Policy 2.20: Moorpark City Library Materials Selection

1. Mission

The Moorpark City Library (Library) provides information, lifelong learning, inspiration and enjoyment to people of all ages through reading and technology. This Materials Selection Policy sets guidelines used by the Library for the selection of books and other print and electronic materials.

2. General Governing Factors

The selection of materials for the Library is governed by four factors:

A. The needs of the individual and of the community.

B. The individual merit of each work.

C. The existing collection, budget and services of the Library.

D. The Library adheres to the Library Bill of Rights and The Intellectual Freedom Statement (copy is available at the Moorpark Library Circulation Desk and at the City Clerk’s office).

3. Principles of Selection

A. The Library aims to obtain and make readily accessible materials that fill the cultural, educational and leisure needs of City residents.

B. Materials are selected from a number of sources. The basic consideration for the selection of any item is whether it is of proven or potential interest to the community served.

C. Additional criteria include:

• Availability and cost of the material

• The amount of similar material already in the collection

• The availability of the material elsewhere in the community

• The physical makeup of the material

• Opinions expressed by critics or reviewers

• Local interest or demand

D. In selecting materials to reflect the diversity of the needs and interests of the residents of Moorpark, it should be recognized that some materials chosen may be offensive or trivial to some persons while being meaningful or significant to others. The Library does not endorse or agree with all opinions expressed in the materials in the collection.

E. Materials shall be made as accessible as possible to the public. The Library does not serve as censor of the reading of any person. The Library recognizes the importance in an open and democratic society of allowing individuals to form their own opinions on issues and, therefore, acquires materials that may be of a controversial nature.

F. Responsibility for the use of Library materials by minors rests with their parents or legal guardians. The selection of materials for the Library will not be governed by the possibility that these materials may come into the possessions of minors.

4. Responsibility for Selection 

A. The initial responsibility for materials selection lies with the Library staff working within the area of service to children, young adults, and adults.  The general public may recommend material for consideration.

B. In making selections, Library staff shall do so in a manner based on principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship.  The spirit of selection should be inclusive rather than exclusive.  Variety and balance of opinion are sought whenever possible.

C. The Moorpark Library City Representative shall be the City Manager or City Manager designee (City Representative), who shall be responsible for overseeing the development of the Library collection by the City Librarian according to the principles set forth in this policy.  The City Librarian shall execute best practices in librarianship when developing the Library collection and shall be responsible for collection development.

D. The Moorpark City Librarian and City Representative shall present an informational item to the Library Board each July identifying suggested allocation of collection budget resources to various types of materials for the Fiscal Year beginning July of that same year.  Collection statistics for the prior Fiscal Year shall be included within the Moorpark City Library Annual Report that is presented to the Library Board at the August meeting.  The Library Board will provide suggestions to the City Librarian and City Representative who have final decision making authority on collection development.

5. Placement of Materials in the Library

A. The Public has free access to all Library materials consistent with this policy.

B. Placement of materials within the Library will be made by the City Librarian. Criteria include:

• Assigned Classification

• Format

• Susceptibility to loss or damage

• Rarity or cost

C. The Library staff labels materials for placement only, not to predispose the patron for or against any materials.

6. Bindery / Book Mending 

Only those materials of local significance, of long-term importance to the collections, or heavily used items will be bound, rebound, or mended as needed.

7. Gifts – Funds 

Donations of funds are welcome and must be documented by the City.  Donated funds must be immediately sent to the City of Moorpark Finance Department for deposit and accounting on the day received or the next business day if received on a weekend or after 5:00 pm.  The City reserves the right to make the final decision on use of donations of funds towards library enhancements.

8. Gifts - Materials 

Donations of materials to enrich the collection are welcome.  Donated materials are received by the Moorpark Friends of the Library and the Library staff reserves the right to review all donated materials to determine if any of the materials are to be added to the collection.  If the donated materials do not meet the selection criteria to be added to the library collection, the materials become the property of the Moorpark Friends of the Library.

9. Withdrawal of Materials 

Damaged, worn, obsolete, superseded, or unused items may be withdrawn from the Library upon the written recommendation of the City Librarian with the written approval of the City Representative.

Weeding and/or disposal of library materials shall be at the discretion of the City Representative.  Recommendation regarding resale, donation, or disposal of weeded material will be made by the City Librarian and approved by the City Representative prior to undertaking the following procedural options:

A. Materials determined worthy of re-sale or donation shall be offered to the Moorpark Friends of the Library for the purpose of sale(s) with all proceeds to benefit the Library. Items that remain unsold are the responsibility of the Moorpark Friends of the Library who will dispose of the material.

B. If the Friends of the Moorpark Library do not accept the discards worthy of re-sale or donation, the City, at its sole discretion, shall discard or donate the material to non-profit, charitable organizations as determined by the City Representative.

C. Books determined not worthy of re-sale or donation will be appropriately disposed of by the City as determined by the Moorpark City representative.  Any material that can be recycled will be recycled.

10. Reconsideration of Materials 

Persons objecting to the content of materials in the Library shall be invited to state their objection in writing and addressed to the Moorpark City Library.  Any request for reconsideration will be reviewed by the City Librarian in consultation with the City Representative.  The decision of the City Librarian shall be final.