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                          Collection Development

Mission Statement

The Waldwick Public Library is a cultural and intellectual center for thecommunity.  It maintains a program of service that organizes and stores knowledge, locates and acquires information, guides reading, stimulates thinking and discussion through public programming, and provides a conduit tothe greater regional, state, and national library resources.

I. Policy Statement  

The Board of Trustees of the Waldwick Public Library, recognizing thepluralistic nature of this community and the varied backgrounds and needs of all citizens, regardless of race, creed, age, or political persuasion, declares as a matter of book and materials selection policy that it subscribes to theprinciples in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; theLibrary Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association, the "Freedom to Read" statement of the ALA and the Association of American Publishers, and the ALA "Policy on the Confidentiality of Library Records." 

II. Objectives of Selection

The Waldwick Public Library Board of Trustees, working with the staff ofthe library, affirm the following objectives: to develop a well-rounded collection of a general nature to meet the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the community; to provide a qualified staff to provide guidance in the use of materials; to inform the public of library resources and services, and to support the principles of intellectual freedom.

III. Responsibility for Selection

The Library Board of Trustees shall delegate to the Library Director theauthority and responsibility for the selection of all print and nonprint materials.  Responsibilities for actual selection will rest with the appropriate professionally trained personnel who shall discharge this obligation consistent with the Board's adopted selection criteria and procedures.  Any library material so selected shall be held to be selected by the Board of Trustees.

IV. Selection Criteria

The selection of materials is based upon authoritative printed reviews in professional journals such as Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, and in other media such as the New York Times Book Review. Patron requests shall be given due consideration for purchase; however, the selection of materials shall be made with the goal of developing a well-rounded collection of a general nature to meet the needs and interests of the community.  No attempt shall be made to provide textbooks, but those which can be used for general information purposes may be acquired, providing they meet the standards of this selection policy.

V. Policy on Content of Materials

The Board of Trustees of the Waldwick Public Library believes that censorship is a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject for him/herself materials which he/she does not approve of, he/she cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom to read of others.  Furthermore, the Board maintains that parents--and only parents--havethe right and responsibility to restrict the access of their children--and only their children--to library resources.  Parents or legal guardians who do not want their children to have access to certain library materials, services, or facilities, should so advise their children.  Librarians and governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child.  The Board recognizes the professional obligation of librarians to provide equal access to all library resources for all library users.

A complaint concerning the content of library materials may be given formal recognition once the complainant fills out and signs a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form provided for this purpose. A committee composed of the Library Director, at least one staff member, and at least one member of the Board of Trustees shall then be asked to read, listen to, or view the material in question and discuss it from the standpoint of the criticism made.  When the material has been so reviewed, a report shall be made by the committee to the Board of Trustees for final determination.

VI. Gifts

The Library accepts gifts from individuals and groups and its collection has been greatly enriched by many donations of books and other materials.  The Library welcomes gifts, but such items shall be added to the permanent collection on the same basis as those materials purchased.  A professional librarian, under the supervision of the Library Director, shall determine their suitability for addition to the collection.  The decision will be based on criteria such as the physical condition of the item, and whether the Library needs thetitle or additional copies of the title in its collection.  Gifts not accepted for thecollection may be placed in the ongoing library book sale or disposed of as theLibrary Director deems necessary.

The Library Director may accept memorial donations and non-designated gifts of money to be placed in the general fund.  Gifts of money over $1,000 that are designated for a specific purpose (i.e., specific acquisitions, furniture, paintings, etc.) must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

VII. Collection Management

As materials become worn, dated, damaged, or lost, replacement will be determined by the appropriate staff members who will decide whether

  1. The item is still available and can be replaced.

  2. Another item or format might better serve the same purpose.

  3. There remains sufficient need to replace the item.

  4. Updated, newer, or revised materials better replace a particular item.

  5. The item has historical value.

  6. Another networking agency could better provide that or a comparable item.

Weeding is performed as a regular, ongoing process in the interest of keeping the collection current and vital.  Materials removed shall be disposed of in the most practical manner at the discretion of the Library Director.


Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees

Date: October 18, 2002

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