Home Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Policies Materials Selection

Hillsborough County
Department of Library Services
Policies and Procedures Manual

Subject: Materials Selection

Effective: April 28, 2016

Supercedes: 1/2010

  1. Purpose:
    1. The purpose of the Materials Selection policy is to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made and to establish guidelines for how the Library shall assemble, organize and preserve books and media for use by the citizens of Hillsborough County. This policy outlines the relationship of collection development and management to the Library’s goals and intellectual freedom principles.
  2. Policy:
    1. Goal
      1. The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System (THPL) allocates resources to ensure that the collection meets the needs of the community. Priorities are set annually to purchase materials in support of the Library’s mission, strategic goals and key initiatives.
        1. To ensure that the THPL collection fulfills the informational and recreational needs of all segments of the population.
        2. To strive for a collection that is balanced, comprehensive, and of adequate size, quality, and diversity to meet the needs of its users.
        3. To ensure that all parts of the collection are current, appealing, and well-maintained.
        4. To increase the involvement and knowledge of the entire staff in developing and managing the collection.
        5. To utilize collection usage statistics to ensure optimal allocation of the materials budget.
        6. To continually evaluate present formats and identify new formats that will make the collection more valuable to our customers.
        7. To collaborate with our partner libraries to ensure that our collections meet our responsibilities as a part of the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative.
    2. Responsibility
      1. The primary responsibility for selection rests with the Library Director. Under the Director’s guidance, professional staff members who are qualified by education and experience recommend materials for selection. The general public may also recommend materials for consideration.
    3. Intellectual Freedom
      1. THPL subscribes to the principles of the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to Read Statement and Intellectual Freedom principles of the American Library Association.
      2. THPL Intellectual Freedom Statement:
        The Library accepts responsibility for the provision of free public access by to all points of view. However, the addition of an item to the collection in no way represents endorsement by the Library of any theory, idea, or policy contained therein. Selection of materials for the collection will be based on the criteria in the Collection Development Plan. The race, religion, nationality, orientation or political views of a creator, the frankness or coarseness of language, controversial content, or the endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group in the community will not result in items being automatically included or excluded from the collection.
      3. THPL welcomes interest in its collection.
        1. Citizens may request the reconsideration of Library materials by means of the Review of Material form, available at all Library locations. Library staff will reevaluate the item to see if it meets the Library’s stated evaluative criteria, and review the selection decision according to policy LS 902 Request for Review of Materials. A copy of this policy is provided to the customer upon request or at the time the customer requests a Review of Material form. The customer will receive a written response.
        2. Citizens may request Library materials be added to the Collection. A web form is provided on the Library’s website, and suggestions for purchase are accepted at all Library locations. All suggestions are routed to Library Technology & Collections to see if they meet the Library’s stated evaluative criteria and fall within the scope of the Collection Development Plan. Customers who leave contact information will receive a response.
        3. Access to electronic information, services and networks are provided through the Library website as well as the internet. Citizens may request review of a website through policy LS 307 Request for Review of Website. Library staff will reevaluate the website to see if it meets the Library’s stated evaluative criteria, and review the selection decision to see if the website falls within the Selection Policy and Collection Development Plan. A copy of this policy is provided to the customer upon request or at the time the customer receives a Request for Review of a Website form. The customer will receive a written response.
  3. Authority:

    Pursuant to Section 5(1) of Chapter 84-443, Laws of Florida, the Library Board has the duty and the responsibility, among others, to serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the public library.