Library Materials Selection Policy

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, September 2003

First approved by the Topeka Public Library Board of Directors
September 14, 1983

Amended and approved November 20, 1985
And November 18, 1987

Revised and approved by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Board of Trustees, September 15, 1993

Revised and approved by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Board of Trustees, September 18, 2003

Revised and approved by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Board of Trustees, January 18, 2007

A Selection Policy Statement was developed by the Materials Selection Committee and with contributions from other staff.
Adopted by the Library Board of Directors, September 14, 1983.

Revised October 21, 1985 by the Materials Selection Committee.
Approved by the Library Board of Directors, November 20, 1985.

Revised November 6, 1987 by the Materials Selection Committee.
Approved by the Library Board of Directors, November 18, 1987.

Revised June 16, 1993 by the Materials Selection Committee and with contributions from other staff.
Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, September 15, 1993.

INTRODUCTION

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is organized under the laws of Kansas and is authorized under KSA 1992 Supp. 12-1260 et seq.

“…to acquire by purchase, gift or exchange, books, magazines, papers, printed materials, slides, pictures, films, projection equipment, phonograph records and other materials and equipment deemed necessary by the board for the maintenance and extension of modern library services;”

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION

The Board of Trustees delegates the responsibility for the selection of library materials to its staff whose education and experience prepare them for this important function. A centralized Collection Development staff, a staff of seven individuals reporting to the Technical Services and Collection Development Supervisor, is responsible for the selection of materials as well as collection maintenance for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

Care is taken to assure the greatest possible selection, representing many viewpoints, both with respect to authors and creators of materials, and to the users with their divergent interests and information needs. The staff must select materials reflecting the scope of user needs and interests. Selection must be customized to the community of users served rather than be a reflection of the tastes, views, and interests of the selector. This regard for the needs and interests of the community served is at the heart of public library selection.

Knowledge is the foundation of our democracy. The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library strives to be an information center for the Topeka and Shawnee county community and to preserve and encourage the free expression of ideas essential to informed citizens. Because of the multiplicity and layers of literary and artistic creativity and the diversity of information, the library recognizes not all users will greet all materials with the same degree of enthusiasm and regard. Therefore, some materials selected for the collections may seem controversial, contrary to the mainstream culture and even distasteful to some library users.

GENERAL SELECTION CRITERIA

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library selects, acquires, organizes, and preserves library materials both of current interest and of permanent value. Selection of materials is based on the principles described in this policy. Selection of any item does not constitute endorsement of the author’s viewpoint, nor does the Library endorse particular beliefs or views.

Content, quality of writing and readability are major considerations. Each of the following criteria is provided as a general guideline for consideration in purchasing all materials. Included in the collections are monographs (print), periodicals, videos, DVDs, audiocassettes, compact discs, realia, CD-ROMs, and subscription databases.

The criteria are not intended to exclude consideration of standards appropriate to particular formats of materials. While a single standard cannot be applied to each work, the following general criteria are used in selecting materials for purchase by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library:

  1. Importance and value to the collection
  2. Reputation, credibility, and/or authoritativeness of the author, artist, publisher, or producer
  3. Current appeal, popular demand, and timeliness
  4. Significance of the subject matter
  5. Current appeal and popular demand
  6. Local interest
  7. Availability or scarcity of materials on the subject
  8. Cost (under predetermined maximum by type of item)
  9. Level of difficulty and specialization
  10. Reviews, summaries, and descriptions of materials
  11. Format suitability
  12. Accessibility to materials elsewhere in this area’s libraries
  13. Physical quality and level of durability
  14. Inclusion in indexes, bibliographies, and standard lists.

LABELING

The Library labels collections to facilitate access by making it easier for customers to locate materials. The Library does not label materials to warn, discourage, or restrict access based on a value judgment of the content, language, or themes of an item.

THE LIBRARY COLLECTION OBJECTIVES

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library:

  • Provides collections of relevant materials that relate to the mission and roles of the library.
  • Develops collections covering a broad range of subjects and formats in order to meet the informational needs and interests of the entire community (city and county).
  • Develops the collections to include materials related to the learning needs of students of all ages.
  • Strengthens, through retrospective and in-depth collection building, those areas that are of significant value to the community (such as Special Collections and Genealogy)
  • Participates in cooperative resource sharing with other Kansas libraries through such programs as the Interlibrary Development Grant Program (ILDGP) and Internet.
  • Sponsors programs, events, and services that are related to the collections.
  • Welcomes suggestions from the community of library users about additions and improvements to the collections.
  • Seeks to create a friendly environment where users may interact with staff members and find ease of access to all the collections.
  • Organizes materials so that they can be easily searched for and located.
  • Subscribes to the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS (appendix A), the FREEDOM TO READ (appendix B) and the FREEDOM TO VIEW (appendix C) as defined and adopted by the American Library Association.

THE LIBRARY ROLES

The Library Collections are, to a large degree, determined by the major roles that the Library has adopted and is set by the Library Board of Trustees and the Library Administration.

GIFTS TO THE COLLECTION

The Library accepts donations of books and other materials that are in good condition. The Library determines what kinds of materials that it will accept.

THE LIBRARY COLLECTION

The Library Collections currently consist of all the books, periodicals, videocassettes, DVDs, CD-ROMs, compact discs, sound recordings, realia, online databases, and many other forms of document information held by the Library in all its units of service.

The Collections include circulating and non-circulating materials. Decisions about whether an item circulates or not is based upon the intent of the collection and the need for availability and instant access.

Library collections according to the American Library Association definitions, (Guidelines for Collection Development, ALA, 1979) may be designed to meet the following levels:

MINIMAL LEVEL

A subject area in which few selections are made beyond basic works. Included in this level are Popular Materials Collections defined under the role of the Popular Materials Library. The library features current, high-demand, high-interest materials for all ages in a variety of formats with sufficient duplication to meet demand. Bookmobiles base their collections upon this level, as do the units of service within the Library who seek the popular demand for reading, listening, and viewing materials.

BASIC LEVEL

A highly selective collection that serves to introduce and define the subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It includes major dictionaries and encyclopedias, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, important bibliographies and a few major periodicals in the field. Branch Libraries would include collections at the basic level.

STUDY LEVEL

A collection which supports undergraduate and graduate course work, or sustained independent study…it includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject. Generally the Collections of the Main Library include elements to both the Study Level and the Research Level.

RESEARCH LEVEL

A Collection that includes major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research…it also includes all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as, an extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field.

ADULT COLLECTIONS

PURPOSE

The Adult Collections are developed to meet the diverse needs and interests of the community with emphasis on fulfilling the four major roles of the Library. Preference is given to materials that are reviewed or rated in standard selection tools.

SOURCES

Primary selection sources for adult materials include, but are not limited to, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and standard bestseller lists including those appearing in the New York Times Book Review and Publishers Weekly. The Library will consider materials that are in advance demand prior to review, especially upon recommendation by library users and when such materials fall into the categories of high-interest topics as those heavily promoted through media.

FORMATS

Included are books, periodicals, audio, video, and electronic resources (including software, CD-ROM, and online databases). The formats chosen depend upon affordability and patron preference.

PRIORITIES FOR PURCHASE

From time to time, social change or community interests will impact upon collection development and certain areas of the collection will receive high priority emphasis.

YOUNG ADULT COLLECTION

PURPOSE

The Young Adult Collection bridges the gap in reading and interest levels between the Children and Adult Collections. It is intended to fulfill the needs of young persons for popular, recreational and topical reading that may be related to the needs of students.
sources

Selection is made on the basis of positive reviews from standard library reviewing sources, some of which are dedicated solely to the review of materials for Young Adult users. Other sources include publisher catalogs, requests and suggestions from the collection’s users. Standard reviewing sources include, but are not limited to Booklist, School Library Journal, and VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates). Close attention is also paid to Internet resources and sites that report areas of popular interest.

FORMATS

Fiction and Non-Fiction print collections in hardback, softback, and periodical formats are included.

PRIORITIES FOR PURCHASE

This is a collection oriented to selections of Popular Material. Fiction, in both hardback and softback editions, is generally a priority. However, the interests of Young Adults in certain topics may result in other priorities being chosen.

USERS

Materials in the Young Adult Collection are of interest to those in the twelve to eighteen age groups (Middle School through High School; grades six through twelve).

THE REFERENCE COLLECTION

PURPOSE

The Reference Collection contains a wide range of material in all of the Dewey classifications. Materials are classified “Reference” because of the recurring demand for the information they contain. The collection has been developed to meet the broad informational needs of the community, but is not intended to serve as an Academic or Research Collection.

The scarcity of some information and/or the demand for it requires that a reference depository be maintained where certain information is always available to the staff and public. The high cost of some printed sources makes the purchase of multiple copies not cost effective.

SOURCES

Criteria used in developing the collection may include: indexing, ease of use, authority and reputation of author and publisher, as well as cost. Input from staff and public help shape the development of the reference collection. Standard collection tools such as Choice, Booklist, Library Journal, etc. are used. Company representatives, brochures, websites, and catalogs are also consulted when selecting reference materials.

FORMATS

The Reference Collection includes print resources and online databases.
priorities for purchase

The focus is on providing resources designed to meet the basic research and information needs of Topeka and Shawnee County. Staff will make decisions of format based on cost, usefulness, reliability, and accessibility. The print collection will not attempt to duplicate information available via online databases or readily available from standard Internet resources.

USERS

The Collection serves the information needs of the general reader.

CHILDREN’S COLLECTIONS

PURPOSE

The Children’s Collections contain materials appropriate to the needs and interests of children from infancy through sixth grade. The collections also include materials of interest to adults concerned with these age groups. The collections strive to present a variety of points of view to enable children to better understand their world. Materials are selected to reflect the wide spectra of reading, comprehension, and maturity levels present in this population, as well as for cultural diversity. Not every item in these collections is appropriate for every child. However, the Library cannot act “in loco parentis.” It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to guide the selection of materials by their children.

SOURCES

Selection of materials is primarily made on the basis of positive reviews from standard library reviewing sources (e.g., School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, etc.) Some materials are selected from vendors’ or publishers’ catalogs or websites when no reviews are readily available. This is especially true of non-print items. When there are no reviews available, the other general selection criteria are used. Patron suggestions are given serious consideration.

FORMATS

The Children’s Collections include: books, magazines, sound recordings, videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs, pamphlets, online databases, and realia.

PRIORITIES FOR PURCHASE

Materials are selected to meet the Children’s Door to Learning and the Popular Materials Library roles adopted by the Library Board of Trustees. While materials are selected that help fulfill the needs of elementary aged students, the Library does not interpret curriculum support as a role. Thus, textbooks (often found in school media centers) are not purchased.

USERS

The primary users are children of Topeka and Shawnee County. Users also include family members, those working with children, children’s caretakers and students of children’s literature.

THE MEDIA COLLECTION

PURPOSE

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, in order to serve the community needs and interests for educational, informational, and entertainment materials in non-print formats, selects, makes available and encourages the use of videos, DVDs, CDs, audio-cassettes, CD-ROMs, and online formats. Materials in all genres/subjects, by many different artists/producers, will be collected as long as the subject material and its treatment is deemed suitable to its particular format.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The selection of non-print materials follows the same standards as those for print materials. Materials are evaluated as a whole and not on the basis of particular scenes or segments.

A work will not be excluded from the collection, because it presents an aspect of life honestly or because it exhibits frankness of expression. An item need not meet all of the criteria to be acceptable. In some cases, materials must be judged primarily on the following:

  • Artistic merit
  • Scholarship
  • As a valuable historic record
  • As critical to the information needs of the community
  • Substantial demand

Some items are judged primarily in terms of artistic merit or documentation of the times, while others are selected to satisfy the recreational and informational needs of the community.

Changes in technology require the library to constantly evaluate the formats available in the media collection. The library may decide to add new formats as they become more cost-effective, readily available, and popular. Decreased popularity, selection, shelf space and availability of a format may require that format be removed from the library’s collection.

SOURCES

Selection is based upon reviews in professional review sources such as: Halliwell Film Guide, The Motion Picture Guide, Library Journal, Booklist, Video Review, Video Rating Guide for Libraries, Children’s Video Report, Librarian’s Video Review, Leonard Maltin’s Movie and Video Guide, R. Ebert’s Movie Home Companion, McGills Survey of Cinema, Schwann’s Music Guide, Spector and/or Rolling Stone. In addition many online resources are used such as Internet Movie Database, Rotten Tomatoes, and Allmusic.com.

EVALUATION

The collection is continually evaluated in terms of circulation performance, currency, content inclusion, scope, depth of coverage and popularity. All materials are continually analyzed for subject strengths, weaknesses and omissions. Continuous weeding and responsible replacement of damaged/lost material aid in maintaining a collection that reflects changing community needs and Library goals.

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

PURPOSE

Special Collections assumes an important role in the community by being an informational resource on “the book” – its origins, development, and future. Providing some of the best examples of the book as an art form is one of the main purposes of this collection.

SOURCES

Sources for selection include:

  • Online sources
  • Antiquarian booksellers
  • Publishers’ catalogs
  • Book reviews
  • Bibliographies in specialized publications
  • Trade and professional journals
  • Auction catalogs
  • Donors
  • Collectors

Since this collection is archival and of an historical nature, selections and additions are made to the collection regardless of reviews.

FORMATS

This collection contains:

  • Books
  • Books as Art (Artists Books)
  • Broadsides
  • Portfolios

PRIORITIES FOR PURCHASE

This collection represents examples of the book as art, miniature books, limited edition books, antiquarian books, pop-up books, children’s books, and other rare and unusual book forms. Scholarly fine arts books in the Moses Collection support and enhance the Sabatini Gallery and its exhibits and collections.

Special Collections has priorities in the subjects chosen and include:

  • Books as Art (Artists Books)
  • Book evaluation
  • Conservation
  • Bookplates
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Illustrators and illustrations
  • Special bindings
  • Bookmaking
  • Typography
  • Printers and printing
  • Rare items

USERS

The Collection serves the information needs of students, researchers, and the public with an interest in this area.

THE TOPEKA ROOM

PURPOSE

The Topeka Room collection contains books, maps, and audiovisual materials written, illustrated, produced, or published by Topekans or about Topeka. The Topeka Room is also home to an extensive vertical file collection which covers Topeka and Shawnee County topics such as schools, businesses, churches, homes, and local events.

SOURCES

Sources for selections to the collection may include:

  • Local newspaper reviews
  • Suggestions from colleagues
  • Patron requests
  • Local publications
  • Antiquarian booksellers
  • Online sources
  • Donors

Since this collection is archival and of an historical nature, selections and additions are made to the collection regardless of reviews.

FORMATS

The collection contains:

  • Materials relating to Topeka and Shawnee County history, businesses, buildings, institutions, arts, and individuals
  • Books (including family histories)
  • Prints
  • Manuscripts
  • Sheet music
  • Broadsides and paper ephemerae
  • Realia
  • Directories
  • Clippings and photographs
  • Periodicals and neighborhood newspapers
  • Postcards
  • Maps
  • Audiovisual materials

PRIORITIES FOR PURCHASE

A concerted effort is being made to obtain primary and secondary materials on Topeka and Shawnee County from all periods.

USERS

The Collection is intended for those needing to research local history topics.

THE GENEALOGY COLLECTION

PURPOSE

The Genealogy Collection includes materials of a broad and general nature to assist customers in genealogical research. Items are carefully chosen to benefit the maximum number of researchers. However, special attention is paid to materials that would benefit researchers in Topeka and Shawnee County. In general, family histories are not purchased, but are welcome donations.

SOURCES

Sources for selection include:

  • Catalogs
  • Patron requests
  • Suggestions from colleagues
  • Reviews in journals
  • Gifts

FORMATS

  • The Genealogy Collection contains print materials including:
  • Handbooks of procedure
  • Indexes
  • Bibliographies
  • County histories
  • Atlases
  • Civil War materials
  • Periodicals
  • Online databases.

Appropriate titles, such as how-to books, are purchased in duplicate for the circulating collection.

THE KANSAS COLLECTION

PURPOSE

Formerly the Kansas.Center for the Book Collection, the materials that comprise this reference collection include monographs, collected stories, poetry and drama written or illustrated by Kansans or about Kansas.

SOURCES

Selections may be made regardless of available review sources since this is an archival collection. Specialized sources in addition to the general selection tools used by librarians in other areas of the Library are used to select material for the Kansas Collection.

These sources include:

  • Reviews in local, state, and regional news sources
  • Newsletters
  • University presses
  • Small Kansas presses
  • Bookstores that specialize in regional material
  • Kansas State Historical Society
  • Library collections throughout Kansas
  • Kansas writers’ groups
  • Special notification by Kansas authors themselves, either verbal or written
  • Suggestions from colleagues
  • Online sources
  • Auction catalogs
  • Donors

FORMATS

  • Books
  • Maps
  • Broadsides
  • Ephemera
  • Realia

PRIORITIES FOR PURCHASE

It is the intention of the Kansas Collection to focus on Kansas authors, illustrators, and significant historical works relating to Kansas.

USERS

This archival collection is used in educational displays, programming, and research.

RED CARPET SERVICES

While the greater part of the Red Carpet Services Collection is devoted to Large Print materials , the Assistive Listening Devices, Low Vision Aid Collection and Therapeutic Activity Collections are made up of realia.

ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES

PURPOSE

The purpose of the assistive listening device collection is to enable hard of hearing individuals to try out and receive consumer information before making a purchase. The library does not sell this equipment but does provide resources where it may be purchased.

SOURCES

Sources for the collection include:

Recommendations by audiologists

Recommendations by users of assistive listening devices

Patron requests

FORMATS

The Assistive Listening Device collection includes devices that are:

Alerting devices, such as door knock sensors, smoke alarm alert systems, amplified alarm clocks, etc.

Assistive listening devices, such as a TV listening system, a Pocketalker for personal amplification, tour guide system, etc.

Telecommunication devices, such as amplified phones, portable phone amplifiers, TTYs, etc.

THE LOW VISION AID COLLECTION

PURPOSE

The purpose of the low vision aid collection is to enable visually impaired individuals to test and receive consumer information before making a purchase. The library does not sell this equipment but does provide resources where it may be purchased.

SOURCES

Sources for the collection include:

Recommendations by medical personnel: optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians

Recommendations by users of low vision aids

Patron requests

FORMATS

The collection includes magnifiers:

Available in a variety of strengths

Lit and unlit

Hand held and hands free

Closed-circuit devices

Designed for specific purposes, such as watching TV or using the computer

THERAPEUTIC ACTIVITY COLLECTION

PURPOSE

The purpose of the therapeutic activity collection is to provide activities enjoyable and/or challenging for the older adult. The collection includes materials for activities, programming and games for use by older adults, caregivers and activity directors.

SOURCES

Sources for the collection include:

Recommendations from those working with older adults: activity directors, social workers, therapists, caregivers, etc.

Older adults’ suggestions

Recommendations received at conferences, workshops, seminars and programs about older adults

Professional journals and activity catalogs devoted to older adults

FORMATS

Included in this collection:

Physical games and activity materials with a variety of physical adaptations

Multi-sensory, multi-media materials for therapeutic use.

Materials intended for intellectual stimulation

Materials that encourage use of memory and reminiscence

THE ALICE C. SABATINI GALLERY AND TSCPL ART COLLECTION

PURPOSE

The function of the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery is to enrich the lives of library customers by presenting exhibitions of art in a formal setting, and to serve as a cultural center for Topeka and Shawnee County. The Gallery staff will collect; preserve, through proper archival management; maintain records; exhibit collections of art from the permanent collections; as well as provide selected, temporary exhibitions of art from other collections and artists representing quality in the arts and crafts. All works selected for addition will correlate with the current scope of the Library’s art collections.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

In the early days of the Library, and in the absence of a fine arts gallery in the city of Topeka, patrons presented works of art to the Library. Often, bequests from personal estates came to the Library with the express purpose of making quality works of art available for public display in the city’s finest cultural institution. Over the years, gifts to the Library, combined with the Library’s own acquisitions of art works, have developed the collection’s scope, content, quality, and value.

SCOPE

  • Paintings include portraits, landscapes, and contemporary works
  • Graphics include drawings, constructions, mixed media and prints in a variety of techniques
  • Art glass collections include glass objects of the Victorian/Art Nouveau Periods of the United States and Europe, contemporary glass, and antique and contemporary glass paperweights.
  • Ceramics include a collection of Art Nouveau pieces through contemporary works by artists with regional and national representations
  • Metalwork includes sculpture and miniature bronze weights and related miscellaneous items
  • Sculptures include plaster period works, marble, metal, dolls, and wood pieces representing various historical periods and ethnic groups.
  • Textiles include Early American, Eastern and Oriental pieces, mostly representative of 19th century decorative arts
  • Chinese decorative arts include pewters, snuff bottles, ceramics, and furniture.
  • Tribal art includes representative pieces that originated in Africa, Native America, and South Sea Islands.
  • Antique and modern designer furniture

PRIORITIES FOR PURCHASE

  • Acquire items to develop and expand the quality and value of existing collections
  • Acquire art produced by Kansas artists who have attracted strong recognition and attention
  • Select works of art by artists living in Kansas, or in the Midwest; and by artists, who may not be residents of Kansas, but who represent Kansas themes in their works.

ACQUISITION OF WORKS

  • All purchased works shall relate to the overall active collection purpose and/or history of the Library’s cultural role in the arts, and follow the collection guidelines and collection plan.
  • No work will be knowingly acquired whose ownership or legality is questionable.
  • No work will be acquired which forms a part of the patrimony of a foreign country or is endowed with such religious significance by an ethnic group that possession of it in a public collection constitutes a violation of the ethical standards adopted by the museum profession.
  • No work will be acquired for the collection without the consent of the Library Director.
  • Gifts of art offered to the Library with restrictions may not be accepted without approval of the Library Board of Trustees.
  • Works will be acquired from a variety of sources; including library art exhibitions and shows, area galleries, personal collections, museum exhibitions, individual artists, sales and auctions, as well as catalogs of works for sale.

DEACCESSIONING OF ART PIECES

Any item selected for removal from the permanent collection must be presented first to the Director of the Library for consideration, and follow the collection guidelines and collection plan.

Any item with a value of $1,000 or more must be presented to the Library Board of Trustees before it may be offered for sale or transferred to another museum or individual for trade.

The following conditions indicate an item may be deaccessioned:

  • When objects are no longer relevant to the collection or do not meet the purpose or priorities of the collection as stated above.
  • When objects or works are deteriorating, or are in danger of deterioration, and are beyond the Library’s capability of restoration or repair.

DEACCESSIONING IN ALL OTHER LIBRARY COLLECTIONS

Systematic removal of materials is essential in order to maintain the quality, health, currency and purpose of Library collections. Each separate collection within the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library has predetermined formulas for weeding (removal of library items from the collections). Factors considered in the examination of materials for removal include:

  • Accuracy: if this is now misleading or inaccurate
  • Physical condition: if it is in poor condition and not repairable
  • Dated: if it is superseded by a new edition or by newer and better information on the subject
  • Significance: if it is of no discernible merit
  • Usage and relevancy: if it lacks usage and is irrelevant in this collection
  • Circulation: if it has not circulated or been used for a long time
  • Withdrawn items may be given to the Friends of the Library for resale.

LIBRARY PATRON SUGGESTIONS ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Board of Trustees recognize the importance of providing methods whereby opinions from the public regarding material selection can be voiced. The Library Administration and Staff seriously consider Library patron suggestions. Appendix D is the Form for Statement of Concern about Library Resources. Completion of either of these forms does not guarantee either accession to the collection or removal from the collection, but does insure that attention of Library administration and staff to user opinion, interests and concerns.

EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library recognizes that some materials or content are controversial or offensive. The Library’s role is to provide materials which will allow individuals to freely examine subjects and make their own decisions. While customers are free to reject for themselves materials they do not approve of, they may not restrict the freedom of access to others.

The Library welcomes any expression of concern.

Customer concerns will be dealt with promptly and courteously as outlined in the Expressions of Concern Process.

EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN PROCESS

  1. Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library staff will listen to the customer’s concerns. Library staff will give the customer a copy of the Materials Selection Policy and explain the Library’s selection process. If the customer wishes, s/he may also discuss concerns with the library director.
  2. After discussion with library staff, an individual or group still concerned about library material may submit an official statement using the “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form.
  3. The concern on the “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form will be considered by a committee designated by the collection development supervisor in consultation with the library director. This committee will meet and the collection development supervisor will prepare a written report of the committee’s determination for both the Library Board of Trustees and to the individual or group who submitted the concern.
  4. An individual or group may submit a written request to the Library’s Board of Trustees if not satisfied with the decision of the committee named to hear the concern.

Statement of Concern about Library Resources

This form may be used to express concern regarding the library collection, programs, displays/exhibits, computers for public use, or meeting rooms.

Concerns will be dealt with promptly and courteously.

Expressions of Concern:

  1. Library staff will first discuss the resource with the concerned individual or group and supply a copy of the appropriate policy.
  2. After discussion, if the individual or group wishes, they may discuss their concerns with the Library Director.
  3. An individual or group still concerned about library resources may submit an official statement using this “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form.

Formal Process:

  1. The concern on the “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form will be considered by a committee designated by the collection development supervisor in consultation with the library director.
  2. The collection development supervisor will prepare a written report of the committee’s determination which will be submitted to the Library director and the individual or group who submitted the concern.
  3. An individual or group may submit a written request to the Library’s Board of Trustees if not satisfied with the decision of the committee.

Complete this form and return it to:

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library,
Attn: Executive Director,
1515 SW 10th St., Topeka, Kansas 66604.

DOCUMENT HISTORY

Selection Policy Statement was developed by the Materials Selection Committee and with contributions from other staff. Adopted by the Library Board of Directors, September 14, 1983.

Revised October 21, 1985 by the Materials Selection Committee. Approved by the Library Board of Directors, November 20, 1985.

Revised November 6, 1987 by the Materials Selection Committee. Approved by the Library Board of Directors, November 18, 1987.

Revised June 16, 1993 by the Materials Selection Committee and with contributions from other staff.
Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, September 15, 1993.

Revised and approved by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Board of Trustees, September 18, 2003.