This is the place to find the answers to your questions. Interested in how you can register to vote or make copies at your Library? Looking for details on reserving a tutor room, hanging a poster or getting a Library Card? It's all here!
Yes we do. All locations have free WIFI.
Meeting rooms are free to eligible non-profit organizations. After you have read the Meeting Room Policy, you can reserve a room by calling 937.463.2665 (BOOK). Please be prepared to give the dates and times you need a room, with a few options on dates in case the room is unavailable. Also, you will need to give the number of people expected to attend and a contact name and phone number. If there are any questions about your group’s non-profit status, you may be asked to furnish proof. Booking ahead gives you the chance to reserve your preferred time.
Any resident of the state of Ohio can receive a Dayton Metro Library Card for free. A non-Ohio resident can receive a Card for $25 a year. You can apply for a Library Card in person. When applying in person, please show valid photo identification, such as a driver's license, a state issued identification card, a current student card, or an armed forces identification card. If your ID does not have your current address, please bring verification of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement. You must bring the card in with identification for account verification before checking out library materials.
There is no minimum age requirement to have a Library Card. A parent or legal guardian must sign the card application for anyone under the age of 18. Special Library Cards are available for children participating in our Summer Reading Club.
All new Library Card users will have a ten-item limit for the first eight weeks of membership.
Special cards are also available for teachers, businesses and organizations. Please ask at the library for details.
Can I return my materials to any Branch Library?
Yes, you can return items to any Dayton Metro Library, regardless of which Branch you checked them out from originally.
Yes, you can return items to any Dayton Metro Library, regardless of which library you checked them out from originally.
From January to April each year, we have printed copies of the basic federal and state forms. Other forms are available on the Internet.
Sorry, librarians are experts on finding information but not doing taxes. We can help you find books and Internet sites on taxes but cannot provide any tax assistance or advice.
The world of free digital media is available at the Library and it is easy to use. Just click on the Overdive icon on our home page, look on the left side of the homepage under 'Fast Finds'. You will see a wide selection of titles. For complete, easy instructions, just click on the help tab. You can be listening to your new audio book in minutes!
Location is listed at the top of the page. You can use the map to find a branch near you or use the sorting tools under the map to see further details. Click here for a list of locations and addresses. You can also get driving directions to each location.
You can renew on-line by going to My Account (link is located in the upper right corner of the page) and entering your Library Card number and PIN (personal identification number). If you don't have a PIN, please stop by any Branch and choose your four digit number. Once logged in, click on 'Items Out' on the right hand side of the page.
You can renew over the phone by calling your local branch library or 937.463.2663 (BOOK). Please have your Library Card number with you when you call. You can also renew in person at any library.
Most items can be renewed up to five times unless someone has requested that title. Some newer items cannot be renewed.
Until December 31, 2017:
Overdue fines are 10 cents per day per item for adult books, movies and CDs. There are no overdue fines for children's books. The maximum overdue fine for any item is $5. If your fines are $10 or more, you will not be allowed to check out anything else until you have paid some or all of the fines. Items checked out and not returned are charged the replacement cost of the item.
As of January 1, 2018:
Effective January 1, 2018, there are no overdue fines for Dayton Metro Library materials.
Items checked out and not returned within 21 days past the due date are considered lost and the borrower will be charged the replacement cost of the item.
If the item is not returned within 35 days past the due date, the account is turned over to collections and an additional $10 fee is assessed to the borrower.
If a library card account has over $10 in charges, the account holder will be blocked from checkout until sufficient payment is made.
Most locations have printers as well as copiers with fax and scanner. To see if a location near you has what you need check out our location amenities.
"The Dayton Metro Library connects our community to the broadest range of information and thought. We are the marketplace of the mind." (From the Library's Mission Statement, Appendix A)
To meet this service responsibility, the Board establishes a Collection Development Policy. This document defines a policy to guide library staff in the selection of materials. It also serves as a means to inform the public of the philosophy of selection and establishes a framework for continuous collection evaluation and improvement.
In addition to the Main Library, the Dayton Metro Library is served by twenty branch locations as part of an integrated system. The library system is a unified collection with an integrated computer catalog which allows a patron to see what is in the entire collection by checking the PAC (public access catalog) at any library. One library card can be used at all locations to borrow materials. Materials borrowed from one library branch can be returned to another, and library materials from any location may be delivered to another branch that is the most convenient for a patron to use.
The Board of Library Trustees and staff cooperate and communicate with other libraries in the area as well as community agencies, groups, and organizations with purposes and activities related to library objectives.
This document outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Board and staff in making decisions about library collections. It also examines the demographic and cultural context by which materials are added to the collection. The general philosophical basis for selection and support for the protection of intellectual freedom are included with specific guidelines for the purchase of various types of material for a diverse clientele.
The governing body of the library is the Board of Trustees, consisting of seven members who serve without remuneration. The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners appoints four members, and the Judges of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas appoint three. Each serves for seven years with one Board member appointed annually. The Board sets library policy, appoints staff, acts on the budget recommended by the Executive Director, and is responsible to the public for library activities and services.
The Collection Development Policy is the document containing all of the policies of the Board relative to the collection development of materials. The policy can be amended only by the Board.
The Board delegates responsibility for collection development to the Executive Director who authorizes the Office of Collection Development to select materials. Collection development personnel are library professionals and are knowledgeable in their areas of selection.
The majority of the materials selection process is done on-line through vendor sites. These vendors provide thorough product descriptions which can include cover art, reviews, excerpts, pricing, format information, annotations, and sales or box office figures, all of which facilitate the selection process. Additional materials are selected from print catalogs and mailers, although these account for a small percentage of the total selection process. These items generally augment specialized interests and add to the overall breadth of the library collection. (Appendix B)
Most new book titles considered for purchase originate from weekly on-line lists available on library vendor sites. The Office of Collection Development develops profiles with library vendors concerning the kinds of materials which should be included in selection lists. Specific authors, publishers, series, review sources, formats, and publication dates are examples of parameters set by the Office of Collection Development for vendors to follow when formulating selection lists. Most new audio visual titles considered for purchase are also acquired on-line from library vendor sites without the benefit of vendor profiled lists. Staff members build these lists based on vendor catalogs and topical lists. Other items added to order lists on a weekly basis are patron requests for purchase, staff suggestions, high interest titles reviewed in popular media, and replacements of lost, worn, or high demand materials. The Office of Collection Development welcomes suggestions for purchase from all members of the library's community.
Collection Development staff work with pre-selection committees of librarians from throughout the library system. Depending on the media, committee members either note comments on titles under consideration on the on-line lists or attend a meeting where titles are discussed. Collection Development staff weigh the comments from the pre-selection committees against many other factors before making a final purchasing decision which includes the number of copies and location assignment. Agency profiles filled out by on-site librarians indicate the types and quantities of materials desired by that location. The circulation system provides usage statistics for all included titles. Selectors consult these statistics before purchasing a new edition or when purchasing more items on a subject or by a previously owned author. When applicable, staff research and compare the purchasing patterns of other similar sized libraries. Budget constraints also affect purchases. Strategic goals of the library influence buying patterns as well. Items submitted to the Office of Collection Development by a vendor as best sellers or box office hits are not subject to pre-selection committee comment and are usually ordered immediately. Patron requests for purchase, staff suggestions, high interest titles reviewed in popular media, and special interest lists bypass pre-selection committee comment as well. The Guidelines for Materials Selection listed later in this document apply to all purchases.
Standing orders exist for items such as annual series or for items known to be popular such as bestselling authors and series. Agencies select standing orders. Agencies also select paperbacks, replacements and reference materials themselves. Collection Development staff communicate with agency staff regularly and visit as often as possible.
According to Census Quick Facts in 2004 the population of Montgomery County was estimated to be 550,063. This was a decrease of 1.6% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000 the county population dropped 2.6%. According to the Dayton Daily News (3/26/2006), the Census Bureau estimates the county lost 2,118 people in 2005. The Dayton region, which includes 11 counties, showed a 3% increase in population mainly in the southern counties. Suburban growth centered on the interstates, mainly near I-675.
|People QuickFacts||Montgomery County||Ohio|
|Persons under 5 years old||6.6%||6.6%|
|Persons under 18 years old||24.7%||25.4%|
|Persons 65 years old and over||13.7%||13.3%|
|Persons between 18 and 65 years||61.6%||61.3%|
|Black or African American persons||19.9%||11.5%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native persons||0.2%||0.2%|
|Persons reporting some other race||0.5%||0.8%|
|Persons reporting two or more races||1.5%||1.4%|
|Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin||1.3%||1.9%|
|Living in the same house in 1995 and 2000||54.3%||57.5%|
|Foreign born persons||2.5%||3.0%|
|Language other than English spoken at home||4.6%||6.1%|
|High school graduates||83.5%||83.0%|
|Bachelor's degree or higher||22.8%||21.1%|
|Persons with a disability||100,332 (17.9%)||1,909,489 (16.8%)|
|Mean travel time to work in minutes||21.2||22.9|
|Housing units, 2002||250,646||4,875,496|
|Homeownership rate, 2000||64.7%||69.1%|
|Median value of owner-occupied housing units||$95,900||$103,700|
|Persons per household, 2000||2.37||2.49|
|Median household income, 1999||$40,156||$40,956|
|Per capita money income, 1999||$21,743||$21,003|
|Persons below poverty level, 1999||11.3%||10.6%|
An area of significance where Montgomery County varies from the state as a whole is in the percent of white and African American residents, with African Americans being 8.4% greater than the population rate across the state. The county also has a greater transient population compared to the state figures since 3.2% less were in the same residence between the years 1995 and 2000. The rate of foreign born population appears to be less than across the state except in the area of Asian born. High school graduates and those holding a bachelor's degree or higher is slightly above the state percentage. It is noteworthy that 1.1% more residents have disabilities compared to the state total. This could be because of the high concentration of high quality medical facilities within the county. Montgomery County also has a significantly lower rate of home ownership. The median value of owner-occupied dwellings is lower than the state as is median household income. The county per capita income is 3.5% higher than the state amount. This may indicate that county residents on average make more income than the state average yet live in less expensive housing on the average. The Dayton area prides itself in affordable housing and these statistics bear that out. The strong business and economic base in the region affords above average incomes for many. The people below poverty level at 11.3% is above the state average yet is still lower than other urban centers such as Cuyahoga County at 13.1%, Franklin County at 11.6% and Hamilton County at 11.8%.
Community Trends and Points of Interests
The 2003 celebration of the centennial of the Wright Brothers' first flight has accelerated interest and growth in endeavors related to aviation history in Dayton. Most notable is the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, which celebrates the work of the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar at four locations. Business leaders continue to develop projects based on Dayton's rich aviation heritage, with the aim of increasing heritage tourism.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (W.P.A.F.B.) continues to be the leading aeronautical research and development center in the U.S. The base attracts many top scientists and fosters extensive contract work in the region, such as the work done at University of Dayton Research Institute and Miami Valley Research Park. W.P.A.F.B. was recently awarded more work while other military bases were closed across the country.
Dayton continues its legacy as the cradle of invention as the area recently ranked 17th in the country for the number of patents issued and fifth in the number of degrees awarded in science and engineering.
The region is still ranked as the top 90-minute air market and is situated at the Crossroads of America - I-70 and I-75.
Dayton hosts diverse industries such as automotive and aerospace manufacturing, information technology, health care, and education. About 3,000 new businesses begin each year in the Dayton area and they range in size from small to large. Several organizations are in place to foster small business entrepreneurialism. Dayton hosts more machine and tool shops than almost any city in the country.
As the birthplace of city manager government, Montgomery County benefits from a tradition of well managed government in more than 16 different political entities. Recent cuts in state funding to local government have caused a greater need for cooperation and efficiency.
Many of the schools in the county have been rated highly by the Ohio Department of Education. Due to Dayton Public School's focus on enhancing academic performance, it has emerged from the status of academic emergency to continuous improvement. The area also offers strong parochial schools and leads the state in the number of charter schools. The number of home schoolers and daycares continues to grow.
The Dayton area's forty-four institutions of higher education, led by the University of Dayton, Wright State University and Sinclair Community College, provide a wide range of technical, professional and academic degrees. These academic resources contribute to the higher than average number of post secondary graduates in the area.
Excellent health care facilities are available and range from large general hospitals to more specialized facilities such as Children's Medical Center, the VA, and Dayton Heart Hospital. Hospitals and related health organizations are some of the largest employers.
Recent or looming closings such as those at Delphi, MeadWestvaco and the UPS air freight hub are of great concern as residents hope the Dayton area can bounce back as it has in the past during other closings.
Dayton is continually revitalizing itself and the latest development is the Schuster Performing Arts Center. Dayton Dragons Fifth/Third Field, RiverScape Metro Park, Second Street Market, and continued growth in downtown housing are other examples.
A strong support for the arts is evident in the success of Culture Works and the many groups it supports such as The Dayton Opera, The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, The Dayton Ballet, and DCDC, to name a few. Visual arts are also bolstered by the success of Dayton Art Institute, DVAC and many other galleries throughout the area.
Metro Parks offers a strong parks system including miles of bikeway paths. It recently announced a new focus on making Dayton an outdoor recreation destination.
The diverse population of the area consists of around 77% white, and 20% African American. The area has growing populations of Latinos, Asians and those of Middle Eastern descent. Appalachian heritage is celebrated. A wide variety of religions are observed.
Citizens of Dayton and surrounding communities enjoy a high quality of life through an abundance of cultural opportunities such as local museums and parks, and special events such as the Cityfolk Festival, Dayton Black Cultural Festival, Vectren Air Show, and sporting events. Many service organizations and clubs such as those supported by the United Way strengthen the community.
Trends affect selection decisions as residents of the county make heavy use of its public library services, borrowing more than 6,000,000 items from the Dayton Metro Library annually. Per capita circulation is consistently among the highest of the major urban counties of Ohio and the nation. To save taxpayers' money, the public library supplements and complements the collections of schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, businesses, and other institutions, but it does not duplicate the full range of materials that these organizations make available to their clientele. The public library serves the large public which does not have access to other libraries and provides a broader range of materials than specialized libraries supply for their limited constituencies. Statewide resource sharing agreements and Interlibrary Loan allow library patrons to request items from around the state and the country. Many patrons now do much of their library browsing on-line in the comfort of their home and visit local branches only to pick up requested materials. Many other patrons still enjoy the friendliness and community feel of their local branch and continue to visit in person.
Collection development is the systematic and cost effective building and evaluation of the library collection. Its goal is to support the mission of the library and involves both selection and deselection. Collection development balances the forces driving collection building such as usage trends, patron requests, staff input, media reviews and technology against the limitations of space, human resources, budget and availability.
Fundamental to the philosophy governing collection development are the principles expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements (Appendices C, D and E). In a democratic society that depends on the free flow of information, the Dayton Metro Library is the key public institution and most visible symbol of democracy and the importance of education, lifelong learning, and intellectual freedom in the region.
Freedom of speech and of the press are not the only ingredients of free communication. Freedom of expression is meaningless if the ideas so expressed are not readily available to all. The library plays an essential role in the process of free communication by making easily accessible the whole spectrum of recorded thought. The Board commits itself to the concept of freedom to read, to view, and to listen and resists vigorously any and all efforts to censor its collections. No library materials will be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. Nor are materials excluded from the library because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
Materials within the library's collections will not be suppressed because they are objectionable to some. The Board holds the restricting of access to certain materials and labeling of materials as potentially offensive to be suppression. It holds suppression to be censorship, albeit in a subtler form than total exclusion of materials from the collections. Representation of an idea, opinion, or school of thought within the library's collections does not in any fashion constitute endorsement by the Board. The Board is specifically committed to the inclusion of conflicting and minority ideas, opinions, and philosophies so that patrons can draw their own conclusions in an informed manner. The Library Board considers all materials selected under this policy to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Ohio State Constitution. If a court having jurisdiction over the Dayton Metro Library decides that any material in the collection is not constitutionally protected, such material will be removed. Material under court consideration will remain available to patrons until a final court ruling is made after all appeals are exhausted.
Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in collection development. Access to all materials legally obtainable should be assured to the user, and policies should not unjustly exclude materials even if they are offensive to the librarian or the user. Collection development should reflect the philosophy inherent in Article II of the Library Bill of Rights: 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. A balanced collection reflects a diversity of materials, not an equality of numbers. Collection development should be done according to professional standards and established selection and review procedures.
By the library's purpose, role, and design, its collections will contain materials which are controversial, even offensive to some. The library has a responsibility to protect, perhaps even to seek out, works that are controversial because these works are a reflection of our free and pluralistic society, a microcosm of social conscience past, present, and future.
As expressed in the Freedom to Read Statement, the Board supports the belief "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."
It is the responsibility of the library to provide alternatives. Patrons are free to make their own choices.
Ideally, parents who are concerned about material their children borrow should accompany their children to the library. That's not always possible so the library offers parents the option of restricting the borrowing privileges of their own children. They may limit their children to only juvenile videos until the child is 18 years of age and/or to books in the children's collection until the child completes sixth grade. Parents wishing to place these restrictions must fill out the "Request for Restriction of Juvenile Borrowing Privileges" (Appendix F), available at all Dayton Metro Library libraries. This approach is consistent with the Library Bill of Rights interpretation which states that parents and only parents have the right and responsibility to restrict the access of their children - and only their children - to library resources".
The Library recognizes that from time to time there will be citizen complaints or concerns about a specific title or type of material selected for or deselected from the collection. When a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material (Appendix G) is made, the Library must ensure that the request is handled seriously and, equally important, that the fundamental principles of intellectual freedom are upheld. This policy provides the systematic approach to be followed.
Steps in the Request for Reconsideration of Library Material Procedure (Appendix H) must be followed by citizens and by the Executive Director and Board of Trustees when reconsidering challenged materials and rendering a decision.
The library is intended to meet the civic, educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of its users through collections that include a wide variety of print and non-print materials for all levels of educational achievement. The Office of Collection Development identifies the special interests of our diverse community populations and entities and builds collections that mirror the interests of its customers.
The Board places priority on building customer centered collections that respond to current needs and interests of our community, rather than building historical and rare material collections -except for the acquisition of materials of both past and current significance to the Miami Valley area.
The evaluation of the collection is a fundamental responsibility. The staff continuously evaluates materials, replacing or repairing those that are worn or damaged and withdrawing items no longer current or in demand. As the library continues to collect newly published items, our space needs will continue to be challenged. The most cost effective way to stretch shelf-space is through the removal of used and outdated materials. Leaving rarely used materials on the shelves decreases rather than increases patron satisfaction. Removing obsolete titles and materials in poor physical condition makes it easier for patrons to choose from the titles that remain. The Office of Collection Development actively searches for replacement items for dated materials.
Collection evaluation is not to be employed as a convenient means to remove materials presumed to be controversial or disapproved of by segments of the community. Such abuse would be a violation of the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights.
Depending upon condition, materials withdrawn from the collections as part of the evaluation process may be offered for sale in the Friends of the Library's book sale. The Dayton Metro Library has an agreement with the Friends of the Library for the sale of withdrawn materials. Gifts and other items not added to the library's collection are also included or are recycled. Withdrawn materials are not offered at any time other than the book sale. Exceptions may be made and the materials may be given to a school or other non-profit agency for use in a recognized program.
These guidelines are applicable to most selection decisions. Other factors may be taken into consideration, and the importance or weight of a particular guideline will vary from one acquisition to another.
The Dayton Metro Library is interested in donations of materials that will broaden and enrich the Library's collections. Much depends on the condition of the items donated and the needs of the library's collection. New titles acquired in this manner are subject to the basic standards of selection. Replacements and duplicate copies are added to the collection if needed. The Dayton Metro Library recognizes the addition of donations to the collection is a costly enterprise and thus the library must carefully consider whether the donation is worth the price of cataloging and processing it. If it is not on a subject of interest to the users of the library, no matter how fine the book may be, the library may decide not to add it to the collection.
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.
The children's collection serves children from birth through twelve years old and adults involved with children such as parents, caregivers, teachers, homeschoolers, group leaders, and children's literature students. It includes materials for all reading, listening, and viewing levels; for all recreational preferences; and on all subject interests. Because the children's collection spans birth through twelve years, it includes material for pre-readers and beginning readers which will not interest older children. By the same token, material purchased for older children is often too complicated to be useful or understood by the younger child. Parents should assist their children, especially younger children, in selecting material to meet their needs satisfactorily.
Replacement and duplication of older titles is extensive as children read and reread favorite books spanning generations. Besides materials for children, the children's collection contains material on children's literature and library service to children and a number of books concerned with parenting and teaching.
The children's print collection, like all of literature, often reflects reality. As such it may include material which is controversial or offensive to some.
The library provides picture books for reading aloud and sharing with children from birth to grades three or four. In these books, the text and pictures should complement each other. Sentences should be rhythmic and vocabulary distinctive and appropriate for the child's listening ability. The illustrations should be artistic and satisfying to the child. The story should be original and interesting, preferably with an underlying theme to add depth to a minimal plot. Concept and information books should be creatively presented. The illustrations in wordless books should encourage the child to create a story. Easy to read books should be artistically illustrated and creatively written with a readability of pre-primer through grade three. All picture books should broaden the child either emotionally or intellectually.
Fiction is selected mainly for grades four through six. Plot should grow out of a strong theme, be believable, and excitingly developed through action. Characters should be logically motivated and revealed through incidents. The words should flow smoothly with few clich. Dialogue should sound natural. Illustrations, if included, should be artistic and add to the appreciation of the story. Adaptations and abridgments are purchased only when they are faithful to the intent of the original. Each book in a series is evaluated separately.
Non-fiction should be accurate, objective, and consistently appropriate to the age of the reader. The format should be appealing with the inclusion of diagrams, maps, illustrations, and photographs as needed to enhance the understanding or enjoyment of the text. The text should show some originality of treatment. The style should be direct and neither over simplified nor too complicated for the intended audience. Indexes and bibliographies should usually be included, and they should be accurate and complete.
Books to assist with learning another language are selected as well as a few translations of easy children's books originally published in English.
The non-circulating reference collection, while not extensive, consists of books needed to answer specific questions and to assist with the location of material in other books. It includes encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, bibliographic aids, indexes, important lists, definitive books in areas such as plants, shells, birds, states, and presidents, and books related to the subject of children's literature.
Books by important authors and illustrators and books that have been critically acclaimed in the past are added to this Main Library collection as last copies are withdrawn from the circulating collection. Interesting gift books such as examples of old spellers, readers, and textbooks are added along with other books of significance.
Magazines and some online databases are selected to appeal to children of all ages and are chosen from approved professional lists and from examination of new publications. Magazines for adults are selected to cover interests in children's literature, library service to children, and education.
Adolescence is the transitional age from childhood to maturity and an experimental stage during which young people investigate a wide variety of interests. Teens may use a wider range of library materials than any other age group. While the entire collection is available to the teens, the library recognizes that certain materials have a special appeal or message for this group. Some items are purchased specifically for the teen collection. However, many items found here are duplicated in the children's collection, in the adult collection, or in both.
The teen collection includes recreational reading, including fiction and non-fiction, paperbacks, magazines, and graphic novels particularly appropriate to adolescents age thirteen to seventeen. It is not intended to be a comprehensive collection serving all the needs and interests of teens, nor is it the library's intention that teens should be confined to the use of this material.
Materials are selected for this collection to educate, empower, and broaden the horizons of teens to help them to cope with the problems of adolescence. To fulfill these needs, the collection will inevitably include materials on controversial topics which some may find offensive.
The teen reference collection is for adults to increase their appreciation of teen literature and enhance library work with teens.
For the purpose of library collection development, electronic reference sources are defined as commercial products that require computer access. Examples include, but are not limited to: periodical indexes, reference databases, Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, and multimedia files. Some of these sources may be made available through consortia agreements. Others may be available to the Library free through grants or state agencies.
The Dayton Metro Library's current collection development policy governing the funding, selection, acquisition, and retention of library materials and information resources applies to all formats including electronic resources. When possible, the Library will give priority to the acquisition of electronic resources that offer significant added-value such as uniqueness of information, ease of use, wider accessibility, timely updates and cost-effectiveness. Electronic resources generally are more costly than print, but offer advantages such as allowing multiple users access to the same resource simultaneously, or more powerful searching capabilities, or interactivity. In accordance with the Library's Mission and Vision statements, it is committed to providing access to these resources to all its users regardless of their location. Partnerships in cooperative acquisitions and cost sharing with other public libraries are pursued when feasible.
The library receives its Internet service through the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN). OPLIN's mission is to ensure that all Ohio residents have fast, free public Internet access throughout the state, as well as use of high-quality research databases not freely available on the World Wide Web. This is done through Ohio's 251 independent local public libraries.
The Library offers the Internet to the public. By its nature the Internet offers access to a vast abundance of information from an almost infinite number of sources. The Dayton Metro Library makes use of this resource as an integral part of its service offering, both as a mechanism to promote its collections, services and programs, and also as a contributor of content.
In the course of its business including the provision of reference service to the general public, Library staff members may quote sources and recommend content available over the Internet. However, the content users may access from the Internet using library computers and network access may not have been selected or reviewed by librarians. The Library recognizes that Internet content, just like traditionally published materials, may be partisan, inaccurate and misleading. Readers are advised to use independent judgment when evaluating all Internet content.
Public use of the Internet is addressed in separate policies of the Library.
Filtering and CIPA compliance
The Library has an Internet Acceptable User Policy that prohibits the display of sexually explicit imagery on library computers. To assist library computer users in identifying sites that may have prohibited content a filter service has been employed. It is not the intention of the Library to block any other material even though it may be objectionable, inflammatory or inaccurate.
No filtering service is perfect and experience shows that such services often block access to sites which should not be blocked. In addition sites which should be blocked may be overlooked by the filtering service. Because of these limitations and in compliance with provisions of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) the Library enables adults to bypass the service by entering their library card numbers. Patrons under the age of eighteen may also bypass this software if their parents complete an Internet Consent Form. This form is available at any Dayton Metro Library. Parents must go to a library in person to complete this form.
Anyone who feels the block on a site should be lifted may submit a "Request for Reconsideration of Internet Site" form (Appendix I). Blocks on sites which do not display sexually explicit images will be removed by staff.
Under no circumstances are sexually explicit images to be viewed on library computers. Library users who locate sexually explicit sites which have not been blocked can request that the library block these sites by submitting the "Request for Reconsideration of Internet Site" form (Appendix I). The Library will only block sites with sexually explicit images.
Visual and sound art is the universal language through which we express our common aspirations and experiences. As such, it has always been a channel for appreciating and understanding the diversity of humankind. In contemporary society, visual media has expanded rapidly. People who formerly typed documents now design web pages, create PowerPoint documents, and produce video presentations. The need to experience, understand, and successfully create visual and sound media is increasing. Films have evolved into a high art form. Recent surveys indicate consumers view films at home more often than in theaters. The library is prepared to meet these community needs.
The Library purchases a diversified collection of visual and sound media. This collection consists mainly of informational, how-to, and popular entertainment titles for all ages. The majority of movie titles purchased are box office hits and the majority of music titles purchased are listed on Billboard charts. Most of the titles purchased do not include public performance rights. Videos produced specifically for instructional use in the classroom are not purchased. Visual and sound media review and selection decisions are based primarily on the same criteria used for print purchases. The library normally does not purchase edited versions of recordings and movies. Additionally, the library purchases visual and sound media in the predominant format.
Descriptive Video Service (DVS)
These videos are specially described by Descriptive Video Service for patrons with vision impairments. Without interfering with the movie's dialogue or sound effects, DVS describes the visual elements of a movie; including the action, characters, locations, costumes and sets. Video review and selection decisions are based primarily on current reviews from appropriate sources.
Sound Recordings (Spoken Word)
The Library selects, acquires and maintains a diversified collection of sound recordings. Review and selection decisions are based on the same criteria used for print purchases. The library normally buys unabridged versions of sound recordings.
New Forms of Media
From time to time new forms of media are introduced into the market place. New media formats are studied carefully to assess their suitability for public library use, and sufficient time is often needed to properly determine whether they will receive lasting and wide-spread public acceptance before collections of such new forms of media are added to the library. Among the criteria used to evaluate the appropriateness of any new media are:
The above criteria should not be construed in a manner that would retard adoption of specific media format that are designed to meet the needs of specific target audiences. (i.e. new formats that might only appeal to patrons with disabilities).
The Library's Mission Statement
We are dedicated to giving patrons what they want, not what we think they should have. This includes giving them the materials and information in the formats they want them. Books, videos, sound recordings and online content each have a legitimate place in our collections because these are the formats our patrons find relevant and will use to enhance their lives. We will not make personal judgments on the value of individual works and therefore we will not censor nor will we add or remove materials to meet our personal convictions.
We provide value to our community by bringing information to them. We are part of our community's future because we preserve our community's past. We share in creating that history, as we help to shape the institutions and contribute to the public discourse that forms our community.
We embrace the strengths of our differences. We understand that others share different viewpoints and represent different cultures. We will be flexible and sensitive in how we work and the materials we buy. We strive to create opportunities for our patrons and ourselves, and in doing so we will bridge the gaps between the haves and the have-nots, between those who can and cannot, and between those with skills and those without.
We value the trust our patrons place in us. We will uphold their privacy by rigorously upholding the confidentiality of the information they share with us. Our community trusts us to treat them and their funds with honesty and responsibility. We will exercise our fiscal responsibilities and legal requirements with care and consideration.
We will actively support learning to read as the first step in a lifelong learning experience. Being able to read is not only essential to survival in today's society, but it also leads to a richer and more rewarding life. It enables us to gain knowledge and empowers us to share that knowledge with those who are important in our lives. We seek to engage everyone in our community, from pre-schoolers to senior citizens, as we build a literate and learning community.
We are a successful organization because we are dedicated to our mission and work to efficiently provide services to our patrons. We accomplish this through consistent communication throughout the organization and a genuine emphasis on teamwork and collaboration in decision-making. We will develop our skills to adapt to the changes in our society and the demands our community places on us.
We strive for excellence in everything we do because we are passionate about providing consistent quality service. We will treat everyone as a valued customer including our co-workers, library users, and those we seek as new users.
To maintain our relevancy we will continually innovate and challenge the way we think about services we provide. We will stay focused on the long-term goal of building a stronger community through comprehensive collections, inviting facilities, and quality service.
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, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; January 23, 1980; inclusion of reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council
Adopted May 14, 1982, by the Ohio Library Association Board of directors.
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:
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.It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
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.
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, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.
A Joint Statement by:
Subsequently Endorsed by:
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 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.
Appendix F - Download a PDF of the Request for Reconsideration of Juvenile Borrowing Privileges Form
Appendix G - Download a PDF of the Request for Reconsideration of Library Material Form
Just as they have a right to make recommendations for additions to the Library's collections, patrons (Dayton Metro Library card holders and/or citizens of Montgomery County) may request materials be withdrawn or reconsidered. Such requests are not to be taken lightly; they should be handled in a calm and courteous manner. If possible, they should be referred immediately to the department, or branch manager. Patrons requesting withdrawal or reconsideration of material should be afforded every opportunity to express their concerns. The manager or person in charge handling the complaint should give the patron a copy of the Collection Development Policy and indicate that this document explains the library's materials selection process and policy.
A patron who wishes to pursue a complaint further should be referred to the Office of Collection Development Manager. A patron who is still not satisfied should be informed that a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form may be completed and sent to the Executive Director. If a patron decides to take this action, the following procedure will be followed:
Appendix I - Download a PDF of theRequest for Reconsideration of Internet Site Form