Collection Guidelines

Effective: 8/01/2022
Review Date: 8/01/2025


Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is a popular materials collection that meets the cultural, informational, educational and recreational needs of our five- county region. Library materials and resources will be selected and retained in a variety of formats and comprehension levels. Particular to the TRL collection and our strategic directions, we will continue to build collections in local history, materials related to native tribes in the five-county region, and
language collections in Spanish. We may add additional languages as determined by reviewing community demand and need or in response to a specific strategic initiative.

Some of the factors which will be considered in adding to or removing materials from the library collection shall include present collection composition, current and anticipated community needs, public interest, demand, timeliness, audience, current or historical significance of author or subject, diversity of
viewpoint, community relevance, effective expression, cost and funding, and shelf space. TRL’s current mission, vision, values, and strategic directions will
also provide focus to collection development work.

TRL neither encourages nor discourages any particular viewpoint. No library materials that meet TRL’s selection criteria shall be excluded because of the
origin, background, or views of the author or those contributing to its creation. Selection of materials does not mean endorsement of the contents, or the views expressed in those materials. Not all materials will be suitable for all members of the community.

TRL shall be responsive to public suggestion of titles and subjects to be included in the library collection when these requests meet selection criteria.
Remaining requests may be met through resource sharing with other libraries (interlibrary loan), electronic retrieval, or other means when feasible.

Gifts of materials may be accepted with the understanding that the same standards of selection are applied to gifts as to materials acquired by purchase,
and that any gifts may be discarded at the TRL’s discretion.

As a popular materials library, the systematic removal of materials is critical for maintenance of the collection. An item will be transferred or removed from the collection for any of the following reasons: poor physical condition, obsolete  information, insufficient public use, number of copies exceeds demand,
availability of similar or more recently published materials in the subject area, and prohibitive cost of maintaining the material.

The library collection shall be organized and maintained to facilitate access. There shall be no prejudicial labeling, sequestering, or alteration of materials
because of controversy surrounding the author or the subject matter.

The Board of Trustees recognizes the right of individuals to question resources in the library collection. The library will give serious consideration to each patron’s opinion. Material under consideration will remain available to patrons until a decision is made. Any patron questioning resources in the library collection may ask the library staff about such materials. Staff members will make every effort to reach resolution of the patron’s concerns through discussion, before offering the form. Please refer to the Library Resource Review Procedure.

The Board of Trustees delegates its authority to purchase library materials to the Timberland’s Executive Director and their designees.

Intellectual Freedom

Timberland Regional Library promotes and defends the principles of intellectual freedom based on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The library does not condone, condemn, or endorse opinions and views expressed in provided resources. Library resources will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval. None will be sequestered except for the purpose of protection against theft or injury. Parents are responsible for their children’s use of library resources. The library’s goal is to make available resources encompassing a diversity of views and opinions. To support this goal, Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following documents from the American Library Association:

General Criteria for Selection of All Materials

All resources should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Support of the library’s mission
  • Importance of the subject matter or point of view to the collection
  • Accuracy and timeliness
  • Community demand and interest
  • Importance of title when compared with other works on the subject
  • Clarity of presentation and ease of use
  • Scope and depth of coverage 
  • Enrichment and supplementation of school curricula
  • Need for retrospective coverage
  • Insight into human and social conditions
  • Importance as a document of the times
  • Representation of ideas that are unique, alternative, experimental, or controversial
  • Originality in content or approach
  • Reflects a diversity of human experience
  • Authority; reputation or qualifications of author, artist, publisher, or producer
  • Attention of critics, reviewers and the public
  • Relevance of format and content to the intended audience
  • Effectiveness and suitability of format in communicating the content
  • Critical acclaim as demonstrated by awards, nominations for awards, and/or reviews
  • Impact on materials expenditure plan
  • Availability of information elsewhere

Library of Things Collections

The Library of Things collections are created in response to community demand or need and in partnership with local, state, or federal agencies. These
collections are funded through local friends of the library groups or grants. Criteria for accepting a new Library of Things collection include sustainability of
program for staff management, low cost and upkeep requirements, and low safety risk for loaning materials to the public.

Related Policies, Procedures, and Supporting Documents:

  • Collection of Materials Policy
  • Donations of Materials Policy
  • Interlibrary Loan Policy
  • Internet Use Policy
  • Gift Policy
  • Library Resource Review Procedure and Form
  • Free Access to Libraries for Minors, opens a new window – An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights – American Library Association
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