The Materials Selection Policy states a philosophy with specific criteria for collection development. The policy aids library staff in selecting, acquiring, and maintaining a collection that is relevant for our diverse community. The policy also helps answer questions by the public regarding why materials are or are not in the collection.
Coquille Public Library aims to provide equal access to all people using the Library. To achieve this goal, the Library must ensure that its collection remains current and responsive to the needs of its patrons and that materials are easily accessible through appropriate technology.
Selection of Library Materials is the responsibility of the Director of Library Services. The Director may authorize members of the staff who are qualified through education and training to make selection decisions. All staff members and the general public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration as well. Final responsibility for selecting materials within the policy rests with the Director of Library Services.
National Statements Concerning Intellectual Freedom
The principles of intellectual freedom are guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution, which protects the free expression of ideas. In keeping with those principles, the library will favor no viewpoint.
- The American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights
- ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement
- ALA’s Freedom to View Statement
Criteria for Selection
Materials are selected for their literary or artistic merit, accuracy, utility, entertainment value, and current or historical interest. This includes items requested by patrons.
Basis for selection rests with the judgments of trained staff members. Generally, except for items of special local interest or when it is possible to evaluate materials directly, a basic criterion for selection will be favorable professional reviews; inclusion in special bibliographies, subject lists, or standard library catalogs; or popularity as based on sales and coverage in popular media.
The Library will attempt to maintain a collection that includes material on most subjects and points of view, in keeping with the community’s interests. Each item must be considered with appropriate standards for its type and the audience for whom it is intended. Some materials may be judged primarily in terms of artistic merit, scholarship, or historical significance; others are selected to satisfy recreational and entertainment needs. Within the restrictions of budget and space, the Library emphasizes quality rather than quantity, keeping in mind the balance that must be struck between the value of and demand for materials.
The content of the present collection is constantly reviewed so that gaps in various subject areas and formats may be filled.
Final decision is based on the value and interest of the item to the public, regardless of the personal taste of the selector. These standards apply equally to materials purchased and received as gifts.
The Library, as a tax-supported information agency, has the responsibility to coordinate collection development with other libraries and agencies in the community and the Coos County Library Service District.
The Library does not attempt to acquire textbooks or other curriculum-related materials unless such materials also serve the general public.
The Library acknowledges a responsibility to acquire materials pertaining to state and local history. Local materials will be acquired and preserved for their historical value rather than for their literary merits. Usual weeding practices do not apply to state and local historical materials.
Because the Library serves a public embracing a wide range of ages, reading skills, and educational backgrounds, it will select materials of varying complexity.
In selecting materials for the collection, the Library will be attentive to the special commercial, industrial, cultural, and civic enterprises of the community.
Since the Library cannot have a totally comprehensive collection, it will be necessary to borrow items of specialized interest through interlibrary loan.
Suggestions from the public for the purchase of materials are considered according to the Library’s general selection policies.
The use of rare and scholarly items, or items frequently subject to injury or theft, may be controlled for the purpose of protection.
Children are not limited to the juvenile collection, although juvenile collections are kept together to facilitate use. Responsibility for a child’s selections rests with the parent or guardian, not with the Library. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of children. The parent/guardian who would rather his or her child did not have access to certain materials should so advise the child.
The Library gratefully accepts gifts of library materials but reserves the right to evaluate and dispose of such gifts in accordance with this policy. Donations may be tax-deductible, and the Library may issue a receipt for donated items but will not appraise the gifts.
Learn more about Donations to the Library HERE.
The Library keeps its collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing materials and systematically removing works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand. Any materials declared expendable must be approved by a professionally trained staff member.
Local and Archival Collections – In order to meet the unique research needs of local historians, the Library collects and maintains materials pertaining to Oregon and the local area. Items in this collection include the following:
- Histories for areas within Coos, Curry, and Douglas counties
- Historical works of an encyclopedic or dictionary format on other regions of Oregon or on Oregon or the Pacific Northwest as a whole
- Other historically valuable works for Oregon and the Pacific Northwest generally
- Government documents for the City of Coquille
- Environmental documents affecting the Coquille area or Coos County with historical value
- Works in areas useful for genealogical research specific to Coos, Curry, and Douglas Counties or to Oregon as a whole
- Rare and unusual fiction with historical value for Coquille patrons
Request for Withdrawal of Material
Whenever a patron objects to the presence of an item, the complaint will be referred to the Director of Library Services.
If the patron wishes the Library to remove or reclassify the material, s/he must complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form. The Collection Development Committee will examine the item in question, check reviews, and determine whether it conforms to the standards of the Materials Selection Policy.
The Director of Library Services will decide whether or not to withdraw the material in question and will write to the complainant, giving the reasons for the decision. If the patron is not satisfied by the Director’s decision, the item will be referred to the Library Board of Trustees for further review. Materials subject to complaint shall not be removed from use pending final action.
NOTE: Materials subject to complaint shall not be removed from use pending final action.