Materials Selection Policy
In accordance with its mission, the Rochester Public Library provides print and non-print materials to the community to support lifelong learning, literacy, and personal cultural enrichment. The Material Selection Policy serves as a guide for professional staff who select material as well as an informational source on how and why materials are selected for the Library collection.
The Rochester Public Library’s Material Selection Policy adheres to the principles outlined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Freedom to View Statement, and the Access to Electronic Resources Statement (attached).
B. Selection of Materials
The Library collection grows and changes in response to the needs of its community, embracing new formats, new ideas, sciences, and arts while maintaining a foundation of historical, traditional, and classical material.
Factors to be considered in selecting material to add to the Library collection include but are not limited to professional review materials such as Booklist and Library Journal, patron requests, current collection composition, public interest, demand, timeliness, and audience. Material will not be excluded from the collection because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social view of the author.
The responsibility of selection lies with the professional staff of the Rochester Public Library, within the framework of this policy as determined by the Library Board of Trustees.
In accordance with the Library’s Donation Policy, the Library is pleased to accept gifts of material which support its mission. The following conditions are attached to all gifts:
The Library will determine classification, housing and circulation policies of all gift material.
The Library retains the right to dispose of gift materials in the same manner as it disposes of purchased material.
The Library reserves the right to refuse, to accept, and /or to dispose of all gift material.
Appraisal of a gift to the Library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor. Upon request the Library will provide a receipt of the number of items given.
The Library does not accept items of a non-library nature such as furniture, clothing, artifacts, personal hobby collection, tools, etc.
D. Access to Materials
Library material will be maintained on open shelves or displays freely and readily accessible to Library patrons, except as protection from damage or for space or security reasons. All Library patrons are free to select or reject Library materials for themselves. Individual or group prejudice cannot restrict the freedom of use and/or access to others.
The Library has a Children’s Room to accommodate Library use by children and families, but children are not limited to use of the children’s collection. Selection of Library material is not restricted by the possibility that items may come into the possession of children.
E. Reconsideration of Materials
Patrons who request the reconsideration of Library materials will be asked to put their request in writing by completing and signing the form entitled “Request for Reconsideration of Library Material.” (attached)
Upon receipt of a formal written request, a committee of professional staff, including but not limited to the selector for the subject area of the item in question, will be formed. The committee, in consultation with the Library Director, will make a decision regarding the retention, relocation or removal of the item. Once a decision has been reached regarding the status of the item, a letter explaining the decision will be sent to the patron who initiated the Request for Reconsideration. All stages of this process will be completed in a timely matter.
If the patron is not satisfied with the committee’s decision, the patron may submit a written appeal to the Library Board of Trustees. This appeal will be considered at the next scheduled meeting of the Library Board of Trustees and the patron will be notified of the Board’s decision within 5 working days. The decision of the Library Board of Trustees is final.
An item which has gone through the reconsideration process is exempt from further reconsideration requests for a period of five years.
F. Withdrawal of Materials
As part of its Mission, the Rochester Public Library strives to provide current material, accurate information, and an accessible collection in good condition. Systematic removal of material, referred to as weeding, is essential to maintaining the quality and usefulness of the Library’s collection. Materials that no longer meet the mission of the Library are identified, withdrawn and discarded according to accepted professional practices. Those librarians who have a direct role in the selection of materials regularly review the collection in their respective responsibility areas using CREW as well as other standard methods of weeding (the CREW method calls for Continuous, Review, Evaluation, and Weeding of the collection).
G. Disposition of Withdrawn Materials
Items selected to be withdrawn from the collection will be marked “withdrawn” or “discard”. Withdrawals may be sold at book sales held by the Library, donated, distributed, or disposed of by other appropriate means at the Library’s sole discretion. The Library cannot honor requests to hold items or notify persons who wish to buy or receive as gifts material that may be discarded from the collection.
Adopted by Board of Library Trustees 10/23/1991