COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY:
Philosophy of Collection Development
In a free society, information on many points of view, in many fields of endeavor, must be readily available. The Knoxville Public Library serves the public as a general center of information and diverse ideas. It has the responsibility of providing materials reflecting a diversity of views and expression. Materials are intended to aid in the pursuit of education, the search for information and the enjoyable use of leisure time.
The library recognizes that it has limited financial resources and has a responsibility to use its public funds to serve the entire community. Consequently, the library’s collection reflects the collective needs of the community as opposed to any one individual’s interests. The library uses other available avenues—interlibrary loan, appropriate referral, or redirection to serve the individual whose interests go beyond the scope of the library’s collection.
The library believes in the right and obligation of parents and guardians to guide the moral development of their children. The decision as to what library material a minor may use is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
Responsibility for Selection
Materials are selected by trained staff in an effort to maintain a well-balanced, up-to-date, attractive, and useful collection of materials that will meet the needs of the community as a whole. The final responsibility for selection is granted by the Board of Trustees to the Library Director who considers reviews in professional journals as well as patron and staff requests.
Criteria for Selection
Selectors consider some or all of the following criteria when selecting library materials:
Contemporary significance, demand, and/or permanent value
Factual accuracy and/or objectiveness of non-fiction materials
Community needs and/or requests
Readability and/or literary or artistic merit
Presentation of various subjects and/or viewpoints
Reputation and authority of author and/or publisher
Price and/or availability
Suitability of physical format for library purposes
Professional journal reviews
Relationship to existing collection in the same subject field
A resource will not be excluded from selection solely for the reason of the race, color, religion, gender, sexual preference, national origin, disability, age, ancestry or other characteristic of the author or the source.
The addition of material to the library does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of its content, but assures that a variety of differing points of view are represented.
Donations of Library Materials
The library welcomes gifts of books audiovisual materials. Gifts are accepted from the donor with the full understanding that all gifts become the property of the library. Gifts must meet the above selection standards before they can become a permanent part of the collection. The library reserves the right to dispense with gifts in any manner that it deems appropriate. Donations which are not placed in the collection may be given to and then sold by the Friends of the Library for fund-raising purposes to benefit the library.
The library does not appraise gift materials for tax purposes. A receipt stating the number of items given may be provided, upon request, to the donor.
The library will accept donations of money for the purchase of materials to serve as memorials or to honor individuals. The Library Director will work with the donor to purchase materials which are meaningful to the family and the donor. Materials which are donated to memorialize or honor individuals will be recorded in the Gift and Memorial Book and a bookplate will be placed in the material.
Materials no longer deemed useful in the library will be disposed of according to accepted professional practices at the discretion of the Library Director. The weeding of library materials is a continuing process and one that is essential to maintaining a quality collection.
The process and decision to weed an item takes into account the same criteria used when the item was first selected for inclusion in the collection. In addition, criteria such as obsolete information, insufficient use, excessive wear and tear, space availability and changing user interests are considered. Duplicate copies and items superseded by newer editions are reviewed for possible weeding.
Discarded materials become surplus property and may be given to and then sold by the Friends of the Library for fund-raising purposes to benefit the library.
Procedure for Reconsideration of Material
Any person at least eighteen (18) years of age, a registered patron of the library, and a resident of the Knoxville School District may question the inclusion of materials in the library collection by submitting a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. Materials will remain in curculation during the reconsideration process.
• This form must be completed in full, signed by the person challenging the material, and forwarded to the Library Director for review.
• The person must have read, viewed, or listened to the material in its entirety.
The Library Response
• The Library Director, in consultation with staff, will review the written comments.
• If the material meets the criteria for selection, the person and the Board of Trustees will be notified in writing of the Library Director’s decision.
• If the Library Director finds the material does not meet the criteria for selection, the Library Director will remove the material and notify the person and the Board of Trustees.
• If the person requesting the reconsideration is not satisfied with the Library Director’s decision, such person may, within fourteen (14) days of such decision, file a notice of appeal in writing with the Library Director who shall promptly notify the Board of Trustees.
• The Board of Trustees will then call together a Reconsideration Committee to review the material in question.
The Reconsideration Committee
The Reconsideration Committee should consist of a staff member selected by the Board, a registered patron of the Knoxville Public Library who resides within the library’s district, and one member of the Board of Trustees.
The committee, with input from the staff, the person making the appeal, and/or other interested parties, will undertake the following:
• Read, view, or listen to the material in question in its entirety.
• Review the selection process and criteria for selection.
• Check reviews and recommended lists to determine recommendations by experts and critics.
• Meet to discuss the material in question.
• Make a recommendation for retention, removal, or replacement.
The Board of Trustees, the Library Director and the person making the appeal, will be notified of the recommendation of the Reconsideration Committee. If the person making the appeal or the Library Director is not satisfied with the Reconsideration Committee’s finding, within fourteen (14) days of the decision by the Reconsideration Committee, such party may file, with the board of Trustees, a written notice of the appeal containing such person’s objections, and the copy of the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials.” The decision of the Board of Trustees will be final.
No book or other library material will be reconsidered until at least five years have elapsed from the final decision of any prior reconsideration.