Library Materials Collection Policy
It is the aim of the library’s collection to make available books and other materials that will enable it to meet its objectives, outlined in the long-range plan, within the constraints of budget and space.
Materials selected are chosen on how well they relate to the purposes of the library outlined in the Long Range Plan, created with public input and adopted by the Trustees. It is the goal of the Conant Public Library to seek out materials in a timely fashion. The Library shall give a high priority to provide circulating, reference, and research materials that meet the varied needs of its patrons.
Specific Principles for Selection
Materials will be chosen for the collection based on the authority of the author; price, format, and ease of use; contemporary significance; permanent value; accuracy, and popular demand. Non-fiction collection development has a goal of providing information for independent, self-directed learning and social development. Collection development of non-fiction materials will include consideration of existing library holdings, readability of the material, and authenticity of factual matter, cost, format, and usefulness to the library’s patrons. Collection development of fiction materials aims to provide reading for recreational use. The Library attempts to purchase a wide variety of fiction to meet the many preferences of its patrons.
Review materials including Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Horn Book, and Voice of Youth Advocates will be the primary sources used to select materials since they provide some gauge of the quality or authority of the materials reviewed. The library will also collect 95% of New York Times fiction bestsellers. Popular television, magazines and press will be consulted to add current popular materials as budget permits.
The Conant Public Library recognizes the importance of non-book materials as a supplement to its book collection. Videos, eBooks, and online services are purchased as part of the library’s collection development. Selection of videos includes newly released popular titles, classic films, and popular television series. The Library also provides access to a collection of downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, and videos made available to our patrons through our C/WMARS membership. In addition, the Library provides access to library-owned eBooks, through OverDrive Advantage. Collection development of eBooks follows the collection policy for both fiction and non-fiction print materials.
Youth Services Collection Development
The main purpose of the young adult collection is to provide materials of interest to adolescents, primarily between the ages of 12 and 18. Materials selected for this collection are used to serve the educational, developmental, and recreational needs of this population.
Care is used in the selection of children’s books to consider the following: literary and artistic distinction; mental and emotional maturity levels; and reading levels. Accuracy and good style, coupled with imaginative and appropriate treatment of the range of knowledge are the criteria used to select materials at many levels of reading ability.
Materials will not be excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation. In an effort to provide patrons with a diverse range of information and a wide variety of viewpoints, the Library will acquire materials that may be offensive to individuals or groups because of perceived profanity, social, economic, and political ideas, religious viewpoints, or other reasons. The addition of these materials to the Library’s collection does not imply approval or endorsement of the contents. A Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material will be available for patrons and will be reviewed by the director and the Trustees and acted upon in compliance with ALA Bill of Rights. For a Request for Reconsideration to be considered, the form must be completed in full. The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Sterling and hold a valid borrower’s card. The Director will respond, in writing, within thirty days of receipt, to the patron’s request for reconsideration. An item will only be evaluated for reconsideration once in a 3 year period. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to monitor the appropriateness of library materials for their own minor children, in terms of their individual beliefs, values and the maturity level of the child.
Withdrawal of Materials
The library strives to maintain an up-to-date and useful collection through a continual re-evaluation of demand, the removal of unneeded titles and replacement of lost and damaged titles. Materials are removed from the collection when they become out of date, are no longer used, have poor appearances, and because of space constraints. Discarded materials will be auctioned if required by current town policy. Items may also be given to other government or charitable organizations, or made available to the public.
Amended July 11, 2022