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Mission Statement/Purpose of Policy

(A) The mission statement of the Tyler Public Library is to meet our patrons’ needs for information, education and recreation through access to library resources. We seek to serve and enrich the people of Tyler.

(B) The mission statement sets forth the following philosophy of service: The purpose of the Tyler Public Library is to provide all area residents ready access to a broad collection of materials in a variety of formats that detail our knowledge, ideas and culture; to offer encouragement and guidance in their use; and to provide the community with access to reliable and easily available sources of information.

(C) Because of the volume of publishing as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a collection development policy with which to meet community interests and needs if it is to fulfill its objectives.

(D) This policy is used by library staff to select, maintain and weed materials and also to serve to acquaint the general public with the principles of collection development. The policy will be reviewed on a regular basis by the City Librarian and the Library Board to ensure that the policy remains current, pertinent and an accurate reflection of the changing needs of the community, the library and its collection development objectives.

Factors Affecting Collection Development

(A) The library has served the recreational, educational, and informational needs of Tyler since 1899. During its history, the library has grown with the community, adding services and materials in response to user needs and modifying its course of development in order to provide the best possible library service.

Responsibilities for Collection Development

(A) The ultimate responsibility for collection development, as with all library activities, rests with the City Librarian, who operates within the framework of library policy.

(B) This responsibility is shared with other members of the library staff. The Youth Services Librarian is responsible for the development of the juvenile and young adult collections, both print and non-print, and the Collection Development Associate and various professional staff are responsible for the reference, adult and audiovisual collections and other subject areas as necessary.

(C) Because the City Librarian must be able to answer to the Library Board and the general public for actual selections made by staff, he or she has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

Selection of Library Materials/Criteria for Evaluation
(A) General criteria. The Tyler Public Library’s materials selection policy must be flexible and broad. The library will not duplicate specialized materials already available in local institutions, purchase textbooks used in the schools nor supply titles in quantity proportionate to extensive demand. The selection of library materials involves the following factors and considerations:
  1. The experience and knowledge of staff selectors;
  2. Familiarity with the community, its needs and interests;
  3. Holdings and availability of other area library resources; and
  4. The library's existing collection and its materials budget

(B) Criteria for judging materials:

  1. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.
  2. Reviews in professional journals (Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal and popular periodicals) are used in the selection process and are sought whenever possible. 
  3. Opinions on selected works may also be solicited from area authorities or from electronic discussion groups.
  4. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review is not sufficient reason to reject a title for which there is demand.
(C) Criteria for the selection of adult nonfiction books for circulation:
  1. Reliability of information and qualification of the author in the subject field;
  2. Timeliness and permanent value;
  3. Literary style;
  4. Popular interest;
  5. Reputation of the publisher;
  6. Illustrations;
  7. Relationship to the existing collection;
  8. Physical format (binding, typography, design, etc.); and
  9. Price.

(D) Criteria for selecting adult and young adult fiction books:

  1. Popularity of the author (patron requests);
  2. Appeal to the general-interest reader;
  3. Relationship to the collection;
  4. Quality of the writing;
  5. Characterization (constructive, realistic portrait);
  6. Literary merit;
  7. Reputation of the publisher; and
  8. Price.

(E) Other guidelines for selection:

  1. Best-selling fiction: Books that appear on the best-seller lists of the New York Times and Publishers Weekly are not automatically purchased and may be selected without the benefit of a positive review. The library will purchase two or more copies of a title only when the author is especially popular with our library users.
  2. Genre fiction: The most important criterion for the selection of mystery/detective, science fiction and fantasy, romance, and western titles is the popularity of the author. 
  3. Retrospective purchases: As much as possible, the fiction collection should contain the best and most enduring of all the novels and short stories that have been published in the English language. Using standard bibliographies, the library will add or replace historically significant titles to its collection on a regular basis.
  4. Works by first-time authors: The library feels an obligation to purchase the works of promising new authors. Using the standard review tools, selectors will purchase the best new fiction published each year.
  5. Purely pornographic works, as defined by local, state and federal law, will not be purchased; however, serious fiction, poetry, drama and other nonfiction works will not be excluded simply because of coarse language or frankness of treatment.

(F) The Reference Collection:

  1. In general, reference materials are selected with the goal of satisfying the majority of information needs within the community. Questions which fall beyond the scope of the collection are referred to other agencies.
  2. Materials are evaluated by using the following criteria:
  • (a) Authority of the publisher, editorial staff and contributors; 
  • (b) Arrangement of the information (including the use of indexes, bibliographies and tables of contents);
  • (c) Accuracy;
  • (d) Objectivity;
  • (e) Timeliness;
  • (f) Scope;
  • (g) Relationship to the existing collection;
  • (h) Illustrations;
  • (I) Physical format;
  • (j) Special features; and
  • (k) Price. 

(G) The Periodical Collection:

  1. A collection of magazines and newspapers is maintained for browsing purposes and as a supplement to the book collection. Requests for periodicals which fall outside the scope of the collection may be filled through the interlibrary loan network. The collection is evaluated on an annual basis.
  2. Selection of periodicals is based on the following criteria:
  • (a) Appeal to the general-interest reader;
  • (b) Accessibility of a title's contents through indexes;
  • (c) Accuracy and objectivity of the editors and contributors;
  • (d) Patron requests; and
  • (e) Preservation of a balanced viewpoint within the collection.

(H) Audiovisual Materials: Audio Recordings:

  1. The library recognizes sound recording as a major form of publication. Because of the cost and diversity of titles available, the aim of this collection is to represent a cross section of available material.
  2. Recordings are selected on the basis of reviews in professional and general publications and the popularity of artists or authors whose works appear in this format. Patrons’ requests are also taken into consideration. 
  3. Dramatic and documentary recordings, such as books on tape, are selected on the basis of literary merit, content interest and quality of the production.

(I) Audiovisual Materials: Video Recordings

  1. The library's video collection is intended to serve the informational, educational and recreational needs of the community. The collection strives to complement, rather than to compete with, local video rental stores by offering a different collection focus. The collection is designed to be general in nature and does not contain specialized materials for the exclusive use of one particular group. 
  2. Generally speaking, selections are popular titles. VHS videocassettes are no longer purchased.  DVD titles are chosen based on a combination of the following: a score of 60 or higher on www.metacritic.com; 3 stars on www.allmovie.com; or minimum score of 6.7 on www.imdb.com.   
  3. Because of the great diversity of materials available, no single set of criteria can be applied to all items. Titles may be evaluated using one or more of the following specific criteria:
  • (a) Relationship of the item to the existing collection and to other materials available on the subject;
  • (b) Recognition by prizes, awards, etc., given by critical organizations or institutes;
  • (c) Provision of a presentation most effectively or appropriately delivered by the video format; and
  • (d) Provision of information that is unique to or available only in this format.

(J) Gift Materials:

  1. Materials donated to the library are not automatically added to the collection. These items are reviewed according to the selection criteria set forth in this section. Gifts are considered with the explicit understanding that such factors as duplication, lack of community interest, processing costs or inadequate shelf space may prevent their addition to the collection or permanent retention on the shelves. 
  2. Gift materials not added to the collection will be disposed of according to section VII (D) of this policy.

(K) Electronic Materials:

  1. Electronic materials include online, CD-ROM resources, e-books and e-audio. Titles or services are intended to supplement and, in some cases, replace print materials. E-books and e-audio are currently purchased and shared through OverDrive’s Northeast Texas Digital Library Consortium (“Consortium”) with some content (“Advantage”) exclusive to Tyler patrons. The library does not have control over the selections made by other libraries in the Consortium. The library also selects and purchases streaming audiobooks through OneClick Digital. Access to e-books and e-audio is also available through EBSCO on TexShare. The library does not have control over selections for the EBSCO content. Titles purchased are “licensed” copies.
  2. Selection of electronic products and services is based on the same criteria for print materials. Due to limited funds and the nature of electronic materials, the following additional criteria may apply:
  • (a) Accessibility (equipment and space to utilize product effectively);
  • (b) Ease of use (product marketed for the general public);
  • (c) Timeliness;
  • (d) Relationship to the existing collection;
  • (e) Community interest;
  • (f) Cost;
  • (g) Availability (not all titles are available in digital form);
  • (h) Bestselling authors and high interest fiction titles and series will   take priority;
  • (i) Multiple copies will not be purchased, excepting the addition of Advantage titles which allow for quicker access to high demand titles;
  • (j) Non-fiction will be avoided due to the inability to weed outdated information; and
  • (k) Content that requires repurchasing after a set number of checkouts will be avoided. 

(L) Local and Family History Materials

Through the Local and Family History Room, located on the third floor, the library seeks to provide information on Tyler and its history, as well as provide resources for basic research in genealogy. Published materials on Tyler and Smith County will be exhaustively collected and materials for the beginning and accomplished genealogist will be acquired as funds and space permit.

A local author is defined as any individual who was born in Tyler or publishes a work of fiction or non-fiction which was written while the author was residing in the City of Tyler. Self-published works by local authors may be added if the author chooses to donate a copy of his work for the local authors section. This should not be considered a permanent placement. These titles will be added as space allows. 

The library selects materials emphasizing local interest, such as roses, Texana and regional authors, as is warranted.  The library may accept special collections of papers and documents that relate to local families or history; however, the library will not accept responsibility for maintaining the privacy of any personal or group records. No restrictions will be placed on duplicating such materials except in cases where the process will harm the original document.

(M) Requests to Buy:

The library maintains a balanced and varied collection to interest all patrons. Budgetary constraints prohibit purchasing every request. The library welcomes requests from patrons and places a high priority on patron needs and wants. All requests will be evaluated according to selection guidelines. Patrons are limited to two requests per month and to requesting titles that have already been published. Highest consideration will be given to requests for materials that are:

  1. Bestsellers;
  2. Prize winners;
  3. Items of local Interest; and
  4. Items less than three years old.
Materials for Specific Audiences

(A) Materials for Children

  1. In selecting materials for children, the library's goal is to make available a collection that satisfies their informational and recreational needs. 
  2. Materials are selected which meet the general needs of the majority of children. Materials whose qualities make them valuable to children with special needs, talents, problems or interests are also considered.
  3. Criteria for materials selection are the same as for adult and young adult materials with the addition of vocabulary suitable to the age of the intended audience and quality of the illustrations in children's fiction.

(B) Materials for the visually impaired, such as large-print books, are acquired according to patron demand. The library also encourages patrons with special needs to use the resources of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Maintenance of Library Materials

(A) Most library materials are processed in such a way as to ensure their maximum use under normal circumstances. Inexpensive paperbacks may be an exception to this policy.

(B) All materials returned to the library are inspected for damage.

(C) Damaged but still usable materials are mended according to an established set of procedures.

(D) Patrons are charged a replacement cost for materials they check out that are irretrievably lost or damaged beyond repair. (See Circulation Policy, section VII,  for details.)

Withdrawal of Library Materials

(A) Weeding is necessary to maintain a vital, useful and up-to-date collection. This task takes skill, care, time and knowledge of the materials to do a competent job.

(B) Selection of materials for weeding is based on the following criteria:

  1. Materials worn out through use;
  2. Ephemeral materials, which are no longer timely;
  3. Materials no longer considered accurate or factual;
  4. Materials which have had little recent use and are of questionable value; and
  5. Excess copies of a title no longer in demand.
(C) Replacement of materials that are withdrawn is not automatic. The need for replacement is based on the following criteria:
  1. Number of duplicate copies;
  2. Existence of adequate coverage of the subject; and
  3. Demand for the specific title or for material in that subject area.
(D) The City Librarian will approve all materials for disposal. Disposal of materials weeded from the collection is accomplished according to the following priorities:
  1. Materials that can be used by another Smith County library are made available to the library with all responsibility for transfer assumed by the receiving library.
  2. Materials that can be used by another tax-supported institution, not a library, are made available to that institution with all responsibility for transfer assumed by the receiving institution.
  3. Materials which are of no interest to other libraries or other tax-supported institutions but which are judged by the City Librarian to have possible resale value are kept for the Book Nook and the library book sale, where they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  4. Materials unsuitable for transfer or sale are discarded.

(E) The library will not accept requests to hold weeded materials for individuals.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

Individuals may request reconsideration of a selection decision of library material. To receive consideration by the library, all requests must be made in writing using the library’s request for reconsideration form (see page 21).

The library materials about which a request for reconsideration has been made will not be removed from the collection, nor will their use be restricted in any way, before final action is taken by the Library Board on the request.

Within 30 days of the filing of the written request for reconsideration, the City Librarian will send a written response to complainants notifying them of the library’s Collection Development Committee’s decision regarding their request. The response will also inform complainants that if they desire, the request will be forwarded to the Library Board who will review the request within 90 days and take action on it. In making its decision, the Library Board will consider professional reviews and will employ all of the criteria of selection listed in the Library’s Collection Development Policy, including the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement and The Texas Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Statement.

Complainants will be notified in writing of the Library Board’s decision in the matter.

Requests for reconsideration about a particular item will not be considered by the library more than once within a 12 month period.

All policies will be reviewed annually by staff, and significant changes will be brought to the Library Board.

 
Copyright 2019 by City of Tyler