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Collection Development Policy

  1. INTENT

    This document defines policy to guide Library staff in Collection Development. It also serves to inform the public of the philosophy of selection and establishes a framework for continuous collection evaluation and improvement.
  2. RESPONSIBILITY
    1. This document contains the policy of the Board of Trustees relative to the collection development of materials. The policy can be amended only by the Board.
    2. The Board delegates responsibility for collection development to the Executive Director, who authorizes the Collection Development Department to select materials and establish procedures to administer this policy. Department personnel are knowledgeable in their areas of selection.
    3. The Executive Director may establish special collections to meet the interests and needs of communities served.
  3. INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM STATEMENT
    1. 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.
    2. The Board of Trustees recognizes that the Library has a responsibility to protect and promote the patron’s right to read, view, or listen to materials and resources protected by the First Amendment, no matter the viewpoint of the author, creator, or selector.
    3. The Library provides free access to materials in a variety of formats (print, electronic, and other media).
    4. To provide informational, recreational, and educational support to a diverse population, the Board of Trustees directs that the Library be inclusive rather than exclusive in developing its collections.
    5. The Library has a responsibility to assure that all users have access to legally obtainable materials.
    6. Library users make their own choices as to what they will use based on individual interests and concerns. Selection criteria should not unjustly exclude materials on the grounds that they may offend library users or library staff, or that they may be inappropriate for children. Responsibility for a child’s reading must rest with the parent or guardian, not the library.
  4. DIVERSITY STATEMENT
    1. Dayton Metro Library values and ensures diversity and the variety that is found among its collections. We value a range of coverage in perspectives, authorship, audience, and subject matter.
    2. We recognize that the diverse community the library serves needs diverse and inclusive collections. Library staff strives to build collections that tell the many stories of our community.
    3. We commit to regularly assessing the scope of the existing collections to ensure they are reflective of the diversity of the community we serve.
  5. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
    1. The Board places priority on building equitable collections that respond to the current and anticipated needs and interests of our expanding communities.
    2. 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. An item need not meet all these criteria to be selected.
      1. Community needs, interests, and demands
      2. Literary, artistic, and technical values
      3. Recommendations of reviewers
      4. Reputation and qualifications of the creator(s), publisher(s), or producer(s)
      5. Support of library programs and initiatives
      6. Significance of the author’s work to the Miami Valley
      7. Relationship to the existing collection
      8. Availability in other areas and urban libraries
      9. Price and availability for purchase
      10. Format and durability of format
      11. Suitability for intended user
      12. Judgment of work as a whole
  6. WEBSITE, DATABASES AND ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
    1. The Library website provides a link to the online catalog of materials, subscription databases, and to other electronic resources. In selecting subscription databases, the Library follows Criteria for Selection above. Beyond this, the library has not participated in the development of these sites and does not exert editorial or other control over these sites.
    2. Any link from the Library’s website to another website is not an endorsement from the Library.
    3. The Library does not warrant that its website, the server that makes it available, or any link from its site to other websites are free of viruses or other harmful components.
    4. Public use of the Internet is addressed in a separate policy of the Library.
  7. SUGGESTIONS FOR ADDITIONS / NEW FORMS OF MEDIA
    1. Suggestions from the community are encouraged.
    2. All suggestions are evaluated by the Collection Development staff based on Criteria for Selection.
  8. COLLECTION EVALUATION, MAINTENANCE & WITHDRAWAL
    1. Collection evaluation is not to be employed as a convenient means to remove materials presumed to be controversial or disapproved of by members of the community. Such abuse would be a violation of the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights.
    2. To provide the community with access to a broader collection, the Library participates in interlibrary lending networks. Interlibrary loans are an adjunct to – not a substitute for – collection development and maintenance.
    3. To maintain an active, current, and useful collection, Library staff assess materials systematically throughout the year. Criteria used in evaluating whether an item should be withdrawn from the collection may include:
      1. Age
      2. Condition
      3. Usage
      4. Available shelving space
      5. Item continues to meet the Selection Criteria.
      6. Decisions are based on need, demand, and budget.
      7. All physical items withdrawn from the collection are subject to policy AD 106 and may become the property of the DML Friends of the Library.
  9. COLLECTION ACCESS
    1. The library will provide access to information across the broadest spectrum of disciplines and points of view. Neither the Library Board nor Staff will either directly or indirectly ban or censor any material that otherwise meets the stipulations of this policy. The presence of an item in the Library's collection does not indicate any endorsement of its content by the Library, the Board, or the staff.
    2. Library material will not be labeled to restrict access, and no materials will be separated from the collection except rare, fragile, or other items deemed special collections to protect them from damage or theft.
    3. While the Library’s collection is available to all in the community, decisions about the suitability of any materials for minor children will be the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians. Except as otherwise stated in this policy, the Library assumes no responsibility for restricting any patron’s access to items in the collection.
      1. The library offers parents the option of restricting the borrowing privileges of their own children by filling out a Request for Reconsideration of Juvenile Borrowing Privileges form. 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".
  10. GIFTS OR DONATIONS
    1. Dayton Metro Library may accept gifts or donations of materials that will broaden and enrich the Library's collections. New titles acquired in this manner are subject to the Criteria for Selection.
    2. Unsolicited gifts, donations, or other items not added to the library's collection are not returned, but are recycled or offered to Friends of the Library.
    3. Dayton Metro Library strives to support local authors. As such, we accept donations of published works by those from Montgomery County, or with a connection to Montgomery County. Information about making a donation to add to the Library’s Local Author Collection can be found on this form.
  11. REQUESTS FOR RECONSIDERATION OF MATERIALS
    1. The Library welcomes patrons’ expressions of opinion concerning materials purchased. Requests to remove materials will be considered within the context of the policies set forth in this document.
    2. Anyone who wishes to request a specific item be reconsidered for inclusion in the collection of materials is asked to complete and sign a Request for Reconsideration Form. The material questioned will be reviewed, in its entirety, and once a decision has been made regarding the retention or removal of the material, a letter will be sent to the person, explaining the decision.
    3. If the person indicates dissatisfaction with the resolution, they may appeal to the Library Board. The Board will reconsider the decision based on whether the item conforms to the Board-approved Collection Development Policy.

Approved July 20, 2022

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