Collection Development Policy
The Leverett Library serves the diverse rural community of Leverett and has reciprocal lending and borrowing agreements with libraries in the Central/ Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (CW Mars) consortium and with other Massachusetts libraries through the Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat). Leverett community members also have access to eresources through the Boston Public Library, the Massachusetts Library System, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
The Leverett Library acquires popular materials and resources that offer ideas, knowledge, and recreation for members of the Leverett-area community. With free and equal access to the collection, the Library helps to sustain the values of democracy and intellectual freedom. The Leverett Library adheres to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights [see below or https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill] by providing materials and information that express varying points of view.
In addition the Leverett Library seeks to maintain a collection that is of value to people of all races, cultures, religions, socioeconomic statuses, ages, visible and invisible disabilities, political and social viewpoints, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Library staff prioritize expanding our collections to meet the needs of previously underserved members of our community more fully.
We aim to develop a collection that is used intensively. Except in the area of local history, no attempt will be made to purchase or retain materials for which there is a limited current demand. Library patrons may request these items to be delivered to Leverett via the CW Mars and ComCat catalogs.
Responsibility for Selection
Final authority for policies governing the selection of materials rests with the Board of Trustees. However, collection development is a process guided through all its stages by the professional expertise of the Library Director. Therefore, the Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director the day-to-day responsibility for the selection of materials within the framework of this policy.
This policy applies to library materials in all formats including, but not limited to: books, periodicals, CD and DVDs, ebooks, downloadable audiobooks, electronic resources and miscellany such as kits and museum passes.
Selection of Materials
A. Selection Criteria
The library considers acquisitions in terms of some or all of the following factors:
Clarity of presentation
Popularity or demand
Relevance to current collection
Format, durability, and ease of use
Representation of diverse points of view
Recent publication date or contemporary significance
Physical space required for shelving and displaying
Availability in the CW Mars network
Purchase requests from staff and patrons will be given consideration using these same criteria.
B. Selection Aids and Balance of Collection
The library strives to present a balanced and unbiased collection by seeking to represent a diversity of views on controversial topics. The possible controversial nature or the anticipation of challenges will not preclude the purchase of material. Library materials will not be labeled or restricted due to content.
The library director will use library review journals, such as BookList, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews as well as other library selection tools to evaluate additions to the collection.
C. Selection for Children
The goal of collection development for children is to provide materials that suit their varied interests and reading abilities. The same criteria are applied in the selection of materials for children as are applied in the selection of materials for adults.
The library does not operate in loco parentis (in place of the parents). Responsibility for the use of library materials by children rests solely with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of or access to materials in any area of the library is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials which their parents might consider inappropriate.
The library accepts gifts of materials in good condition with the understanding that once donated, the items become the property of the library. The library will not accept any item that carries stipulations about its use, placement, or retention.
Gifts and donated items are subject to the same scrutiny as purchased or solicited materials since even gift books accrue costs (processing staff time and materials) and use valuable shelf space.
Gifts and donated items not added into the collection may be redistributed, sold by the Friends of the Leverett Library for fundraising, or discarded at the discretion of the Library Director.
The library does not provide evaluation of gifts for tax deduction or other purposes.
E. Self-Published Materials
Self-published works donated to the library will be reviewed by the library director before being added to the library collection. Self-published materials must meet the same criteria as the rest of the collection regarding acquisition and removal.
Maintaining the Collection
Systematic evaluation of library materials is an essential part of collection development that helps ensure a relevant, accurate, and useful collection. Materials which are no longer useful, or are not in suitable condition for circulation, may be removed from the collection. The decision to withdraw an item from the collection is based on accepted professional practice and the judgment of the library director and designated staff within the framework of this policy.
The general criteria for withdrawal of an item from the collection include:
• Availability of updated or revised material
• Circulation and usage
• Physical condition
Duplication in the collection or network
Inaccuracy of content
Reconsideration of Library Materials
Patrons wishing to challenge the appropriateness of an item to the collection may submit a “request for reconsideration” form. Receipt of the reconsideration form will be acknowledged within 2 weeks. The matter will be brought before the Board of Trustees, at their next regular meeting.
Policy Review and Revision
The Collection Development Policy will be reviewed and updated regularly.
Created 6/2003; Revised 4/2004, 9/2004, 1/13/10, 12/15/11, 9/11/14, 1/11/23
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. 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.
II. 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.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. 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.