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Objectives of the Library as Factors in Selection

The Prairie Trails Public Library District acquires, makes available, and encourages the use of materials in all media which:

  1. Meet the informational needs of the community.
  2. Supplement formal study and encourage informal self education.
  3. Stimulate thoughtful participation in the affairs of the community, the country, and the world.
  4. Give access to a variety of opinions on matters of current interest and encourage freedom of expression.
  5. Aid in learning and improving job-related skills.
  6. Assist the individual to grow intellectually and spiritually and enjoy life more fully.

The Library acquires:

  1. Contemporary materials representing various points of view, which are of current interest and possible future significance, including materials which reflect current conditions, trends, and controversies.
  2. Source materials and thoughtful interpretations which document and illuminate the past.
  3. Materials, including the experimental or controversial, which extend the individual's capacity to understand the world in which one lives.
  4. Materials that strive to anticipate the future needs of the community.

The Community as a Factor in Selection

The Library will strive to make available materials that will meet the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational interests of all the people of Prairie Trails Public Library District. To fulfill this purpose, the Library endeavors to maintain a collection of permanent value and of current interest.

Other Community Resources

The Prairie Trails Public Library District is a member of the Suburban Library System and thereby cooperates with academic, special, school, and other public libraries. Also with community agencies, groups, and organizations whose purposes and activities are related to Library objectives. Interlibrary loan on a city, state, and national level is available to patrons as well as reciprocal borrowing privileges.

Educational Institutions

Responsibility for the provisions of curriculum-related materials belongs properly to the schools, but the public library will provide materials which supplement and enrich the reference, research, and recreational needs of student borrowers of all ages. The same general standards of merit and relevance that apply to all selection will be used to evaluate curriculum-related materials.

Services to the Handicapped

Prairie Trails Public Library District is part of the Voices of Vision Talking Book Center and thereby provides its handicapped patrons with blind and physically handicapped services. These include access to large print books, talking books, and necessary support equipment.

The Structure of the Library as a Factor in Selection

Space and budgetary restrictions are internal factors which have a direct bearing on the selection of materials. External factors include access to interlibrary loan materials via the Suburban Library System as well as reciprocal borrowing.

The Nature and Quality of the Material as Factors in Selection

Expanding area of knowledge, changing social values, technological advances, and cultural differences require flexibility, open mindedness, and responsiveness in the evaluation and re-evaluation of all library materials, old and new. Newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, foreign language materials, films, recordings, and other developing types of materials are acquired and made accessible as they are judged suitable, meaningful, and relevant to the community. Each type of material must be considered in terms of its own degree of excellence, and the standard which can be applied in all cases when making an acquisition decision. Some materials may be judged primarily in terms of artistic merit, scholarship, or their value as human documents; others are selected to satisfy the recreational and entertainment needs of the community. A small proportion of the materials evaluated are subject to widespread and/or heavy local demand. Items having such demand may or may not meet the general and specific criteria contained in this policy. In either case the volume and nature of requests by members of the public will be given serious consideration.

Weeding

Materials which are no longer useful in light of stated objectives of the Library or are worn beyond repair will be systematically weeded from the collection according to accepted professional practices. Discarded books will be made available to patrons and charitable and non-profit organizations at the discretion of the Library Director.

Responsibility for Selection

Materials are reviewed by the professional staff members. The final responsibility for selection resides with the Library Director.

Patron's Concern Regarding Library Materials

Citizen's request for reconsideration of materials will be handled in accordance with the procedure manual.