(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:
- The experience and knowledge of staff selectors;
- Familiarity with the community, its needs and interests;
- Holdings and availability of other area library resources; and
- The library's existing collection and its materials budget
(B) Criteria for judging materials:
(C) Criteria for the selection of adult nonfiction books for circulation:
- Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.
- Reviews in professional journals (Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal and popular periodicals) are used in the selection process and are sought whenever possible.
- Opinions on selected works may also be solicited from area authorities or from electronic discussion groups.
- The lack of a review or an unfavorable review is not sufficient reason to reject a title for which there is demand.
- Reliability of information and qualification of the author in the subject field;
- Timeliness and permanent value;
- Literary style;
- Popular interest;
- Reputation of the publisher;
- Relationship to the existing collection;
- Physical format (binding, typography, design, etc.); and
(D) Criteria for selecting adult and young adult fiction books:
- Popularity of the author (patron requests);
- Appeal to the general-interest reader;
- Relationship to the collection;
- Quality of the writing;
- Characterization (constructive, realistic portrait);
- Literary merit;
- Reputation of the publisher; and
(E) Other guidelines for selection:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Gift materials not added to the collection will be disposed of according to section VII (D) of this policy.
(K) Electronic Materials:
- 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.
- 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:
- Prize winners;
- Items of local Interest; and
- Items less than three years old.