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Collection Development Guidelines
The Boca Raton Public Library provides quality library services and resources necessary to meet the educational, recreational, cultural, business, and other informational needs of its users. The Library is committed to providing information in all appropriate formats and shall select and organize its resources to benefit persons of all ages and abilities.
Collection Development includes the planning, evaluating, selecting, acquiring, and weeding of the Library's collections.
Library materials include, but are not limited to, the following; books, periodicals, reference works, newspapers, microfilm, CDs, DVDs, large print materials, online databases, the Internet, and new formats as they evolve.
Weeding is the regular, ongoing, and systematic evaluation process whereby Library materials are withdrawn from the collection based on specific criteria such as being outdated, worn, damaged, duplicated and/or affected by space constraints.
Boca Raton Public Library strives to select, organize, preserve and make freely and easily available printed and other materials that will aid all individuals in the community in the pursuit of information, education, research, recreation, culture, and in the creative use of leisure time. The primary goal of collection development is to provide the best possible collection with the financial resources available. The decision to select any item for the collection is based on demand, anticipated need, and the effort to maintain a wide and balanced collection. In addition, roles for materials and services are reviewed on a regular basis by staff, thus aiding in the overall process of materials selection.
The Library patron is an important part of the selection process. An individual request from a patron for a title is usually honored if the request conforms to the guidelines outlined in this policy statement. Request forms are found at public service locations in the Library and on the Library's web site.
The Library strives to maintain materials representing all sides of an issue in a neutral, unbiased manner. Selection of materials by the Library does not mean endorsement of the contents or views expressed in those materials. The existence of a particular viewpoint in the collection is an expression of the Library's policy of intellectual freedom, not an endorsement of that particular point of view. The Library provides service to all within the framework of its rules and regulations and does not knowingly discriminate in its materials selection regarding race, creed, gender, occupation, financial position, sexual preference, political affiliation, and religion.
The Boca Raton Public Library endorses the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read and the Freedom to View statements of the American Library Association, as well as the Boca Raton Public Library Internet Use Policy.
IV. Selection Criteria
Library materials are selected on the basis of informational, educational, cultural, and recreational value. The following general criteria are also used in selecting materials for addition to the collection:
When evaluating free literature materials to be displayed and/or distributed, the provisions set forth in the Library's collection development guidelines should be considered along with the following:
Since space is limited, free literature shall be selected and allowed to be displayed, ONLY IN THE SPACE(S) PROVIDED, in the following order of priority:
V. Responsibility for Selection
The ultimate responsibility for materials selection and the development of the Library collection rests with the Manager of Library Services, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Boca Raton Mayor and City Council, the City Manager, and the Code of City Ordinances. Professional Library staff under the general supervision of the Manager accomplishes the actual selection of materials.
VI. Formats of Materials
Materials may be available in a variety of formats. Factors governing the choice of format include anticipated use, storage requirements, ease of access, cost, and the format of earlier editions. When all other factors are equal, ease of access by the public shall be the primary consideration.
VII. Gifts, Memorials, and Donations
The Library accepts gifts and donations, and will gladly purchase memorials. The Library reserves the right to evaluate all gifts, donations, and memorial requests in accordance with the criteria applied to purchased materials. Items that do not meet the Library's objectives and policies may be refused, sold or otherwise disposed. No other conditions may be imposed relating to any gift, donation, or memorial either before or after its acceptance by the Library. Bookplates shall be provided for memorials, and a letter will be sent to the donor.
VIII. Donated Materials Policy For Print on Demand, Self Published and/or Local Authors
The Boca Raton Public Library appreciates the willingness of authors to contribute their items to the library collection. All donations presented to the Library as gifts are subject to the same selection criteria as purchased items. An item(s) not included in the collection will be donated to the Friends of the Library Bookstore.
Instructions for receipt of donated materials:
IX. Weeding or Withdrawal of Materials
The withdrawal of materials from the collection, also called weeding, is an ongoing process directly related to collection development and is essential for the maintenance of an active and useful collection. Materials that are outdated, worn, damaged, duplicated and/or are affected by space constraints may be removed from the collection. The professional staff of the Library, under the direction and supervision of the Manager of Library Services, will be solely responsible for the weeding of the collection.
The BRPL makes every attempt to ensure a mold free environment. Whether a book is slightly damp or completely wet, the book cannot be accepted into the collection.
X. Disposal of Library Collection Materials
Library collection materials are identified by the City of Boca Raton as a "supply."
Once a supply is beyond its usefulness, it may be disposed of by the BRPL. When library collection materials (i.e. supplies) are no longer of a useful value as determined by the BRPL Collection Development Policy and/or the BRPL Weeding Policy, materials may be disposed of. BRPL may dispose of library materials in various ways including: (1) giving the materials to an organization (e.g. Friends of the Library, Boca Raton Historical Society, Wayne Barton Center), (2) recycling the materials, and/or (3) processing the materials as solid waste.
The Boca Raton Public Library recognizes that full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential for patrons to exercise their rights as citizens. The Library believes that reading, listening, and viewing are individual, private matters. While patrons are free to select or reject materials for themselves or their own minor children, the freedom of others to read or inquire cannot be restricted. The Library does not stand in loco parentis. Parents and guardians, not the Library, have the responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own minor children. Selection of materials shall not be inhibited by the possibility that children may utilize the items.
The Library collection will be organized and maintained to facilitate access. No materials will be labeled, restricted, sequestered, or altered because of any controversy about the author, subject matter, or intended or potential audience.
XII. Concerns and Requests
The Boca Raton Public Library considers all materials selected under this policy to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. If a patron claims that a particular item is not constitutionally protected, the burden of proof rests with the patron.
Any individual who desires may express his or her objections to particular library materials by completing a "Patron Request for Reconsideration of a Work" form. After the form is completed, it will be referred to the Collection Development Librarian who will evaluate the original reasons for the purchase of the material. The professional staff will consider whether the material meets the selection criteria outlined in this policy. The patron will receive a response from the Collection Development team concerning the disposition of the request; if the patron wishes further or different action, he/she has two weeks to appeal in writing to the Manager of Library Services. The Manager of Library Services will then respond in writing to the patron. Appeals of this decision will then be forwarded to the Boca Raton Library Advisory Board for formal action at a regularly scheduled board meeting.