RML Collection Policies
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Ideally the public library should strive to furnish any material requested by any person, but in practice limitations of funds, staff and space make this impossible. The public library collection must, therefore, be selective rather than inclusive and the librarian must accept the responsibility for selection. That this may not become censorship, these general principles of selection are made:
- The selection of all library materials should be as objective as possible.
- A thorough knowledge of the library's collection, with consideration for its over-all balance, is necessary to good material selection.
- Good material selection is based upon a thorough knowledge of the community; its needs, whether hidden or evident; its resources; and its problems.
- In selecting materials on controversial issues, the library should present all available sides of the issues.
- In material selection, popular demand should be recognized to the extent of maintaining community interest in and support of the library.
- Material selection by popular demand, however, must be guided by merit, use, and balance.
- Materials selected should be judged upon their authoritativeness and effectiveness of presentation. Each must be considered as a whole and not judged by any one of its parts.
- The material budget should be expended in such a way that the various demands made upon it are proportionately served.
- Materials given to the library should be judged upon the same basis as those which are purchased.
- Since guidance is implicit in selection of materials for children and young people, material selection policy for these groups will obviously differ from that for adults.
Using the above principles, the library collects and circulates books, magazines, newspapers, and printed material in vertical files.
The library also collects and distributes information in the following nonprint formats:
- Video - DVD and VHS videocassettes
- Audio - Best Sellers on audio cassettes and CD's
- Music on Compact Discs
- Microform - 35mm microfilm on reels
- 4x6" microfiche
- Photographs - Black & White and Color Photo Archive
- Computer Databases - Reference tools on library computer databases, available only on the library's local area computer network
- Computer Software - Software products available only for use on the library's local area computer network
All of the above nine principles apply to all of these collected formats. In addition, the following guidelines apply:
The library purchases and circulates all types of children's videos, many types of nonfiction titles such as how-to and travel videos, and some types of popular motion pictures. The purchase of motion pictures for children is not limited, but the purchase of motion pictures for general or adult audiences is limited largely to that material which has a literary connection or an educational or public service use in the community that might not be met adequately by video rental stores.
1. Best Sellers on Cassette - The library purchases or leases highly popular book titles in the audio cassette format. Selection of these titles should emphasize items that will potentially be very heavily used for recreational listening.
2. Music on Compact Discs - The music CD collection should reflect a balance of musical styles and tastes, covering genres such as current pop music, rock, jazz, classical, country, inspirational, folk, international, and others, with an emphasis on currently popular or landmark recordings in each area.
1. 35mm Microfilm on Reels - The library purchases The Cairo Messenger and occasionally other area newspapers; census data for Grady and surrounding counties; and other such material on 35mm reels.
2. 4x6" Microfiche - The library purchases college catalogs on microfiche.
The library maintains a historical photo archive relating to Cairo and Grady County , its people, its social and economic development, and its major features. The archive is expanded as needed, whenever significant new material is made available to the library.
1. Databases - The library selectively purchases the most useful and uniquely valuable computer databases available at reasonable cost for on-site use via the internal local area network of the library building. These databases are most often reference tools that are similar to printed reference books, subscriptions, or series, but which offer great advantages in electronic form over the printed versions.
2. Software - The library also selectively provides major software packages for general computing use at publicly available computer work stations on the library's internal local area network. The staff attempts to provide current versions of word processing, database management, and spreadsheet software from at least one major distributor. In addition, unique software packages on topics such as diet and nutrition, home repairs, landscaping, project management, and such topics may be provided. In the children's room, the staff provides a variety of developmental and educational computer games.