POLICIES

Collection Development Policy

Mission Statement

To enrich the diverse community of Westfield by providing open access to educational, cultural, recreational and informational resources and programs.


Vision Statement

The Westfield Athenaeum will provide a public space that is inviting, convenient, safe, and easily accessible to its patrons. Here the community of Westfield will find a friendly, welcoming environment in a convenient location where public meetings and forums are regularly held. As a community and information center, the Athenaeum will continually enhance its library materials and resources in all formats, and improve its technology, so that residents and visitors will be able to pursue a wide array of educational, recreational, cultural, and informational interests. As a cultural center, the Athenaeum will enable the greater Westfield community to participate in an expanded offering of educational, artistic, and cultural programming for all ages

Community Profile

 

2000

2010

Population

40072

41094

Households

14797

15335

Families

10017

10041

Population Density

860.3/mi2

877.1/mi2

Housing Units

15441

16075

Housing Density

331.5/mi2

343.1/mi2

     

Race

   

White

94.5%

92.8%

Black/African American

0.91%

1.6%

American Indian or Alaska Native

0.22%

3%

Asian

0.8296%

1.3%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

0.05%

0.0002%

Other Race

2.21%

2.2%

Two or More Races

1.34%

1.8%

Hispanic or Latino

5.01%

7.5%

     

Households

14797

15335

With Children Under 18

34.5%

28.7%

Married, Living Together

53%

49.3%

Female Householder, No Spouse

10.6%

11.4%

Non-Family

34.5%

34.5%

Single Occupancy

25.9%

27.5%

Single Occupancy, Over 65

10.9%

7.9%

Average Household Size

2.49

2.49

Average Family Size

3.07

3.05

     

Population

   

Under 18

23.8%

 

Under 19

 

26.7%

18-24

12.6%

 

19-24

 

9.5%

25-44

28%

22.8%

45-64

21.9%

27.4%

65 or Older

13.7%

13.6%

Median Age

36

38.3

Male

48.4%

48.9%

Female

51.6%

51.1%

     

Income

   

Median Household

45240

51053

Median Family

55327

68450

Population Below Poverty Line

11.3%

9.2%

Population Under 18 Below the Poverty Line

16.2%

9.4%

Population 65 and Over Under the Poverty Line

9.5%

11.1%

     

Collection Development Philosophy/Goals

The Westfield Athenaeum aims to meet the educational, cultural, recreational and informational

needs of its patrons by acquiring and providing access to materials in a variety of formats in accordance with this policy and budgetary constraints.

Our collection development goals include:

  • Promote reading and lifelong learning by acquiring materials for all ages in a wide range of topics and viewpoints

  • Collect both physical and virtual resources that can be accessible remotely

  • Supplement formal study and encourage self-education

  • Deliver materials to those who cannot physically come to the Library through our outreach program

  • Collect relevant local history and genealogy resources

  • Stimulate thoughtful participation in the affairs of the community, the country, and the world

  • Maintain a current collection by keeping abreast of forthcoming resources and periodically participating in deselection activities

Responsibility of Collection Development

 The Board of Trustees sets Library policy, including the policy on collection development. The Trustees endorse the Library Bill of Rights, a fundamental philosophy statement formulated by the American Library Association (see Appendix A). The Director administers policy set by the Trustees and is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the Library. Individual decisions regarding selection and acquisition of materials, weeding, and discarding may be delegated to the staff members who are responsible for specific subject areas or Library departments guided by the approved policy.

Selection Criteria

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.

Public Demand and Community Interest

  • Popularity of title or author, as indicated by sales and circulation

  • Local emphasis

  • Patron requests

Merits of Individual Titles

  • Creative, literary, or technical quality: clarity, originality, readability, artistic excellence

  • Accuracy and currency of information, depth and breadth of coverage and indexing

  • Reputation, expertise, and/or significance of author, illustrator, publisher, or producer

  • Quality of physical format, bindings, durability, illustrations/reproductions, the technical quality of audiovisual formats and software, ease of use of software

  • Treatment of subject for age of intended audience

  • Reviews, critical assessments in a variety of journals

Collection Goals

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value: source material or a record of the times; representation of an important movement, genre, trend or culture

  • Relationship to existing collection: contribution to balanced, up-to date coverage of a broad range of subject areas

  • Representation of diverse points of view

  • Relationship to materials in other area libraries, especially availability within the C/WMARS consortium

  • Materials serving diverse local populations, including speakers of languages other than English

  • Materials accessible to patrons with different learning abilities, educational levels, and physical needs; for example, audio and large print formats

  • Currency and usability of formats; downloadable electronic books are purchased cooperatively through the C/WMARS network

Financial Considerations

  • Price and availability

  • Value for cost

  • Library materials budget

Selectors will consult professional library literature and publishing review media, examine other libraries holdings in the C/WMARS catalog, and review suggestions directly from the public and other staff. An item may be purchased if there is heavy demand, even though reviews may be unfavorable or other items on the same subject are in the collection.

Guidelines for Specific Subject Areas and Formats

1. Fiction
The collection includes recreational reading, classic literature, and titles representing styles of various periods and countries. Controversial books of recognized literary merit are acquired, as are experimental writings of high quality.

2. Non-Fiction
The Library collects recognized, standard works as well as timely materials for current demand. Non-fiction may be excluded for inaccurate information, lack of integrity, sensationalism, intent to indicate hatred or intolerance, and text material of too limited or specialized a nature. In the case of controversial questions, variety and balance of opinion are sought whenever available.

3. The Large print collection utilizes the same selection criteria as fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of not intending to acquire a significant number of experimental writings, nor works relying heavily on illustration, nor any graphic novels.

4. Russian and Spanish collections- The foreign language collections utilize the same criteria as fiction and non-fiction, within the limits of available published works in Russian and Spanish, and with the addition of originally published foreign language works and works specifically related to Russian or Spanish culture.


5. Audiovisual Collections

  • The music audio collection represents significant performers, composers, and styles of popular and classical music, including a variety of cultures and traditions. Quality of content and performance, production values, and diversity are considered. The circulating collection is limited to compact disc recordings.
  • Recorded books include both fiction and non-fiction according to the same criteria as books, with the additional consideration of quality of the performance and recorded production. Audio books are collected in primarily unabridged formats. Audio cassette recordings of books are no longer collected which limits the in- house collection to CD, MP3 disc and play-away formats.
  • DVD recordings are acquired primarily for home use, not for viewing in the Library. Considerations include the quality of production, the subject's lasting value, its local appeal and its relationship to existing resources and collections. Contemporary and classic feature films are purchased, as are performances in music, dance and theater. The Library collects non-fiction video including, but not limited to, documentaries, health, travel, history, environment, local concerns, "how-to" subjects, and self-paced instruction. Described and captioned videos are also collected to meet patrons' viewing needs.
  • Downloadable Ebooks, Audiobooks, and Videos: The Library provides access to a collection of downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and videos made available to our patrons by virtue of our membership in C/WMARS. These items are provided for the use of those patrons who have access to a non-library Internet computer, tablet, or smartphone, with the ability to install a software application and then download the borrowed item. These items are largely not accessible from library Internet computers, which are protected with robust security.

6. Periodicals
The Library subscribes to popular interest periodicals, news and informational publications. Selection of adult periodicals is based on community interest, budget, and space considerations, periodical holdings of other libraries in the area, and coverage in the Library's online and print indexing services. Requests from patrons and gift subscriptions are considered using the same criteria. Magazines and newspapers are acquired for both casual reading and research purposes, and may be provided in both print and electronic formats.

7. Reference
Within budgetary limits, the Reference Collection provides accurate, up-to-date information on a wide range of subjects of current and recurrent interest for the layperson. While the Library is moving toward a digital Reference Collection, materials may also include books, periodicals, pamphlets and leaflets, maps, and machine-readable materials. Electronic information sources, including online databases, are available for use in the Library and at home. Factors considered in the selection of reference materials are authority, reliability, scope, treatment, arrangement, format, cost, and existing holdings.

8. Westfield Authors
Materials written by authors from Westfield that fit within our selection criteria will be added to our circulating collection. Titles that are self-published are not added to the collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so (valuable local content, high local interest). "Print on demand" titles that are self-published, even though available via mainstream distributors, will not be added unless they meet the Library's collection criteria.

9. Children's and Young Adult materials
The Library collects print and audiovisual materials to stimulate creativity and to satisfy children's and young adults' needs for information. Materials will be selected using the criteria listed above with these considerations:

  • Young Adult materials are purchased for teens and include fiction, non-fiction, videos and DVDs, and audiobooks.
  • Children's and Young Adult movies are two distinct collections. Children's and Young Adult Reference is purchased to support the school curriculum as well as a backup for a limited circulating collection.
  • Parenting materials for adults with children or caring for children are also acquired. Materials include both print and media.
  • The Children's Department purchases a wide variety of materials to appeal to children and young adults from varied backgrounds and families, religious affiliations, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

As stated in Free Access to Libraries for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, "Parents-and only parents-have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children - and only their children - to library resources. Librarians and governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to provide equal access to all library resources for all library users."

10. Academic Titles
Many books are published that are too specialized, too narrowly focused, or too academic for the Library's collection. These books may have received excellent reviews, but do not meet the needs of the general audience that frequents a public Library. Unless the content of the book is of local interest and generates significant local demand the Library does not generally purchase and add these titles to our collection. School and college textbooks are also excluded.

11. Genealogy and Local History
Copies of local history books on Westfield and other local towns are acquired for the circulating collection while in print. The circulating collection also contains historical interpretations and narratives of local history. Basic genealogical handbooks are acquired for the circulating collections. Local history and genealogy are covered at the research level in the Westfield room and are not circulating.

12. Documents/Special Collections
The Library collects and preserves documents and images primarily of local historical value in three collection areas:

  1. Local History Department
  2. Archives
  3. Edwin Smith Museum

Requests for Purchase

The Library welcomes requests for purchase of materials via online form, however, it is to be understood that such requests will be subject to the same criteria for selection as other considered materials, including budget constraints.

Weeding

With the exceptions of the Local History collection, Archives, and the Museum collection, the Library does not serve an archival function. In order to maintain a collection that is current, reliable, in good condition, well used, and which relates to the needs and interests of the residents of Westfield, materials are withdrawn on a systematic and continuing basis. Materials are withdrawn when they are judged to be dated, inaccurate, seldom used, in poor condition, not useful as duplicates, or otherwise not in compliance with the selection criteria listed above.

Materials withdrawn are removed from the CWMARS database and stamped discard or withdrawn; many discarded items are made available to the Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum for their annual book sale, others are sold at the library year round.

The library applies the Selection Criteria in deciding whether to purchase replacement copies. Maintenance of the collection is an ongoing process.

Donations /Gifts

The Westfield Athenaeum welcomes gifts of books and other materials including DVD’s, video games, and puzzles. Gifts are evaluated in accordance with the Selection Criteria (see above). Not all gifts will be added to the collection. Gifts in good condition that are not added to the collection are made available to book sales benefiting the Westfield Athenaeum. The library does not accept magazines, textbooks, test preparation study guides or travel books other than current year, health books, publication date of more than three years ago or items that are worn, dirty, torn, marked, odorous, or have mildew.

Gift subscriptions for periodicals will be evaluated in accordance with the Selection Criteria listed above. Additionally, they can only be accepted if the donor agrees to offer the subscription for one year. Gift materials requiring continuing obligations on the part of the Library cannot be accepted unless the Library decides that it has the ability to keep the materials up-to-date.

Upon acceptance, all gifts and donations are the exclusive property of the Westfield Athenaeum and become subject to all library policies and procedures. The Athenaeum cannot guarantee that items donated will be kept permanently.

All gift materials added to the library will be placed in the regular library collection. No special locations, labels, or signs will be created for any gift items except in cases of Memorial donations.  Gifts and materials purchased from memorial donations will be withdrawn from the collection in the same manner as purchased materials. The Library does not accept responsibility for notifying donors of withdrawals or replacements of gift items.

Memorial monetary gifts should be accompanied by a completed MEMORIAL DONATION REQUEST FORM (copy appended). Selection will be made by the Library Director or designated subject specialist.  The Library will identify memorial or “in honor” gifts with a bookplate naming the person or organization in whose memory or honor the item is given.

Reconsideration/Objection of Materials

Persons from the Westfield community wishing to recommend the removal of a particular item in the library collection may submit a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form (see appendix), which will be reviewed by the Library Director and members of the Collection Development committee in relation to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the library's mission statement, and the selection criteria of this collection development policy. After evaluating journal reviews and other materials submitted by the patron and the staff, a response will be made by the Library Director within 30 days of receiving the formal objection.

Revision of Policy

This Collection Development Policy will be reviewed annually by library staff and the Board of Trustees.

Appendix

Request for Consideration of Library Materials Form

Memorial Donation Request Form 

Suggest a purchase form

Library Bill of Rights: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/

 

Approved by the Westfield Athenaeum Board of Trustees February 2015


 

Guidelines for Specific Subject Areas and Formats

1.            Fiction

The collection includes recreational reading, classic literature, and titles representing styles of various periods and countries. Controversial books of recognized literary merit are acquired, as are experimental writings of high quality.

2.            Non-Fiction

The Library collects recognized, standard works as well as timely materials for current demand. Non-fiction may be excluded for inaccurate information, lack of integrity, sensationalism, intent to indicate hatred or intolerance, and text material of too limited or specialized a nature. In the case of controversial questions, variety and balance of opinion are sought whenever available.

3.          The Large print collection utilizes the same selection criteria as fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of not intending to acquire a significant number of experimental writings, nor works relying heavily on illustration, nor any graphic novels.

4.            Russian and Spanish collections- The foreign language collections utilize the same criteria as fiction and non-fiction, within the limits of available published works in Russian and Spanish, and with the addition of originally published foreign language works and works specifically related to Russian or Spanish culture.

5.            Audiovisual Collections

1.       The music audio collection represents significant performers, composers, and styles of popular and classical music, including a variety of cultures and traditions. Quality of content and performance, production values, and diversity are considered. The circulating collection is limited to compact disc recordings.

2.       Recorded books include both fiction and non-fiction according to the same criteria as books, with the additional consideration of quality of the performance and recorded production. Audio books are collected in primarily unabridged formats. Audio cassette recordings of books are no longer collected which limits the in- house collection to CD, MP3 disc and play-away formats.

3.       DVD recordings are acquired primarily for home use, not for viewing in the Library. Considerations include the quality of production, the subject's lasting value, its local appeal and its relationship to existing resources and collections. Contemporary and classic feature films are purchased, as are performances in music, dance and theater. The Library collects non-fiction video including, but not limited to, documentaries, health, travel, history, environment, local concerns, "how-to" subjects, and self-paced instruction. Described and captioned videos are also collected to meet patrons' viewing needs.

4.       Downloadable Ebooks, Audiobooks, and Videos

The Library provides access to a collection of downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and videos made available to our patrons by virtue of our membership in C/WMARS. These items are provided for the use of those patrons who have access to a non-library Internet computer, tablet, or smartphone, with the ability to install a software application and then download the borrowed item. These items are largely not accessible from library Internet computers, which are protected with robust security.

 

6.            Periodicals

The Library subscribes to popular interest periodicals, news and informational publications. Selection of adult periodicals is based on community interest, budget, and space considerations, periodical holdings of other libraries in the area, and coverage in the Library's online and print indexing services. Requests from patrons and gift subscriptions are considered using the same criteria. Magazines and newspapers are acquired for both casual reading and research purposes, and may be provided in both print and electronic formats.

7.            Reference

Within budgetary limits, the Reference Collection provides accurate, up-to-date information on a wide range of subjects of current and recurrent interest for the layperson. While the Library is moving toward a digital Reference Collection, materials may also include books, periodicals, pamphlets and leaflets, maps, and machine-readable materials. Electronic information sources, including online databases, are available for use in the Library and at home. Factors considered in the selection of reference materials are authority, reliability, scope, treatment, arrangement, format, cost, and existing holdings.

8.            Westfield Authors

Materials written by authors from Westfield that fit within our selection criteria will be added to our circulating collection. Titles that are self-published are not added to the collection unless there is a compelling reason to do so (valuable local content, high local interest). “Print on demand” titles that are self-published, even though available via mainstream distributors, will not be added unless they meet the Library's collection criteria.

9.            Children's and Young Adult materials

The Library collects print and audiovisual materials to stimulate creativity and to satisfy children's and young adults' needs for information. Materials will be selected using the criteria listed above with these considerations:

1.       Young Adult materials are purchased for teens and include fiction, non-fiction, videos and DVDs, and audiobooks.

2.       Children's and Young Adult movies are two distinct collections.

3.       Children's and Young Adult Reference is purchased to support the school curriculum as well as a backup for a limited circulating collection.

4.       Parenting materials for adults with children or caring for children are also acquired. Materials include both print and media.

5.       The Children's Department purchases a wide variety of materials to appeal to children and young adults from varied backgrounds and families, religious affiliations, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

As stated in Free Access to Libraries for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, "Parents-and only parents-have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children - and only their children - to library resources. Librarians and governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to provide equal access to all library resources for all library users."

10.          Academic Titles

Many books are published that are too specialized, too narrowly focused, or too academic for the Library's collection. These books may have received excellent reviews, but do not meet the needs of the general audience that frequents a public Library. Unless the content of the book is of local interest and generates significant local demand the Library does not generally purchase and add these titles to our collection. School and college textbooks are also excluded.

11.          Genealogy and Local History

Copies of local history books on Westfield and other local[1] [2]  towns are acquired for the circulating collection while in print. The circulating collection also contains historical interpretations and narratives of local history. Basic genealogical handbooks are acquired for the circulating collections. Local history and genealogy are covered at the research level in the Westfield room and are not circulating.

12.          Documents/Special Collections

The Library collects and preserves documents and images primarily of local historical value in three collection areas:

1.       Local History Department

2.       Archives

3.       Edwin Smith Museum


I think we might want to define 'local'. Is Northampton local or are we just talking about Westfield's surrounding towns?

I think nearby is a better word in tis context

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