- The Lynn Public Library’s objective in selecting materials for children is to make available a well-balanced, up-to-date, accurate, and desirable collection that meets the informational, recreational, and cultural needs of children from infancy through grade 8
- The initial responsibility for materials selection lies with the professional staff of the Children’s Department. Recommendations from other staff and the public are considered. The ultimate responsibility for materials selection decision lies with the Library Director.
- The Lynn Public Library’s selection policy shall be in full accordance with the Library Bill of Rights and subscribe to the principles of Intellectual Freedom.
- The Children’s Department strives to provide children with library materials necessary to aid in their educational and personal development.
- The Children’s Department uses the following criteria in the selection process:
- Educational significance
- Favorable recommendations based on examination of materials by professional personnel
- Reputation and significance of author, producer, and publisher
- Validity, currency, and appropriateness of materials
- Contribution the material makes to the scope of the collection
- High degree of potential user appeal
- High artistic quality and/or literary style
- Quality and variety of format
- Value commensurate with cost and/or need
- Timeliness or permanence
- Favorable reviews found in standard selection sources. As a tool, the library uses review journals in the selection process. A favorable review in one of the following journals applies; Library Journal, School Library Journal, Horn Book Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, New York Times Book Review, Booklist, and other media of local emphasis.
Non-print materials are selected using the same criteria.
Gifts and Memorials
- Gifts and donations of children’s materials are gratefully accepted. However, all materials are subject to the same criteria for inclusion in the collection as purchased materials. The library reserves the right to not add materials to the collection and to dispose of them as deemed appropriate.
- Weeding materials is an essential part of the collection development process. Materials may be discarded because of poor physical condition, inaccurate and dated information, and lack of use or interest.
Placement of Materials
- Placement of materials is based on the assigned classification and appropriate age groupings. The public has free access to all library materials. Materials considered rare, costly, susceptible to loss or damage, and fragile are available on a limited bases.
- The Lynn Public Library asserts its rights and duty to keep on its shelves a representative selection of materials on all subjects of interest to our patrons and not prohibited by law, including those materials on all sides of controversial issues. Materials on any subject, if published by a reputable and well known publisher and sold without restrictions in bookstores, are properly admitted to the Lynn Public Library. Libraries do not approve, endorse or disapprove of the contents of books or other materials. The Lynn Public Library advocates the individual’s right to expression, and the individual’s right to access ideas and information.
- Responsibility for children’s reading/viewing rest with the parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians are the only ones who may restrict their children, and only their children, from access to library materials. Minors have free access to library materials in all departments. The library staff does not serve in loco parentis (in the place of a parent).
Reconsideration of Materials
- Materials whose appropriateness is challenged shall not be removed from the library except upon the recommendation of a reconsideration committee, with the concurrence of the Library Director.
- Patrons who wish to request reconsideration of library materials shall complete and sign the “Request for Reconsideration” form provided by the library.
Procedures for Handling Complaints
- All complaints to staff members shall be reported to the department head or library director.
- The department head or library director shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the library.
- If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant shall be supplied with a packet of materials consisting with the library’s goals, objectives, materials selection policy, and procedure for handling objections. This packet will also include a standard request for reconsideration form, which shall be completed and returned before consideration will be given to the complaint.
- Upon receipt of a completed reconsideration form, the library director will convene a committee of five to consider the complaint. This committee will consist of library trustees and library staff appointed by director.
- The committee shall meet to discuss the materials and shall prepare a report on the material containing its recommendations on disposition of the matter.
- The Library Director shall notify the complainant of the decision and send a formal report and recommendation to the Trustees of the library. In answering the complaint, the Director shall explain the book selection process and give the guidelines used for selection. If the committee decides to keep the work that caused the complaint, the complainant shall be given an explanation. If the complaint is valid, the Director will acknowledge it and make recommended changes.
- This policy will be reviewed continuously and updated or revised as deemed necessary.