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Collection Development Policy

The Bremen Public Library’s Collection Development Policy exists to serve as a guide for material selection and to inform the public of the criteria used in the material selection process.

Service Philosophy and Selection Criteria

The Bremen Public Library is dedicated to serving patrons of every age, ethnic origin, socioeconomic level, education and viewpoint. BPL strives to provide, within its financial ability, access to a collection of materials representing diverse areas of knowledge and interest. The library will make a reasonable effort to obtain materials based on contemporary cultural relevance, artistic and educational merit, longstanding value, patron demand, and community standards. The library maintains a collection of both print and non-print media, organizes and maintains these materials, and selects materials in accordance with our mission and stated values Our Mission.

The Bremen Public Library also recognizes the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights,” concerning guidelines for materials selection (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill).

The Bremen Public Library offers both interlibrary loan services and reciprocal borrowing with other libraries in the state for the benefit of our patrons.

Selection Responsibilities and Maintenance

Ultimate responsibility for the selection of materials rests with the Bremen Public Library Board of Trustees. This authority is delegated to the Library Director, who may personally select materials or assign selection responsibilities to qualified librarians. Materials will be withdrawn from the collection when damaged or when they no longer serve a need within the collection.

Juvenile Materials Selection and Library Use by Minors

The Library Bill of Rights of the American Library association states that, “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.” The Bremen Public Library strives to offer a collection of materials for children that meet their basic educational, recreational and cultural needs. However, the library and its staff are not “in loco parentis,” and the responsibility for evaluating library materials for reading, listening to, or viewing by minors ultimately rests with parents or legal guardians. Controversial library materials will not be altered in any way to indicate approval or disapproval of the contents.

Censorship

Theoretically, the library does not censor. The library endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement plus the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights published by the ALA. The library does not promulgate particular beliefs or views, nor is the selection of any book equivalent to endorsement by the library of the viewpoint of the author or content expressed therein.

Should a patron find material he/she considers objectionable, a written complaint form, provided by the library, may be submitted. This will be presented to members of a 5-person committee established by the Director for the purpose of reevaluating the material and applying the criteria which has been enumerated in this policy. The committee’s opinions will be submitted in writing to the Director, who will render the final decision in writing to the Board of Trustees and the patron. If the complainant appeals the committee’s decision, the final decision on the recommendation rests with the Board of Trustees.

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians.

Selection of adult materials will not be limited by the possibility that they may inadvertently come into the possession of minors.

The Board of Trustees recognizes that censorship is a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject for himself/herself material which he/she does not approve of, he/she cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom to read of others. Any library that purchases only books acceptable to everyone will have very few books. Each reader is privileged to select for himself/herself among the books in the library and no one is obligated to read what he/she does not like. The board also defends the principles of the freedom to read and declares that whenever censorship is involved, no material shall be removed from the library save under the order of competent jurisdiction.

Adopted by the Bremen Public Library Board of Trustees, Feb. 29th, 2016. Reviewed on February 28th, 2022.