2. Collections

 

2.1. Collection Development
2.2. Selection and Purchasing of Materials
2.3. Intellectual Freedom
2.4. Reconsideration of Materials
2.5. Cataloguing

 

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2.1 Collection Development Policy

Most recent revision: June 2014
Reviewed by Policy Committee: Feb 2014
Reviewed by Board: June 2014

Policy Statement

The core of the Library is the strong collections of books and materials in a variety of formats which facilitate the community’s need for information and recreation, lifelong learning, and love of reading.

This policy provides guidance toward achieving consistency in selection of materials and defines the scope of our collections. The diversity of community interests requires a wide range of subjects and the presentation of multiple points of view varying in treatment from the simple to the complex. It maintains collections reflecting the interests and a concern of the users served, and acts as a gateway to the resources of other co-operating libraries and public resources when its own resources are insufficient.

  • Responsibility: While the responsibility for the total collection development policy rests with the Library Board, the Board delegates responsibility for a balanced and relevant collection to the Chief Librarian who works with committees of volunteers to select and purchase appropriate materials. Selectors are responsible for the selection and purchasing as well as for the weeding process. Suggestions from the public are welcomed and considered.
  • Selection Criteria: The criteria can be summarized as follows:
    • Relevance to community needs
    • Suitability of subject, style and reading level for intended audience
    • Insight into human and social conditions
    • Reputation and/or significance of author
    • Demand for material
    • Positive reviews by critics, staff members and users
    • Reputation of the publisher or producer
    • Availability and accessibility of materials in the collection on the same subject
    • Clarity, accuracy, and logic of presentation
    • Suitability of format for library use
    • Canadian and/or British Columbia content
    • Salt Spring Island author or content
    • Date of publication
    • Price
  • Special areas: Generally the library will purchase books and other media for recreation, education, and information, covering a wide range of subjects, presenting multiple points of view, and varying in treatment. More specifically:
    • Canadian content: the library will endeavor to develop a collection which represents significant local and Canadian issues, authors, artists, film makers and composers.
    • Official languages: the library does not collect materials in languages other than English and French except for dictionaries and some magazines. Given budget restraints and the nature of the patrons, it is not possible to develop complete foreign language collections but because of the French immersion programs at the schools, a small children’s recreational French collection is maintained. To satisfy on-going adult requests for French materials, the library will subscribe to at least one current French language periodical.
    • Multiple copies: the library does not generally collect multiple copies of a title, but additional copies may be purchased for titles in high demand.
    • Salt Spring Island collection: recognizing the archival function of the library as related to our location, the library actively collects all materials related to Salt Spring Island and representative titles by or about Salt Spring authors and artists. Purchasing committees give special consideration to books by local authors with a view to purchasing at least representative works on an ongoing basis. The collection does not attempt to duplicate works more appropriately found in the Archives.
    • Other special collections: the library collects materials related to western British Columbia and gives special consideration to purchasing items of special interest to a large number of library users as reflected by the presence of identifiable groups with that interest (e.g. potters, weavers, sailors, etc.). It maintains a large print collection and maintains and trades with other libraries Daisy books for the blind.
    • Reference: the library maintains a small current reference collection, weeded and updated annually; this includes a list of electronic reference sites to supplement the print collection.
    • Textbooks: the library does not collect routine textbooks, specific curriculum related items except those of a general nature, or specialized academic and technical works.
    • Non-print media: the library maintains and develops a multi-media collection including but not limited to audiobooks, local videotapes and DVDs, music CDs, and book and CD combinations.
    • Fiction: the library collects current hard cover popular fiction and maintains large varied fiction collection with an emphasis on mysteries. It collects all Giller and Governor General Prize winners as well as the winners of other major literary awards.
    • Paperbacks: the library makes extensive use of paperbacks, both purchased and donated; in particular, it collects mass market paperbacks of popular interest. Series and genres, (particularly mysteries, science fiction, and action) with an established demand are purchased heavily. The popularity of this format may mean that their content does not always meet the criteria of literary quality or artistic merit.
    • Periodicals: the library subscribes to specialized periodicals deemed of special interest to SSI residents as well as general interest periodicals. It subscribes to the local SSI weekly paper, a daily paper, and a national weekly newspaper.
    • Develops and maintains a varied children’s collection of fiction, non-fiction, easy read, and picture books as well as multi-media materials including videos, books with CDs, and CDs. Special consideration is given to the purchase of winners and nominees of various prizes for quality in children’s publications.
    • Develops and maintains a young adult fiction collection. As the emphasis in this collection is on recreational reading, non-fiction suitable for young teens is primarily found in the children’s and the adult areas as appropriate.
  • Resource-sharing agreements: The library participates in the province-wide Interlibrary Loan Program, actively sharing materials as requested. From time-to-time, the library may also partner with other community organizations to provide relevant materials for specific occasions or interests.
  • Intellectual freedom and challenges: See Library Policy section 2.3 and 2.4 and Statement of Intellectual Freedom in Appendix H.
  • Deselection/weeding: To keep the collection timely and attractive, materials are withdrawn when they are outdated, worn, or no longer useful in accordance with the Library Policy.
  • Donations: Materials will be accepted as donations from the public but the library reserves the right to evaluate, accept, or reject donations and dispose of them in accordance with the criteria applied to materials which are purchased or discarded. They may be sold with the proceeds going to the library.
  • Process for review of collection development policy: Every 2 years.

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2.2 Selection and Purchasing of Materials

Most recent revision: June 2014
Reviewed by Policy Committee: Feb 2014
Reviewed by Board: June 2014

Policy Statement

While overall responsibility for the collection rests with the Board and the Chief Librarian, in practice the selection is done by committees of volunteers. Because of the diversity and ever-changing membership of the volunteer committees, the Board has established these policy guidelines.

  • The selection of materials is done by committees formed of local volunteers who use recognized reviewing sources, professional journals, recommendations by subject specialists, and who consider the total collection, reputation or significance of the creator, and knowledge of the community.
  • Ordering is done on a regular basis, usually once/month to ensure a constant influx of new materials and to enable materials to be processed and made available to the public on a regular and timely basis.
  • Members should avoid dividing up their responsibilities into discrete subject areas so that selection for one area does not depend on one person; e.g. all or several members of the fiction committee should look at reviews of the various genres rather than one being responsible for mysteries, one for romance, etc. Non-fiction may have one specialist for an area, but input should be solicited from all members of the committee to avoid cases where one person’s interests dominate the selection in that area and other aspects are neglected.
  • Records of orders and the accounting for each committee should be centralized in some way.
  • The collection must be viewed as a whole and if materials ordered by one committee are more appropriately placed in another section of the library, the items should be transferred to that department; e.g. a title ordered by the youth committee may be more appropriately placed in the adult area.
  • The non-fiction committee should include all materials catalogued by Dewey number including books in non-print formats and those books not placed in the fiction area such as poetry, drama. Although video selection is separate, input should be provided to the video committee.
  • The persons involved in the youth collection should also supply suggestions to the adult fiction and nonfiction committees.

Purchasing:

  • The Chief Librarian will determine, in consultation with the selection committees, the primary vendors of materials keeping in mind the cost effectiveness and service of each supplier.
  • Materials should also be ordered with cataloguing where feasible. Final processing (covers, labels and barcodes) will continue to be done in-house.
  • Copies of all orders with estimated totals and invoices should be given to the Administrative Assistant who will ensure a running balance for each committee is maintained.

Makeup of the Selection Committees

  • The committees consist of a varying number of members but at least three and no more than eight on each committee.
  • Members are appointed by the Chief Librarian at the suggestion of the current committee members and/or the volunteer coordinator.
  • Members of each committee serve a term of three years and may be reappointed.

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2.3 Intellectual Freedom

Most recent revision: June 2014
Reviewed by Policy Committee: Feb 2014
Reviewed by Board: June 2014

Policy Statement

The Library does not profess or advocate particular beliefs or views, nor is the selection of any work equivalent to endorsement of the author’s expressed views.

The Library is aware that one or more persons may take issue with the selection of a specific item, and welcomes any expression of opinion by citizens, but does not undertake the task of censoring materials by the elimination or restriction of items purchased after due deliberation.

To provide a resource where free individuals can examine many points of view and make their own decision is one of the essential purposes of a library.

Responsibility for supervising the reading of minors rests with their parents and legal guardians. Children’s reading cannot be monitored in the Library; staff cannot know the maturity of every child nor know every parent’s wishes in this area. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of children.

Any library that buys only books and other items acceptable to everyone will have very limited holdings. Each patron is privileged to choose among the materials in the Library and no one is obligated to read or use anything not liked. While citizens can censor their own use of library materials, this right of censorship cannot be exercised to restrict the intellectual freedom of others to read, view or listen.

Library materials will not be marked to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no catalogued book or other item will be sequestered, except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft. Subject headings and classification schedules used will conform to normal usage and not be altered to indicate the “correctness” or otherwise of the contents of the material.

The Library subscribes to the Canadian Library Association Position Statement on Intellectual Freedom as included in Appendix H.

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2.4 Reconsideration of Materials

Most recent revision: June 2014
Reviewed by Policy Committee: Feb 2014
Reviewed by Board: June 2014

Policy Statement

A person objecting to material in the Library is free to query designated staff members about it. Such staff members are encouraged to discuss the matter if other duties do not prevent their doing so at the time. Attention shall be drawn to the Library’s policy on Intellectual Freedom (Appendix H). A person still questioning material in the Library’s collection is then asked to state the objection and requested action in writing, providing full details. The written objection and action requested, and the material in question will be brought before the Chief Librarian for consideration. A reply will be made to the person in writing as soon as practical.

Material under question will remain in the active collection until a final decision is made by the Chief Librarian.

The Chief Librarian will not consider a complaint about a specific item which is widely distributed and readily available within other communities.

Individuals and groups still objecting after the selection of material has been reconsidered may feel legal action is feasible. Provincial and national library associations, and trustees’ associations should be contacted for assistance in such situations.

2.5 Cataloguing of Materials

Most recent revision: June 2014
Reviewed by Policy Committee: Feb 2014
Reviewed by Board: June 2014

Policy Statement

The library uses the Evergreen/Sitka library system provided through the BC Libraries Cooperative. As such it is part of a consortium and materials should be catalogued in line with the Sitka policies. Cataloguers will use existing records from the Sitka database first; when these are not found, they will search other approved cataloguing sources for relevant records and import those. If modifications to the record are needed to make it reflect the copy in hand, these may be done. Only where no record exists will original cataloguing be done.

Mass market paperbacks are catalogued minimally as these are essentially ephemeral.

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