1. Objective

The purpose of the Wautoma Public Library is to provide the community with free and easily accessible materials to aid individuals in the pursuit of their informational, educational, and recreational needs.

Due to the extensive publishing world and the limitations of the library’s budget and space, we cannot acquire all materials. In order to meet community needs and interests, the Wautoma Library Collection Development Policy has been created to aid the library in the careful selection of materials as well as maintain a balanced collection through the acquisition, evaluation, and deselection of library materials. This policy also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection and maintenance.

The Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statement are reflected in the library’s collection, purchases, and maintenance.

The Collection Development Policy will be reviewed and/or revised as needed.

2. Scope

The Wautoma Public Library provides both popular and reference materials for the community’s diverse needs. New materials are continuously being added in all areas of the library’s collection. The Wautoma Public Library in partnership with the Waushara County Historical Society offers an extensive collection of local history materials to researchers and genealogists. To provide more opportunities for recreation and creative leisure, the library has begun adding strategic, chance, and puzzle games to the collection. Other special interest collections include the Children’s and Young Adult collections, Large Print Materials, Books on CD, Playaways, Paperback books, and video materials (currently DVD and Blu-Ray).

Due to limited budget and space, the library cannot provide all materials that are requested. As part of the Winnefox Library System, patrons of the Wautoma Public Library have access to materials from 28 other libraries to obtain the desired materials. Patrons also have access to downloadable material through Overdrive and can make suggestions on the website if the book.

3. Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials lies with the library director, who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Wautoma Public Library Board of Trustees. The responsibility of selection may be shared with other professional members of the library staff. Suggestions for materials are always welcome from library users.

4. Criteria for Selection

The main points considered for the selection of materials include:

  • Popular appeal and demand
  • Individual merit of each item to existing collection
  • Reviews from standard resources
  • Price and budget
  • Integrity of creator and publisher
  • Timeliness and permanent value
  • Access and availability elsewhere
  • Format appropriate for public use

It is essential in a free society for all citizens to have access to information. Therefore, no restrictions are placed on what anyone may read in the collection of the Wautoma Public Library. Well-intentioned individuals or groups occasionally question the suitability of certain items in the collection. Although their concern for the effects of materials on impressionable persons is understandable, the library takes the position that the danger in not providing free access to information and ideas is greater than the danger in providing it.

5. Weeding

Ongoing and regular withdrawal of materials is required to keep collections current, attractive, and responsive to community needs. Materials are withdrawn because the content has become obsolete, the physical condition has become damaged or worn beyond repair, or they are items that were once popular and are no longer used. Depending on their condition, withdrawn materials are either recycled, donated to the Friends of the Library for their book sale, or given to care facilities or schools.

Criteria for choosing materials for withdrawal include:

  • Worn or badly damaged materials
  • Frequency of use
  • Superseded editions or obsolete items and formats
  • Availability of other titles on the subject
  • Availability online or easily accessible elsewhere
  • Local interest and needs
  • Importance to Wautoma Public Library’s core collections

Library staff considers the following criteria in choosing materials for withdrawal.

6. Gifts and Donations

The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information they will be disposed of as the director sees fit. Many will be donated to the Friends of the Library for their book sale, others may be given away for free, and those in very poor condition will be recycled. If donors wish that materials not added to the collection be returned to them, they may indicate that desire when delivering the materials to the library. The same criteria for selection which are applied to purchased materials are applied to gifts. The cost of processing and the availability of shelving space are also factors in determining the acceptance of gifts.

Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request of a patron if the request meets the criteria established by the Board. It is desirable for gifts of or for specific titles to be offered after consultation with the library director. If no specific title is requested, book selection will be made by the director.

By law, the library may not appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.

7. Reconsideration of Challenged Materials

The Wautoma Public Library recognizes that although great care is taken in the selection of library materials, occasional objections will be made.

Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

Anyone in the community having an objection to library materials may request that they be reconsidered by filling out a Request for Reconsideration Form available at the library. The staff member will also give the complainant a copy of the Wautoma Public Library Collection Development Policy.

The staff member must immediately sign and date the form. The staff member must then save the original for the director and give a photocopy of the form to the patron.

The director of the Wautoma Public Library will then arrange an interview with the patron who filed the complaint as soon as possible.

If the patron is not satisfied with the interview with the director, he/she may request a public hearing with the Board of Trustees of the Wautoma Public Library.

Any decision made by the Board of Trustees following the interviews and/or hearing will be final.

Updated and approved by the Wautoma Library Board of Trustees 12/4/19 HK