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Vineland Public Library
Collection Development Policy

The collection supports the Library’s mission statement by “responding to the expressed and anticipated informational and lifelong learning needs of its diverse community.” Selection criteria are utilized for the acquisition and deleting of materials. Management of the collection falls to reference librarians for collection development and circulation staff for shelving and stack maintenance. The print and non-print collections reflect the present and expected research and recreational needs of the community.

Selection Criteria:
The selection level is Basic (see selection levels below) for all subject areas with more advanced levels of coverage for high demand/high usage topics. The Library seeks to acquire authoritative materials representing all points of view on all sides of controversial issues, insofar as they meet the standards of accuracy and accountability. Criteria considered by the selector include

• Does the title improve the quality of the collection?
• Is the title of general interest?
• Does the item meet standard literary criteria for good writing, such as factual accuracy, effectiveness of expression, authoritativeness, indexing and table of contents?
• Is the title of good technical quality with respect to to production value, binding, printing, illustration, on-screen “help,” technical support and overall design?
• Does the work relate to other stated needs of the collection?
• Does the work offer information specific to the city of Vineland, or the Cumberland County region?
• Is the source of the data reliable and documented?
• The entirety of the work of each title is judged as a whole, and isolated passages in themselves are not used as criteria.

Items are not selected that
• Contain outdated, unaccountable, inaccurate or false information
• Exist only to promote a specific person, cause, or belief
• Would ordinarily be used only to complete school assignments, specific to a particular curriculum of local educational institutions

Selection is based primarily upon reviews in accredited/peer-reviewed journals of librarianship and the book trade, as well as additional reputable national magazines. The professional judgment of the librarians, with intimate knowledge of community needs and demands, also comes into play during the selection process. In addition to library user requests or suggestions, selection aids as of April 2007 include
• New York Times Book Review
• Library Journal
• School Library Journal
• Booklist
• Horn Book
• What Do Young Adults Read Next?
• Children’s Catalog
• Middle & Junior High School Catalog
• Senior High School Library Catalog
• Fiction Catalog
• Public Library Catalog

Donations and gift materials will be held accountable to the same criteria and evaluated on an individual basis. No conditions may be imposed relating to any gift after its acceptance by the Library.

Selection Levels:
1. Comprehensive/Exhaustive Level: Complete coverage related to topic
2. Research Level: Broad coverage with reasonable depth
3. Reference/Study Level: Resources such as current dictionary, encyclopedia, history, and/or a few texts on topic
4. Basic Level: Standard works sufficient to meet usual demands
5. Minimal/Skeletal Level: A few carefully selected books or a dictionary where there is light demand

Electronic Media:
Electronic media considered for selection should provide improved access to or be an enhancement or enrichment of current library collections. Selection of materials is based on subject need, popularity, and equipment appropriateness. Resources chosen for direct library user use should require a minimal level of computer literacy. Products with the best on-screen instructions, graphic displays, and printing protocols which match current products are preferred. Highest priority choices will address the needs of a significant portion of the Library’s users. Purchases also should be broadly accessible under current copyright and licensing laws.

Stack Maintenance:
Collection maintenance entails shelf maintenance as a necessary element of upkeep. Maintaining the shelves in correct call number order enables easy access to materials and information by Library users. A 24-hour turnaround time for the re-shelving of materials ensures easy access in a timely manner for Library users. Periodic shelf reading for the Reference collection is completed by the student assistants, supervised by the Reference librarians. Shelf reading of the circulating adult and young adult collections will be performed by the shelvers on an ongoing basis.

Weeding (De-selection):
Weeding is an important part of maintaining the collection. Reasons why items must be removed from the collection include damage, wear, being out of date, inaccuracy, lack of current relevance, lack of interest by Library users and lack of space. Lack of space for new acquisitions is an ever-present problem. Ideally, weeding should be done on a continual basis, but when this is not possible, it should be done periodically. Decisions concerning which items should be removed from the collection are made by librarians although other staff may assist in the routine weeding tasks such as pulling items from the shelves. *CREW recommendations are followed concerning removal of items that have not been circulating. Weeded items in reasonable condition are placed in the Library’s book sale. Items that do not sell and are not useful to other public libraries, nursing homes, etc. are eventually discarded.

*Segal, Joseph P. Evaluating and Weeding Collections in Small and Medium-sized Public Libraries: The CREW Method. American Library Association, Chicago. 1980

Summary Statement:
The Vineland Public Library adopts the Library Bill of Rights, as amended January 23, 1980, of the American Library Association Council and incorporates the same herein with the same force and effect as if set forth at length. The library also adopts the Freedom to Read Statement, as revised on January 28, 1972, by and of the American Library Association Council and incorporates the same herein with the same force and effect as if set forth at length. The Library Director is responsible to the Board of Trustees of Vineland Public Library for the selection of materials and for the development of the collection. In the selection of materials for inclusion in its collection, the Library recognizes its obligation as a public institution serving the informational needs of a large group of people with varied backgrounds, languages, preferences, interests, and purposes.

Approved by Library Board of Trustees
June 28, 2007