WHEREAS one of the objectives of the St. Charles Public Library is to maintain a materials collection which will serve the community needs;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by this Board of Trustees of the St. Charles Public Library District that the following selection policy be adopted to ensure the attainment of this objective;
A. PURPOSE OF THE COLLECTION
The purpose of the collection is to assist patrons in:
1. Keeping pace with current developments.
2. Learning about the past.
3. Forming an opinion on controversial subjects.
4. Developing individual skills and talents.
5. Stimulating spiritual and creative capacities.
6. Developing aesthetic and cultural appreciation.
7. Discharging political and social obligations.
8. Using leisure time creatively.
9. Developing and maintaining personal, physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.
10. Obtaining information to support personal, community, and employment-related interests.
The collection will be current, general in scope, and balanced in terms of subject coverage, point of view, and interest level. It is beyond the general scope of the Library to provide materials of a highly technical, specialized nature. There will be duplication to meet reasonable demand. Efforts will be made to borrow materials not owned by the Library.
The collection will represent a variety of formats, print, non-print, and electronic. A large
print collection is provided for patrons with visual impairments. The Library refers patrons who have visual or physical impairments that prevent their using Large Print to the Library of Congress Talking Book Program.
Formats that are not purchased include:
1. Textbooks, unless they are of general interest.
2. Ephemera*, unless it is all that is available on a topic and meets other selection criteria.
3. Books designed by format for home use (ex: workbooks).
* Materials of transitory interest and value, consisting generally of pamphlets or clippings, which are kept for a limited time in vertical files.
Due to the demographics of the community, the library collects primarily materials in English, materials which provide instruction in English to non-English speaking patrons, and materials which provide instruction in foreign languages to English-speaking patrons.
The St. Charles Public Library also seeks to serve and reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the community. When the population of members of the local community whose native language is not English nears 10% of the Library’s total service population, a basic collection of materials in their native language may be established.
E. RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION:
The Board of Trustees of the St. Charles Public Library District delegates to the Director the responsibility for selection of library materials. No employee may be disciplined or dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance with the written selection policy of the St. Charles Public Library.
The Librarian, as selector, observes the affirmative declaration in “Not Censorship but Selection,” by Lester Asheim (WILSON LIBRARY BULLETIN, September, 1953): “The selector’s approach is positive, while that of the censor is negative… The aim of the selector is to promote reading, not to inhibit it; to multiply the points of view which will find expression, not limit them; to be a channel for communication, not a bar against it.”
F. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
In selecting materials, the Librarian will evaluate each work as a whole on the basis of the following criteria:
1. Authority and competence of the author.
2. Reputation and authority of the publisher.
3. Comprehensiveness in breadth and scope.
4. Relation to the existing collection.
5. Importance as a record of the times or for the presentation of a unique point of view.
6. Relative importance in comparison to other available books on the subject.
7. Relevance to community interests, needs, and standards.
8. Justifiability of cost in relation to budget and need.
9. Availability of other area resources.
10. Inclusion on standard library or subject lists.
11. Positive rating in standard reviewing media, general or specialized, such as library journals.
12. Factual accuracy.
14. Literary value or importance as a document of mankind.
15. Effectiveness of expression/readability.
16. Reading level.
17. Nature of physical qualities and format (e.g., technical quality, size, binding, illustrations, typography, design, level of indexing).
18. Local demand.
In addition, the following criteria are especially relevant to the selection of materials for youth and young adults:
1. Maturity of theme/topic.
2. Reading level.
3. Grade level.
4. Interest level.
5. Age of characters.
6. Target audience.
ADOPTED this 9th day of November, 2005 by roll call vote.
Established Selection Policy reviewed by the Board of Trustees at the Regular Meeting on March 14, 2007.
Established Selection Policy reviewed and approved by Board of Trustees at the Regular Meeting on June 10, 2009.