New Canaan Library


Collection Development Policy


 

The Library Collection Policy determines how Library resources are allocated
to acquisition of books and other parts of the collection. This policy also informs the
public about the principles underlying selection decisions at the New Canaan Library.


BACKGROUND


The Collection Policy is based on the Library Mission Statement:


New Canaan Library Mission Statement


Enrich the town's intellectual life
by providing free and convenient access to information,
fostering lifelong learning,
and encouraging the exchange of ideas.


The Library Mission Statement is interpreted by the Board of Trustees to
arrive at this Collection Development Policy. The Board also gave careful
consideration to Section 53 of the American Library Association (ALA) Bylaws,
“INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM,” attached, which includes The ALA Bill of Rights.
This policy guides the Library staff in making selection decisions for the New
Canaan Library. The Director is responsible for implementing the Policy in the actual
selection of specific material by the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee
consists of the Director, Assistant Director, Department Heads, Reference Librarians
and the Systems Librarian.


POLICY


ACQUISITIONS


The Library Board believes that encouraging broad and extensive use of the
collection is the best way for a library to provide the community with “resources for
information, education and the enrichment of life”.
The New Canaan Library is therefore a popular reading library.
As a result, the Library seeks to serve the particular interests of the New
Canaan community and allocates its resources largely to popular works which will be
of interest or educational value to as many New Canaan residents as possible. It does
not maintain the resources of an academic, scientific or research library.
Specifically, it endeavors to:


• collect, organize, and make available materials of contemporary significance
and of long-term value
• make available materials for enlightenment and recreation, even if they do not
have enduring interest or value
• respect the unique cultural, economic, demographic, and civic character of
New Canaan
• offer a variety of formats, treatments, media, and levels of difficulty
• avoid unnecessary duplication of resources at other conveniently located
libraries


Selection guides for materials include standard bibliographic works, review
sources, staff information, reader requests and recommendations by local specialists.
Individual selections are based on the following criteria:


• literary merit, artistic quality, vitality and originality
• educational and informational value
• accuracy, authority, effectiveness and timeliness of presentation
• current interest
• inclusion of diverse points of view
• representation of a literary, political, or social movement, genre, trend or
national culture


Multiple copies of materials will be purchased to meet demand.
The collection is reviewed continuously. Materials that have outdated
information, are in poor condition, or are no longer of use or interest will be removed
from the collection.


Free access to the collection is important to our Mission, as well as to the
protection of our patrons’ First Amendment rights. The Library therefore often
acquires items which are popular or have educational value even though some patrons
may find them offensive, explicit or controversial in nature, and the Library does not
categorize, rate, label, or restrict access to, such items. The Library supports the
American Library Association “Intellectual Freedom” policy insofar as it makes
patrons (or the parents of minor patrons) solely responsible for the selection of
reading material. Library materials are not marked or identified by the Library to
show approval or disapproval of the contents. Materials are not sequestered except
for the purpose of protecting them from damage or theft, or to make them available
for class assignments and book discussions.


The Library will nevertheless reconsider the appropriateness of any material in
its collection within the context of this policy upon written request of a patron. A
form is available for this purpose. A copy is attached.


GIFTS


The Library accepts gifts of materials with the understanding that the same
guidelines of selection are applied to gifts as to materials acquired by purchase. The
Library reserves the right to evaluate and to dispose of gifts in accordance with
criteria applied to purchased materials. Donors should understand that materials not
added to the collection may be sold in the Friends of the Library Book Sale.
Monies donated for the purchase of materials in particular subject areas,
genres, or formats are gratefully accepted. Though donors are encouraged to provide
guidance, Library staff will select the individual materials to be purchased using the
guidelines above.


This policy will be reviewed by the Library Board periodically.


Approved by the New Canaan Library Board of Trustees on September 12, 2006.

 


PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING PATRON COMPLAINTS CONCERNING LIBRARY MATERIALS


1. Patron initiates the complaint.
2. Patron is referred to Librarian at Reference Desk or to the Director if available.
3. Librarian listens to the complaint and initiates appropriate action. Discussion
should be conducted in the Librarian’s Office or another place with reasonable
privacy. Complaint may be able to be resolved at this time.
4. If complaint is not resolved by discussion, the patron should be advised that a
Request for Reconsideration of the Material may be made to the Director. Give form
to patron. Forms are located in Reference Desk drawer.
5. When the form is completed it should be given to the Director, with any relevant
information including the material itself.
6. The Director consults with the Selection Committee and responds to the Request
by meeting with or telephoning the patron.
7. If the complaint remains unresolved, the Director will forward the complaint to the
Board of Trustees for their consideration. The Board will respond in writing to the
patron.
9/06


New Canaan Library


Request for Reconsideration of Materials
Title of material:_________________________________________________
Author/Director of material: ________________________________________
Publisher/Production Company: _____________________________________
Publication Date: _______
Type of Material.
Book: _____ Video/DVD: ______ Periodical/Newspaper: _____ Audio Book: _____
Request initiated by: ______________________________________
Address: ___________________________________________________
Telephone Number: __________________
Complaint represents Self: ________
Organization, Please give name: ________________________
1. Have you been able to discuss this work with a Librarian?
Yes______ No ________
2. Did the Librarian offer an explanation of why the material is part of the
collection?
Yes ______ No ______
Did this seem reasonable to you? Yes _______ No ______
If not, please explain: _____________________________________________
___________________________________________________________
3. Please cite specific examples of ideas or passages that troubled or offended you.
Use page numbers when possible.
4. Have you been able to learn from the Librarian what reviewers have written about
this work? Yes _____ No _____
5. Would you like to receive a written summary of what reviewers have written about
this work? Yes _____ No ______
6. Do you have published reviews of this work to share with the Library?
Yes_____ No_____ If yes, please attach copies to this form.
7. What would you like the Library to do about this work?
Thank you for your interest.
Signature: ___________________________________
Date: _______________________________________
9/06

 


53. INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM


Texts of policies are available from the Office for Intellectual Freedom, ALA
Headquarters, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.


53.1 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.


1. 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,
background, or views of those contributing to their creation.


2. 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.


3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their
responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.


4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with
resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.


5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because
of origin, age, background, or views.


6. 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.


Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23,
1980, by the ALA Council.


53.1.1
Challenged materials which meet the criteria for selection in the materials selection
policy of the library should not be removed under any legal or extra-legal pressure.
Adopted 1971, revised 1990.
(See "Current Reference File": Challenged Materials: An Interpretation of the Library
Bill of Rights: 1989-90 CD #61.2.)


53.1.2
Expurgation of any parts of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its
parent institution is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights because it denies access to
the complete work, and, therefore, to the entire spectrum of ideas that the work was
intended to express. Adopted 1973; amended 1981, 1990.
(See "Current Reference File": Expurgation of Library Materials: An Interpretation of the
Library Bill of Rights, revised 1990. 1989-90 CD #61.3.)


53.1.3
Members of the school community involved in the collection development process
employ educational criteria to select resources unfettered by their personal, political,
social, or religious views. Students and educators served by the school library media
program have access to resources and services free of constraints resulting from personal,
partisan, or doctrinal disapproval and which reflect the linguistic pluralism of the
community. School library media professionals resist efforts by individuals or groups to
define what is appropriate for all students or teachers to read, view, hear or access via
electronic means. Adopted 1986, revised 1990, 2000.
(See "Current Reference File": Access to Resources and Services in the School Library
Media Program: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: 1999-2000 CD#19.4.)


53.1.4
>Denying minors access to certain library materials and services available to adults is a
violation of the Library Bill of Rights. Librarians and governing bodies should maintain
that parents--and only parents--have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access
of their children--to library resources. Adopted 1972, amended 1981, 1992.
(See "Current Reference File": Free Access to Libraries for Minors: An Interpretation of
the Library Bill of Rights.)


53.1.5
Evaluation of library materials is not to be used as a convenient means to remove
materials presumed to be controversial or disapproved of by segments of the community.
Adopted 1973, amended 1981.
(See "Current Reference File": Evaluating Library Collections: An Interpretation of the
Library Bill of Rights.)


53.1.6
Attempts to restrict library materials violate the basic tenets of the Library Bill of Rights.
Policies to protect library materials for reasons of physical preservation, protection from
theft, or mutilation must be carefully formulated and administered with extreme attention
to the principles of intellectual freedom. Adopted 1973, amended 1981, 1991, and 2000.
(See "Current Reference File": Restricted Access to Library Materials: An Interpretation
of the Library Bill of Rights: 1999-2000 CD#19.4.)


53.1.7
Describing or designating certain library materials by affixing a prejudicial label to them
or segregating by a prejudicial system is an attempt to prejudice attitudes and, as such, is
a censor's tool; such practices violate the Library Bill of Rights. A variety of private
organizations promulgate rating systems and/or review materials as a means of advising
either their members or the general public concerning their opinions of the contents and
suitability or appropriate age for use of certain books, films, recordings, or other
materials. For the library to adopt or enforce any of these private systems, to attach such
ratings to library materials, to include them in bibliographic records, library catalogs, or
other finding aids, or otherwise to endorse them would violate the Library Bill of Rights.
Adopted 1951, amended 1971, 1981, 1990.
(See "Current Reference File": Statement on Labeling: An Interpretation of the Library
Bill of Rights.)


53.1.8
Libraries maintaining exhibit spaces and bulletin boards for outside groups and
individuals should develop and publish statements governing use to assure that space is
provided on a equitable basis to all groups which request it. A publicly supported library
may limit use of its exhibit space to strictly "library related" activities, provided that the
limitation is clearly circumscribed and is viewpoint neutral. Libraries may include in this
policy rules regarding the time, place, and the manner of use of the exhibit space, so long
as the rules are content neutral and are applied in the same manner to all groups wishing
to use the space. Adopted 1991.
(See "Current Reference File": Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards: An Interpretation of
the Library Bill of Rights.)


53.1.9
Libraries maintaining meeting room facilities should develop and publish statements
governing use. These statements can properly define time, place, or manner of use; such
qualifications should not pertain to the content of a meeting or to the beliefs or
affiliations of the sponsors. If meeting rooms in libraries supported by public funds are
made available to the general public for non-library sponsored events, the library may not
exclude any group based on the subject matter to be discussed or based on the ideas that
the group advocates. A publicly supported library may limit use of its meeting rooms to
strictly "library related" activities, provided that the limitation is clearly circumscribed
and is viewpoint neutral. Adopted 1991.
(See "Current Reference File": Meeting Rooms: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of
Rights.)


53.1.10
A policy on library-initiated programming should set forth the library's commitment to
free access to information and ideas for all users. Library staff select programs based on
the interests and information needs of the community. Libraries servicing multilingual or
multicultural communities should make efforts to accommodate the information needs of
those for whom English is a second language. Adopted 1982, amended, 1990 and 2000.
(See "Current Reference File": Library-Initiated Programs as a Resource: An
Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: 1999-2000 CD#19.4)


53.1.11
Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in collection
development and in the provision of interlibrary loan. Access to all materials legally
obtainable should be assured to the user and policies should not unjustly exclude
materials even if offensive to the librarian or the user. Collection development should
reflect the philosophy inherent in Article 2 of the Library Bill of Rights. A balanced
collection reflects diversity of materials, not equality of numbers. Collection development
responsibilities include selecting materials in the languages in common use in the
community which the library serves. Collection development and the selection of
materials should be done according to professional standards and established selection
and review procedures.
Librarians have an obligation to protect library collections from removal of materials
based on personal bias or prejudice, and to select and support the acquisition of materials
on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs and interest of all persons in the
community which the library serves. This includes materials that reflect political,
economic, religious, social, minority, and sexual issues. Adopted 1982, amended 1990.
(See "Current Reference File": Diversity in Collection Development: An Interpretation of
the Library Bill of Rights: 1989-90 CD #61.3.)


53.1.12
The American Library Association believes that freedom of expression is an inalienable
human right, necessary to self-government, vital to the resistance of oppression, and
crucial to the cause of justice, and further, that the principles of freedom of expression
should be applied by libraries and librarians throughout the world. Adopted 1989.
(See "Current Reference File": The Universal Right to Free Expression: An Interpretation
of the Library Bill of Rights: 1990-91 CD #18.1.)


53.1.13
Recognizing that libraries cannot act in loco parentis, policies which set minimum age
limits for access to videotapes and/or audiovisual material and equipment with or without
parental permission abridge library use for minors. Nevertheless, ALA acknowledges and
supports the exercise by parents of their responsibility to guide their own children's
viewing, using published reviews of films and videotapes and/or reference works which
provide information about the content, subject matter, and recommended audiences.
Adopted 1989, revised 1991.
See "Current Reference File": Access for Children and Young People to Videotapes and
Other Nonprint Resources: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: 1988-89 CD
#92.6.)


53.1.14
The American Library Association opposes the charging of user fees for the provision of
information by all libraries and information services that receive their major support from
public funds. All information resources that are provided directly or indirectly by the
library, regardless of technology, format, or methods of delivery, should be readily,
equally, and equitably accessible to all library users. The ALA opposes any legislative or
regulatory attempt to impose content restrictions on library resources, or to limit user
access to information, as a condition of funding for publicly supported libraries and
information services. Adopted 1993.
(See also Policies 50.3, 50.8, 60.1, and 61.1.)
(See "Current Reference File": Economic Barriers to Information Access: An
Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: 1992-93 CD #26.6.2.)


53.1.15
The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries
and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials
dealing with any subject matter, including gender or sexual orientation. The Association
also encourages librarians to proactively support the First Amendment rights of all library
users regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Adopted 1993. Revised 2000. (See
"Current Reference File": Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of
Gender or Sexual Orientation: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: 1999-2000
CD#19.4)
(See "Current Reference File": Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of
Gender or Sexual Orientation: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: 1999-2000
CD#19.4)


53.1.16
The ALA affirms that the use of filtering software by libraries to block access to
constitutionally protected speech violates the Library Bill of Rights.
(See "Current Reference File": Resolution on the Use of Filtering Software in Libraries,
1996-97 CD#19.4)


53.1.17
The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries
and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials
dealing with any subject matter, including gender or sexual orientation. The Association
also encourages librarians to proactively support the First Amendment rights of all library
users regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Adopted 1993. Revised 2000.
(See "Current Reference File": Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of
Gender or Sexual Orientation: An Intrepretation of the Library Bill of Rights: 1999-2000
CD#19.4)


53.2 Freedom to View
The American Library Association endorses Freedom to View, a statement of the
American Film and Video Association.
(See "Current Reference File": Freedom to View, revised 1990; 1989-90 CD #61.5.)


53.3 Freedom to Read
The American Library Association endorses Freedom to Read, a joint statement by the
American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers.
(See "Current Reference File": Freedom to Read.)


53.3.1 Linguistic Pluralism
The American Library Association opposes all language laws, legislation, and regulations
which restrict the rights of citizens who speak and read languages other than English, and
those language laws, legislation, and regulations which abridge pluralism and diversity in
library collections and services. The Association works with state associations and other
agencies in devising ways to counteract restrictions arising from existing language laws
and regulations, and encourages and supports the provision of library resources and
services in the languages in common use in each community in the United States.


53.4 Governmental Intimidation
The American Library Association opposes any use of government prerogatives which
leads to the intimidation of the individual or the citizenry from the exercise of free
expression. ALA encourages resistance to such abuse of government power, and supports
those against whom such governmental power has been employed.


53.5 Shield Laws
The American Library Association supports the enactment by Congress of a broad and
effective federal shield law. The Association exhorts its chapters to work vigorously for
the enactment of broad and effective shield laws in every state.


53.6 Loyalty Oaths
The American Library Association protests conditions of employment predicated on
inquiries into library employees' thoughts, reading matter, associates, or memberships in
organizations. The Association also protests compulsory affirmations of allegiance as a
condition of employment in libraries and calls on libraries not to impose loyalty tests or
oaths as conditions of employment.


53.7 Destruction of Libraries
The American Library Association deplores the destruction of libraries, library
collections and property, and the disruption of the educational process by that act,
whether it be done by individuals or groups of individuals and whether it be in the name
of honest dissent, the desire to control or limit thought or ideas, or for any other purpose.


53.8 Libraries: An American Value
Libraries in America are cornerstones of the communities they serve. Free access to the
books, ideas, resources and information in America's libraries is imperative for education,
employment, enjoyment, and self-government.
Libraries are a legacy to each generation, offering the heritage of the past and the promise
of the future. To ensure that libraries flourish and have the freedom to promote and
protect the public good in the 21st century, we believe certain principles must be
guaranteed.


To that end, we affirm this contract with the people we serve:


We defend the constitutional rights of all individuals, including children and teenagers, to
use the library's resources and services;
We value our nations diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full
spectrum of resources and services to the communities we serve;
We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own
children's use of the library and its resources and services;
We connect people and ideas by helping each person select and effectively use the
library's resources;
We protect each individual's privacy and confidentiality in the use of library resources
and services;
We protect the rights of individuals to express their opinions about library resources and
services;
We celebrate and preserve our democratic society by making available the widest
possible range of viewpoints, opinions and ideas, so that all individuals have the
opportunity to become lifelong learners-informed, literate, educated, and culturally
enriched.
Change is constant; but these principles transcend change and endure in a dynamic,
technological, social and political environment.
By embracing these principles, libraries in the United States can contribute to a future
that values and protects freedom of speech, in a world that celebrates both our similarities
and our differences, respects individuals and their beliefs, and holds all persons truly
equal and free.


53.9 Violence in the Media: A Joint Statement
The American Library Association endorses Violence in the Media: A Joint Statement, a
statement of the Association of American Publishers, Inc.
(See Current Reference File: Violence in the Media: A Joint Statement, 2000-2001
CD#19.3)

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
50 E. Huron Chicago, IL 60611 Call Us Toll Free 1-800-545-2433