Material Selection Policy
It is the policy of the City to acquire and retain materials available to the public in the Simi Valley Public Library.
Each year, a tremendous number of books, audio-visual materials, and resources in digital format are published. It is the responsibility of the Library Director, or his or her designee, to select those items that best serve the informational, educational, and entertainment needs and interests of Library users. The Library Director, in consultation with Library staff, oversees the selection, acquisition, and maintenance of the Library collection according to the guidelines contained in this policy. This policy includes the acquisition of materials by purchase as well as through donation to the Library, and the process by which obsolete, worn, and damaged materials are removed from the collection.
Criteria for Selection of Materials
- The Simi Valley Public Library has an inclusive approach to selection and affirms the public’s right to choose and read with the freedom essential to a democracy. The Simi Valley Public Library will adhere to the principles of the “Freedom to Read Statement” of the American Library Association (Exhibit 1). The Library provides materials presenting various points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times. Material dealing with controversial views or subjects is judged on the basis of the entire work and not on isolated passages or sections. Matters such as the race or nationality, or the political, social, or religious views of the author are not factors affecting the evaluation of material. The following criteria are used to evaluate the appropriateness of materials added to the Library collection:
- Accuracy of information
- Quality of treatment
- Merit, awards, or critical acclaim
- Timeliness or permanent value
- Popular interest or demand
- Extent to which the subject matter is already represented in the Library collection
- Readability or literary style
- Social significance
- Reputation of the author or publisher
- Physical durability, attractiveness, and other format characteristics
- Existence of authoritative, published reviews
When selecting materials for inclusion in the collection, the Library also considers the availability of materials and resources in other libraries. To strengthen its services and resources, the Library actively participates in resource sharing agreements with other libraries, such as the Inland Library Network.
Persons Responsible for Material Selection Decisions
- The Library Director has the prerogative to delegate to Library staff the responsibility of selection and maintenance of Library materials. Purchase suggestions from patrons shall be considered by the Library Director and the appropriate materials selector.
Access to Library Materials
- Materials held by the Simi Valley Public Library will be available to all members of the public, regardless of age or any other factor. The Library does not act in loco parentis for minors in their choice of Library materials.
Public Comment Regarding the Library Collection
- Patron comments about the collection should be submitted in writing using the appropriate form provided by the Simi Valley Public Library. Requests to remove or reclassify items in the collection shall be forwarded to the Library Director for review and response. Those complaints that do not result in a written complaint shall be communicated by staff to the Library Director.
Weeding and Disposal of Library Materials
- An ongoing process of weeding obsolete, unused, or damaged materials is essential to maintaining an authoritative collection responsive to the needs of Library patrons. Library staff will remove such weeded materials from the Library collection with the permission of the Library Director. The following materials will be considered for weeding:
- Materials containing outdated information
- Materials that have been superseded by a new edition (almanacs, statistics, etc.) unless the earlier edition is still useful as a circulating item
- Bibliographies and reading guides listing books that are dated or obsolete
- Books with outmoded or inaccurate illustrations
- Highly specialized books with no potential readership
- Unneeded duplicates
- Books that have not been used in a reasonable period of time for that type of material.
- Worn or damaged items
- In most cases, Library staff will offer items weeded from the collection to the Friends of the Simi Valley Library (501.c.3) to be sold to the public, with revenues accruing to the Friends to benefit the Library. Library staff may also offer weeded items to the following groups, listed in order of preference:
- Local schools
- Literacy partners such as Better World Books
- Nonprofit organizations other than the Friends of the Simi Valley Library
Weeded items that are too worn or damaged to be usable or desirable to these organizations will be recycled with the approval of the Library Director.
Adding Gift Materials to the Library Collection
- The Simi Valley Public Library accepts gifts of library materials that are in usable condition. The Library reserves the right to determine whether the donated items will be added to the collection; determinations are made based on same selection criteria used for purchase of materials.
- Any donated material not added to the collection may be given to Friends of the Simi Valley
Library to be sold with resulting revenues used to support Library programs, collections, and
services, or distributed in accordance with item 6, above.
[April 22, 2019 Policy revised by Board of Trustees]
[June 3, 2013 Policy reviewed by Board of Trustees]
[June 3, 2013 Policy adopted by Board of Trustees]
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