Material Selection Policy
Purpose of the materials selection policy:
The purpose of the Liberty Library materials selection policy is twofold:
- To define the criteria used by the library in the selection of materials.
- To acquaint the general public with the scope of the collection and with the principles of selection used to acquire library materials.
The purpose of the materials collection is to provide users with reliable information and entertainment by making available print, non-print, and electronic materials. Liberty Library recognizes the diversity of its users and makes materials selections accordingly. The aim is to provide information on a wide variety of subjects and genres and makes materials selections accordingly, striving for breadth rather than depth. An effort is made to collect material that represents varied points of view.
Responsibility for Selection
The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Liberty Library Association. Purchase suggestions from the general public are encouraged and are given serious consideration.
Criteria for Selecting Materials
Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library has criteria with which to provide a collection that meets community interests and needs. Selection of all library material shall be made in consideration of the following criteria:
- Popular appeal and demand
- Contemporary significance or permanent value
- Quality, including accuracy, authority, currency, and level of production.
- Need/relationship to other material in the collection and/or the availability from other sources, such as through interlibrary loan and Digital Maine Library online resources
- Reviews found in professional and general periodicals and lists of award winners
- Materials of regional interest (i.e. Maine Collection)
- Appropriateness of format
- Professional judgment
Affirmation of Intellectual Freedom
The Liberty Library values a free and inquiring society, and affirms its support of the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to View, and M.S.R.A. 27 § 121 Confidentiality of library records.
Removal from Collection
The Library keeps the collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing materials, and by removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand. Materials are removed at the decision of the Library Director, and the materials may be sold, discarded, given away for free or for a donation, or be given to local philanthropic, educational, cultural or other organizations.
The Liberty Library endeavors to build a collection representing varying points of view. While a person may reject materials for himself or herself and for his or her children, he or she may not exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others. The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Parents have sole responsibility for the use of materials by their minor children. The selection and loaning of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.
In the event that a library member objects to any materials included or excluded from the collection, the Library Director stands ready to review individual decisions upon written request using the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. The appropriateness for the collection is not based on a single passage from the text or screen, but the work is evaluated as a whole. The Library Director will review the request and interview the complainant. If the objection is not withdrawn, it will be referred to the Liberty Library Association and their decision will be final. No materials so challenged shall be removed from the collection until the final decision of the Liberty Library Association.
Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of this library’s collection. The Liberty Library participates in the MILS (Maine InfoNet Library System for Maine’s Small Libraries) consortium, a shared library system of smaller libraries from across the state. MILS and MaineCat statewide borrowing is available for requesting online, and items are delivered by the statewide van delivery service, a service where a courier delivers library materials throughout the state of Maine. Delivery is one day a week. Items usually arrive in 1-2 weeks.
Requestors must have a valid Liberty Library membership and the account must be in good standing. The due date of items varies according to the lending libraries. The Liberty Library does not charge overdue fees but the sending library may have an overdue fee that the patron will be responsible to pay, if applicable.
If an item cannot be located in MILS or MaineCat, patrons may contact the Library Director to see if their request can be fulfilled elsewhere. These items often come via USPS from out-of-state and will likely take longer to arrive. The postage to return items will be paid by the library.
The Library welcomes gifts but accepts them with the understanding that it has the right to handle or dispose of them in the best interest of the library. Donations shall meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. If the library cannot use the item, it will be refused. When the library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature of subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based upon the wishes of the donor. The library in accordance with the needs and selection policy of the library will make the selection of specific titles. The library does not appraise gifts. If the donor needs an appraisal for income tax purposes, it is the donor’s responsibility to have appraisal made. If a receipt is requested, the “Gift Acknowledgement” form may be given to the donor.
Revision of Collection Policy
Because services and the needs of the community change, this materials selection policy is revised as needed and/or is reviewed at least every five years.
Revised and Approved October 24, 2020