This policy concerns the library’s collection. The term “collection” includes circulating library materials and content, in a variety of physical and digital formats. This policy is based on and reflects Mid-Columbia Libraries’ (MCL) mission, vision, goals, and values.
MCL collections adhere to the principles established in the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements, and the Washington Library Association Intellectual Freedom Statement.
MCL upholds the right of the individual to access the collection, with the understanding that specific titles and their content may be deemed controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some. The views and opinions of authors, producers, publishers and their content do not constitute endorsement by Mid-Columbia Libraries, its Board, or its employees.
MCL actively seeks to include a wide variety of library materials and content representing diversity of genres, formats, ideas, languages, and expressions with a multitude of viewpoints and cultural perspectives reflecting the diversity in our communities.
MCL strives to listen to feedback from our community to build and maintain collections to meet the needs of all people within Mid-Columbia Libraries’ service area. MCL will seek customer feedback on collection holdings and performance, consistent with the strategic plan.
Selection and Acquisition of Materials
Library materials, in a variety of formats, including licensed digital resources and online databases, will be selected and retained on the basis of their value for the interest, information, and enrichment of all the people of the community.
Selection is vested in MCL’s Executive Director, and under their direction, the Collections and Services Director and/or their designee(s) who are qualified by reason of education, experience, and training.
MCL will be responsive to public suggestion of titles and subjects to be included in the library collection.
Designated selectors may use, but are not limited to, the following criteria in adding materials and content to the collection:
- Strategic Plan alignment and relation to library mission, vision, values and service goals
- present collection composition
- collection development objectives
- interest and demand of customers
- intended audience
- significance of subject
- diversity of viewpoint
- effective expression
- limitation of budget and facilities
No library materials meeting MCL’s selection criteria shall be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of the author or those contributing to its creation.
Gifts of materials may be accepted with the understanding that the same standards of selection are applied to gifts as to materials acquired by purchase, and that any gifts may be discarded at MCL’s discretion.
MCL’s collection will be organized and maintained to facilitate access, with no prejudicial labeling, sequestering, or alteration of materials.
Reading, listening to, and viewing library materials are individual, private matters. While one is free to select or to reject materials for oneself, one cannot restrict the freedom of others to read, view, or inquire.
Parents and/or guardians have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the reading and viewing of their own minor children. Mid-Columbia Libraries does not operate in place of a parent and/or guardian.
Request for Reconsideration of Materials
Mid-Columbia Libraries recognizes the right of individuals to question materials in MCL’s collection. A library customer questioning material in the collection is encouraged to talk with designated members of the staff and/or their supervisors concerning such material.
To formally state their opinion and receive a written response, a customer may submit the Request for Reconsideration form provided for that purpose.
Material which has been requested to be reconsidered will remain in the collection until MCL has made a determination of its status.
Maintenance and Withdrawal of Materials
Mid-Columbia Libraries is not a library of historical record. In order to maintain a collection of materials that best serves the public, MCL must periodically withdraw library materials from the collection for a variety of reasons.
The Collections and Services Director and/or their designee(s) regularly identify items for withdrawal through a variety of criteria and best practices. They coordinate, direct, and supervise staff for the removal, withdrawal, and surplus of these items. The Collections and Services Director or designee shall approve criteria, withdrawal lists, and any exceptions. Withdrawal of library materials independent of this process is unauthorized.
Designated staff may use, but are not limited to, the following criteria in withdrawing materials and content from the collection:
- library best practices
- current and future capacities
- usage and circulation
- age and/or condition of the item
- current usefulness and/or obsolescence of information
- replacement cycles
- number of copies
- system needs
- collection development and maintenance plans
Materials will not be withdrawn from the collection due to:
- ideas or topics being deemed controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some
- the origin, background, or views of the authors, producers, or publishers
- partisan or doctrinal disapproval
Library materials meeting established criteria will be disposed of according to state and library surplus policies.
This policy shall relate only to materials specifically selected and circulated by MCL. Customer access to information available publicly on the Internet shall be governed by a separate policy.
(10/18/2022; 06/21/2011; 02/20/2011; 03/15/2004; Adopted 07/12/1982)
See also: Section 400 Information Technology, No. 1 Internet Access
Section 100 System-Wide, No. 9 Gifts and Donations
Section 810 Disposition of Surplus Property
Chapter 27.12 RCW
American Library Association Bill of Rights
Washington Library Association Intellectual Freedom Statement