Collection Development

The collection development policy is established by the Board of Trustees to provide an outline for library staff and to inform the public of the principles upon which the library makes decisions regarding the maintenance and use of the collection.

The Peabody Institute Library, Danvers is a dynamic civic resource committed to providing information, materials and services in response to the interests and concerns of individuals within its community. It is the aim and responsibility of the Library to fulfill the educational, informational and recreational needs of citizens of all ages by its selection of materials. The library aims to present a balanced collection on all topics. The library collection should represent significant viewpoints on all subjects. The library attempts to acquire a broad range of materials in a variety of formats for general use.

Materials should offer the opportunity for:
• Life-long learning
• Examining all sides of issues
• Keeping abreast of new ideas
• Becoming informed citizens
• Improving occupational performance
• Using leisure time
• Developing creative abilities

The Board of Trustees delegates to the Library Director the authority and responsibility for selection and management of all print, non-print and electronic materials. The Library Director designates staff to develop selection and acquisition procedures and to make purchasing decisions subject to approval. The Library Director allocates the materials budget annually.

Scope of the Collection/Accessibility
Library materials representing a wide range of interests are selected to meet the needs of library patrons.
Library materials and services will routinely support more than one library goal. To meet the informational needs of users, the library continually updates materials in the areas of business, law, government, health, technology, science and current events. To fulfill the need for information about popular culture and social trends, the library buys popular non-fiction, general mass circulation periodicals and fiction as well as musical, spoken and audiovisual materials in the most popular formats. The library also provides access to online databases, digital books, recordings and images, software programs and the Internet.

Area school and college libraries serve the curriculum needs of students. Without duplicating these resources or attempting to follow all the changes in the curriculum, The Library recognizes the need to provide a wide variety of cultural and recreational reading matter for students and to provide basic class related materials for students seeking to complete assignments outside of school hours. Textbooks are not ordinarily purchased.

External Electronic Information Resources
Providing connections to global information, services, and networks is not the same as selecting and purchasing material for a library collection. Determining the accuracy or authenticity of electronic information may present special problems. Some information accessed electronically may not meet a library’s selection or collection development policy. It is, therefore, left to each user to determine what information is appropriate to their needs.

All materials selected by the library staff will be available to the public in circulating and non circulating collections.
The responsibility of choosing from this range of materials rests with the user. Parents/guardians are responsible for supervising their children’s use of library materials.

Selection Criteria
Librarians exercise judgment, experience and expertise in the application of the selection criteria listed below. No single criterion can be applied to all materials and various criterion carry different weight in different circumstances. Contextual considerations- budget and space availability, interlibrary loan availability – also shape the selection process.

Materials are selected in accordance with one or more of the following guidelines:
• Artistic, literary, historic and/or scientific merit
• Authority and competence of author
• Awareness of significant new trends in literature, technology, and formats
• Clarity and accuracy of information and/or presentation
• Community request and/or anticipated popular demand
• Availability of material
• Price, in relation to total budget
• Availability of shelf space
• Favorable reviews
• Format and durability
• Practical usefulness
• Relationship to existing materials in the collection
• Relative importance in comparison with other materials available on the subject
• Importance as a record of the times

Local History:
Please refer to the Danvers Archival Center website for information that describes the scope of this collection.

The relevance of material to our collection as expressed by one or more criteria outlined above is a primary consideration. Materials that are too technical, academic or otherwise limited in scope, though receiving excellent reviews, do not meet the needs of the general audience that frequents a public library. Unless the content of the book is of local interest and generates significant local demand we generally do not purchase and add these titles to our collection.
As a member of an automated resource sharing network and the state supported regional library system, the Peabody Institute Library supplements its resources with materials borrowed from other libraries through these larger entities.

Selection Aids
The following sources are representative of the many aids used for selection of materials:
Professional Journals: Booklist, Library Journal, New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Boston Globe, Hornbook, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA.

Bestseller lists, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor Forecasts, Ingram Advance, Ingram Select, and other popular print and broadcast media sources.

Since the majority of print titles are not reviewed, publishers’ catalogs are also an important source of information, sometimes the only information on a title. Crucial to buying decisions is the reputation of the publisher in general and the series or type of book in particular. Publishers’ catalogs are particularly useful for new editions of standard titles and to fill subject needs. New fiction is rarely bought from publishers’ catalogs, unless the author is a known quantity and demand is certain.

Requests for Purchase/ Staff Recommendations: Requests for purchase may be submitted on paper forms or online through the library website. Library staff may also determine which ILL [Interlibrary Loan] requests should be considered for local purchase. All requests are referred to the appropriate staff selector. Staff recommendations must meet the same selection criteria as patron requests.

Controversial Materials
As stated in the Library Bill of Rights:

“Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Material should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.”

“Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
The Peabody Institute Library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom as stated in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to the Freedom to

Read and Freedom to View Statements, the Library Bill of Rights (appended) and their interpretations issued by the American Library Association.

The Library is willing to re-examine its position on any item in the library’s collections. A procedure has been established to deal with objections to materials owned by the Library. No item is to be removed or restricted because of a complaint except in accordance with this procedure.
The library accepts gifts with the understanding that they will be evaluated with the same criteria used for purchased materials. If they do not meet these standards, they will be conveyed to the Friends of the Library for the library book sale.

Collection Maintenance
In order to maintain a vital, current collection which meets the needs of our community, the examination of materials is an ongoing process. An item is considered for removal when it is:
• Obsolete or outdated
• Worn or damaged
• No longer circulating or used for reference purposes
• One of many copies of a formerly popular title
A work chosen to be withdrawn may be replaced with another copy of the same title or another work on the same subject.
Aides Used in Collection Maintenance:
Circulation statistics, The CREW Method, Fiction Catalog, NOBLE, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

October 1, 2008

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