen so that low-vision patrons may use them effectively.
Patrons with disabilities that do not allow them to come to a Dayton Metro Library location may request Homebound Service. Materials are selected by patron request or through a patron profile and delivered to the patron's home on a three week schedule.
Large Type Collection
Large type books provide continuing access to literature and information to patrons with visual challenges that make it hard to read regular print. Large type materials are available for children, teens and adults. The adult collection will grow most rapidly as the population ages and becomes more likely to encounter problems with vision. Patron interests and title availability direct the content of this collection. Patron interests reflect those of the general population, and the collection should include both informational and recreational reading. Placement of large type titles, along with large type magazines, should support the branch or department profile indicating the size of potential audience for this material. Selection criteria is consistent with criteria used for the general collection, with the added consideration of print size and patron usability.
Local History Collection
This collection at the Main Library contains material on the history, description, and development of Dayton and Montgomery County. The scope of the collection also includes material relating to the Miami Valley area, especially histories defining the initial development of the region.
The objective of this collection is to provide a central location for the preservation of the records of Dayton and Montgomery County. The library acquires and maintains materials that are a permanent record of the past and present activities of the community. The majority of these records are irreplaceable. To preserve this collection, it is necessary to make the materials available for use within the library only, and then only to patrons who present proper identification.
The Dayton Collection also includes the works of local authors. Local authors are defined as writers who have spent a significant part of their lives in the Dayton and surrounding area or who are otherwise closely associated with this area. Writers born in the county who leave in their very early years and short-term adult residents are not regarded as local authors. Works of local imprint are added only when they contribute directly to the social and cultural history of the region.
Books and papers related to local history only because they were originally owned and used by local residents are not added, except in rare cases where the "association item" adds something to the picture of life in the past in Dayton and Montgomery County, e.g. the library of Benjamin Van Cleve, one of the original settlers in Dayton, or textbooks used in the very early schools.
The Literacy Collection is intended to help adults with low reading skills. In addition, this collection is aimed at assisting those learning English as a foreign language. Although both fiction and non-fiction are included in the Literacy Collection, the focus is on books relating to English language reading, writing, and comprehension. There are a number of sources that are used in the selection of books for the Literacy Collection.
For more than two centuries, Dayton has been home to many African-American artists, writers, educators, military heroes and performers, and their accomplishments and contributions to the city and the nation are celebrated at area museums, universities and performance halls. The African American Collection is housed at multiple locations throughout the library system. The collection is intended to document the African American experience, to preserve Black culture and heritage, and to promote and support the study of Black History and culture. The collection consists of circulating fiction and nonfiction materials.
Foreign Language Collection
The Foreign Language Collection serves students and native speakers of foreign languages. This collection contains titles for informational needs, recreational reading and for increasing fluency of a language.
Need, shown by demographics and by patron requests, determines which foreign language materials are purchased by the library. Circulation and requests indicate the subjects and genres patrons prefer. Fiction and non-fiction best sellers are excellent choices.
The library acquires all genealogical material relating to Montgomery County. The library attempts to include indexes to births, deaths, marriages, wills and land records and, when possible, compilations of the records for the surrounding counties of Miami, Darke, Preble, Butler, Warren, Greene and Clark.
Family histories are accepted if any of the ancestors or descendants had ties with the Miami Valley.
The library purchases basic genealogical research guides.
The library purchases volumes of Passenger and Immigration Lists Index.
Beyond our immediate area, selection of materials is determined primarily by the major migration routes to the Miami Valley (Alabama, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) and the predominant countries of origin of the immigrants (Germany, Great Britain, and Africa).
The library purchases census indexes for the above states and, when possible, for additional states east of the Mississippi River.
The Main Library has been a selective depository of federal documents since 1909. The library coordinates its selection with the University of Dayton and Wright State University to avoid duplication of lengthy series which might cause storage problems. The State Library of Ohio is the regional depository for the state, and documents may be requested through interlibrary loan if they are not available locally.
Selection is based on use and interest to the general public. The items selected may range from canning guides, child care guides, and directories of government agencies to specialized items of interest to the business community, such as the various census publications.
Heavy emphasis is placed on the availability of the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the Federal Register. The library also acquires the Congressional Record and the Congressional Serial Set.
The Federal Library Depository Program is quickly becoming a more electronic service. The number of government publications produced in paper copy is less and less each year. Most government documents are available in electronic format and may be accessed through the catalog.
In addition, the Main Library is a depository for Ohio documents and receives those items acquired by the State Library of Ohio for distribution to depositories.
All federal and state documents are available to the public either on regular loan, special loan, or for reference use in the library.
The Main Library's newspaper collection is diverse. A complete file of the local daily papers, both morning and evening, is available dating back to 1808. Minority newspapers for the Dayton area are acquired as they are published. Newspapers from major cities In Ohio are retained for one month.
A selection of daily newspapers from major cities of the nation is also received and retained for one month. Also available are a 50 year run of the Wall Street Journal and a complete file of the New York Times from 1851 on microfilm with indexes for both papers.
Branch libraries acquire the Dayton Daily News and assorted national and regional papers, as well as their local community newspapers.
The Main Library maintains a representative collection of magazines intended to supplement the book collection. The focus of the magazine collection is on publications that will provide current information on a variety of popular and practical research topics. Included in this collection are business and industry journals as well as titles dealing with health issues, consumer product evaluations, hobbies and crafts, and arts and entertainment.
The main criteria used to determine whether a magazine will be added to the collection are:
To ensure that these materials are readily available for patron use, the Main Library does not circulate the majority of its magazines. Back files of many magazines are available in bound copies or microfilm at the Main Library or full text online databases with remote access. There is a small separate collection of general interest titles that are available for circulation at the Main Library. In addition to this, the print magazine collections housed at branch libraries are generally available for borrowing.
The Main Library does not frequently add to its collection of rare books. Material which is judged to be of significant value or to have sufficiently unique characteristics is, from time to time, added to the collection. Outside experts may be consulted concerning the disposition of rare book donations.
Material from the Rare Book Collection does not circulate and is subject to special restrictions for use in the library.