Collection Development Policy
Adopted Jan. 6, 1992
Collection Development is the responsibility of the library director and library staff in accordance with the collection development policy established by the board of library trustees.
Collection development decisions are made on the basis of staff judgment and expertise, and by evaluating reviews in library reviewing journals and other library selection tools. Factors used in making decisions include:
- popular demand
- community needs and interest as determined by library use
- current interest and usefulness
- physical characteristics and quality of the item and its appropriateness
- for a particular user group
- availability through other sources, particularly the inter-library loan
- network of the Massachusetts Library System
WEEDING THE COLLECTION
In order to maintain a collection which is current, reliable, in good condition, well used, and which relates to the needs and interests of the residents of Shirley, materials are withdrawn on a systematic and continuing basis. Materials are discarded when they are judged to be dated, inaccurate, seldom used, in poor condition or otherwise no longer appropriate.
The criteria used in selection also apply to the process of withdrawing material from the collection. Materials withdrawn from the Hazen Memorial Library will be disposed of in a manner consistent with their quality and condition. Materials removed because of dated content or poor condition will not be imposed on another library or institution.
Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they may or may not be added to the collection. Gift materials, including titles new to the collection, are subject to the same selection standards as materials purchased by the library. The library does not provide evaluation of gifts for tax deduction or other purposes.
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS
The collection is carefully chosen for children of all ages and abilities, with the emphasis on materials which entertain, stimulate the imagination, develop reading ability and enable children to learn about the world around them. Materials are purchased in print and non-print formats including, but not limited to, books, magazines, audio, video, puzzles and games.
Although the collection does contain materials of use in completing school assignments, it is not designed to provide school textbooks or other materials which support only the school curriculum.
A small collection of materials specifically selected for young adults is maintained by the library. Materials are selected as a bridge to the adult collection. Novels and recreational materials are selected because of their special appeal for this age group. In general this is a browsing collection.
Children and young adults are not limited to the special collections selected for them. They are encouraged to make full use of the entire collection to the extent that their interests and capabilities allow.
USE OF MATERIALS
The collection of the Hazen Memorial Public Library is available to all community residents and registered borrowers. Materials are not marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of contents; no materials are marked to restrict their use by ages, and no materials are sequestered except to protect valuable items from injury or theft.
Responsibility for the use of materials by children and young adults rests with their parents or legal guardians. The selection of materials for the adult collection and access to it is not restricted by the fact that children may obtain materials their parents consider objectionable.
SCOPE OF THE COLLECTION
Service roles selected by this library emphasize popular materials for adults and children. The popular adult collection highlights genres and topics for which local interest and need is known to exist. These areas include current, high-interest fiction (particularly mysteries, gothics, and adventure), biographies of popular figures, sports, auto and home repair and other how-to materials, and gardening.
The children's collection focuses on highly recommended picture books for preschoolers and on popular reading of standard titles by children of school age.
The library's goal is to develop a collection which is intensively used. This is a popular library. Except in the area of local history, no attempt is made to purchase or retain materials for which there is limited current demand.
In order to meet the diverse needs and interests of all residents, the library provides materials in a variety of formats, including DVD, large print, and books on CD.
In the development of its collection, the library recognizes that it is impossible for a small library to individually develop a balanced, comprehensive collection that is strong enough to meet all community needs. As a member of the Massachusetts Library System, the library supplements its collection via the Region's inter-library loan network.
The library recognizes its obligation to provide as wide a spectrum of materials as possible. Selection cannot be restricted by the possibility that certain materials might be considered objectionable by some users on moral, religious, political or other grounds.
The library endorses the principles of the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements and Library Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association. All three documents are incorporated as part of this selection policy.
The library believes it is essential in a free society to provide access to all library materials. No restrictions are placed on what anyone may read. Well-intentioned individuals or groups may occasionally question the inclusion of an item in the collection because of fear or doubt about the effects of the material on impressionable persons. Although the library understands this concern, it is the library's position that the risk to society is far greater if public access to ideas and information is restricted. Neither an individual, group, nor the library itself has a right to decide what others may or may not read.
The library is opposed to the removal from its shelves, at the request of any individual or group, of materials which have been chosen according the materials selection policy. In addition, the library will oppose coercion on the part of an individual or group seeking to have materials added to the collection which are contrary to the selection policy.