Collection Development Policy

Lonsdale Public Library Collection Development Policy

A. Objectives

Our mission is to give the members of the community the chance to be entertained, to learn, and to connect with the broader world.

We serve Lonsdale and the surrounding rural areas. Our users are of all ages and diverse in their interests. We strive to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.  The aim is to maintain a well-rounded collection that reflects diverse viewpoints and opinions.

In order to best serve our public and because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Lonsdale Public Library Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy.

The collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised by the library board as the need arises.

B. Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director, who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Lonsdale Public Library Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

C. Criteria for Selection

Staff members use their training and experience to select materials.  The main points considered in this selection are:

  1. individual merit of each item
  2. popular appeal and demand
  3. suitability of material for the community
  4. existing library holdings
  5. budget
  6. format(s)

The library strives to have a broad collection of general-interest materials for the entire community. The library does not promote particular beliefs or views, but presents diverse viewpoints.  While the library supports learning, textbooks are not collected.

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 stated in this policy.  Inclusion of materials in the collection does not imply endorsement of the author’s viewpoint.  Users are free to reject for themselves materials of which they do not approve, but may not restrict the freedom of others to read what they choose.

Responsibility for the materials used by children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be limited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Suggestions from the public of materials to acquire are welcome, but decisions will ultimately be made in accordance with this policy.

D. Interlibrary Loan

Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of our library’s collection.  Most interlibrary loans will come from our library system, SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating).  Items not available through SELCO may be requested statewide through the MNLink shared catalog.

In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Lonsdale Public Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network, and to make an effort to have its current holdings listed in a tool that is accessible by other libraries throughout the state.

E. Gifts and Donations

The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them as he/she sees fit. Where possible, donated materials will be offered for sale.

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.

F. De-selection

Due to space limitations and to keep collections up to date, staff must thoroughly weed the collection on an ongoing basis.  De-selection decisions will be based on these criteria:

  1. datedness
  2. condition
  3. use and community interest
  4. duplication
  5. availability of other materials on the subject

This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director and is authorized by the Library Board. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.

G. Reconsideration of Materials

Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form which is available in the library. The library director will respond to the request in writing.  If the individual is not satisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be submitted within 10 business days to the Lonsdale Library Board. The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Board.  The Library Board’s decision is final.

Approved by the Lonsdale Public Library Board February 16, 2022.