Collection Policy

Purpose for Selection
The purpose of the West Buxton Public Library is to provide effective delivery of library and information services that meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the community.

Responsibility for Selection
The authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials are delegated to the library director and Board of Trustees who are qualified for this activity. Purchase suggestions from the general public and staff are encouraged, and are given serious consideration within the framework of policies determined by the West Buxton Public Library Board of Trustees.

Criteria for Selection
The library will provide a wide variety of materials which may include books, periodicals, magazines, pamphlets, video VHS/DVDs, books on CD, audio cassettes/CDs, and electronic databases. Selection of all library material shall be made in consideration of the following:

  • contemporary significance or permanent value
  • popular demand, even if not enduring in value, interest, or accuracy
  • purpose and quality of the material
  • author’s reputation, skill, and significance
  • authority of the publisher
  • listing in professionally recognized selection aids
  • favorable reviews in professional, literary, or general periodicals
  • suitability for physical form for library use (size, paper, print, binding)
  • price, format, and ease of use
  • scarcity of information in subject areas
  • size and extent of the existing collection
  • holdings of other libraries within the region
  • materials of regional interest (i.e. Maine Collection)
  • present and potential needs of the community

Materials are neither excluded nor proscribed because of the race, nationality, political, social, or religious views of the author, or because of diverse views of individuals or groups within the community. The library seeks to obtain presentation of all points of view and all sides of issues. Inclusion does not constitute endorsement of any particular viewpoint. The library does not promulgate particular beliefs or views, nor is the selection of any given material equivalent to endorsement of the viewpoint of the author expressed therein.

Areas of Limited Acquisition
Selection of materials in certain areas is limited to very general or basic works which are not considered beyond the province of public library service. These areas include:

  • textbooks – the library will not attempt to supply textbooks and other materials
  • genealogy – the library will not attempt to supply specialized genealogy sources
  • religious materials – the library will endeavor to build religious collections which offer a broad spectrum of information on the texts, doctrines, history, and leaders of all major religions and religious philosophies. Materials which proselytize, propagandize, or foster intolerance toward other religions will not be included in the library’s collection.

Gifts shall meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. Gifts are accepted subject to the following limitations: (1) the library retains unconditional ownership; (2) the library makes the final decision on acceptance, use, or disposition. If the library cannot use the item, it will be refused.

When the library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature of subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based upon the wishes of the donor. Selection of specific titles, however, will be made by the library staff in accordance with the needs and selection policy of the library.

Withdrawal of Materials
To ensure a vital collection of continued value to the community, materials which have outlived their usefulness will be withdrawn. An up-to-date, attractive, and useful collection is maintained by retaining or replacing essential material, and removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand. A book/resource count will be done annually.

Challenged Materials
The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the use of library materials by children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection should not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children. The library does not stand in loco parentis. While a person may reject material for himself or herself and for his or her children, an individual may not exercise censorship to restrict the freedoms of others to read, see, or hear. It is not the purpose of the library to stimulate or to cater to trivial, antisocial, prurient, or immoral interests. But no one, least of all a free public library, has the right to judge what another may read, view, or hear. Citizen requests for reconsideration of specific materials or subject matter shall be made in writing and submitted to the library director. The library’s written consideration procedure will be followed and the Board of Trustees will review the complaint and render a final decision.

In loco parentis (Latin) = in place of the parent

Adopted: January 2007