Collection Development

This policy replaces any previous policy regarding collection development. Created October 2009; Approved by the Library Board on December 16, 2009

I. Purpose of Policy
II. Factors Affecting Collection Development
III. Responsibilities for Collection Development
IV. Evaluation and Selection Criteria of Library Materials
V. Reconsideration of Library Materials
VI. Appendices:
A. Library Bill of Rights
B. Freedom to Read Statement
C. Collection Development, Member Purchasing Responsibility
D. Donation Receipt
E. Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form

I. Purpose of Policy

A. Due to the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a collection development policy to guide staff in its efforts to meet community needs and interests.

B. This policy is used by library staff to evaluate and select materials.

C. This policy also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles which guide staff through the selection process.

II. Factors Affecting Collection Development

A. The library serves the cultural, recreational, educational, and informational needs of the Mount Horeb area community. Regular assessments of community needs and interests determined a desire for an accessible collection of books, media, and databases covering a broad range of topics; a welcoming environment for people of all ages and all walks of life to engage in learning opportunities; and for a current collection with sufficient copies of titles in high demand, in formats and languages people want.

B. Additionally, the Mount Horeb Public Library has established itself as a place where ideas and information are freely communicated. A broad spectrum of opinions and a variety of viewpoints are represented in its collections, displays, programs, and services. These opinions include but are not limited to majority and minority cultures, the works of men and women from all age groups, and the various lifestyles, abilities, and diverse aspects of our society. The library strives to present materials representing all sides of an issue in a neutral, unbiased manner.

C. In its selection of materials, the Mount Horeb Public Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights (Appendix A) and the Freedom to Read Statement (Appendix B), as adopted by the American Library Association.

D. The Mount Horeb Public Library participates in the Dane County Library Service, the South Central Library System, and the LINK shared automated library catalog. The materials sharing network provided by membership in these organizations has an impact on collection development in these ways:

1. It makes resources from within the system and throughout the state available to customers locally. It provides access to extensive collections of technical and historical materials, which encourages the library to concentrate its selection on materials likely to provide the broad, general-interest subject coverage that will meet the interests and needs of the larger segments of the public served.

2. By belonging to these organizations, certain rules governing collection development apply to satisfy membership criteria and the cooperative nature of each organization. Without such rules, any one library could bear the load of the demand for popular titles for other libraries' customers; therefore, certain purchasing thresholds exist. (See Collection Development, Member Purchasing Responsibility Appendix C).

E. Customer requests (local, Mount Horeb service area) as driven by best-seller lists and/or promotion in various media outlets such as magazines, television, and radio programming may also affect purchasing decisions.

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III. Responsibilities for Collection Development

A. The ultimate responsibility for collection development, as with all library activities, rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board. Because the Library Director must be able to answer to the Library Board and the general public for selections made by staff, he/she has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

B. This responsibility is shared with members of the professional staff:

1. The Youth Services Coordinator selects all fiction, non-fiction, and audiovisual materials for children from infancy to teens.
2. The Library Director selects all adult fiction (including the Reserve collection) and all adult audiovisual materials, including software and Graphic Novels.
3. The Program and Marketing Librarian selects for portions of the adult non-fiction collection.
4. The Circulation Supervisor selects the Reference collection and portions of the adult non-fiction collection (including the Norwegian collection).

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IV. Evaluation and Selection Criteria of Library Materials

A. The selection of library materials involves the following factors and considerations:

1. The experience and knowledge of staff selectors
2. Familiarity with the community, its needs and interests
3. Holdings and availability of other library resources
4. Library's existing collection and its materials budget

B. The criteria for evaluating materials:

1. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.
2. Reviews in professional journals such as Library Journal, Booklist, and popular reviewing sources such a Newsweek, O!, and online sources such as
3. Opinions on selected works may also be solicited from area authorities, from electronic discussion groups, or blogs.
4. The lack of a review or unfavorable review is not sufficient reason to reject a title for which there is demand.

C. To build a collection of merit and significance, materials must be measured by objective guidelines. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the standards listed below. However, an item need not meet all criteria in order to be acceptable:

1. Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
2. Present and potential relevance to community needs
3. Support of the library's mission and roles
4. Quality of the writing
5. Literary merit
6. Scope and authority of the subject matter
7. Appeal to the general-interest reader
8. Relation to existing materials on the subject
9. Reputation and/or significance of author, including local authors
10. Reputation of the publisher
11. Attention of critics, reviewers, and the public
12. Date of publication
13. Physical format (binding, design, typography, etc.)
14. Inclusion in standard bibliographies or indexes
15. Receipt of, or nomination for, major prizes or awards
16. Holdings and availability of other area library resources
17. Library's existing collection and its material budget
18. Age appropriateness of art, text, and topic
19. Relationship of illustration(s) to text
20. Popularity of the author (customer requests)
21. Affordability

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D. Collection Development and Selection Statements for Specific Areas:

1. The Literature Collection.

a. The fiction collection should contain the best and most enduring of all the novels and short stories that have been published in the English language. Using standard bibliographies, the library will add and/or replace historically significant titles to its collection on a regular basis.

2. The Norwegian Collection.

a. Recognizing the unique influence of the Norwegian settlers on the Mount Horeb area, a separate collection of materials – fiction, non-fiction, and audiovisual – was created to support and highlight this important aspect of the community's heritage.
b. The library staff will add and/or replace significant titles to this collection on a regular basis.

3. The Reference Collection.


a. Librarians may choose to catalog some library items to remain in the building at all times. The decision to do so is based on heavy use (e.g. Consumer Reports magazine), cost (e.g. Value Line) and frequency of referral by staff. b. The library provides a variety of databases for customers to use from their home or library computers through its annual purchases of subscriptions.
c. The library maintains a collection of local history materials, including microfilm of the local paper, minutes of Village government meetings, high school annuals, and various items of interest. This collection does not attempt to be a comprehensive collection of all local history and municipal materials.

4. Audiovisual Materials: Music Recordings, Audio Books, DVDs.


a. Audiovisual materials are an important supplement to the print collection and are intended to serve the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the community.
b. In addition to being a popular format for the general public, audiovisual materials allow the library to serve patrons with disabilities or special needs.
c. Selection is based upon critical reviews, demand, and the intent to provide a wide range of materials to suit a variety of interests and tastes.
d. The library staff does not purchase edited versions of CDs.
e. The library staff does not purchase abridged versions of audio books, although abridged versions may be added to the collection if received as a gift and meet established selection criteria.
f. Over time, audiovisual formats are subject to change (i.e., cassettes, video cassettes, CDs, DVDs, Playaways, digital downloads, etc.). Technological advancements and vendor availability or continuation of support will be a determining factor for continuing a specific format for library collections.

5. Computer/Video Games/Software.


a. Games are an important supplement to the print collection. Games provide: active engagement among peers, encourage experimentation, and positive risk-taking to achieve a goal. Games foster creative thinking as a means to problem solving, and they stress the process of solving a problem to be as important as finding the answer. Games span language barriers, and players do not necessarily need to speak English to participate.
b. The library has collected computer games since they were available. Over time, game formats and systems are subject to change (i.e., floppy disk, CD-ROM, X-Box, PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, etc.). Technological advancements and vendor availability or continuation of support will be a determining factor for continuing a specific format for library collections.
c. Software is an important supplement to the print collection. The software purchased generally emphasizes the educational and informational element of the collection, supporting such subjects as cooking, landscape design, science, and genealogy, etc.

6. Reserve Collection.



a. The Reserve Collection is a popular materials collection currently funded, annually, by the Friends of the Mount Horeb Public Library.
b. The goal of this collection is to address the need for multiple copies of popular, best-selling fiction, and when demand warrants, best-selling non-fiction without overburdening the library's materials budget with duplicate copies. The items in this collection are for walk-ins/browsers and are not available in the shared catalog, but are linked as per guidelines for "generic records".
c. Titles purchased for this collection exceed what is expected via the Holds/Copy Ratio guidelines established by the LINK Collection Development Committee, Member Purchasing Responsibilities. (Appendix C).
d. These titles are considered ephemeral and are withdrawn from the collection when demand has subsided.

7. ASAP Purchases.



a. Items not available through the shared on-line catalog, LINKcat, may be considered for purchase if a Reference Librarian determines there is merit in acquiring the item for the collection versus requesting it through Worldcat, a wide network of materials available for interlibrary loan.
b. The item under consideration: must be less than five years old (out-of-print items are an exception), enhance the subject area, have received good reviews, support community mores, and should not exceed $35.00. Criteria listed above, under section C of this policy are applicable.
c. Textbooks will not be considered a viable purchase option.

8. The Periodical Collection.



a. A collection of magazines and newspapers is maintained for browsing purposes and as a supplement to the book collection. Requests for periodicals that fall outside the scope of the collection may be filled through the interlibrary loan network.
b. This use of this collection is reviewed on an annual basis. Subscriptions are extended or canceled based on this data.

9. Gift Materials.



a. Materials donated to the library are not automatically added to the collection. These items are reviewed according to the selection criteria set forth in this section.
b. Gift materials not added to the collection will be donated to the Friends of the Library for their annual book sale.
c. A "Donation Receipt" form, a sample of which is included in Appendix D of this policy, is available upon request of the donor. Library staff will not assign a dollar value to any gift.


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V. Reconsideration of Library Materials

A. The Mount Horeb Public Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that at any given time an item may offend some customers. Selection of materials will not be made based on approval or disapproval but solely on the principles stated in this selection policy. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from injury or theft.

B. The Library Board believes that censorship is purely an individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject books and other materials he/she does not approve of for him or herself, an individual cannot exercise this right of censorship and restrict the freedom of other persons to read or use these or other library materials. The Mount Horeb Public Library adheres and supports the Library Bill of Rights (Appendix A) and the Freedom to Read Statement (Appendix B).

C. Responsibility for supervising children's use of the library and library materials rests with parents or legal guardians. At no time will the library staff act in loco parentis. Selection of library material will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

D. Customers requesting material be withdrawn from the collection may complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form (Appendix E).

1. The request for reconsideration will be addressed in writing by the Library Director within ten (10) days.
2. The Library Director may wish to investigate the content of the item in question. He/she may assign a panel of staff members to evaluate the item in question. This will be completed in no more than thirty (30) days of the initial request for reconsideration.
3. The panel's recommendations will be considered, and the Library Director's final decision will be mailed to the customer.
4. Customers may appeal the decision of the Library Director to the Mount Horeb Public Library Board of Trustees. An appeal must be made in writing and delivered to the Library Director.
5. Upon receipt of the written appeal, discussion of the appeal will be scheduled on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Library Board of Trustees. Their decision will be final.

Appendix of the Collection Development Policy includes:

A. Library Bill of Rights
B. Freedom to Read Statement
C. Collection Development, Member Purchasing Responsibility
D. Donation Receipt
E. Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form / Citizen Objection Form

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