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Collection Development Policy

Purpose of the Collection Development Policy This policy is established by the Library Board of Trustees to guide the library staff in the management of the collection and inform the public of the principles upon which the library makes decisions regarding the maintenance and use of the collection.

Library Mission Statement
The mission of the Marengo Public Library is to support lifelong learning by responding to community needs for information, to encourage a desire to read, and enrich the quality of life in the community.

Goals of the Marengo Public Library

  1. To provide a 21st century facility for Marengo Public Library patrons and staff.
  2. Remain current with emerging technologies, provide a quality collection of materials and maintain outstanding service.
  3. Increase awareness and use of library services.


Objectives of the Collection

The objectives of the Marengo Public Library are to select, organize, preserve, and make freely and easily available to the people of the community print and non-print materials, within the limitations of space and the budget. The collection is intended to provide access to information and materials in various formats to serve a wide variety of needs:

  • Foster the communication of ideas
  • Provide opportunity and encouragement for formal education
  • Equip people for careers and practical endeavors
  • Sharpen personal competence in forming sound judgments
  • Enrich leisure time

Responsibility for Selection
The responsibility for selection will primarily be with the director, although this responsibility may be shared by the director and staff to cover all subject areas. The director, in assuming this responsibility, will be working under the authority and the policies determined by the Library Board. Suggestions for materials to be added are welcomed from the public, board members and staff. The suggestions will be given prompt consideration and will be subject to normal selection criteria.

Selection Criteria
The library subscribes to the principles as found in the "Freedom to Read", "Freedom to View", and "Library Bill of Rights" statements as adopted by the American Library Association. 
In selecting materials, the library will at all times try to consider the ultimate goals of the library. Materials will then be purchased that will best serve the needs of the library in carrying out its goals as budget allows.
The library, in selecting, will attempt to maintain a well-balanced and broad collection. Consideration will be given to the merit of each item selected as it relates to the needs and interests of the community.
The library will provide educational material only in a supplemental way. The library will not supply textual material for school, college, or university curricula unless such material might also have a general use.
Materials will be selected that are of value and interest to all age groups and at a variety of reading levels. Materials will be made available to users of all ages. As needs exists and budget allows, special materials will be selected for persons with special needs - large print, audio books, etc.
Every effort will be made to refer patrons to other libraries or information sources in the community of beyond if requests cannot be filled at the library. This can be done through Open Access or Access Plus.

Access to the Collection
The Library Board considers reading, listening, and viewing to be individual, private matters. The board believes that full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential for patrons to exercise their constitutional rights. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or their own minor child(ren), the freedom of others to read or inquire will not be restricted by the library. Only parents and guardians have the right and responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their minor child(ren). The library does not stand in the place of parents.
The library collection will be organized, marked, and maintained to help people find the materials they want. Any labeling, sequestering, or alteration of materials because of controversy surrounding the author of subject matter will not be sanctioned. Library materials may be sequestered for the purpose of protecting them from damage or theft. The Library Board considers all materials selected under this policy to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Reevaluation of Materials
In order to maintain a balanced collection, the Marengo Public Library reflects differing points of view. The presence of an item in the library collection does not indicate library endorsement of a particular belief or an author's point of view.
Recognizing that it serves a varied community with a wide diversity of tastes and convictions, the Marengo Public Library welcomes expressions of concern about the contents of items held in its collection. Suggestions from members of the community about the collection or individual items in the collection frequently aid librarians in the ongoing process of collection development. However, library staff is governed by this Materials Selection Policy and the Library Mission Statement in making additions to or deleting from the collection.
Individuals may take issue with library materials that do not support their tastes and views. Staff is available to discuss concerns and identify alternates materials that may be available. If a patron's concern is not satisfied through discussion with staff, a formal request can be put in writing by completing and signing a "Request for Reconsideration" form. This will then be considered at the next regular board of trustees meeting and the patron will be notified as to what steps will be taken to deal with the request. The materials objected to will remain in circulation until final action has been taken in the matter.

Collection Maintenance
The Marengo Public Library will not replace every item that is lost, missing, or damaged. The decision will be based on:

  • Popularity of the item
  • Coverage of the topic within the collection
  • Validity of information
  • Availability of the item for replacement
  • Cost of the item
  • Availability of newer materials on the topic

The Marengo Public Library Board of Trustees recognizes the fact that withdrawing materials from the collection is an important part of maintaining the library collection. Withdrawal of library materials is vested in the library director who may authorize qualified staff to assist. Such materials will be deemed to have been withdrawn by the library board. Librarians apply the same criteria for withdrawal as they do for selection. The library does not sanction removal of library materials based upon any controversy.


Gifts, Donations, and Memorials

The Marengo Public Library welcomes gifts and donations of materials from the public. These items may be added to the collection if their addition is considered an enhancement by professional staff following the Selection Criteria of the Collection Development Policy. Items not added to the collection may be sold by the library, given to other resources, or discarded. All proceeds from sales support library activities and needs. Once a gift or donation has been accepted, it becomes the property of the library and will not be returned. The library will, if requested, provide a written acknowledgement of the receipt of gifts. In accordance with IRS regulations, the library leaves the determination of donation/gift values to the donor.

Gifts of non-library items such as portraits or art objects ordinarily will not be accepted. Gifts of personal collections will be evaluated following the criteria of the Collection Development Policy. They will be accepted with the understanding that they will be integrated into the general collection with the library determining location and usage of materials.

Gifts of funds are always welcome and may be designated as memorials. Large monetary gifts, or gifts in the nature of, but not limited to, land, buildings, or other materials that have either a significant monetary, historical, or literary value, may be assigned or directed to the Marengo Public Library Foundation. The Marengo Public Library Foundation Board is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that was created to support and enhance the Marengo Public Library through gifts, grants, bequests, or donations.



This policy will be reviewed as times and circumstances require.