Collection Development Policy exists to serve as a guide in the selection of materials and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.
Principles of Selection
The objective of the Bonneville County Library District is to collect, organize, and make easily available to the people of the community materials that will help them in the pursuit of education, information and the creative use of leisure time.
Within the limits of space and budget, the collection offers patrons materials in a choice of format, treatment, and level of difficulty. In this way most individual library needs can be met and service provided to individuals of all ages. Within the community of Bonneville County there are groups and individuals with diverse interests, backgrounds, and needs. The District collection reflects, as closely as possible, the interests of the majority while not neglecting the equally important interests and views of minorities within the local, national and international communities.
Our district’s role is to provide materials which will allow individuals to access information to make their own decisions. It should be recognized that some materials chosen may be offensive or boring to some individuals, but may be meaningful and significant to others. While everyone is free to reject for themselves and their children materials of which they do not approve, they may not restrict the freedom of others to read or inquire. It is the responsibility of individuals to choose books and materials which are consistent with their individual tastes and values.
The inclusion of an item in the collection is not to be considered an endorsement, official or otherwise, by the District. The District neither approves nor disapproves of the views expressed in materials included in the collection. The District cannot exclude all materials that could conceivably result in mental or physical injury to some individual, since theoretically any material could be harmful to someone if improperly used.
Ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board. The day-to-day work of selection and evaluation is the responsibility of the Library staff. The selection of materials is characterized by open-mindedness and responsiveness to the changing needs of the citizens of the district. Materials are evaluated as complete works and not on the basis of a particular passage or passages. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are evaluated by the following standards. An item need not meet all of the criteria to be acceptable, nor will any single criterion be decisive.
- Public demand
- Quality of content, including accuracy, timeliness, literary or artistic merit
- Quality and suitability of the format
- Social significance
- Reputation of author and/or publisher
- Inclusion in list/s of recommended titles, standard bibliographies, and/or award winners
- Importance of subject matter to the collection
- Scarcity of material on the subject and availability elsewhere
Suggestions from patrons are encouraged and will be given due consideration. In selecting library materials for children, the District’s objective is to provide a collection that meets the informational, recreational, and cultural needs of children from preschool age through sixth grade. However, resources of the entire District are accessible to them as the need arises.
The Library does not buy pornography or materials that trade exclusively in sensationalism. Selection of adult material will not be restricted by the possibility that these materials may come into the possession of minors. The collection contains materials which express a wide variety of views and are suitable for all ages and abilities. It is, therefore, the responsibility of parents or legal guardians to guide the reading, viewing, and listening choices of their children and young adults, and to decide what their children may or may not use from this collection. In providing materials for student use the District cannot provide multiple copies of individual books or textbooks for school assignments, nor can it duplicate subject materials extensively.
In order to maintain a vital, current collection that meets the needs of the community, examination of materials is an ongoing process. When library books lose the value for which they were originally selected, they will be withdrawn. An item is considered for discard when it is:
- Obsolete, misleading or outdated
- Worn beyond use
- No longer circulating and/or used for reference purposes
- One of many copies of a formerly popular title.
Space availability and low circulation over a period of time are other factors that may influence the withdrawal decision. Withdrawn materials are not automatically replaced. Replacement is considered in relation to adequate coverage in a specific subject area, availability of more current or better titles, suitability according to this selection policy and demand for the title. Gifts, including memorial items, are subject to these withdrawal and replacement policies. Discarded library materials may not be reserved for specific individuals. Donations of discarded materials may also be made, at the discretion of the Director, to the Friends of the Library, to neighboring libraries, educational institutions, or charitable organizations or for other public distribution.
Swan Valley and Iona Stamped Books and Materials
Books and materials that are the property of either Swan Valley or Iona will be stamped inside/on the item accordingly. When these items are weeded from the collection, they will be given to the Swan Valley schools and the City of Iona respectively. These entities may choose to save, sell, or otherwise discard of these materials according to their preference.
In the event of any future separation of either of these entities from the BCLD, Swan Valley materials stamped with their mark will remain the property of Swan Valley, and likewise for Iona. These materials will not be removed from the Swan Valley or Iona libraries by the BCLD, nor will they be retained as property of the BCLD. However, materials stamped with the BCLD mark will be retained as BCLD property in the event of a separation and may be removed/kept as property of the BCLD.
The Library accepts gifts of materials with the understanding that the Library may make whatever use of the material it feels appropriate. No restrictions on the District’s use of gift materials may be made by the donor. Gifts become the District’s property upon receipt; they may not be reclaimed. Materials not needed in the collection will be donated to the Friends of the Library, to other libraries, educational institutions or charitable organizations, discarded or otherwise distributed.
Donated materials added to the collection are subject to the same withdrawal and replacement criteria as materials purchased by the Library. It is the policy of the District not to accept special collections of gift materials if the condition of acceptance requires that they be kept together as a separate physical entity. Further, the District shall not accept as a gift any printed or manuscript items or any objects if the condition of acceptance requires permanent exhibition of the item or object or other onerous conditions. Upon request, a note of receipt will be issued for donated items. However, it is the donor’s responsibility to determine the fair market value of the donated materials.
Reconsideration of Library Materials
Any materials selected under this policy are considered to be protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Idaho State Constitution. If a claim is made that an item is not constitutionally protected, the burden of proof rests with the person or group making the assertion.
Any library patron who is a resident of the District may question the presence of an item in the Library’s collection. If the patron concludes that a specific item does not meet the guidelines of the Collection Development Policy, he or she may complete a “Request for Reconsideration” form. The completed form will be reviewed by the staff including the Library Director, and the patron will be informed of the disposition of the request. The Library Board of Trustees will be informed at their next public meeting.
Patrons not satisfied with this disposition may appeal to the Library Board through the Library Director, who will forward the request to the Board along with staff recommendations. After reading the item in question and making full consideration of the specific material, the Library Board shall make final determination of the matter. Material being questioned may remain available to patrons during the reconsideration process.
The patron shall be notified of this action in a timely manner. If a patron wishes to request a change to the Collection Development policy, he or she should put this request in writing addressed to the Library Director. The Director will respond in kind with a decision and an explanation of action taken or not taken regarding the request. If the patron is not satisfied, he or she may appeal to the Library Board who will also respond to the patron with its decision. The Board’s decision on the matter is final.
Policy Implementation, Evaluation, and Revision
The Collection Development Policy of the Bonneville County Library District will be reviewed on a regular basis. Revisions will be referred to the Board of Trustees for final approval.