The primary responsibility of the Dickinson Memorial Library is to serve the people of Northfield by providing a broad choice of materials to meet their informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs. The Library maintains print and non-print collections for adults, young adults and children, as well as a local history collection with an emphasis on Northfield.
Responsibility for Collection Development
The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing the collection development policy. The Library Director is responsible for the allocation of the materials budget, the selection of materials and the ongoing maintenance of the collection.
Collection development decisions are made using staff judgment and expertise, evaluating reviews in professional journals and using other available library selection tools. Factors used in making decisions include, but are not limited to:
· popular demand
· community needs and interests as determined by library use
· current interest and usefulness
· quality of the item and its appropriateness for the intended user
· budget and space considerations
· availability of the materials through lending library programs
Maintaining the Collection
In order to maintain a collection that is current, reliable, in good condition, well used, and which relates to the needs and interests of the community, materials will be withdrawn on a systematic and continuing basis. Materials are withdrawn when they are judged to be:
· seldom used
· in poor condition
· otherwise no longer appropriate
Withdrawn material is given to the Friends of the Dickinson Memorial Library except in certain circumstances when the discarded materials can be used by another library, educational institution or non-profit institution.
Gifts and donations of materials accepted by the Dickinson Memorial Library are subject to the same process as purchased materials. They are considered with the explicit understanding that such factors as duplication, merit, lack of community interest, processing costs, physical condition of the materials, or inadequate shelf space may prevent their addition to the collection or permanent retention on the shelves. Gifts and donations are accepted with the understanding that the Library mat, at any time, discard them or offer them for sale through the Friends of the Library Book Sale program.
Controversial Materials and Intellectual Freedom
The Library recognizes its obligation to provide as wide a spectrum of materials as possible. Selection of materials is not restricted by the possibility that certain materials might be considered objectionable by some users on moral, religious, political or other grounds. The Library endorses the principles of the Freedom to Read Statement and the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.
The Library believes it is essential in a free society to provide access to all library materials. No restrictions are placed on what anyone may read or view. Individuals or groups may occasionally question the inclusion of an item in the collection because of fear or doubt about the effects of the material on an impressionable person. Although the Library understands this concern, it is the Library’s position that the risk to society is far greater if public access to ideas and information is restricted. Neither an individual, nor group, not even the Library itself has the right to decide what others may or may not read. The Library is opposed to removing from its shelves, at the request of any individual or group, materials that have been chosen according to the collection development policy. In addition, the library will oppose coercion on the part of an individual or group seeking to have material added to the collection that is contrary to the criteria selection stated above.