Collection Development & Management Policy
It is the intent of this document to provide for public understanding the purpose of the Library’s collection and how it was developed as well as to give guidance and direction to Library staff for materials acquisition and collection maintenance.
II. Function, Mission, and Roles:
Function - It is the function of the public Library to provide library services to the residents of Monona. The Library also maintains service contracts with Dane County and the South Central Library System, which provide certain library services to seven counties in southern and central Wisconsin.
Mission - The Monona Public Library's primary mission is to provide, through the use of a variety of technologies, current, high-demand materials in a wide range of formats and subjects to fill the information and recreation needs of area residents and businesses. Through a balanced, well-maintained and current collection, the Library also seeks to stimulate the reading and learning interests of our citizens--from preschool children through the life-long learning or vocational needs of adults and seniors. We also seek to provide timely, accurate reference and information services to our customers, using the resources of our collection, electronic sources, and the broad resources of our regional library system.
Roles - In carrying out this function and mission, the Monona Public Library established three major roles. One is to act as a popular library where residents would have convenient access to current and high demand materials.
The second role is to act as an information and enrichment center where the public has access to a basic collection of up-to-date and accurate information supplemented by the resources of other libraries through an automated network and supported by an interlibrary delivery system.
The Library has also established a role as a child’s door to learning where children are encouraged to develop an interest in reading and learning through services for children and their families.
Certain principles shape the nature and use of the collection. These include:
The principle of free thought. The collection contains original, critical, and sometimes unorthodox ideas necessary for the functioning of a democratic society and therefore public opinion is not the sole guide for the selection of material. It is the Library’s position that society is at greater risk through the suppression or censorship of information and ideas than from their free and open distribution.
The principle of free and open use for all. Individual choice is paramount and protected. Materials are arranged in a way to facilitate access to the information. They are not marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of contents. No restriction is placed on their use except for the purposes of protecting them from theft or damage.
The principle that the collection covers the interests and views of all ages. Selection for materials for adults is not restricted by the possibility that children or adolescents may obtain materials some consider inappropriate. All patrons regardless of age have access to the entirety of the Library’s collection. Responsibility for a child’s use of the library materials, regardless of format or content, lies with the parent or guardian, not with the Library.
The Monona Public Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which reaffirms these principles.
IV. Responsibility for Selection
The Library Board vests the Library Director with responsibility for collection development and management, and the Library Director operates within a framework of policies reviewed and approved by the Library Board of Trustees. The Library Director recommends policy and budget to carry out the collection development program, determines allocation of resources, assigns library staff the responsibility for carrying out the program, and oversees results.
V. Criteria for Selection
Selection is based upon awareness of the diverse needs and interests of the individuals in this community, balanced against evaluation of materials and knowledge of the collection’s strengths and weaknesses. The selection process is also shaped by budgetary and space considerations, and the accessibility of alternative information sources, such as the South Central Library System’s Library Interchange Network (LINK), of which Monona Public Library is a member.
General criteria for selection are listed below. An item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable:
- Literary and/or artistic merit
- Public demand. Demonstrated or perceived interest by patrons. An item in great demand may be purchased despite negative reviews
- Evaluation in standard review media
- Reputation or qualifications of the author, performer, or publisher
- Receipt or of or nomination for major awards or prizes
- The need for added material in subject area
- Quality of art and illustrations. Especially significant for children’s materials.
- Present and potential relevance to the community,
- Appropriateness. Supports library’s mission and role and enhances existing collection
- Price. Has value in proportion to its cost
VI. Selection Tools
Library staff rely on standard review sources such as Library Journal, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly. Patron or staff recommendations, reviews or notices in the general media, publisher catalogs, bibliographies prepared by experts in a field, and other tools may be used. Strong patron demand for copies of materials at other SCLS libraries may influence the Library’s decision to purchase a title.
VII. Collection Maintenance, Replacement, and Weeding
Library staff regularly review items in the collection to ensure that they continue to meet patrons’ needs. Materials that are worn, obsolete, unused, or unnecessarily duplicated are removed. It is the responsibility of Library staff to assess the need for replacing materials that are damaged, destroyed, or lost. Items are not automatically replaced. Decisions on replacement are based upon need, demand, budget, and criteria for selection.
VIII. Library Collection Descriptions
The Library collects a broad range of print and non-print materials to accommodate the diverse tastes, reading levels, languages, viewpoints, and interests of users of all ages.
Subjects are covered at an introductory through community college level. The Library is not a research-level institution; therefore specialized or scholarly materials are not collected. Such materials may be accessed through interlibrary loan or by visiting area academic or special libraries.
The Library will respond to community demand for new technologies and formats when selecting new materials.
Adult & Young Adult Fiction
The Library’s Fiction Collection focuses on current popular literature with a secondary emphasis on other twentieth and twenty-first century fiction including classics, diverse genres, and special interests. This collection includes both hardcover and paperbacks. Literary genres include but are not limited to: General Fiction, Mysteries, Horror, Westerns, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, and Graphic Novels.
Adult & Young Adult Nonfiction
The nonfiction collection emphasizes timely, accurate, and useful informational materials to support individual, business, government, and community interests. This collection emphasizes materials that are current and high-demand. Materials are available for all ages and reading levels and in a variety of formats.
The Children’s Collection contains a wide variety of materials for children of all ages and their families. The book collection includes Board Books, Picture Books, Easy Readers, fictional Chapter books, and nonfiction. The Children’s Collection also contains DVDs, Videocassettes, audio books, computer software, and audiovisual educational toys. A small collection of toys and simple puzzles is also available for patrons to borrow. In addition to materials for children, the Library is developing a small Parenting Collection for parents and guardians relating to the care and development of children.
Adult Fiction and non-fiction items printed in large type are collected to provide a steady flow and variety of new materials as demand dictates and budget permits.
Magazines and Newspapers
The Library subscribes to over 100 magazines and newspapers in print. Titles include a wide variety of current events, general interest titles, as well as periodicals covering specific interests and hobbies for all ages. Selection and retention decisions are based on such factors as patron demand, price, and space considerations.
Reference works provide quick, concise, up-to-date information. Reference materials include such items as encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, almanacs, directories, bibliographies, etc., as well as more specialized materials that directly support the information needs of Library users. As information-seeking behavior by patrons has moved increasingly online, the scope and focus of the Library’s Reference Collection has narrowed considerably, and many titles formerly housed in this collection have been weeded or moved to Adult Non-Fiction.
The Library’s collection of audiovisual materials includes titles in a variety of formats:
- Feature films. Feature films include popular works, foreign films, classics, and children’s features.
- Non-theatrical films. Non-theatrical titles include general non-fiction and short fiction works produced for the educational and home markets including documentaries, how-to, self-paced learning and instruction, sports, music, health, and other topics.
- Audiobooks. The Library offers fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults, and children in a variety of formats.
- Music. The Library offers music recordings in a number of genres, such as pop, rock, country, classical, folk, blues, opera, world music, music for children, and musical and film soundtracks.
The Español Collection provides a limited collection of Spanish-language books of all types for patrons of all ages from picture books for children, to nonfiction and fiction for adults.
The EXPRESS collection consists of high-demand adult and young adult books (both nonfiction and fiction) and films. These materials are intended for Monona Library patrons visiting the Library building. Unlike regular materials, these books cannot be placed on hold or renewed. All EXPRESS items are selected in addition to unrestricted circulating copies.
Health & Wellness Collection
The Library’s Health & Wellness Collection is a unique collection funded by the Madison Community Foundation as part of the Dane County Library Collections grant. The goal of the collection is to offer consumer health information for all ages in a variety of formats to Monona patrons and to Library patrons throughout the South Central Library System. Subjects include: illnesses & conditions; medical tests and procedures; drugs and medicine; preventive medicine and general wellness; mental health; complementary and alternative medicine; societal issues such as health care reform and insurance; and healthful aging. The collection also will offer some information on general nutrition and exercise, although a unique collection specifically devoted to these topics exists at another area library.
The Sustainability Section
The Sustainability Section provides informational materials about environmental and economic sustainability. The Sustainability Section covers local, regional, and global topics in a variety of formats including books, DVDs, and informational handouts.
IX. Gifts and Donations of Materials:
The Library accepts gifts of new or gently-used books, DVDs, and music or books on CDs. Gift or donated items that are added to the collection must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. The Library retains unconditional ownership of all donations and makes the final decision on acceptance, use, or disposition. The appraisal of gifts for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor.
When the Library accepts a monetary gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature or subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based upon the wishes of the donor in accordance with the Library’s collection development policy. Library staff will make selection of specific titles.
X. Reconsideration of Library Materials
The library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the basis of the principles set forth in this policy.
Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library materials will be sequestered, except to protect it from damage or theft.
Responsibility for reading and the use of the library by children rests with their parents or legal guardians. At no time will library staff act in loco parentis. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that they may come into the possession of children.
While a person may reject materials for himself or herself and for his or her children, he or she cannot restrict access to the material by others.
Patrons requesting that an item be withdrawn from the collection may complete a
"Reconsideration of Library Materials" form, copies of which are included as part of the appendix to this policy.
Procedures for Request for Reconsideration
Any individual expressing an objection to or concern about library-owned material should receive respectful attention from the staff member first approached. The following steps will be used:
- A Request for Reconsideration form should be obtained from the Library and filled out by the complainant. Use one form per item.
- The Library Director will review the request and respond to the patron. If the patron is not satisfied with the response, he or she may request in writing that the complaint be reviewed by the Library Board at their next scheduled meeting.
- The Library Board will review the request for reconsideration and render a decision. The Library Board’s decision is final.
Repeated or redundant requests by an individual or a group to reconsider materials with differing titles but similar content will be restricted as follows: if the Library Director concludes that a request for reconsideration is redundant, he or she will notify the complainant/complainants that the item(s) in question, having already undergone a thorough review and reconsideration process, will not be re-evaluated.
In the event that a complainant charges that a particular item is not protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, the onus of proof rests with the complainant.
XI. Policy Review and Revision
This Collection Development and Management Policy will be reviewed and updated by the Library Board as necessary.
Adopted by the Library Board on August 18, 2009.