Collection Development Policy
The Genesee Area Library staff and Board of Trustees affirm the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to View, and Freedom to Read statement, in support of acquiring and managing collections.
The Genesee Area Library is committed to make available a wide variety of diverse information, recreational, and educational materials, as well as to encourage and empower all community members in their endeavor for self-education and/or recreational reading. It is the responsibility of the Genesee Area Library, within its financial ability, to meet the varied needs of community members who have different backgrounds, life experiences, beliefs, and world views.
Per the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, Library staff do not allow personal opinions to interfere with professional decision-making or the equitable provision of services to the whole community, including the selection of materials or event presenters. The presence of any item, service, or program, does not imply the Library’s, Trustees, or Townships approval or endorsement, with the exception that Library staff make an effort to ensure that materials and programs which discuss matters of objective fact are reasonably accurate.
The Genesee Area Library does not restrict anyone from using any part of the collection, including young people. The children’s and young adult collections and programming may include content that is too mature for some individuals in those age groups, and others of the same age may be ready for the material. A child’s parents or guardians are responsible for determining what is age appropriate for that child as well as monitoring their access to Library materials. The Library does not make decisions on the basis of protecting patrons from content or topics and expects that individuals using the Library will determine which resources and services are right for them and/or their own children. Library staff can help empower patrons to make decisions right for them by assessing their interest and guiding them to content that may be desired, but ultimate responsibility for any person’s use of the collection, programs, and/or services lies with that person.
The purpose of the materials selection policy is to guide library staff in the selection of materials and to inform the community on how selections are made. This policy is periodically reviewed and updated by the Genesee Area Library Board.
- All print material is selected by the Library Director.
- Online Databases are provided by the POWER library, Pennsylvania’s Electronic Library.
- E-materials available on Libby are selected and provided by the North Central Library District
The Genesee Area Library Director will develop a collection of materials using their knowledge and expertise along with the following general criteria:
- Relevance to the interests and needs of the community.
- Representation of diverse points of view
- Current or historical significance, or permanent value
- Local significance of the author or subject
- Relevance to the existing collection’s strength and weakness
- Evaluations in review media as well as attention by critics and reviewers
- Price, format, and ease of use, as well as quality of production
- Availability of materials elsewhere such as within the holdings of other libraries.
- Popular demand
- Patron recommendations (each one is evaluated by the criteria listed)
- Physical materials are purchased through a variety of library and other reputable vendors.
- Databases are purchased through reputable vendors.
- Self-published materials are evaluated by the same criteria that are used to evaluate all purchased materials.
The Genesee Area Library gratefully accepts donations in accordance with our donation policy. The Genesee Area Library retains the authority to accept or reject gifts/donations. Gifts/donations are evaluated by the same criteria that are applied to purchased items. Library staff make all decisions as to the use, housing, and final disposition of donations. The library does not evaluate or appraise gift/donation materials for tax purposes.
Maintaining the Collection
An up-to-date, attractive, and useful collection requires the removal or replacement of materials on a systematic and continuous basis. Materials that no longer meet the selection criteria of the library, have become damaged or obsolete will be removed in accordance to accepted professional methods such as those described within CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries.
Withdrawn materials may be disposed of through book sales, giveaways, or recycling programs.
The Genesee Area Library is not a library of historical record so to ensure a collection of continued value to the community, books and other materials that have outlived their usefulness are withdrawn.
Requests for Reconsideration:
Individuals and groups that reside within the Library’s service area may request reconsideration of library materials. In order to receive consideration, all requests must be made in writing using the Library’s request for reconsideration form. In accordance with our Reconsideration policy, no items will be removed from the collection during the reconsideration process. The complete Reconsideration Policy and Form can be found under Requests for Reconsideration Policy.
Originally Approved: February 2022
Revised and Approved: June 2023