The purpose of this policy statement is to clarify for the public and library staff the criteria used for selecting and acquiring materials, as well as the responsibility for maintaining the collections.
The Collection Development Policy applies to all formats in the Library collection, including print, non-print, audio-visual and electronic materials.
3. Guiding Principles
It is the goal of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library to provide its public with equitable access to ideas and knowledge through print, audiovisual and online resources for its information and leisure pursuits. To that end, the Library seeks to purchase and retain the best, most up-to-date and useful material to fulfill its goals.
The Library endeavors to provide equitable access to its extensive collections through a multi-tiered service delivery model which rationalizes the location, scope and focus of collections. In addition, items may be delivered to any branch at the user's request. The materials budget is maximized through coordinated and controlled expenditure.
Basic to the Library’s Collection Development Policy is the Ontario Library Association’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom (1998). (See Appendix A)
Goals of selection:
- To maintain a well-balanced and broad collection of materials for information, enjoyment, reference and research
- To foster intellectual growth, lifelong learning and the formal and informal education and enlightenment of the community
- To provide materials for the recreational and leisure pursuits of the public
- To stimulate thoughtful participation in community affairs by providing access to a variety of opinions and ideas
To meet these goals, the following objectives have been set forth:
- To serve the citizens of Kingston - Frontenac by making information accessible in many formats for personal use
- To act as a cultural and educational resource by inviting displays, lectures and discussions to take place in library buildings or other suitable locations
- To enhance the acceptance of new technologies by training and example and by continually expanding the collection of materials in those areas
Responsibility for selection
The responsibility for the selection of material rests legally with the library board. It, in turn, delegates the selection and withdrawal of materials to the professional staff who are responsible for the collection on a day-to-day basis. Suggestions for purchase are welcomed from members of the public. All suggested purchases are reviewed by library staff who apply to the patron request the same selection criteria that are applied to all materials purchased by the Library.
The materials purchased for the Library are selected with the purpose of carrying out the goals of the institution. To help in the process of selection, the following principles are used to judge the quality and the quantity of the items that are chosen:
- Contemporary materials representing various points of view, which are of current interest and possible future significance, including materials which reflect current conditions, trends and controversies
- Materials designed to increase the individual’s ability to function effectively as a member of society
- Materials which provide access to practical information which develops the individual’s dependence on self, thereby enhancing the quality of life
- Materials which provide an aesthetic experience, stimulate imagination and increase the individual’s potential for creativity
- Materials, including the experimental or controversial, which may extend the individual’s capacity to understand the world in which he lives
- Materials which entertain and which may enhance the individual’s enjoyment of life
- Source materials which thoughtfully interpret, document or illuminate the past
- Materials in the two official languages, English and French, as well as materials which reflect the diverse linguistic or cultural heritage of the community
- Recognizing the responsibility to make works by Kingston-Frontenac and Canadian writers widely available, the Library shall acquire Canadian materials in all categories
The fundamental criteria for the selection of material are:
- Purpose and importance
- Authority and reputation
- Style, clarity and presentation
- Relationship to other items in the collection
- Quality of illustrations or art
- Literary merit
- Relationship to other items in the collection
- Quality of illustrations or art
The majority of items selected for inclusion in the collection are chosen on the basis of positive reviews in the recognized library reviewing sources. On occasion, an item may be selected which has not been reviewed or has been reviewed negatively. Such an item may belong on the shelves in order to familiarize the public with alternative views and opinions.
To keep the collection timely and attractive, materials are withdrawn when they are considered to be outdated, worn or no longer useful. If still needed, these may be replaced or rebound. Replacement depends on the demand for the title, the availability of more current materials on the topic and the extent of the coverage of the subject in the collection.
Responsibility for a child’s or teen’s choice and use of materials rests with her/his parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The Kingston Frontenac Public Library believes in the freedom of the individual, and the right and obligation of parents(s) or legal guardian(s) to guide, develop, interpret and maintain their own code of values in their family.
Library users of all ages have open access to the Library’s collections. Selection for the adult collection is not restricted by the possibility that children or teens may access materials their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may consider inappropriate.
Many of the resources available at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library are suitable for patrons with print disabilities.
- Vision Enhancements
- Downloadable audiobooks
- Downloadable eBooks – the settings can be adjusted with the majority of our downloadable eBooks to suit personal preferences for text size and typeface
- Books on CD
- DAISY books
- Large Print Books
- Hearing Enhancements:
- Many DVDs have a sub-title option
- Many of our databases have text-to-speech capabilities
The Library’s children’s collections serve children from infancy through age twelve. Materials for these collections reflect the wide range of reading and interest levels that this age group includes. The children’s collections exist to encourage children to develop a lifelong habit of reading for both recreational and informational needs. Materials for children shall be chosen in accordance with the Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s overall collection development policy.
School libraries serve the curriculum needs of students. The Library does not attempt to acquire textbooks or other curriculum-related materials except as such materials may also serve the general public. The Library recognizes the need to provide a wide variety of cultural and recreational reading matter for students in traditional schools and those being homeschooled, and to provide basic materials for students seeking to complete assignments outside school hours.
Teen materials are selected to meet the informational and recreational needs of teens aged thirteen through eighteen. An effort is made to provide materials that address the developmental stages of all teens. The teen collections are not intended to be comprehensive, serving all the needs and interests of teens, nor is it the Library's intention that teens should be confined to the use of these materials. Teens may use a wider range of library materials than any other age group. Some items are purchased only for the teen collection. However, some items found here are duplicated in the children's collection, in the adult collection, or in both. Materials for teens shall be chosen in accordance with the Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s overall collection development policy.
The Kingston Frontenac Public Library Board regards the right of access by an individual to information, controversial or non-controversial, through the public library as an important element of a democratic society.
The presence of any material in the Library does not indicate an endorsement of its contents. The Library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the evaluation of the item’s literary merit, authenticity, honesty of presentation and use to the community. In the case of controversial issues, an effort is made to see that all points of view are represented. While library staff will attempt to guide individuals and groups to materials suitable for their use, the ultimate responsibility for the choice made by the patron lies with the patron.
Request for reconsideration of material must be made in writing and on the understanding that selection will not be determined by pressure from any group or individual nor will material serving the purpose of the Library be removed from the collection. Completed Request for Review of Library Materials forms (See Appendix B) are forwarded to the Collections Librarian for review and a written response will be sent within 7 business days .
If the patron is still not satisfied, the complaint will be forwarded to the Board for their consideration. The Board and the Chief Librarian will jointly rule on the complaint and report the decision to the complainant within 30 days of the next Board meeting.
Labeling of collections
The Library does not label materials to indicate approval or disapproval of the content, nor does it expurgate any material in the collection. No catalogued book or other item will be placed on closed shelves, except due to space limitations or to protect it from damage or theft.
For information purposes and the guidance of borrowers, restricted videos are labeled with the Ontario Film and Video Review Board Viewer Classification code.
Appendix A: Ontario Library Association (OLA) Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual, 1963 Updated and approved, 1998
Appendix B: Request for Review of Library Materials form
6. Document Control
This policy shall be reviewed on an annual basis.
Original Policy Date: 2007 February
Last Reviewed: 2015 February
Changes made 2016: Motion passed March 1, 2016
Next Review: 2017
Statement of the Ontario Library Association on Intellectual Rights & Freedoms, Updated and approved, 1998:
All selections must respect the principles of intellectual freedom expressed in the Ontario Library Association’s Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual Endorsed by the membership of the OLA at the 96th Annual General Meeting, 1998.
In affirming its commitment to the fundamental rights of intellectual freedom, the freedom to read and freedom of the press, as embodied in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Library Association declares its acceptance of the following propositions:
- That the provision of library service to the public is based upon the right of the citizen, under the protection of the law, to judge individually on questions of politics, religion and morality.
- That intellectual freedom requires freedom to examine other ideas and other interpretations of life than those currently approved by the local community or by society in general, and including those ideas and interpretations which may be unconventional or unpopular.
- That freedom of expression includes freedom for a creator to depict what is ugly, shocking and unedifying in life.
- That free traffic in ideas and opinions is essential to the health and growth of a free society and that the freedom to read, listen and view is fundamental to such free traffic.
- That it is the responsibility of libraries to maintain the right of intellectual freedom and to implement it consistently in the selection of books, periodicals, films, recordings, other materials, and in the provision of access to electronic sources of information, including access to the internet.
- That it is therefore part of the library's service to its public to resist any attempt by any individual or group within the community it serves to abrogate or curtail access to information, the freedom to read, view and listen by demanding the removal of, or restrictions to library information sources in any format.
- That it is equally part of the library's responsibility to its public to ensure that its selection of material is not unduly influenced by the personal opinions of the selectors, but determined by the application of generally accepted standards of accuracy, style and presentation.