Materials Selection Policy
The Bonne Terre Memorial Library serves the citizens of Bonne Terre and the surrounding communities. The Library selects materials which best serve the needs of its varied and complex public. The Library makes available a broad and relevant collection for information, education and recreation. The Library attempts to provide sound factual data and honest opinion representing all points of view on topics of public interest and importance.
Authority and Responsibility
Responsibility for Selection
The Library Director is responsible for collection development and maintenance, acting in accordance with the general selection policies. In practice, the Director may delegate responsibilities the members of the library staff who are qualified by experience and training.
Responsibility of the Patron
The Library realizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. While the library staff is available to assist individuals and groups in selecting materials, the ultimate responsibility for the choice of materials lies with the patron.
Responsibility for Children’s Reading
The Bonne Terre Memorial Library provides access to its materials to all patrons. Responsibility for children’s use of library materials rests with parents and legal guardians. Collection development decisions are not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials that their parents consider inappropriate. The Library believes that individuals have the freedom to choose their own reading and that it is the right and obligation of parents to develop, interpret, and maintain their own values in their family.
Public Library/School Library Roles
The Library attempts to provide materials which complement and augment the reference, research, and leisure needs of students of all ages. The library does not duplicate the collection of school libraries. The Library acquires materials only if they may be useful to the general reader or are valuable sources of information on a particular subject.
Criteria for Selection
Tools used in selection include professional journals, trade journals, subject bibliographies, publisher’s promotional material and reviews from reputable sources. Purchase suggestions from patrons are welcome and provide useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met in the collection. Librarians purchase materials for the community based on their knowledge of the diverse needs of their customers and the current collection.
No materials are excluded or removed from the library on the basis of the author’s race, nationality, or political, social, or religious beliefs. Materials dealing with controversial views are judged as entire works, not on isolated passages or sections.
The Library selects materials that are pertinent, representative of divergent needs, and responsive to customer demand. The Library provides current materials as well as standard authors, titles, and subjects.
- Materials selected will meet high standards in quality, content, expression and format
- Whether purchased or donated, materials shall be considered according to the following criteria:
a) Suitability of subject and style for intended users
b) Comments of reviewers, critics and publishers
c) Strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection
d) Timeliness and accuracy of the information
e) Reputation and authority of the author and publisher
f) Purchase price and other budgetary considerations
g) Contribution to balance of treatment or permanent value
h) Contemporary significance or permanent value
i) Suitability and quality of physical form, layout and construction
The Library collection includes informational, educational and recreational library materials for children and adults. The Library will collect and maintain materials in a variety of formats. Dependent on user demand, budget constraints, space considerations and suitability, new formats will be periodically added to the collection. Older formats (e.g. cassettes, filmstrips) will be phased out as user demand lessens.
Material is purchased in the most appropriate format for Library use. Books are
generally purchased in hardback editions for durability. However, paperback editions may
be purchased in cases where hardback edition is unavailable or is expensive and the title
would be either used infrequently or is an item that would be weeded from the collection in a
few years. Paperbacks are often purchased as duplicate copies of popular titles. Library
editions are purchased for heavily used titles in the Children’s Department.
In addition to Books, the library purchases many types of materials:
- Large Print Books
- Magazines and Newspapers
- Audio Books
- CD’s and CD-Roms
- Electronic Resources
While the Library does not have the budget to buy multiple copies of each title, it may obtain duplicate copies from donations and gifts. These multiple copies will be maintained during the peak times of demand for such titles. When demand for these titles decreases, duplicate titles will be withdrawn from circulation.
The Library welcomes public interest in the collection and will seriously consider all requests to acquire specific materials. The Library is under no obligation to fill any particular request if the item is deemed unsuitable for the collection. All items are evaluated using guidelines outlined in the Library Collection Policy. Any patron who would like to request a specific item for purchase should fill out a Patron Request Form, a sample of which may be found in Appendix F.
The library maintains the following special collections:
Local History/Genealogy—a non-circulating collection of books, newspapers, microforms, maps, cemetery records, periodicals and reference materials relating to local history and genealogy. This collection is primarily used by local and out of state lay researchers, as well as library staff. Many of the materials in this collection are “one-of-a-kind” and cannot be replaced; therefore, they are available for use in the library only. Books and other material are added to this collection as they become available for purchase and through donations of materials in good physical condition that meet the library’s criteria for relevance.
Parents and Teachers:
Due to the increasing number of Home-Schooled Children, the library will create and maintain a small collection geared toward this segment of our community. The collection will consist of teaching aids, videos, curriculum ideas, etc. that they might find useful. This collection will be circulating collection.
Medley and Flora Mae Bryar Collection
This collection of materials consists of books, scrapbooks, photographs, and histories that pertain to the history of Bonne Terre and St. Joe Lead Company. These are housed in the genealogy collection and noted with the call number LH/SP. Materials in this collection are not subject to being loaned. They must be used at the library.
Limits of the Collection
In consideration of user demand, appropriateness for the collection, budget and space constraints, and other information sources available in the community (e.g., school libraries, community collect library, and the Internet), the following types of materials will not be collected or maintained by the library:
- Government publications
- Technical Manuals
- Scholarly or professional journals
- Materials for which there is limited demand