Collection Development Policy Purpose
The purpose of the collection development policy is to provide guidelines for acquisition and withdrawal decisions; the allocation of resources; and long-range planning in accordance with the library’s mission statement in order to establish a collection of works that meet the educational, recreational and business needs of the community.
A strong collection requires ongoing evaluation and maintenance. Materials will regularly be weeded from the collection based on the following criteria: outdated or superseded, infrequent use, physical condition, and relevance. Replacements and updated editions are purchased when warranted. Discarded materials may be sold, donated, or recycled as the Library determines. Standards for materials withdrawal are detailed in the CREW Manual (see appendices).
Discarded books might be given to the Friends of the Library to sell for the library’s benefit, or sold to book vendors. Discards in poor condition or beyond repair will be destroyed. For more detailed information about the disposal of deaccessioned books see Appendix E.
Philosophy of Selection
We are dedicated to the free and open distribution of ideas.The Community Libraries of Providence fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. The Library upholds the right of the individual to secure information, even if the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy.
We are dedicated to protecting individuals’ rights to decide for themselves and for their children what library materials to use and/or borrow. Materials will not be added or removed from the collection, based upon protecting users from the contents of the materials.
Scope of the Collection
The primary responsibility of the Community Libraries of Providence is to serve the residents of Providence by providing a broad choice of materials to meet their informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs. Materials are selected to help individuals, groups, and organizations attain practical solutions to daily problems, and to enrich the quality of life for all community members.
The Library is a member of the Ocean State Libraries (OSL), a statewide group of public libraries established to promote resource sharing. CLPVD patrons may use their library card at any public library in Rhode Island. In addition, the Library is able to request materials not available in Providence from the other libraries in the network. There are mechanisms to borrow materials not available in the network from other libraries nationwide. Budget and space limitations, as well as local needs, preclude the library from duplicating the specialized and comprehensive collections that exist elsewhere in the OSL network.
Role of the Larger Libraries: Knight Memorial, Mount Pleasant & Rochambeau
CLPVD strives to meet the informational and recreational needs of a diverse population. The collections at the larger libraries provide additional scope in subject matter, more duplication of both essential and popular titles, and expanded reference sources. The non-fiction collection at the larger libraries includes some specialized material within subject disciplines, which allows a greater degree of educational and vocational research. Staff members qualified by education and experience are involved in the continual evaluation and long-range planning of the non-fiction collection to ensure that the larger libraries serve research as well as popular interests.
Role of the Smaller CLPVD Libraries: Fox Point, Olneyville, Smith Hill, South Providence, Wanskuck, & Washington Park
Selection of the collection at the Smaller Libraries is governed by the profile and use patterns of its particular community, stressing popular circulating materials in various formats, and basic research materials.
Responsibility for Selection
Ultimate responsibility for the selection of library materials rests with the Library Director. The Director assigns the responsibility for the selection of materials to the library staff. Staff regularly evaluate and select material on the basis of published reviews, special bibliographies and personal examination. Branch Managers/Department Heads are responsible for the selection of materials and expenditure of their assigned budgets. All staff members and the general public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration.
All materials, whether for adults, teens, or children, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.
- Current and anticipated demand
- Relevance to the interest and needs of the community
- Circulation as monitored through the automated system
- Significance, timeliness, or permanence of subject matter
- Format and ease of use
- Representation of diverse points of view
- Clarity, accuracy, and logic of presentation
- Relevance to early literacy
- Responsive to school-age and teen interest, and scholastic support and enrichment
- Literary merit and contribution to the field of knowledge
- Relationship to the existing collection
- Reputation or qualifications of the author, creator, or publisher
- Cost and availability
- Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
- Availability of content through the internet, subscription databases, or other means
- Condition of material
- Authenticity in the portrayal of diverse life experiences, in both text and visual elements, with special attention to collecting works by authors who share those experiences
Policies by Format and Special Collections
The library collects fiction and non-fiction audiobooks on compact disc and downloadable formats. Unabridged editions are preferred. Audiobooks are chosen by the same criteria as described above.
The digital collections represent the diverse viewpoints and interests of the entire community the Library serves. The digital collection evolves as new formats and products become available. This collection may include research and learning databases, eBooks and other downloadable and streaming media.
The library purchases feature films, TV-series, and non-fiction DVDs/Blu-ray. The library purchases multiple copies of the most popular feature films to meet the demand for these titles. DVDs/Blu-ray are chosen by the same criteria as described above.
The library actively collects books, audiobooks, magazines and DVDs in Spanish. To a lesser extent the library also purchases materials in other languages spoken by the Providence Community. The library attempts to provide a sampling of fiction and non-fiction materials. Donations are often added to supplement these collections. Materials in other languages requested by patrons, but not available in CLPVD, may be obtained through interlibrary loan. The library will periodically evaluate its selection criteria for particular languages based on the percent of languages represented in the current population of Providence.
CLPVD's newspaper and magazine collection provides current information aimed at meeting the recreational reading needs of the community. It includes basic and popular reading magazines, foreign language and local publications. Journals which are highly technical or scholarly are not included in the collection. Back issues of most magazines circulate and are also accessible digitally.
The Rhode Island Collection
The Rhode Island Collection Room at Knight Memorial Library contains non-circulating local history materials, primarily consisting of books, maps and assorted ephemera on Rhode Island history with an emphasis on Providence. It is stored in locked cases, on open shelves and in storage.
This collection includes books on Providence’s history, city directories and books from the original Knight Memorial Library. Vital records and histories of nearby Rhode Island towns and cities are available, as are town meeting reports, lists of residents, and town committee meeting reports, and sources of genealogy.
Suggestions for Purchase
The library strongly encourages input from the Providence community concerning the collection. A suggestion-for-purchase procedure enables Providence citizens to request that a particular item or subject be purchased by the library. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. It is the library's intent that suggestions for purchase be used to help the library in developing collections which serve the interests and needs of the community. Suggestions from the public are welcome. Please fill out our Suggest an Item for Purchase form.
Children’s Borrowing Policy
The library does not place restrictions on the materials that young patrons can use or check out. Parents and caregivers may determine that an item is not appropriate for their child; however, this reason alone would not meet criteria for removing an item from the library collection. By registering a child for a library card, parents and caregivers assume the responsibility of discussing their child’s use of library materials directly with the child and at their own discretion. The library respects the role of the parent or caregiver in that process and does not interfere.
Request for Reconsideration
Approved by the CLPVD Board of Directors, 12/21/2015
The Community Libraries of Providence supports freedom and endorses the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to View Statement, the Library Bill of Rights, and all relevant Library Bill of Rights Interpretations. The choice of library materials by patrons is an individual matter. An individual may take issue with library materials that do not support her/his tastes or views. Staff are available to discuss concerns and identify alternate materials that are available. If a patron’s concern is not satisfied through discussion with staff, a formal, written request to reconsider the item may be submitted.
Patrons wishing reconsideration of library materials must complete the Community Libraries of Providence Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form in its entirety. Only signed forms will be considered. The Library Director will acknowledge receipt of the form within two weeks.
The relevant Library Staff will review the library material and will make a written recommendation to the Library Director as to the validity of the request. The Library Director, after reviewing the recommendation, will decide whether the library material remains on the shelf, is moved or removed and will notify the patron of said decision. A final appeal may be made to the President of the Library Board of Directors. The President will have the discretion to bring the appeal before the Board for consideration, and should do as soon as practicable. The decision of the Board will be final and will be sent in writing to the person who requested reconsideration. A copy of the request form without identifying patron information will be mailed to the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee.
Gifts and Donations of Materials
CLPVD accepts monetary donations for purchasing materials consistent with the Library’s selection criteria. The library adheres to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) regulations for determining whether gifts are restricted versus unrestricted. The rules state that “only a donor can determine if a donation is restricted or not. The designation must be made by a letter from the donor, stipulation on the face of the check, or explicit agreement with the nonprofit”.
The Community Libraries of Providence gladly accepts donations of books and audiovisual materials, with the understanding that they are subject to the same criteria for inclusion in the collection as purchased materials. The Library reserves the right to accept any donated items as additions to the collection, transfer them to the Friends of the Library for inclusion in their book sale, transfer them to another library or organization, or to discard them. The Library will not provide a valuation of donated materials for tax purposes, but will provide a certificate of receipt of donated goods upon request. Material donations are accepted only during business hours. The Library is responsible for the initial review of all donated materials brought to the Library or otherwise donated for the Friends of the Library used book sale(s). All donated items remain the property of the Library until they are discarded, recycled, transferred to another library or organization, or transferred to the Friends of the Library for their book sale(s). Items that will not be accepted for donation include:
- Items that are torn, moldy/musty, water-damaged, have a noticeable odor or are in otherwise poor condition
- Issues of magazines, journals, or newspapers
- Loose-leaf papers or documents
- VHS and cassette tapes
- LPs CDs and DVDs containing copied information, music, movies or images.
The Library encourages monetary donations as memorials and tributes to living individuals on special occasions. Such acts provide the Library with an opportunity to add materials or equipment which it might not otherwise be able to afford. These donations also provide individuals with a rich opportunity to honor loved ones with a lasting statement of admiration and respect. Library Administration will make every effort to honor the donor’s wishes regarding the selection to be purchased; however, the final decision rests with Library Administration in accordance with the Library’s needs and material selection criteria. Gift plates will be placed in items purchased with memorial gift funds. Donors of the funds may suggest subjects or titles to be acquired with their donation, but the library reserves the right of final decision.
Revision of Policy
This collection development policy will periodically be evaluated and revised as times and circumstances require.
B. The Freedom to Read Statement
C. CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries
D. Request for Reconsideration of Materials form
E. Disposal of Deaccessioned Books
Appendix E: Disposal of Deaccessioned Books
For public libraries, a book is not a permanent acquisition. Space limitations, collection development, and customer service dictate that periodic weeding or discarding of books occurs. However, one library or school’s unwanted book might be appreciated by another organization or individual. Environmental awareness also mandates that books be re-used rather than recycled.
Among some of the many ways CLPVD disposes of deaccessioned books.
- Books sold at library
- Friends sales and sales racks
- Cart with free books on offer at library
- Books sent to other libraries
- Books sold/donated to Thrift Books
- Books sold/donated to Better World Books
- Books donated to schools
Books are recycled only after all the above avenues are exhausted.