To guide the library staff in the selection, development and maintenance of a balanced collection that meets the needs of the community.
The Farmington Libraries partner with the community to provide free access to services, experiences, and resources that offer opportunities to explore, create and share ideas. In order to achieve this end, the following procedures explain the base upon which materials are selected and maintained and addresses questions and concerns regarding the presence or absence of certain materials.
The Libraries subscribes to the following fundamental rights relating to Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read.
- The Library Bill of Rights
- The Intellectual Freedom: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
- ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement
- The Resolution on Challenged Materials
- The Statement on Labeling
- The Freedom to View Statement
- The Free Access to Libraries for Minors Statement
- The Public Library, Democracy’s Resource
- Access for Children and Young People to Non-print Materials
- Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
All of the above policies may be found by clicking the links above or by internet search. If you need help accessing the policies, please ask at the Information Services Desk for assistance.
Library staff will review the Collection Development Policy with the Library Board during annual review of the Libraries’ policies.
Community to be Served
The Libraries serve Farmington and Unionville residents of all ages, educational backgrounds, and ethnic groups. The Libraries also serve those individuals who work in the Town of Farmington. Through the Library Connection (LCI) Consortium, of which Farmington Libraries are a part, the Libraries serve residents of surrounding towns. Through DeliverIT, a statewide cooperative program among Connecticut libraries, the Libraries serve any Connecticut resident with a valid public library card.
Relationship with Town and Other Agencies
The Farmington Libraries cooperate with local businesses and organizations, public and private schools, community agencies, and municipal departments in the Town of Farmington to enhance the services these groups provide.
While the purpose of the public library differs from that of school libraries, we work closely with teachers and library staff in the Farmington Public School system to ensure we support the educational and informational needs of students in grades K – 12. We encourage staff within the school library system to alert us of future assignments so that we can better serve the student population.
Textbooks and media will not be purchased to support the school curriculum or specific classes. These materials are considered the responsibility of the schools. We do, however, aim to acquire materials supporting students’ information needs, as well as reading, viewing and listening interests.
Purpose and Definition of the Collection
The purpose of the library materials at the Main Library is to make available materials that meet the educational, informational, recreational, and cultural needs of the community. The Barney’s Library collection primarily consists of recreational materials and basic information sources. The children’s materials collections at both libraries service children from birth to age twelve or older as well as interested adults.
The Libraries’ collections currently includes materials in the following formats:
- Print books, magazines, newspapers, and graphic novels
- Audiobooks, DVDs
- Downloadable e-Books, e-audiobooks, music, movies, and television shows
- Library of Things, a special collection of objects such as board and videogames, toys, puzzles, mobile hotspots, equipment, and technology
Formats of materials may be added or deleted as technology or patron reading, viewing, and listening interests and needs change. Items will be purchased within budgetary constraints and based on the availability of materials.
The Libraries do not purchase textbooks or curriculum-related materials for educational institutions or their students.
Materials on loan from other Library Connection, Inc. libraries, the Connecticut Library Consortium, the Connecticut State Library Middletown Service Center and other sources may be used to supplement the permanent collection as needed.
Digital Resources: Selection of and access to electronic resources are integral to fulfilling the mission of the Libraries. The Libraries provide a number of web-based resources available via the Libraries’ website, selected using the criteria outlined in this policy. These are considered a part of the Libraries’ collection. However, not all materials and information found via the internet are part of the collection.
Special Collections: Materials relating to the history of Farmington will be added, if appropriate, to the Farmington Room collection. A separate policy statement for the Farmington Room collection is available. The Libraries also maintain a collection of town documents, including town and school budgets, minutes of the Town Council and Board of Education meetings, CDs of Town Council meetings, annual reports, town ordinances and various special reports.
Accessible Formats: The Libraries are committed to providing equitable access to library resources and services, mindful of accessibility standards, user feedback, and support and accommodations for persons with disabilities. To this end, the Libraries purchase large-print books, closed-captioned DVDs, audiobooks, e-books, e-audio and other formats. Upon request, Library staff can assist in connecting patrons with Braille materials.
Responsibility and Procedure for Selection
The responsibility for selection of materials is shared by the professional staff. The Department Heads are responsible for training staff who select and acquire books and materials in order to ensure the selection, development and maintenance of the collection meets the needs of the community. Final responsibility for selection rests with the Executive Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board and the budget.
Criteria for Collections
In carrying out the objectives of the Collection Development Policy, the following materials selection criteria are of importance:
- The Libraries are committed to providing an equitable basis for purchasing materials, ensuring that consideration of the needs of historically oppressed, underrepresented, and underserved groups is integral to collection development and management. The Libraries regularly review the current and emergent demographic trends for the Libraries’ constituent populations to inform collection development and management. The Libraries regularly assess the adequacy of existing collections to ensure they meet the needs of the Libraries’ constituent populations.
- Interests of all age groups
- Flexibility to meet new and changing community interests and needs
- A balanced collection, within and across subject areas
- Subject area depth reflecting patron interest
- Availability of materials in other libraries through the Library Connection, Inc. (LCI) Consortium, interlibrary loan, and Deliver IT
- Need to preserve publications of local authors and material on local history
- Literary quality as determined by professional review journals
- Artistic excellence
- Variety of viewpoints
- Diversity of format
- Existing holdings
Suggestions from library users are always welcome and are given serious consideration. Reviewing media, standard lists of recommended titles and information provided by publishers, producers and distributors are used to make material selection decisions.
Selection of materials does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content or viewpoints of the library staff.
To facilitate access and satisfy users’ needs, multiple copies of popular titles are purchased. “Popularity” is determined by the number of requests for a particular title.
Damaged or lost materials are replaced if available and deemed relevant to the collection.
While the ongoing development of the collections will focus primarily on the acquisition of materials that are anticipated to be the most popular, the Libraries will selectively acquire items recognized to be of exceptional value, that are intellectually challenging or may introduce new or innovative ideas.
The Libraries will not follow a strict “most popular” approach for selecting and acquiring electronic media such as DVDs, e-books, and e-audio books. It is not practical or affordable for the Libraries to compete in terms of the depth or size of the collection with for-profit retail stores. The Libraries’ collections will be smaller but will also include electronic media beyond the most popular titles.
Evaluation of Collection
The process of collection development requires that staff be aware of the needs and demographics of the community and that the acquisitions made are consistent with the criteria for the collection defined in this policy.
In order to identify strengths and weaknesses in the collection, the Libraries conduct yearly comprehensive reviews of the existing collection with a focus on completeness, balance and currency. Components of the collections that Library staff deem to have the highest currency requirements will be evaluated more frequently. The reviews will include deaccessioning out-of-date and damaged materials as necessary. The staff will formulate a systematic collection development plan after compiling and analyzing the collected data.
In addition to the yearly review, other review methods may include analysis of:
- Circulation statistics
- Information inquires
- Hold requests and interlibrary loan requests
- Surveys, questionnaires, and feedback from individuals and focus groups
- Bestseller lists
- Reviewing media: professional library journals and other industry review sources
Withdrawals and Replacements
Withdrawals of materials are made so that the Libraries can maintain an up-to-date and inviting collection. Lack of demand, obsolete or erroneous information, and materials in poor condition are the main reasons for withdrawals. Special thought will be given when considering the withdrawal of standard titles of lasting value and materials of special local interest.
The replacement of materials is determined by demand, the number of duplicate copies, and other materials on the same subject in the collection, location of the materials elsewhere in the library system, availability for purchase and availability for borrowing from another member of the LIC Consortium or through interlibrary loan.
Withdrawn materials are marked “discarded” and may be sold to the public at the Friends’ annual Book Sale or at other times. All items, regardless of medium, that are not selected for inclusion in the Book Sale and various distribution channels may be disposed of as recycled waste regulations permit.
Recognizing that budget levels will vary and may require a flexible approach to the addition of new materials during each budget year, it is the stated goal of the Libraries to budget at least 10% of the total annual operating budget for the addition of new material to the collection.
The materials budget will generally be divided between the Main Library and the Barney Library in a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio. This division may vary by format and will be reviewed by the professional staff annually.
General allocations of resources will be reviewed by the Executive Director with the Board annually.
Since the Libraries cannot purchase all materials requested, they will extend their resources through cooperation with other libraries and networks. Access to electronic information may be provided as technology and finances permit. Library staff may suggest borrowing items from other libraries in the LCI Consortium or Interlibrary Loan sources such as FindIT CT for items not in the collection and will initiate an interlibrary loan as request.
All gifts of library materials are accepted with the understanding that if they cannot use them, the Libraries may dispose of them in any way they deem appropriate. No conditions may be imposed relating to any gift after its acceptance by the Libraries.
The Libraries do not assess the value of donated materials. However, upon a donor’s request, the Libraries will supply a form letter acknowledging a donation of books and materials. An estimated evaluation for tax exemption purposes is the responsibility of the donor.
The Libraries welcome funds to be used for the purchase of materials. The wishes of the donor will be considered in selecting materials. All monetary gifts will be acknowledged. Gift plates, with appropriate information included, are available if the donor so desires.
The Libraries have several restricted funds which are part of their endowment. The income from these funds is to be used to purchase materials for the collection as specified by the donor. The Farmington Village Green and Library Association (FVGLA) Finance committee allocates a budgeted amount for expenditures from each fund each year. Requests in writing for access to the temporarily restricted funds which have been accrued must be presented to and approved by the Finance Committee.
The restricted donor funds maintained by the FVGLA relating to the books and materials collections of the Libraries are as follows:
Palache Fund: To be used to purchase books on history, the social sciences, reference, and biography.
Thomson -Smith Fund: To be used to purchase books in the arts and humanities.
Pfeiffer Fund: To be used to purchase books of interest to older adults.
John Godiksen Fund: To be used for materials in the area of mechanical, automotive, practical engineering and related areas including the Maker Space.
McAuliffe Fund: To be used to purchase books
Matava-Glanovsky Fund: To be used for the acquisition of library materials.
Margaret Townsend Hamilton Fund: To be used for the acquisition of books.
Library Innovation Fund: To be used for training and education in new technologies and communication skills.
Farmington Room Fund: To be used for operation of the Farmington Room.
Ann Hughes Children’s Book Fund: To be used for the purchase of children’s books.
Village Work Fund: To be used for library work with children.
Special Donor Fund: Restricted and unrestricted donations, many as memory gifts, to be used as designated or as determined by the Management Team and Executive Director.
The Farmington Libraries fully endorse the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling patrons to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy. The Libraries also select a wide variety of library materials that satisfy the diverse interests of our community. The Libraries uphold the right of the individual to secure these resources, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some. The Libraries’ varied collection is available to all; however, it is not expected that all of the collection will appeal to everyone.
Parents and guardians, not the Libraries staff or Trustees, are responsible for monitoring and approving the borrowing of materials by their minor children. Only parents or guardians may restrict their own children from borrowing specific library materials. Parents or guardians who wish to specify the materials that may be borrowed by their children should accompany or otherwise inform their children. The Library staff and Trustees cannot and do not act in loco parentis.
Requests for Reconsideration:
Farmington residents or taxpayers who have concerns about items in the collection should bring their concerns to the manager of the appropriate library department. If, after speaking to the department manager, the user remains unsatisfied, they may document their concern in writing on the form provided by the Library.
Written requests for reconsideration of items will be directed to the Executive Director who will review the item at issue and respond in writing to the complainant within three (3) weeks of receipt.
The Executive Director will report on the request for reconsideration at the next scheduled Library Board meeting. The Board will review the request for reconsideration and will determine whether any action will be taken. The decision of the Library Board will be based on the principles set forth in this Collection Development Policy. The Board will file notice of its decision to the individual who made the request for reconsideration. The decision of the Library Board is final.
No materials will be removed without following the full reconsideration process and no materials will be removed upon the authority of a single staff member or administrator. Materials under review will remain in the collection during the reconsideration period. Materials may only be formally challenged once.
Approved April 20, 2022
Revised March 7, 2023