This Collection Development Policy will be evaluated annually by library management and revised as needed.
Salem Public Library’s collection development policy reflects the mission of public libraries to provide access to information and support diversity, democracy, lifelong learning, and intellectual freedom. The policy both informs the public of the principles supporting selection decisions and provides guidance for the selection and evaluation of library materials that anticipate and meet the needs of the Salem community.
It is the goal of the library to provide free, equal, and equitable access to a high quality collection of information resources in a variety of formats, reflective of the diversity of the community. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling the community to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy. In support of preserving and encouraging the essential free expression of ideas, Salem Public Library endorses the principles documented in the
Library Bill of Rights the
Freedom to Read Statement, and the
Freedom to View Statement of the American Library Association, as well as the City of Salem’s SRC SRC Chapter 97 on human rights.
Responsibility for selection and collection maintenance
Selection and collection maintenance of library materials is delegated to qualified library staff, under the authority and at the discretion of the City Librarian. All staff members and the Salem community are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration.
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.
- Popular interest
- Contemporary significance
- Currency of information
- Local emphasis
- Creative, literary, or technical quality;
- Relationship to other materials and adequacy of coverage in subject area
- Significance of item within subject area
- Professional reviews from a variety of sources
- Format and ease of use
- Cost and availability
- Availability of copies in the system and relationship to materials in other area libraries
- Physical appearance and condition
- Space limitations
Scope of the collection
The Salem Public Library is a popular materials library, and maintains a varied and current collection covering a wide range of subjects and containing multiple points of view. The library's collections are dynamic, with an emphasis on up-to-date and in-demand materials. The library provides information resources in physical and electronic formats in an effort to deliver the broadest possible access to content both within and beyond the library’s walls. The primary responsibility of the Salem Public Library is to serve the Salem community by providing a broad choice of materials to meet informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs.
Collections are developed in response to current use patterns, community needs, budgetary and space constraints, evolving technology, and the library's mission and purpose. The majority of the library's collection development activities will be conducted to create a collection of popular and informational works that is evaluated continually. The collection embraces broad fields of knowledge with basic, representative works in most subject areas, emphasizing materials that are useful for the general public. Textbooks and materials of a highly technical or specialized nature of limited community interest are generally not collected.
Collections in languages other than English will be guided by needs of significant population groups living within the city of Salem that have a language other than English as their primary language. Access to other specialized and comprehensive collections that exist elsewhere in the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service (CCRLS) or in the state of Oregon is provided through cooperative networking, interlibrary loan, and direct referral.
Suggestions for purchase
The library encourages input from its community concerning the collection. A
suggestion for purchase procedure enables the Salem community to request that a particular item or material on a certain subject be purchased by the library. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. It is the library’s intent that suggestions for purchase be used to help the library in developing collections which serve the interests and needs of the community.
Material and fund donations
Donations of books and other materials are to be made through the
Friends of the Salem Public Library, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For further information on their procedures, contact the Friends of the Salem Public Library directly. The library cannot guarantee that unsolicited materials will be returned to donors.
The library reserves the right to accept or refuse materials or funds and any conditions placed upon gifts of materials or funds, and to evaluate and dispose of donated items in accordance with the criteria applied to purchased materials.
In an effort to maintain a relevant, popular, and appealing collection, the library engages in ongoing evaluation of owned materials. This policy’s selection criteria, the
CREW method, and other best practices are used when evaluating collections.
Disposition of withdrawn materials
Materials that have been withdrawn may be first offered to the Friends of the Salem Public Library. Items not provided to the Friends of the Salem Public Library will be disposed of in accordance with general City policies and procedures.
Replacement of damaged, missing, and withdrawn materials is not automatic. The decision to replace is determined by the selection criteria listed in this policy.
Request for reconsideration
Members of the Salem community that are concerned about the appropriateness of a particular item in the library's collection will be referred to a staff member designated to answer questions regarding collection development at the discretion of the City Librarian. If, after speaking with the designated staff member, the patron still wishes to pursue review of the item, they must complete a Request for Reconsideration form. The City Librarian will review the request and apply the selection criteria set forth in this policy to determine if the item should be removed or re-categorized. The City Librarian’s decision on reconsideration is the City of Salem's final decision. The item under review will not be removed from circulation during the review process. Reasonable efforts will be made by library management to respond in writing regarding the disposition of the Request for Reconsideration within 60 days of receipt of the completed Request for Reconsideration form.
The Salem Public Library is committed to providing a broad and diverse collection, and its collection development activities are guided by the above principles and criteria. This policy expresses the library’s commitment to intellectual freedom. Library resources are for use by all members of the Salem community, and the library strives to reflect the needs and diversity of that community in its collections.