Policy Type

The purpose of the Marshall County Public Library is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.

The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection.

The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Marshall County Public Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy.

The Library acknowledges that it serves a community with a variety of identities, moral values, religious beliefs, and political opinions. For this reason, the Library will endeavor to create a diverse collection that represents a full spectrum of ideas and topics. We acknowledge that not every item in the collection is right for every patron, yet our goal is to provide every patron with material that is right for them.

The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.

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 Marshall County Public Library Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

Criteria for Selection

Materials will be selected based on positive reviews in professional journals or actual examination and evaluation of materials. Items and authors that must be purchased every year may be placed on a standing order list to ensure timely delivery.

The main points considered in the selection of materials are:

  1. Literary merit of each item
  2. Popular appeal/demand
  3. Recommended age category as provided by the publisher or review sources
  4. Existing library holdings
  5. Budget
  6. Format
  7. Reviews

Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary source(s) of reviews is (are)

  • The Library Journal
  • Booklist
  • Publisher’s Weekly
  • Best Seller lists
  • Guide to Reference Books
  • Publishers’ and jobbers’ catalogs
  • Patron requests
  • Media publicity
  • Standard lists
  • Reputable book blogs

The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title that is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and materials discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.

Deselection of Materials

The CREW Method will be used as a guide for weeding the collections. Formulas in the CREW Guidelines consider age of the publication, number of circulations, and condition. The CREW guidelines suggest different formulas for different areas of the collection. All formulas are subject to review and revision to meet local needs. Final responsibility for de-selection lies with the Branch Manager or Library Director. Individual tasks may be assigned to other staff.

Recommendations of the staff and the public will be considered.

Disposal of Library Collection Materials

Materials that are weeded from the collection will be disposed of in a manner appropriate for each item. This may include reassignment to another branch, donation to another library or agency, or sold in the library book sale. Some material may be discarded.

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