Materials Selection Policy
The purpose of the Monroe Community Library’s Materials Selection Policy is:
1. To describe the criteria used in the selection of materials.
2. To acquaint the general public with the scope of the collection and with the principles of selection used to acquire library materials.
Affirmation of Intellectual Freedom
The Monroe Community Library [the Library] values a free and inquiring society, and affirms its support of the Library Bill of Rights (https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill) and M.S.R.A. 27 § 121, Confidentiality of library records (http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/27/title27sec121.html.)
A. 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 Monroe Community Library Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the Board of Trustees or with volunteers.
B. Criteria for Selecting Materials
Because of the volume of publishing, as well as limitations of budget and space, the library has criteria with which to provide a collection that meets community interests and needs. Selection of all library materials shall be made in consideration of the following criteria:
● Popular appeal and demand
● Contemporary significance or permanent value
● Quality, including accuracy, authority, currency, and level of production
● Need/relationship to other material in the collection and/or the availability from other sources, such as through interlibrary loan and online resources available at no cost to Library members
● Reviews found in professional and general publications and lists of award winners
● Regional or local interest
● Appropriateness of format
C. Interlibrary Loan
Purchase suggestions from the general public are encouraged and are given serious consideration. Due to budget and space, however, or because of specialized or limited interest, the Library cannot purchase all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other libraries those materials that are beyond the scope of the Monroe Community Library’s collection.
Members in good standing of the Monroe Community Library may request materials through interlibrary loan. The due date of these items varies, according to the policies of the sending library. The Monroe Community Library does not charge overdue fees, but the sending library may have an overdue fee that the patron will be responsible to pay, if applicable.
Interlibrary loan requests are made through the Bangor Public Library or through members of the Balsam Library Consortium. There are no fees to Library patrons for this service. All postage is paid by the libraries. Requested items may come from libraries across the state of Maine or, in rare instances, from out of state. The Monroe Community Library does not currently make materials in its collection available through the interlibrary loan system. This policy will be reviewed at such time as the Library becomes part of the statewide van delivery service
D. Removal from Collection
The Library keeps the collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing materials and by removing, on a regular basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, no longer in demand, or readily available from other sources. Materials that are removed may be sold, discarded, given away for free or for a donation, or be given to local philanthropic, educational, cultural or other organizations.
E. Controversial Materials
The Monroe Community Library endeavors to build a collection representing varying points of view. While a person may reject materials for themselves and for their children, they may not exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others. The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Parents or legal guardians have sole responsibility for the use of materials by their minor children. The selection and loaning of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.
In the event that a resident of the Town of Monroe objects to any materials included or excluded from the collection, the Library Director stands ready to review individual complaints upon written request. The appropriateness for the collection is not based on a single passage from the text or screen, but the work is evaluated as a whole. The Library Director will review the request and interview the complainant. If the objection is not withdrawn, it will be referred to the Board of Trustees, and their decision will be final. No materials so challenged shall be removed from the collection until the final decision of the Board of Trustees.
F. Gifts and Donations of Materials
The Library welcomes gifts and donations of materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if they meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. If donations are not needed because of duplication, condition, dated information, or other reasons, the Library reserves the right to dispose of them in the best interest of the Library.
When the Library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature or subject area of the materials to be purchased may be based upon the wishes of the donor. The Director, in accordance with the Library’s needs and selection policy, will make the selection of specific titles.
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.
G. Revision of Collections Policy
Because services and the needs of the community change, this Materials Selection Policy is revised as needed and/or is reviewed at least every five years.
Approved by the Board of Trustees on August 11, 2021