Collection Development Policy

A. Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to guide the staff in the selection of materials, to fulfill the mission of the library and to inform the public about the scope and nature of the library’s current collection, as well as collecting priorities which will shape the depth and breadth of the library’s future collection. It will be used as an aid in selection, weeding and evaluating the collection and as a rationale for budget allocations. This policy will be reviewed at least every three years and revised as needed.

B. The Library and Its Clientele
The Fitzwilliam Town Library is the only public library in Fitzwilliam, NH, a town with a population of slightly more than 2000. Fitzwilliam is a rural community and families with children represent 26% of the Town’s households. 7.3% of the population is age 65 and over.

C. Goals of Collection Management and Development Program
The Library’s primary responsibility is to assist patrons in their pursuit of information, education, and entertainment, and to inspire and stimulate children’s interest in and appreciation of learning and reading. It selects materials in a variety of formats to satisfy the expressed and anticipated interests, tastes, needs and reading abilities of the diverse community it serves. Library materials should be of sound factual authority and may represent all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times.

D. Position on Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
The Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read, and The Freedom to View, as promulgated by the American Library Association (ALA), have been endorsed by the Fitzwilliam Town Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy (see Appendices). No library material shall be excluded solely because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

E. The Library’s Collections: An Overview
The Library’s collections include two main groups. The primary, catalogued collections include:
Resources to support formal elementary and secondary education, including representative works of fiction by major authors.
Material providing information most frequently requested by patrons attempting to meet the challenges of life.
Resources for exploratory independent learning by both adults and children.
Popular works about issues of current import.
Recreational reading material for adults and children, including many current bestsellers.
In 2015, The Fitzwilliam Town Library owned 19,321 books, subscribed to 41 periodicals, owned 960 audio books and 1919 videos.

In addition, the Library’s collection of local historical material contains:
1. Many New Hampshire town histories.
2. Genealogical information.
3. Other works of local interest.

F. Responsibility for Selection
The responsibility and authority for selection of all print and non-print material rests ultimately with the Library Director. Recommendations from the public are welcomed and given full consideration for acquisition. Materials for individuals of varying ages, educational levels and interest should be acquired.

G. Selection criteria
1.The criteria considered in the selection of library materials include
a. existing library holdings
b. suitability of the material to the community
c. individual merit of each item
d. budget
e. popular appeal/demand

2. Materials are purchased for a variety of age groups as a reflection of the community and in a variety of formats. The selection of material does not constitute an endorsement of its content. The library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection decisions are not made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the merits of the work in relation to building the collection and serving the interests of patrons.

3. Reviews are important, but not essential to a material’s selection. Booklist, Library Journal, The New York Times Book Review and Amazon are some, but not all, of the sources from which to select materials.

4. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting material. The Library Director will consider demand, the need to balance the library collection in a specific subject area, materials discussed in public media and requests made by patrons.

5.. The responsibility for the reading, listening and viewing of library materials by children rests with the parents and legal guardians of the child. Library material selection will not be determined by the possibility that controversial items may come into the possession of children.

6. Material is judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not by a part taken out of context.

7. Due to budget and space restrictions, the library cannot purchase all materials that are requested. Inter-library loan may be used to obtain materials from other libraries for the use of our patrons.

8. Titles which are obviously and exclusively written for pornographic or sensational purposes will not be selected. Objectionable language and vivid descriptions of sex and violence when dealt with appropriately within the context of a book will not be criteria for rejecting the book.

H. Weeding of the Library Collection
Weeding is an essential element of collection development that ensures the library’s materials are useful and accessible. Every library’s collection may change over time to reflect changes in the community and in the library’s goals. Weeding is a periodic or continual evaluation of resources intended to remove items that are no longer useful to the collection.

The Fitzwilliam Town Library subscribes to the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation and Weeding) method when weeding the library collection. The CREW method uses an acronym, MUSTIE, to indicate when an item should be removed from the collection.
MUSTIE stands for:
Misleading and/or factually inaccurate:
Ugly (worn out beyond mending or rebinding):
Superseded by a new edition or a better source;
Trivial (of no discernable literary or scientific merit);
Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the community;
Elsewhere (the material may be easily borrowed from another source)

Decisions are based on some combination of these criteria. Other criteria that might also be considered include age, frequency of circulation, multiple copies and currency.

I. Gifts
The Fitzwilliam Town Library welcomes gifts of materials with the understanding that they will be evaluated using the same criteria as those applied to purchased materials. If the gifts are not added to the collection, the library reserves the right to dispose of them as it sees fit, usually to add to the Friends of the Library Book Sale.

J. Challenged materials and Intellectual Freedom
The Fitzwilliam Town Library selects materials based on criteria in this policy and does not advocate particular views or beliefs but attempts to provide free access to a well balanced collection of topics, age levels and opinions to all members of the community. Each individual has the freedom and responsibility for making choices about what to select. No labels will be assigned to materials beyond those indicating genre.

Should a community member object to a particular item owned by the Fitzwilliam Town Library the challenger shall be offered the opportunity to fill out a “Citizen’s request for reconsideration of a library resource”. If the petitioner wishes to pursue a formal request, the Director will arrange for the request to be added to the agenda at the next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting. The Board will consider the request and the petitioner is free to attend the Board meeting which is open to the public. The Board of Trustees will issue a written decision to the challenger and has the final say on any request to remove or add materials to the collection.

Appendix I
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.

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 that 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 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
A history of the Library Bill of Rights is found in the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.

Appendix II

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings. The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:

1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression. To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’ s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information. It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one. The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, June 30, 2004, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association Association of American Publishers
Subsequently endorsed by:
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression The Association of American University Presses, Inc. The Children’s Book Council Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores National Coalition Against Censorship National Council of Teachers of English The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

Appendix III
Freedom to View
The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:
1. To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.
2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
3. To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.
5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.
This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.

Appendix IV

Fitzwilliam Town Library
The Library Board of Trustees has delegated the responsibility for selection and evaluation of library resources to the Library Director and has established reconsideration procedures to address concerns about those resources. Completion of this form is the first step in those procedures. If you wish to request reconsideration of a library resource, please return the completed form to Kate Thomas, Library Director, Fitzwilliam Town Library, 11 Templeton Tpk. Fitzwilliam, NH 03447.
Name _________________________________ Date ____________________
Address _______________________________ City _____________________
State ________ Zip ____________ Phone ____________________________
Do you represent yourself? _____ Organization? ________________________
1. Resource on which you are commenting:
_____ Book _____ Textbook _____ Video/DVD _____Display/Exhibit _____ Magazine _____Library Program _____Audio Book/Music CD _____ Newspaper _____ Electronic Information/Network (please specify):_____ Other ______________________________________________________ Title ____________________________________________________________ Author/Producer __________________________________________________
2.What brought this resource to your attention?
3. Have you examined the entire resource?
4.What concerns you about the resource? (use other side of sheet or additional pages if necessary) Please be specific and cite pages or sections.
5. Are there resources you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic?
6. What do you think might result from exposure to this resource?
7. Is there anything good about this resource?
8. Did you read, watch or listen to the entire work? What parts, if not the entire work?
9. For what age group do you recommend this resource?
10.Are you aware of critical judgment of this resource? If yes, please summarize such judgments.
11. What do you believe is the theme or purpose of this resource?
12. What would you like the library to do about this resource?
_____ Withdraw it from the library collection. _____ Restrict its use. To whom? _________________________ _____ Reevaluate for collection development
_____ Other. Please be specific __________________________
Signature of complainant ________________________________

Approved by the Board of Trustees on May 1, 2017