1. The Library strives to provide books and other library materials of value and interest for information and enlightenment, for all the people of the community. The Library attempts to maintain a collection of carefully selected representative book and non-book materials that are of both current interest and permanent value. Since the community it serves is both urban and rural, it will strive to meet the demands of clientele from both areas. It attempts to serve the children, young-adults, adults, and elderly.
2. Library materials will never be excluded because of the race or nationality, or social, political, or religious view of the authors. The Library will try to provide materials representing all points of views concerning current problems and issues at the local, national, and international levels. However, materials on controversial issues that present only one side of a question and are written in a violent, sensational, and inflammatory manner will ordinarily not be selected.
3. Censorship will be challenged by the Library authorities in maintenance of their responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment. Obscene materials, which are deliberately lewd, shall not be admitted to the Library; however, exclusions shall not be judged by taking single passages out of context and basing condemnation of that book in such lifted passages. The Library Director and the Board of Trustees stand ready to review individual decisions upon written request.
4. It is the responsibility of the Library to give full meaning to the freedom to read, and will attempt to do so by providing books that enrich the quality of thought and expression. The Library will accept books or other materials which persons wish to donate; however, the Library Director and The Board of Trustees reserve the right to screen all materials received in this manner, and to discard, destroy or otherwise dispose of any which do not meet the Library's needs.
5. The Library Director acts as agent of the Board of Trustees in book selection. Selection procedures shall follow the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the Library Association, and in accordance with federal and state laws.
American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights: http://www.ala.org.advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill
American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement:
American Library Association’s Free Access to Libraries for Minors Statement:
6. It is further the obligation of this Library to keep the current policies of the Librarian for book selection or rejection in a written form, subject to change, as necessary, upon approval of the Board of Trustees, and are as outlined:
- No highly specialized material in the fields of law, medicine, science, etc., is purchased.
- An effort is made to select titles of merit as indicated by recognized book reviews.
- The Library does not favor nor discriminate against any religious group. Purchase of religious books is limited to those of a general nature or to be recognized classics and standard reference items.
- An effort is made to purchase fiction of some literary merit. Fiction selection involves a variety of types of novels and the need to satisfy requests, tastes, interest, purpose and reading level.
- We will, in the majority of cases, purchase books on best sellers' lists to make them available to the public, even though some may be considered to be short-lived in nature.
- All Library materials will be cataloged in the established manner of the library.
- The Library has a variety of books in large print and will continue to add to these materials.
- Children's and young adult materials will follow the same guidelines as stated. Children are not limited to materials in the juvenile collection. Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents and legal guardians, not with the Library. The Library does not assume responsibility for possible misuse of information found in the collection by young readers.
- The Library has a particular interest in local and state history and in the works of local authors. The same standards of selection apply to these materials as apply to all other works.
- Periodicals-the proliferation of titles available far exceeds the budget and space limitations of the Library. However, the library will provide access to titles of interest, including in physical or digital forms, and will consider use/circulation.
- The Library will try to maintain long runs of back files (one year) of specific titles, within the constraints of space and budget.
- The Library will subscribe to local newspapers, as well as to newspapers from various cities in Iowa. They are selected on the basis of geographical representation and public demands, within the constraints of space and budget. All past publications of the Columbus Gazette will be digitized, and physical copies of the paper held until digitization is complete.
- The Library purchases compact discs, books on compact disc, DVD's Purchases and selections are made within the constraints of space and budget. The Library will participate in a State of Iowa consortium by agreement and yearly fee to provide access to ebooks and audio books, as well as new resources available through the consortium.
- It is necessary to weed our collections regularly. The "CREW" method of evaluation and weeding will be the authority used. In doing so, consideration will be given to the following:
1. Age of material based on copyright
2. Usage circulation
3. Physical appearance
4. Literary merit or accuracy of material
5. Value to the community
o. Library staff will evaluate materials as they return to determine if weeding is necessary, based on appearance, feedback regarding misinformation, etc. Library staff will routinely weed each section of the library once every three years.
Written February 2000
Adopted April 2000
Revised June 2002
Reviewed March 2009
Revised August 14, 1012
Reviewed December 2015
Amended/Compiled with Approval of Library Materials Policy September 2019