Criteria for Selection
The Lithgow Public Library is committed to developing and maintaining a collection of materials that meets the needs, interests, and abilities of the diverse community members of Augusta, ME. Criteria for selection include, but are not limited to, an item’s potential popularity, quality, accuracy, timeliness, and ability to meet a unique need within the collection and the community. All collection development is done within the limitations naturally imposed by budget and space.
The Library adheres at all times to the principles outlined in the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights” (see attachment A); these ethics guide all decisions made with respect to the Library’s collection.
Materials are selected by the following staff: Library Director, Systems Librarian, Youth Services Librarian and Teen Services Coordinator, for their respective constituencies. Additional library staff may also provide input in the ordering of materials.
Method of Materials Selection
Librarians should exercise their knowledge and experience of the library’s collection and of the community served. Each type of material must be considered in terms of its own merit and intended audience.
Reviews in professionally recognized periodicals are a primary source for material selection. Selectors should also use the High-Demand Holds feature in SIERRA to ensure there are adequate local copies in the system to meet the demand of Lithgow members.
All requests from patrons for specific titles or subject requests will be considered, as long as it meets our criteria for selection.
All items donated to the Library are referred to the appropriate selector for evaluation for inclusion in the collection. Considerations used in evaluation include, but are not limited to, timeliness, condition, quality, ease of processing, fit with material already in the collection, and available space. Items not chosen for use in the collection are placed in the Friends of Lithgow Library’s book sale or given away for free. If a donor wishes material not chosen for selection to be returned, he or she must make that wish clear upon delivery of said material. As the Library does not employ professional appraisers, any written acknowledgement of in-kind contributions will list only the appropriate bibliographic information and number of titles; it is up to the donor to set a value for tax purposes.
The Library welcomes unrestricted monetary donations for use in building the collection. Donors should be directed to the Library Director. If a donor wishes to specify a part of the collection the donation should be used for, he or she will be referred to the appropriate selector for discussion. Memorial gifts that have been specified for use in developing the collection will be recognized with book plates. The Library is not required to accept monetary donations that are restricted to the acquisition of specific titles.
Replacement of Lost/Damaged Materials
Patrons are required to compensate the library for lost/damaged materials through payment for the items. Replacement copies will be accepted in lieu of payment, as long as they are new and in the same format as the copy they are replacing.
Withdrawal of Materials
The health of any library collection depends on periodic deselection, or “weeding.” It is the responsibility of each selector to assess on a regular basis the the collection under his or her oversight in order to weed out superfluous items. Criteria for weeding include, but are not limited to, condition, duplication within the collection, circulation (or lack thereof), accuracy, and timeliness. At no time will a title be removed from the collection for ideological reasons.
Reconsideration on Materials
The Lithgow Public Library welcomes comments and suggestions regarding the continued appropriateness of materials in the collection, especially concerning the ongoing process of collection development.
Individuals may take issue with library materials that do not support their tastes and views. Staff is available to discuss concerns and identify alternate materials in the collection, or to assist patrons in obtaining them through Inter-Library Loan service. If a patron’s concern is not satisfied through discussion with staff, a formal, written request for reconsideration of materials may be submitted to the Library Director. Copies of this form are available at the public service desks or from the Library Director. (see attachment B).
The Lithgow Public Library is not a judicial body. Laws governing obscenity, subversive materials and other questionable matters are subject to interpretation by the courts. Therefore, no challenged material will be removed solely for the complaint of obscenity or any other category covered by law until after a court of competent jurisdiction has ruled against the material. No materials will be knowingly added to the library collections that have been previously determined to be in non-compliance with local laws.
For a request for reconsideration to be evaluated, the relevant form must be completed in full. The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Augusta, Maine, or hold a valid library card. The Library Director will respond, in writing, within 30 days of receipt of the completed form. The response will indicate the action to be taken and the reasons for or against honoring the request. An item will only be evaluated for reconsideration once in a 12-month period.
Should the complainant not be satisfied with the response of the Library Director, he or she may appeal the matter to the Board of Trustees.
Adopted January, 26, 2021
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
- Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, age, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.
Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.