Collection Development Policy

I. Mission

Shaker Heights Public Library builds community and enriches lives by bringing together people, information, and ideas.

II. Description of Community

The Shaker Heights Public Library’s legal service area is the Shaker Heights City School District, which includes all of Shaker Heights and a portion of Cleveland in the Shaker Square area. This cosmopolitan, residential community is home to diverse cultural, economic, and religious groups.

III. Intellectual Freedom

Shaker Heights Public Library supports and is supported by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read, the Freedom to View, Free Access to Libraries by Minors, and The Universal Right to Free Expression, which affirm that free and convenient access to ideas, information, and the creative experience is of vital importance to every citizen today. These documents are guiding principles for this collection development policy.

Material is selected on the basis of the work as a whole and is not excluded because of isolated passages. The race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, or political views of an author, frank or coarse language, the controversial content of an item, or the endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group in the community will not cause an item to be automatically included or excluded.

Access to library material shall not be restricted based on a library user’s age, race, gender, income, sexual orientation, education, religion, national origin, or disability.  Library material will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of its contents.

Responsibility for choosing what an individual will read rests with the individual. Responsibility for the use of library material by children and young adults rests with their parents or legal guardians. At no time will library staff act in place of the parent or guardian. Selection of library material will not be inhibited by the possibility that it may come into the possession of children.

IV. Copyright Law

The Shaker Heights Public Library abides by copyright law. Customers using library material are responsible for the legal use of that material.

V.  Scope of the Collection

The Library provides, within its financial limitations, a general collection of material on a wide range of topics of interest to the general public. Material is purchased in a range of formats to meet the various accessibility needs of the community. The library’s collection is intended to meet the cultural, informational and recreational needs of all ages and to reflect the diversity of the population it serves. Multiple copies of high-demand titles may be purchased in order to satisfy customer needs. Material beyond the scope of the library’s collection may be available through the CLEVNET Consortium and interlibrary loan.

VI. Selection Criteria

Professional librarians of the Shaker Heights Public Library are responsible for the selection of material. Suggestions from customers and staff are encouraged and given serious consideration in the selection process. The final responsibility for selection rests with the Director, who administers under the authority of the Library Board of Trustees.

The Shaker Heights Public Library selects material that is of optimum use to the citizens of our library district. Because of budget limitations and space constraints, the Library must be highly selective. The Library endeavors to enlarge the scope of the collection to reflect expanding fields of knowledge and to emphasize those areas of greatest community interest.

The Library recognizes the importance of making available a variety of topics and viewpoints, realizing that a resource which might offend one person may be considered meaningful by another. The addition of material to the library does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of its content, but assures that a variety of differing points of view are represented. Selection of library material will not be influenced by the liability of material to theft or mutilation.

The Shaker Heights Public Library bases its selection on criteria developed by its professional staff and on criteria generally recognized in the public library field.  A resource which does not meet the standards for its type may still be selected if it presents a point of view not otherwise represented in the collection or if community demand justifies purchase or access.

 Criteria include one or more of the following:

    1. Community need and interest
    2. Subject matter and the scope of the material
    3. Reputation and authority of the author and publisher
    4. Literary merit
    5. Timeliness of the material
    6. Accuracy of the material
    7. Suitability of format to library purposes
    8. Quality of technical production
    9. Cost of the material and shelving limitations
    10. Availability of the material elsewhere
    11. Balance of viewpoints
    12. Popularity of an author

The Adult and Youth Services Librarians read reviews in professional journals and consult publishers’ catalogs as well as other review sources to aid in selection of material. An attempt is made to include material by Shaker Heights authors that meet the criteria stated above.

VII. Self-Published Material

The Library is happy to consider recently published materials for the collection.

The library routinely acquires materials published by commercial publishers that meet the library’s selection criteria. The library also may acquire self-published books when they include unique local content, fit the scope of the Library’s Collection Development Policy and meet the selection criteria.

Materials receiving an independent, positive review in one or more of the major review journals (such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and Video Librarian) are carefully considered. The library is more likely to add a self-published book to the collection if it has been reviewed in a major review journal. Self-published e-books are not considered unless they are available for purchase through one of the library’s e-book platforms.

Requests for consideration of self-published materials for inclusion in the library collection may be emailed to librarian@shakerlibrary.org or sent by mail to:

Shaker Heights Public Library

16500 Van Aken Boulevard

Shaker Heights, OH 44120

Attn: Technical Services

VIII. Unsolicited Material

The library does not pay for unsolicited material. Materials sent to the library become the property of Shaker Heights Public Library and, if not added, will not be returned to the donor.

Items not added to the collection will be disposed of to the best advantage of the library, which may include selling them to provide funding for new materials, events, or equipment.

IX. Gift Material

The Library welcomes gift material under the following guidelines. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the Shaker Heights Public Library and can be retained or disposed of at the discretion of the library. Items added to the collection are judged according to the same criteria as new material. Unfortunately the Library cannot accept gifts of magazine subscriptions. The Library can provide a receipt for tax purposes stating the number and type of items donated but cannot assign a monetary value to them.

Gifts of large collections will receive careful study. The implications of cost, maintenance and growth must be considered before acceptance.

X. Memorials, Bequests, and Trusts

The Library welcomes gifts, trusts, or bequests for the purchase of every type of library material. An appropriate bookplate will identify the donor and organization or person for whom the donation was made.

XI. Reevaluation of Library Material

The Library will re-evaluate the selection or placement of a specific item in its collection upon submission of a properly completed Request for Reevaluation of Library Material form. These forms are available at the Information Desks at the Main Library and the Bertram Woods Branch.  Forms will be accepted from adult cardholders who are residents of the library’s legal service area and who have read, viewed, or listened to the material in its entirety.

Forms must be completed in their entirety, including the date, and the cardholder’s name, address, phone number, library card number, signature, and rationale for reevaluation and requested action.

The appropriate Manager, in consultation with the Deputy Director and the Director, will make the initial decision regarding the item’s disposition. The Manager’s decision may be appealed to the Director. In such cases the Director, in consultation with professional librarians, will make a decision regarding the item’s disposition. The Director’s decision may be appealed to the Library Board of Trustees, whose decision is final and binding. Material will remain in circulation during the reconsideration process.

Future requests for reevaluating the same item will be addressed only if the grounds for reconsideration are substantially different from previous requests.

Procedure:

  1. Completed forms should be delivered, as appropriate, to the Bertram Woods Branch Manager, Adult Services Manager, or Youth Services Manager, with copies to the Deputy Director and the Director.
  2. Within two weeks, the Manager, in consultation with the Deputy Director and Director, will make an initial assessment of the request and contact the cardholder in writing.
  3. If the cardholder is not satisfied with the Manager’s decision, he or she may appeal in writing to the Director within two weeks.  In such cases, the Director will convene a committee of appropriate professional librarians to review the request.
  4. The committee will:
    • Read, watch, or listen to the item in question in its entirety;
    • Read reviews of the item from authoritative review sources;
    • Judge the overall merit of the item based on its entirety rather than individual parts, passages or excerpts;
    • Meet to discuss and prepare a report of its recommendation regarding the item’s disposition;
    • Deliver the final report to the Director.
  5. Informed by the committee’s recommendation, the Director will make a decision on the disposition of the item in question, and will inform the cardholder in writing within thirty days.
    If the cardholder is not satisfied with the Director’s decision, he or she may appeal in writing to the Library Board of Trustees within two weeks.
  6. By the date of the second regularly scheduled meeting following its receipt of the appeal, the Board of Trustees will:
    • Consider the rationale used by the Manager and the Director in reaching their decisions;
    • Read, watch, or listen to the item in question in its entirety;
    • Read reviews of the item from authoritative review sources;
    • Judge the overall merit of the item based on its entirety rather than individual parts, passages or excerpts;
    • Apply the library’s selection criteria to the item;
    • Meet to discuss and prepare a report of its recommendations regarding the item’s disposition.
  7. Within five business days the Board will notify the cardholder and the Director in writing of its decision regarding the item’s disposition.

XII. Collection Maintenance

The Library maintains an attractive, up-to-date collection through continual evaluation of material. The process and decision to remove an item follows the same criteria as when the item was first selected for inclusion in the collection. In addition, criteria such as obsolete information, insufficient use, excessive wear and tear, space availability and changing customer interests are considered. Duplicate copies and items superseded by newer editions are reviewed for possible removal.  Periodical subscriptions are evaluated annually.

Discarded material becomes surplus property and may be given to and then sold by the Friends of the Shaker Library for fund-raising purposes to benefit the library.

XIII. Adult Services Collections

The Adult Services collection includes print, audiovisual, and electronic materials in a variety of formats.  Materials in the Adult Services collections are selected to meet the general educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of adults and secondary school students.  A broad range of topics and viewpoints are represented, in order to serve the diverse needs and interests of our community.  A Local History Collection is maintained at the Main Library. See Appendix A for the Local History Collection Development Policy

XIV. Youth Services Collections

The Youth Services collections include print, audiovisual, and electronic materials in a variety of formats and reading levels, as well as non-circulating toys and puzzles for use in the library. A broad range of topics and viewpoints are represented, in order to serve the diverse needs and interests of our community.

The Children’s collection is designed to serve the educational, informational, and recreational needs and interests of children from birth through age 12, including materials that support the curriculum of Shaker area schools

The Teen collection is designed to serve the needs and interests of customers ages 12 through 18.  The Teen collection includes materials of high interest to teens, and materials that support the curriculum of Shaker area schools.

Approved by the Shaker Heights Public Library Board of Trustees 11/14/ 2005, 6/15/ 2010, 6/13/2011, 9/10/2012, 6/10/2013, 6/9/2014, 6/20/2016, 6/19/2017

Appendices

  1. Local History Collection Development Policy
  2. Library Bill of Rights
  3. Freedom to Read Statement
  4. Freedom to View Statement
  5. The Universal Right to Free Expression
  6. Free Access to Libraries for Minors