RPLD eBook Collection Management

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Collection Management Policy

The RPLD collection Management Policy, as currently written, does not address ebooks specifically, even though we have been offering them for several years. It is our hope that as Selector, you eventually will be able to contribute to a revised policy statement that reflects what you will have learned about our ebook collection. In the meantime, notes have been added in red to address some areas where ebook collection management might impact the policy below.

The complete document is located on the RPLD intranet here: RPLD Policies, Plans & Manuals. (Internal link only.)

Mission Statement

The mission of the Roselle Public Library is to provide the community with the widest possible access to both educational, cultural, and recreational information while increasing awareness of the Library and its services. Patrons will have opportunities for learning, growth, and open access to diverse resources and ideas.

I. Responsibility for Selection of Library Materials

Ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the Executive Director who shall designate selectors for the various areas of the collection.

II. Criteria for Selection

All library acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, will be selected on the basis of the following considerations:

A. General Criteria:

  • High standards of quality in content, expression and format
  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Relevance and suitability of subject and style for the intended audience
  • Pertinence to the needs and interest of the community
  • Relation to the existing collection
  • Reputation and/or significance of the author
  • Amount of demand for the work in the community

B. For works of information and opinion:

  • Authoritativeness
  • Accuracy
  • Recency of data
  • Impartiality in presentation of opposing points of view

C. For works of imagination:

  • Vitality and originality
  • Ability to sustain reader interest
  • Demand for the work in the community

More will be said about the criteria for selection in the “eSelection & Weeding” section of this website.

D. Relationship to School Libraries:

The Roselle Public Library will work with schools within the Library District to purchase items to complement their curriculum. The Library does not purchase textbooks or other curriculum-supporting materials unless they also serve the general public.

There are a couple of possible future scenarios where ebooks may come into play in our relationship with local schools: 1) We currently make available to local students textbooks provided by the schools for students who have need of them on our premises. If the schools were to provide us with eTextbooks in the future, we would have to find a way to make them available, possibly even having ereaders or tablets available for temporary loan. 2) We currently stock copies of books, primarily classic works of fiction, to supplement the curricula of local schools. Ebooks would enable us to provide access to those works without the wear and tear that our physical copies experience from year to year.

III. Statement of Non-Discrimination by Age

The Library and its staff are responsible for providing equal access to library materials and services for all Library users. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that books or other Library materials may come into the possession of children. Responsibility for limiting children’s access rests with their parents or legal guardians.

IV. Procedures for Reconsideration of Materials

The review of questioned materials will be treated objectively by the library staff and Board of Trustees. The principles of intellectual freedom, the right to access of materials and the integrity of the materials selection personnel must be defended, rather than the material itself, when materials are questioned. In the event of a complaint suggesting removal or relocation of materials, the following procedures will be followed:

A. A written statement shall be submitted by the complainant to the Executive Director on the form provided by the Library.

B. The Executive Director will appoint a review committee of staff members to consider the complaint. All committee members shall read or view the questioned material and determine the disposition of the title in question.

C. The review committee shall report in writing to the complainant.

D. Should the objection persist after the review committee findings, the written objection and the written committee response shall be submitted to the Library Board of Trustees at their next regularly scheduled meeting. The Trustees shall read or view the questioned material and determine the final disposition of the title in question.

E. The Board shall respond in writing to the objection.

As of yet, there have been no requests for reconsideration of an ebook from our community. As most of the content of our collection is shared with a consortium, it remains undefined in our policy how such a problem would be addressed. Presumably, OverDrive would be able to limit access to said materials by our patrons, if such a reconsideration were to result in a decision to withdraw the item. But the basic sequence of this procedure would still apply.

V. Gifts Policy

The Roselle Public Library District appreciates donations, but reserves the right to accept or decline gift materials or donated money. Once accepted, gift materials become the sole possession of the Library which has the right to use or dispose of them in any way it sees fit. The addition of gift materials to the collection will be made according to the criteria set forth in this policy.

The ability to make gifts of physical books–supported from a legal standpoint by the right of first sale, which allows for a transfer of ownership–does not work with ebooks, as ebooks are generally licensed content and not owned outright by their purchasers. However, this may not always be the case, and we must be prepared to think creatively about the possibility of acquiring ebooks via donation.

VI. Withdrawal of Materials

In order to maintain a current and useful collection, worn and obsolete materials are continually withdrawn. The condition of materials, age, amount of use and space constraints shall be criteria for weeding. The library reserves the right to dispose of withdrawn items as it deems expedient.

A. Withdrawn materials in a suitable condition will be donated to the Friends of the Library for inclusion in their used book sales. Funds thus acquired are used to benefit the library.

B. Items which are very worn, or have no value for resale by the Friends of the Library will be discarded.

C. It is not possible to save specific items to give or sell to individual patrons when withdrawn.

More will be said about withdrawal of ebooks from the collection in the “eSelection & Weeding” section of this website, but clearly the criteria will vary in some areas but be analogous in others. For example, ebooks do not wear with use, but they may not circulate and thus become candidates for withdrawal. However, the determinant in that case would most likely be lack of server space, and that is not of any immediate concern, nor is it likely to be anytime soon.

VII. Provision for Review of this Policy

This Collection Management Policy will be reviewed at least every two years as provided for in statute ILCS 16/30-60, by the staff, Executive Director and Library Board of Trustees of the Roselle Public Library District.

The eBook Selector’s input into the crafting of the next collection management policy is expected to result in language which addresses ebooks as part of RPLD’s collection more directly.