Collection Development and Management
I. Policy Objectives
- Support the mission of the Cedarburg Public Library to provide the community with open access to information and ideas through a wide range of print, audio/visual and electronic resources in an accessible, efficient and cost-effective manner
- Guide the library staff in the selection and management of materials for the library
- Inform the general public about the guidelines for selection and withdrawal of library materials
- Assert the Cedarburg Public Library’s unconditional adherence to the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements, which are an integral part of this policy
II. Responsibility for Selection
Ultimate responsibility for the selection of library materials rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Cedarburg Public Library Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be delegated to other qualified members of the library staff. Recommendations from the public are encouraged and seriously considered in the selection process.
III. General Principles and Criteria for Materials Selection
General criteria for selecting library materials are listed below. An item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable.
- The individual merit of each item and its relation to its subject area
- Relation to existing collections, including the holdings within the resource sharing system
- Public demand, interest or need
- Contemporary significance, popular interest or permanent value
- Prominence, authority and/or competence of the author, creator or publisher
- Presentation of challenging, original or alternative point of view
- Suitability, quality and accessibility of format
- Local relevance
- Replacement of outdated, worn or damaged items
- Budget and space considerations
In selecting materials, staff apply knowledge and insight gained from their professional education, training and experience. Reviews, bibliographies and award lists are the primary, but not the only, sources of information for selection new materials. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review will not be the sole reason for rejecting a title that is in demand. Materials are judged on their overall worth rather than on excerpts taken out of context. The selection of resources on controversial issues will focus on maintaining a diverse collection that represents various views.
IV. Interlibrary Loan
Because of limited budget and space, the library cannot own all requested materials. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain materials beyond the scope of this library’s collection. In return for utilizing interlibrary loans to satisfy the needs of its patrons, the Cedarburg Public Library agrees to lend its materials to other libraries through the same interlibrary loan network.
V. Gifts and Donations
The library accepts gifts of books and other items with the understanding that they will be judged by the same selection criteria as other materials and accepted or rejected accordingly. The library retains unconditional ownership of all donations; the Director makes the final decision on use or disposition. Items not added to the collection are given to the Friends of the Library, which supports the library.
When the library receives a cash donation for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the donor’s wishes will guide the general nature or subject area of the materials purchased. Library staff will choose items that meet the library’s selection criteria, taking into consideration patron requests for specific titles
VI. Collection Maintenance, Replacement and Weeding
The Cedarburg Public Library does not promote particular beliefs or views. It does strive to provide information from various points of view so that an individual can examine issues freely and make his or her own decisions. Some materials are controversial; any given item may offend someone. Selection for the library will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the principles described in Section III of this policy. While anyone is free to reject materials on behalf of herself and her children, no one may exercise censorship to restrict others’ access to materials.
The Cedarburg Public Library unconditionally adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements, which are an integral part of this policy. Copies of these documents are linked here and available on request.
Parents or legal guardians are responsible for monitoring materials chosen by their own children up to age 16. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that they may come into a child’s possession.
Library materials will not be marked or identified to indicate controversial content. No library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.
Citizens who wish to comment on a specific item in the collection are referred to the Materials Reconsideration Policy and may complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form, linked here. Requests to remove materials will be considered within the context of the principles set forth in this policy document.
The policies of the Cedarburg Public Library are reviewed and revised as needed at least every five years by the Library Board of Trustees. This policy replaces previous statements regarding materials selection and reconsideration.
February 16, 2000
Materials Selection Policy adopted by the Cedarburg Joint Library Board
July 25, 2018
Current revision adopted by the Cedarburg Public Library Board of Trustees
February 22, 2023 Revised and Approved Cedarburg Public Library Board of Trustees
Material Reconsideration Policy
I. Policy Objectives
- Provide a step-by-step process for library patrons to express an opinion on specific library items
- Ensure that concerns are handled respectfully and consistently
The procedure outlined here applies to all challenges to the library’s collection, regardless of whether the goal is to remove or limit access to items in the library’s collection, or to add material or limit the library’s ability to weed the collection.
In subsequent paragraphs, a “Patron” is defined as a City of Cedarburg resident and residents of all non-libraried areas in Ozaukee, Washington and Sheboygan counties. The Cedarburg Public Library welcomes patron’s expressions of opinion concerning materials included in the library’s collection. However, no one person may exercise censorship to restrict others’ access to materials.
The Cedarburg Public Library adheres to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements, which are an integral part of this policy. Copies of these documents are linked here or available on request.
Before requesting reconsideration, a patron should review the library’s Collection Development and Management Policy for details on how the library selects materials since requests to remove items will be considered within the context of those principles.
All requests for reconsideration must be made in writing, using the library’s form. If the request is to exclude an item, the material in question will not be removed from the collection or its use restricted in any way before final action is taken on the request.
To request reconsideration:
- Obtain a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form. This form is available at all library service desks and linked here.
- Complete the form in its entirety and return it to the library. (Use one form per item. Use additional paper to fully answer each question.) The completed form will be given to the Library Director for action.
- The Director will contact the patron to acknowledge receipt of the form.
- The Director and the librarian responsible for the collection will review the material in its entirety, conduct research to re-evaluate the item’s appropriateness for inclusion in the collection, and decide whether to add, retain or remove the item.
- The Director will respond to the request within 30 days, explaining the decision.
If the patron is dissatisfied with the Director’s decision, s/he may send a letter of appeal to the Library Board of Trustees, asking that the item be placed on the agenda for the next regular Board meeting. The letter must be received at least two weeks prior to the next regular meeting of the Board. If received after that time, the appeal will be deferred until the succeeding regular meeting. The patron may present an oral argument at the meeting at which the Board considers the request.
Once the Request for Reconsideration is on the agenda, the Board will decide by a majority vote of the members present whether to take up the appeal. If the Board does not vote to consider the matter further, the Request for Reconsideration is ended.
If the Board votes to consider the matter further, the Board may act as a whole or the President may appoint a three-member ad-hoc review panel to study the appeal and make a recommendation to the full Board. The Board will make a final determination within 60 days. In making its decision, the Board and/or the review panel will read, listen or view the material in its entirety; review the Director’s research; and consider the criteria listed in the library’s Collection Development and Management Policy, including the principles listed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements.
The Board’s decision is final and will be delivered in writing.
IV. Previous reconsideration requests
Requests for reconsideration of a particular item will not be evaluated by the library more than once within a 12-month period.
Requests by a patron to reconsider materials with different titles but similar content to earlier requests will be restricted as follows: If the Library Director concludes that the request is redundant, s/he will notify the patron that the items in question, having already undergone the review process, will not be reevaluated.
The policies of the Cedarburg Public Library are reviewed and revised as needed at least every five years by the Library Board of Trustees. This policy replaces previous statements regarding material reconsideration.
October 18, 2000
Material Reconsideration Policy adopted by the Joint Library Board
Current revision adopted by the Cedarburg Public Library Board of Trustees
Revised and Approved
July 26, 2018 Cedarburg Library Board of Trustees
February 22, 2023 Cedarburg Library Board of Trustees
Library of Things
The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional library items that complement the Cedarburg Public Library’s (CPL) mission to ignite curiosity, facilitate lifelong learning, and connect our community. The purpose of the Library of Things is to provide diverse opportunities for learning and engagement.
The library’s professional staff will select materials based on the interests of library patrons. The library welcomes input from the community concerning the collection and recommendations may be made. All suggestions for purchase are evaluated using the same selection criteria as for other materials and are not automatically added to the collection.
Due to limited storage space and the staff time necessary to evaluate, test and maintain each Thing, the library can accept only a limited number of donations. The library does not accept materials that are not outright gifts, and cannot guarantee the permanence of a gift in the collection. Materials donated to the library are received with the understanding that they are subject to the same selection, evaluation and disposal criteria as purchased material.
Not all library materials may be suitable for all members of the community. Responsibility for a child’s use of library materials, regardless of format or content, lies with the parent or guardian, not with the library. Adult cards must be used for checkout unless an item falls into juvenile type material.
Due to the nature of the items contained in the Library of Things, these items will not be shared via delivery with the other libraries in the Monarch Library System. All library patrons are required to check out and return Library of Things items to the main checkout desk at CPL.
The library will use circulation data and community suggestions to guide future selections for the Library of Things collection. Items that are not popular and do not circulate will be withdrawn from the collection according to the Collection Maintenance portion of the Collection Development Policy.
The library reserves the right to take a Thing out of circulation temporarily to use for library purposes (workshops, demonstrations, or other programs), or to repair a damaged item.
Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 2019