Collection Management Policy Sections 11-13
Gifts of books and audiovisual materials may be accepted by the Library with the understanding that donated items will not necessarily be added to the collection. Staff will select donated items for inclusion using the same criteria as used in purchasing materials. The Friends of the Library will accept donations in accordance with their own policies and procedures.
The Library will accept cash donations for materials. Donors may suggest appropriate subjects areas for selection, but the responsibility to selection of titles remains with the staff. Gift plates indicating the donor and the recipient will be placed in the item, if requested.
The Library will not place a value on or appraise materials that are donated, but will give the donor a receipt indicating the type and number of items donated.
12. Collection Management
In addition to adding materials to the collection, selectors are also responsible for weeding materials that are deemed no longer appropriate for the collection. Weeding the collection is essential to ensure that patrons have access to the most current information available, to see that materials that are in poor physical condition are removed from the shelves, to ensure that only materials that are in demand or are deemed to have lasting value are kept in the collection and to make room for new materials or formats that should be added to the collection.
Following are some factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding to withdraw materials from the collection:
- Physical condition of the item: Books should be checked for their physical appearance and wear. If an item is withdrawn because it is in poor physical condition, it may be necessary to replace it if it has proven to be popular, if the information is still current, a newer edition of the item is available, or there are no other copies of the item on the shelf. When replacing a withdrawn audiovisual item, a decision will need to be made if the format that is being withdrawn is still the best format in which to purchase the title.
- Circulation: Staff will take into account the turns, or the number of times an item has circulated within a fixed period of time. If it is found that the item has circulated infrequently, it may be withdrawn.
- Currency and accuracy of information: This is particularly important for nonfiction materials in subject areas such as medicine, business, computers and finance. Selectors in these and similar areas should be aware of the timeliness of the materials, and whether or not there have been more recent developments in a particular field that would make the materials in the collection outdated. This criterion is less important for fiction items.
- Duplicate copies: Many titles will initially be purchased in multiples to satisfy patron demand. This is particularly true of best sellers or books of local interest. Over time, however, this popularity will probably wane, and a realistic decision should be made regarding the number of copies needed once popularity has passed. In most cases, only one copy of a non-fiction title should be kept on the shelf unless there is high circulation. The number of copies of a fiction title should be determined by the circulation of the title, and the popularity of the author.
- Local interest: Though the Library rarely collects in depth on particular subjects or genres, it should try to maintain copies of titles by Montana authors and, since these may not circulate as often as other, more popular materials, allowances should be made for maintaining these in the collection though they may not appear to be popular.
13. Disposal of Withdrawn Materials
Materials that are withdrawn from the collection may be routed to the Friends of the Library or made available to other libraries or agencies or offered for sale as appropriate. Materials in poor condition may be recycled or otherwise discarded.