Policies of the Seminole Community Library
Collection Management Policy
This Policy addresses only the public library collection management functions of the joint use library partnership between the City of Seminole and St. Petersburg College. Academic library collection management functions are addressed elsewhere by the policies of St. Petersburg College libraries.
- Purpose of the Policy
The Seminole Community Library serves its patrons through the efforts of its staff and with its collection of print and non-print material. The library's collection management policy guides the staff in managing the collection and explains to the public the general principles governing the selection of material and availability of resources. The library's collection of print, audiovisual, and electronic resources is its primary tool for achieving its mission.
- The Library's Mission and Functions
The mission of the Seminole Community Library is to act as a community educational support and resource center by providing popular material for the educational, recreational and cultural needs of all ages; encouraging young children to discover the pleasures of reading and learning through services to parents and children; and furnishing timely, accurate, and useful information. To fulfill its mission the library maintains a collection of print and audiovisual material designed to meet the recreational and informational needs of our community. It also provides access to electronic databases and the World Wide Web, and strives to identify and describe useful and interesting Internet sites, the links to which are posted on the library's web site. Items not in our collection may be obtained for patrons by our Inter-Library Loan librarian.
- Community Description
The library serves its community. In order to do so, it is important that library staff have current, accurate information about the community. Staff draw upon data provided by the American Community Survey [www.census.gov/acs/www/], the U.S. Census [www.census.gov], and other authoritative sources to formulate a community profile. It is this profile that the Collection Management Policy attempts to serve.
- Responsibility for Selection
The selection of materials and resources is the responsibility of the library director, as delegated to library staff. Ordinarily, staff in positions of Librarian II and higher are responsible for selecting materials and resources in assigned areas, subjects, or genres.
- Principles and Criteria for Selection
Selection of print, audio-visual, and electronic materials and resources is based on reviews in professional and review journals, online resources, publishers' information, patron requests, and staff reviews, and staff evaluations of community needs and of the strengthens and weaknesses of the library’s collection. Potential acquisitions are judged using the following criteria:
The Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College is governed by statutes, ordinances, policies, and procedures established by state government, City and College government, and library administration. In addition, the Library Advisory Board, a five-member board of local citizens appointed by City Council and St. Petersburg College, reviews and advises on library policy and management. One of the primary roles of the public library is to make available a wide variety of ideas, opinions and information to the public. It thus assists people in obtaining the information they need to enrich their lives, solve problems and become informed citizens. With that essential function in mind, the Seminole Community Library relies on the principles set forth in the American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights" and "Freedom to Read Statement".
- Suitability to the library's mission and scope of collection.
- Authority, competence, and reliability of the author or source.
- Quality and currency of content, particularly for time-sensitive subjects (i.e., medicine, science, technology).
- Quality of format, organization, presentation.
- Merit in comparison to other resources in the field.
- Reviews by critics, professional journals, and staff members.
- Recognition shown by honors and awards.
- Coverage in local or popular media.
- Accessibility and ease of use.
- Commercial or non-commercial nature, if applicable.
- Relation to material or resources already available in the library or other local libraries and community resources.
- Temporary interest or permanent value.
- Local historical or cultural interest.
- Relevance of subject, format, and reading level for the intended audience.
As a governmental agency, one of the roles of the public library is to make available a variety of ideas, opinions, and information to the public through its collection and resources. This is a basic principles of the public library tradition in the United States. An important reason public libraries are established is so that people can obtain information they need in order to enrich their lives, solve problems, and become informed citizens. A public library strives to fulfill this critical mission by adhering to principles set forth in, among other places, the American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights" and "The Freedom to Read Statement". These documents form the ethical framework of the library's collection management policy.
- Gifts and Donations
The Seminole Community Library is pleased to accept gifts and donations from patrons. Gifts are gratefully and willingly accepted as long as no restriction is placed upon their use. Acceptance of gifts (of books and other library materials) will be determined by the library director or designee on the basis of their suitability to the library's purposes and needs in accordance with the library's stated materials selection policy. The library director or designee will determine the use or disposal of all gift materials. The library has the right to discard any gifts in poor physical condition (e.g., brittle paper, water or mildew damage, torn, or missing pages). Library staff members do not appraise the market value of gifts and donations for income tax purposes.
Materials that no longer meet the stated objectives of the library (including those that have become damaged or obsolete) will be systematically withdrawn on a continual basis according to the accepted professional practices. Disposition and replacement of library materials so deselected will be at the discretion of the library director, subject to all relevant provisions of the Charter of the City of Seminole and the statutes of the State of Florida.
- Reconsideration of Library Materials
Forms are available at the library for patrons to register a concern or complaint about specific materials or resources in the collection. The Guidelines below pertain to all library materials and resources in all formats (print, audio/visual, and electronic, including the library's links to external web sites).
- 8.1 If a patron wishes the library to remove an item from the collection or reclassify an item, the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form will be provided to the patron. In order for the request to be considered, the form must be completed in full and submitted to the library director. The library director will request that a staff librarian in charge of the collection area of the item in question and the section supervisor of that collection area determine if the item meets the library’s established selection criteria and guidelines for collection management. The staff librarian and section supervisor will submit their determination in writing to the library director. If the determination is made that the item meets the selection criteria, the library director will then notify the patron in writing of the determination, and inform the patron of the option to appeal the determination by requesting further reconsideration by a review committee. If the determination is made that the item does not meet the selection criteria, the staff librarian and section supervisor will make a recommendation whether the item should be retained, reclassified, or removed from the collection.
- 8.2 If the patron wishes to appeal the determination that the item meets the selection criteria, the patron must make the request in writing to the library director. The library director will then appoint a review committee. The review committee will consist of at least three persons, one of whom must be a staff librarian with selection responsibilities in the area in which the material or resource is classified. Other members of the review committee may include Library Advisory Board members, Friends of the Library Board members, library staff members, or members of the community.
- 8.3 Each member of the review committee will independently read, view, or listen to the material or resource in question. Factors to be weighed include reviews, circulation history of the item, ownership by other local libraries and this library's collection management criteria. Each committee member will submit a written review and recommendation to the library director regarding whether the material or resource should be retained, reclassified, removed, or other action. The library director will take the recommendation under consideration and make a decision in the matter. Upon reaching a decision, the library director will notify the patron in writing.
- 8.4 During the review process, a copy of the material in question will be checked out for review purposes. Any other copies of the material which the library may own will remain in circulation for public use throughout the review process.
- 8.5 If the decision is made to retain the material, the review copy will be returned to the collection for public use. If the decision is made to reclassify material to another part of the collection, the material will be submitted to the library catalogers for reclassification, and then returned to the collection for public use. If the decision is made to remove the material from the collection, it will be submitted to the library catalogers for withdrawal from the bibliographic database, and then disposed of in the same manner as other withdrawn material. Material recommended for removal will not be replaced through purchase or gift. The library director will inform the patron in writing of the outcome.
- 8.6 The library director will maintain a file containing all documentation generated by the reconsideration process.