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Collection Development Policy

It is the purpose of this Library to make available books and other materials which provide information about ourselves, our work, our community, our world and our place in it.We believe that this library should provide books and materials which:

  • meet informal self-education requirements
  • improve subject collections which support formal education goals of citizens
  • meet informational needs
  • support educational, civic and cultural activities of groups and organizations
  • encourage recreational reading and use of leisure time.

In keeping with this philosophy we purchase the best books and materials available, building a collection that will grow in value over the years instead of just numbers of items for temporary use.The responsibility for selection of materials, as for all Library activity, rests with the Librarian who operates within the framework of policies determined by the City and the Library Board.

Within the limitations of the budget we shall endeavor to buy the best materials on all subject fields objectively and impartially.We shall provide, as far as practical, materials presenting all points of view on problems and issues.We will not exclude any item from our collection because of the race, nationality, political, or religious views of the writer.

In deciding whether to acquire a book or other material, we take into consideration a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • Relevance, interest, and demand to the Port Arthur community
  • Quantity and current usage of similar materials
  • Condition of the material
  • Cost to acquire and process the material
  • Age and accuracy of the information presented
  • Whether the material has a local/regional setting or author
  • Value to the library's state and local history collections
  • Availability of material through other sources (i.e. interlibrary loan or local stores)
  • Fitness of the material in meeting the mission of the library
  • Availability of shelf or storage space

We welcome the suggestions of patrons and we select materials for purchase from these suggestions in light of the principles reflected in this policy.

In order to keep the collections of the library current, relevant, and more useful to the community, it is necessary to continually evaluate the materials already owned and repair, replace, or remove items which are damaged, have outlived their usefulness or no longer fit into the scope of the collection.The same types of criteria used for acquisition into the library's collections shall be used for de-selection of materials. Materials which are removed from the collection shall be given consideration as items for sale or gifts to other libraries, to local community organizations (e.g. city departments, schools, nursing homes, etc.), as sale directly to the public, as gifts to the public, or for discard. Local tax-funded organizations will be given preferential choice for withdrawn materials.

Magazines, newspapers and other periodicals are also subject to collection development criteria. However, due to limited space and the rate at which periodicals are received, the following timetable is recommended as a general guideline in determining the length of time periodicals are to be kept before withdrawal.The Library Director will approve the categories of periodicals and any exceptions made.

Arts - Varies

Casual Interest - 3 years

Scholarly Journals - 10 years

Long/Old Runs - Varies

Local Interest - Varies

Buyer's Guides - 10 years

Library Science Journals - 15 years

Book Reviews - 10 years

Collectibles/Antiques - varies

Genealogy/History - Varies

Local Newspapers - 2 years

State Newspapers - 1.5 years

National Newspapers - 1 year

Topical Newspapers - 2 years

Gift materials (including memorials) shall be subject to the same scrutiny as purchased materials. The Library accepts undesignated gifts in the name of the Friends of the Port Arthur Public Library who, in turn, give the Library first choice of materials for direct Library use.Those materials not considered suitable for addition to our collections under this policy are sold by the Friends at one of their book sales, or are given or thrown away depending on their condition and potential for sale.

The Library accepts monetary donations and memorials with which to purchase library materials, subject to the same scrutiny as regularly purchased materials.These are acknowledged to the donor and to the family of the deceased where appropriate.MEMORIAL or GIFT plates are used in recognition.For information on memorials see our Memorial Donations Policy.

Objections to, or criticisms of, materials in the Library shall be presented to the Library Board in writing.These shall cite the specific location or section in the item which is found objectionable.The Librarian will ordinarily review the complaint with the individual.All such complaints shall be reviewed by the Library Board in light of this collection development policy.

rev. 7/26/04