The Library Board has adopted and subscribes to both the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statements as the basis of orientation and philosophy in selection of materials.
The Board upholds the principle that intellectual freedom is vital for the freedom and welfare of everyone. It will, therefore, oppose any effort toward proscription, censorship or other abridgement of individual rights.
Library materials are selected through the use of professional reviewing media, basic lists of standard works such as Public Library Catalog, Fiction Catalog, Children’s Catalog and evaluations by the librarian. Recommendations and requests from our patrons are welcome and encouraged. Such requests do not automatically result in purchase if they do not meet the criteria outlined in this policy.
A. Policy by Format of Material:
1. Hardcover books: Preferable as most suitable for collection because of longer durability.
2. Paperbacks: are purchased to meet the demand for current genre or when the book is unavailable in any other format.
3. Textbooks: are not purchased unless they relate to general needs, and little material is available from any other source.
4. Periodicals: Those subscribed to by the library are kept for the current year.
5. Newspapers: include all county papers and several regional and national levels. Only the local city paper is kept and bound for permanent reference.
6. Non-print: Includes children’s and adult abridged and unabridged books on audio cassette and compact disc, compact discs, video cassettes, DVD movies, microfilm, CD-ROMs. These are available for public use.
7. Government Documents: The library is not a government depository. Only the most popular documents are purchased for the collection.
8. Equipment: e-book reader, overhead projector, computers, videocassette recorder, television, microfilm reader/printer. These are available for public use.
B. Policy by Subject of Material
1. Fiction: Popular demand is strongly considered in fiction selection. In general, the fiction collection is designed to provide at least some material for the wide range of public tastes.
2. Non-fiction: The following criteria are applied,
a. Current utility and/or permanent value
b. Authority and competence of presentation.
c. Relation of item to the rest of the collection (for example, an excellent book may not be purchased if the library’s collection in that subject is adequate)
d. Relative importance of work in comparison with similar works.
e. Equality of content treatment.
f. Binding and usefulness of format.
g. Current and anticipated demand.
3. Reference materials: The goal is to provide reference material only on a general level to provide a basis of information.
Cost is an important criterion.
4. Legal and medical books: Only materials of a general interest to the layperson are purchased. Care is taken that reviews indicate the authority and competence of the authors. A current set of Minnesota Laws and Statutes is provided by the state.
5. Genealogy and heraldry: Only general works and reference volumes on the procedures of genealogy are considered for purchase. Patrons wishing to do extensive family research can be referred to the Minnesota Historical Society and interlibrary loan. Local family genealogies are accepted for the collection.
6. Local history: Material on the history of the area is actively sought.
7. Political and social issues: Attempts are made to provide information on the entire spectrum of political and social issues.
Materials are never automatically excluded from selection because they are likely to be objectionable to those in the community holding different views.
8. Religious materials: A well-balanced collection representing all the major religions of the world is the goal. Sacred scriptures of the various are included as well as authoritarian studies in the history of religion, theology and comparative religions.
9. Local and Minnesota authors: These will be considered desirable and are specially marked for patron selection.
10. Sex education: General books that are well balanced, authentic, up to date and scientific in treatment are considered for purchase. A balanced treatment for all ages is considered desirable.
11. Videotapes and DVD: Selections to be considered for the collection are from the following categories- informational, cultural, educational, family, documentary, classics and award winning.