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The Newark Public Library

Collection Development Policy

Adopted by the Trustees of the Free Public Library of the City of Newark on May 31, 2006

Superseding the Policy Adopted on September 24, 1997


The Newark Public Library
Collection Development Policy

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Purpose
B. The Library and Its Clientele
C. Terminology
D. Goals of Collection Management and Development Program
E. Position on Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
F. The Library’s Collections: An Overview
G. Organization of Collection Management and Development Program

II. GENERAL COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICIES

A. Resources for Children
B. Resources for Young Adults
C. Resources for Those With Disabilities
D. Miscellaneous Categories
E. Formats
F. Languages
G. Selection Criteria
H. Purchase of Duplicate Copies
I. Replacement of Missing Works

III. COLLECTION LEVELS

IV. DE-ACCESSIONING

V. REQUESTS FOR RECONSIDERATION OF SELECTION DECISIONS

APPENDIX

LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS

  • Challenged Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
  • Diversity in Collection Development: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
  • Evaluating Library Collections: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
  • Expurgation of Library Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

THE FREEDOM TO READ STATEMENT

THE FREEDOM TO VIEW STATEMENT

 

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Purpose

The purposes of this document are:

  1. To govern the work of librarians responsible for collection development and maintenance.
  2. To inform library users, government officials, prospective funders, other libraries, and the public at large about the library’s collection development practices—past and present—and about its plans for collection development in the future.
  3. To guide the aggressive solicitation of grants, gifts, and endowments for purchase of library resources.

B. The Library and Its Clientele

Newark is the largest city in New Jersey. Before World War II it flourished as a manufacturing center, a business center, a retail shopping center, and an entertainment center, as well as a cultural and educational center. Like many other cities, it suffered decline during the decades following the war. Nevertheless, its cultural institutions—the Newark Museum, the New Jersey Historical Society, and the Newark Public Library—continued to attract users from all over the state, and a the major business enterprises that remained in the city continued to employ personnel from a wide area. Furthermore, Newark gained importance as a center of higher education.

The city’s cultural institutions, together with business enterprises, colleges, and universities, have made a significant contribution to the revitalization of the city that is now in progress. Within the past decade new housing has sprung up in many neighborhoods. Construction of new schools has begun. The City Subway is being expanded. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, which opened in 1997, has been highly successful. Its success indicates that Newark is regaining its standing as a metropolitan center—a desirable destination for visitors from the surrounding area. Indeed, the city’s future depends upon regaining this status.

The primary obligation of a public library is to furnish the resources frequently requested by its constituents for learning and recreation. Public libraries in most communities provide resources in general demand. The Newark Public Library has historically done more. It has provided people living and working both within city borders and in surrounding communities, as well as business enterprises and other cultural institutions, with information and resources not available in smaller institutions. Like public libraries in other metropolitan centers, it has routinely acquired items for which demand is limited. It has developed several collections adequate to support research and a number of others adequate to support advanced study.

Newarkers and others have long depended upon the library to provide not only popular resources, but also scholarly, even esoteric resources. Some have reported that access to such resources has altered the course of their lives.

By continuing to maintain and develop collections that have long drawn people from all over the state to Newark the library serves the interest of all city residents. All stand to benefit from whatever enhances that city’s standing as a flourishing metropolitan center.

C. Terminology

Terminology and symbols provided in Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements, by the Subcommittee on Guidelines for Collection Development, Collection Management and Development Committee Resources Section, Resources and Technical Services Division, American Library Association (Chicago: 1989) are used in this document to describe the relative strength of collections:

0  Out of Scope
The library does not collect in this subject.
 
1  Minimal Level
A subject in which few selections are made beyond very basic works. A collection at this level is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information are withdrawn.
 
2  Basic Information Level
A selective collection of material that serves to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, access to appropriate bibliographic databases, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, bibliographies, handbooks, and a few major periodicals. The collection is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information.
 
3  Study Level
A collection that is adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about a subject in a systematic way but at a level less than research intensity. The collection includes a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, a significant number of classic retrospective materials, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject. At the study or instructional support level, a collection is adequate to support independent study and most learning need of the clientele of public and special libraries, as well as undergraduate and some graduate instruction. The collection is systematically reviewed for currency of information and to assure that essential and significant information is retained.
 
3a  Study Level: Introductory
This subdivision of a level 3 collection provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a broad range of basic works in appropriate formats, classic retrospective materials, all key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject. This subdivision of level 3 supports undergraduate courses, including advanced undergraduate courses, as well as most independent study needs of the clientele of public and special libraries. It is not adequate to support master’s degree programs.
 
3b  Study Level: Advanced
The advanced subdivision of level 3 provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary and secondary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics in the field, a significant number of retrospective materials, a substantial collection of works by secondary figures; works that provide more in-depth discussions of research, techniques, and evaluation, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject. This level supports all courses of undergraduate study and master’s degree programs as well as the more advanced independent study needs of the patrons of public and special libraries.
 
4  Research Level
A collection that includes the major published source material required for dissertation and independent research, including material containing research reporting, new findings, scientific and experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Pertinent foreign language material is included. Older material is usually retained for historical research and actively preserved. A collection at this level supports doctoral and other original research.
 
5  Comprehensive Level
A collection in which a library endeavors, so far as it is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms) in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collection intensity is one that maintains a “special collection”: the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. Older material is retained for historical research with active preservation efforts.
 

D. Goals of Collection Management and Development Program

Until its budget allocation for library material was reduced in the early 1990s, the library continued to build collections in the fields of art, New Jerseyana, and business to the Research Level and a number of others to the Advanced Study Level. It also provided ample popular reading material for adults. Since then, for various reasons—fiscal constraints among them—it has not continued to do so. Its current collection development goals, however, are:

  1. To acquire as many important current works as possible, and to acquire all important current works in designated fields.
  2. To fill gaps in its collections by acquiring important older works that were not acquired when they were first published.
  3. To replace copies of landmark works and of works in perennial demand that were previously acquired but are now missing from the shelves, worn out, or badly soiled.
  4. To insure that most-frequently-sought works are available at all branches.
  5. To market library collections more effectively.

To achieve these goals the library will endeavor to increase its allocation for library resources every year until it accounts for 15-20 percent of its operating funds.

E. Position on Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

The library subscribes to the positions articulated in the following statements concerning library collections (appended to this document), which have been adopted by the American Library Association.

  • The Library Bill of Rights
  • Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights
    • Challenged Material
    • Diversity in Collection Development
    • Evaluating Library Collections
    • Expurgation of Library Material
  • The Freedom to Read
  • The Freedom to View

F. The Library’s Collections: An Overview

1. Branch Library Collections

Branch library collections include:

  • Resources to support formal elementary and secondary education (including representative works of fiction by major authors)
  • Material providing information most frequently requested by patrons attempting to meet the challenges of life
  • Resources for exploratory independent learning (by both adults and children)
  • Popular works about issues of current import
  • Recreational reading material for adults and children (including most current bestsellers)
  • Items of special interest to the population groups served by individual branches

These collections are not intended to support formal higher education or advanced independent study.

2. Main Library Collections

Main Library collections in the fields of New Jersey studies and art are developed to a level that supports research. The library is a Regional Depository for U.S. government publications and patents. Its U.S. Documents and Patents collections, therefore, are also adequate to support research.

Some items in its Rare Book Collection are also of value for researchers. Support for development of this collection has always been sporadic, however, and it reflects no identifiable emphasis.

The library maintains Study Level collections in most fields. Collection levels for specific Dewey Decimal Classification divisions appear in Section 2.

The library’s World Languages Collection includes general-interest material in eighteen languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Pilipino (Tagalog), Polish, Portuguese(1), Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

The library maintains two discrete collections geared to the interests of the two ethnic groups that predominate in Newark. The collection in the James Brown African American Room is oriented especially toward African Americans. The collection in the Sala Hispanoamericana consists of Spanish-language books of interest to the city’s Hispanic residents.

G. Organization of Collection Management and Development Program

The director of the library bears general responsibility for development and management of library collections, according to the norms established in this document, and appropriately delegates specific responsibilities to subordinates.


(1) The Portuguese materials are housed at the Van Buren branch.
 

II. GENERAL COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICIES

A. Resources for Children

Children’s collections at both the Main Library and the branches include:

  • Books suitable for reading aloud to young children
  • Picture books
  • Educational sound recordings and video recordings
  • Educational toys and games
  • Information sources useful in completing school assignments
  • Titles that appear on school reading lists(2)
  • Basic works on a wide range of subjects actually or predictably of interest to the children served, and geared to users of varying ability
  • Current editions of standard children’s works that enjoy enduring popularity (including feature films for children)
  • Encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, and other basic reference tools, in both print and electronic format
  • Works that encourage children to respect their ethnic heritage and increase their understanding of other ethnic groups

These collections, as far as possible, include works reflecting diverse views on controversial topics.

B. Resources for Young Adults

Although young adult collections include many titles on school reading lists, young adults working on school assignments rely primarily upon adult collections.

Young adult collections include:

  • Basic works on a wide range of subjects found to be of interest to the community’s adolescents
  • Works intended to help young people cope with the challenges of adolescence
  • Works that help adolescents respect their ethnic heritage and increase their understanding of other ethnic groups
  • Titles that appear on school reading lists(3)
  • Well-written works that are widely read by young adults for pleasure

These collections are not intended to meet all the needs of teenagers whose interests are specialized or highly developed. These young people must turn to adult collections.

Young adult collections, as far as possible, include works reflecting diverse view on controversial topics.

C. Resources for Those With Disabilities

The library generously provides resources in special formats devised to meet the needs of the vision-impaired, the hearing-impaired, and others whose disabilities impede their ability to make optimum use of other library resources.

D. Miscellaneous Categories

1. Bestsellers

The library acquires one copy of all titles on the New York Times and Star-Ledger bestseller lists. It acquires additional copies to meet demand, withdrawing these additional copies as demand wanes.

The Main Library always retains at least one "copy of record" of every bestseller—even if it does not circulate—for the benefit of students of cultural history.

2. English-for-Speakers-of-Other-Languages Resources

The library acquires a significant quantity of self-instruction resources in multiple formats for persons who are learning English as a second language.

3. Adult Literacy Training Resources

The branches as well as the Main Library acquire abundant high-interest, easy-reading materials for adults who are learning to read.

4. African American and Black Studies Resources

Because African Americans constitute the largest ethnic group in the city, the library has for the past thirty years been collecting African-American and Black Studies resources at the Advanced Study Level, verging toward the Research Level. African American and Black studies are interdisciplinary. Therefore, African American studies material appears in most of the library’s subject collections. The library acquires multiple copies of works in this field that are in demand.

5. Textbooks

Although the library does not endeavor to supply students with textbooks required for courses, it does not exclude from its collections textbooks that are potentially useful outside an academic course.

6. Test-preparation Resources

The library provides self-instruction resources for those preparing to take standardized tests, including civil service examinations, college entrance examinations, and high school equivalency examinations. As far as possible it provides these resources in electronic format because test-preparation books are especially subject to mutilation and theft. Nevertheless, it provides some in print to meet demand.

7. Outlines and Synopses of Literary Works

Outlines and synopses of important writings are acquired when they are deemed to be useful for study or in the provision of information, even though students may sometimes put them to questionable use.

8. Dissertations and Theses

The library acquires copies of all current dissertations related in any way to New Jersey. It applies the usual criteria in deciding whether to acquire other dissertations.

9. Reprints

Old works sufficiently important to be reprinted by publishers of recognized standing merit a place in both Research-Level and Study-Level collections. The library acquires these reprints, sometimes even when it owns copies of the original editions.

10. Maps

The library maintains an Introductory Study-Level collection of atlases for reference and a Basic-Level collection of circulating atlases.

The New Jersey Information Center maintains a Research-level collection of New Jersey maps.

The U.S. Documents Regional Depository Collection includes enough maps of various kinds to support research.

11. Music Scores

The music scores collection includes works by all prominent composers of Western art music. It also includes works belonging to other traditions of music, including folk music of many nations, American popular music, jazz, blues, rock.

The collection includes music for most executants (individual instruments, instrumental ensembles, individual voices, and vocal ensembles).

Full scores with parts as well as miniature scores are included, as are hymnals and song anthologies.

12. Art Works

The library maintains a Research-Level collection of Fine Prints, in which many schools and styles of printmaking are represented.

It has also developed a notable collection of artists’ books and pop-up books.

Other graphic art works that it collects include posters, shopping bags, autographs, and book plates.

13. Books Collected As Examples of Fine Printing

The Richard C. Jenkinson Printing History Collection includes books exemplifying fine printing from the Renaissance to the present. The library continues to add finely printed books to this collection.

14. Graphic Novels

The library acquires graphic novels on the basis of the literary or artistic merit and in response to demand.

15. New Jersey Authors’ Works and New Jersey Imprints

A special collection (RaiNJ) includes works by authors identified as living or having lived in New Jersey, as well as those published by small presses in the state, but not those published by major commercial publishers that happen to operate facilities in New Jersey. The collection is selective, not comprehensive.

E. Formats

The library endeavors to acquire resources in the format most conducive to their efficient use.

1. Printed Resources

When a work that is unlikely to circulate heavily is available in both hardback and trade paperback editions, and the paperback edition is significantly less expensive, the library acquires it.

If the staff predicts that a work will have enduring value and will be heavily used, the library generally acquires at least one copy in a hardbound edition, provided that a hardbound edition is available. If additional copies are needed, the library sometimes buys paperback copies.

Some standard works are perennially in high demand and also subject to frequent theft, damage, and loss. When mass-market paperback editions of these works are available, the library acquires a reasonable number of copies and—once a year—replaces those that have been stolen or lost.

Many serials are acquired in print format. Printed copies of those that contain significant illustrations are retained and, if possible, bound.

Some divisions of the library still acquire pamphlets, although they have become less important as sources of current information than they were before the advent of the Internet.

The New Jersey Information Center clips newspapers and files the clippings under topical headings for the convenience of researchers.

2. Microform Resources

Paper issues of serials that do not contain significant illustrations are frequently discarded and replaced by microfilm.

Unique resources created by the staff or acquired from their creators are microfilmed for preservation. In the future such resources are likely to be digitized.

3. Video Recordings

Videocassettes acquired during the past twenty years remain in circulation; but the library no longer acquires video recordings in cassette format—only in digital video disc (DVD) format. Videocassettes that are worn out or lost, if they are to be replaced, are replaced with DVDs.

The Main Library’s video recordings (both videocassette and DVDs) are housed in a discrete collection that includes old feature films which have stood the test of time as well as current films that have received critical acclaim or attained commercial success. This collection also includes operas, "how-to-do-it" films, and documentaries on a wide variety of subjects.

Branches maintain small collections of video recordings that are augmented by rotating collections.

4. Sound Recordings

The library’s music sound recordings are all in compact disc format. Recorded books are also now acquired in this format only, but some books-on-tape remain in circulation.

5. Electronic Resources

The library increasingly relies on electronic information resources to supply information. Such resources can often be searched in ways that print resources cannot, and some can be made remotely accessible to library patrons.

Certain rare print resources in the Newark Public Library—notably Newark maps—have been digitized, and more are likely to be digitized in the future.

6. Computer Software

Some applications software is installed on library computers for public use. The library does not acquire software for circulation.

F. Languages

Eighteen languages are represented in the World Languages Collection.

The library also acquires important works written in languages other than English for its Research-Level and Advanced Study-Level subject collections. For the latter English translations, if available, are preferred.

Research-level collections sometimes include both an original work and an English translation.

All collections include some translations. Translations abound in the Main Library’s fiction collection.

G. Selection Criteria

Criteria for choosing individual items to be acquired include:

  1. Quality of the work as assessed by one or more reliable reviewers: Accuracy, lucidity, quality of argument, and quality of prose, or—for belles lettres—literary merit
  2. Author’s credentials (broadly conceived—and assessed in different ways according to the nature of the work)
  3. Appropriateness of the work to the level of the collection in which it is to be placed
  4. Suitability of the work’s organization and format to its purpose
  5. Relationship of the work to other works in the collection (Will it provide additional information or a new interpretation of events or data? Will it contribute to ideological balance in the collection?)
  6. Relationship of the work to other recently published works covering the same ground (Are both needed or is one to be preferred?)
  7. Likelihood of enduring value
  8. Articulated demand
  9. Predicted demand (The prediction may be based on prevalence of public interest in the work’s subject matter or on the extent to which it has been advertised.)
  10. Relevance of the work’s subject to current affairs or controversies (local, national, or global)
  11. Author’s personal attainments, popularity, or celebrity
  12. Value of the work in relation to cost

The weight assigned to particular criteria will vary. For example, criteria 4, 5, and 6 will carry less weight in the selection of items for a Research-Level collection than in the selection of items for a Basic-Level collection, and criteria 4 and 5 will be irrelevant to the selection of literary works.

Criteria 8 and 9 will always carry significant weight—irrespective of collection level—when the work under consideration (or material on what it covers) is in demand. Relative absence of demand, on the other hand, will carry greater weight in selection of items for Basic-Level collections than for higher-level collections.

H. Purchase of Duplicate Copies

The library does not usually purchase more than one copy of a given work for a given collection unless the staff confidently foresees high demand for it. Additional copies are acquired in response to demand.

I. Replacement of Missing Works

Landmark works of non-fiction, literary classics, literary works by important contemporary authors, and items in demand are replaced as quickly as possible when they are worn out, lost, or stolen. If they are out of print, the library attempts to acquire used copies in good condition.

Missing works are identified in six ways: (1) from computer-generated reports of items not returned from circulation, (2) from interlibrary requests submitted by Newark Public Library patrons for titles listed in the catalog, (3) from unfilled requests from other libraries for items listed in the catalog, (4) from patrons’ reports to staff, (5) by staff members’ observation, (6) by formal inventories.
 


(2) The library is not committed to acquiring these works in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of whole classes reading the same work at the same time.
(3) These are not, however, acquired in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of whole classes reading the same work at the same time.
 

III. COLLECTION LEVELS

These are the levels to which the library developed particular parts of its collection before 1990 and to which it plans to begin developing them again.

See explanation of collection levels.

Codes

0 = Out of scope
1 = Minimal Level
2 = Basic Information Level
3a = Study Level: Introductory
3b = Study Level: Advanced
4 = Research Level
5 = Comprehensive Level


 
DDC# Class Level
000-009 Generalities, Computer Science 2
001.9 Controversial Knowledge
Popular works on spurious phenomena (001.9) such as the Bermuda Triangle, the Loch Ness Monster, and pyramid power are acquired to meet demand.
004-006 Computer Science
Many popular works are acquired—often in multiple copies, but few specialized works.
2
010-019 Bibliography 3b
016 Subject Bibliographies
Collection levels correspond to collection levels for subjects.
1-4
020-029 Library and Information Science 3a
030-039 General Encyclopedias 3a
050-059 General Serials 3a
060-069 General Organizations and Museology 3a
070-079 News Media, Journalism, Publishing 3a
080-089 General Collections 3a
090-099 Manuscripts and Rare Books (Works about) 3b
100-109 Philosophy (General) 3a
110-119 Metaphysics 3a
120-129 Epistemology, Causation, Humankind 3a
130-139 Paranormal phenomena
Popular works are acquired to meet demand.
2
140-149 Specific philosophical schools 3a
150-159 Psychology 3a
158 Applied psychology
Popular works (self-help books) are acquired to meet demand.
160-169 Logic 3a
170-179 Ethics 3a
180-189 Ancient, Medieval, and Oriental Philosophy 3a
190-194 Modern Western Philosophy 3a
200-210 Religion (General) 3a
220-229 Bible
This collection includes little material in languages other than English.
3b
230-239 Christian Theology 3a
240-249 Christian Moral and Devotional Theology 3a
250-259 Christian Orders & Local Church 3a
260-269 Christian Social Theology
The collection includes many works on Christianity and social issues, on liturgy, and on the sacraments.
3a
270-279 Christian Church History 3b
280-289 Christian Denominations and Sects 3b
290-299 Non-Christian Religions; Comparative Religion 3a
297 Islam
Popular works and editions of the Koran are acquired in multiple copies and must frequently be replaced.
3a building to 3b
300 Social Sciences (General) 3a
301-307 Sociology and Anthropology 3b
310 Statistics 3a
320 Political Science 3b
330-339 Economics 3b
332.024 Personal Finance
Popular works are acquired to meet demand.
340-349 Law
Few works on law of jurisdictions outside the United States are acquired, except those concerning international law.
3a
347.302 United States Constitutional Law 3b
347.3034 United States Tax Law
Popular works are acquired to meet demand.
2
347.49 Law of New Jersey 3b
347.305 United States Criminal Law
Popular works on criminal cases are acquired to meet demand.
2
350-354 Public Administration 3a
355-359 Military Science 3a
360-365 Social Problems and Services 3b
366-369 Associations, Insurance 3a
370-379 Education
Before ca. 1975 this collection was developed to the Advanced Study Level.
3a
380-389 Commerce, Communications, Transportation 3a
390-399 Customs, Etiquette, Folklore 3b
400-409 Language (General) 2
410-419 Linguistics 3a
420-429 English Language 3b
430-499 Other Languages
The quantity of resources dealing with particular languages varies, but the character of the material is basic. The collection includes primarily dictionaries, prescriptive grammar books, readers, conversation and phrase books, and introductory histories of languages.
2
500-509 Science (General) 3a
510-519 Mathematics
The collection includes many works on elementary and secondary school-level mathematics, but it also includes a significant number of works on more advanced mathematics.
3a
520-529 Astronomy
This collection, although fairly large, consists primarily of popular works.
2
530-539 Physics 3a
540-549 Chemistry 3a
550-559 Earth Science
Resources in the U.S. Documents Regional Depository Collection augment the holdings in the general collection significantly. If these resources are taken into account, the library may be judged to maintain an Advanced Study-Level (3b) collection in Earth Sciences.
3a
560-569 Paleontology 3a
570-579 Life Sciences (General)
This collection, although fairly large, consists primarily of popular works and basic reference sources.
2
580-589 Botany 3a
590-599 Zoology 3a
600-609 Technology (General) 2
610-619 Medicine
This collection, although large, consists primarily of popular works and basic reference sources.
2
620-629 Engineering 3a
630-639 Agriculture 2
635.9 Flower Gardening
Many older works belonging in this class remain in 712. Holdings are extensive.
3a
636 Animal Husbandry
This collection includes many popular works on care, maintenance, and training of pets.
640-649 Home Economics and Family Living 3a
650-659 Management and Auxiliary Services 3b
660-669 Chemical Technology 3a
670-689 Manufacturing 3a
690-699 Buildings 3a
700-710 Arts (General) 4
701 Aesthetics 3a
707 Art—Study and Teaching 3a
710-719 Civic and Landscape Art 3b
720-729 Architecture 4
730-739 Sculpture 4
740-749 Drawing and Decorative Arts 4
750-759 Painting 4
760-769 Graphic Arts; Printmaking and Prints 4
770-779 Photography 4
780-789 Music 3b
790-796 Recreational and Performing Arts 3b
800-809 Literature (General) 3b
810-819 American Literature 3b
820-829 English Literature 3b
830-839 German Literature 3a
840-849 French Literature 3a
850-859 Italian Literature 3a
860-869 Spanish Literature 3a
870-879 Latin Literature 3a
880-889 Greek Literature 2
Classical Greek works in English 3a
890-899 Literature of Other Languages 2
900-909 History (General) 3b
910-919 Geography and Travel 3a
929 Genealogy and Heraldry 3a
New Jersey Genealogy 4
930-939 Ancient History
Retrospective holdings are limited (3a), but the current collecting level is 3b.
3b
940 European History (General), including World Wars 3b
941-942 History of United Kingdom and Ireland 3b
943 History of Germany 3b
944 History of France 3b
945 History of Italy 3b
946 History of Spain and Portugal 3b
947 History of Russia and Soviet Union 3b
948-949 History of Other European Nations 3a
950-959 History of Asia 3a
959.704 Vietnam War 3b
960-969 History of Africa
Before ca. 1965 this collection was developed only to the Introductory Study Level.
3b
970 History of North America (General) 3a
971 History of Canada 3a
972 History of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
Before ca. 1965 this collection was developed only to the Introductory Study Level.
3b
973-979 History of the United States 3b
974.9 History of New Jersey 4-5
974.932 History of Newark 5
980-989 History of South America
Before ca. 1965 this collection was developed only to the Introductory Study Level.
3b
990-999 History of Other Parts of the World 3a

Biography (collective and individual) is dispersed to all classes, as appropriate. Many items remain in "B" and 920 but will eventually be reclassified.

IV. DE-ACCESSIONING

Purely popular works—fiction(4) or non-fiction—that are not of interest to scholars, other specialists, or students, and which have ceased to circulate are discarded(5).

Guidebooks, directories, manuals, ready-reference sources, and statistical compendia that contain obsolete information are regularly discarded, unless they are likely to be consulted in the future for historical information. Except in Research Level collections few such works are retained.

Duplicate copies of works that circulate infrequently are usually discarded—unless the work is important and cannot be easily replaced—in which case one duplicate copy is retained as insurance against loss.

Works in the following classes are promptly discarded if they present obsolete information, unless they are landmark works (i.e., works that continue to be read and regularly cited in other works):

004-006 Computer Science
030-080 Generalities
310-319 Statistics
370-379 Education
500-599 Science
600-699 Technology

Except in Research Level collections and Advanced Study Level collections, previous editions of a work are discarded when a new edition is acquired.

Books in disrepair are discarded if they can be speedily replaced. Every effort is made to replace worn copies of landmark works.

If the last copy of a work that would not normally be discarded is in poor condition and cannot be speedily replaced, it may still be discarded, provided that

  • It is not a landmark work
  • Other works in the collection cover the same ground in comparable depth, from a similar viewpoint

Otherwise, the last copy of a work is not normally discarded.

Items in special collections are not discarded without the prior approval of the director.

De-accessioning of U.S. Government Documents is regulated by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office.

De-accessioning of New Jersey State Documents is regulated by the New Jersey State Library.
 


(4) The last copy of a work of fiction listed in the H.W. Wilson Company’s Fiction Catalog is not discarded unless it can be promptly replaced.
(5) The Library, however, always retains one "copy of record" of any title that has appeared on the New York Times or Star-Ledger bestseller list.

 

V. REQUESTS FOR RECONSIDERATION OF SELECTION DECISIONS

The library encourages its users to recommend items for purchase. In deciding whether to acquire the items recommended, the staff considers not only users’ recommendations but also other criteria identified in Section II.G of this document.

Users who wish the library to acquire an item the staff has decided not to acquire and those who wish the library to remove an item in its collection must submit a formal written request.

Upon receipt of such a request, the director will convene a panel of librarians on the staff to re-assess the challenged decision, and, after considering their recommendation, will decide whether to accede to the user’s request.

If the director declines to do so, the user may appeal the decision to the Board of Trustees by making a written request to the president(6).
 


(6) If the user makes such an appeal at a board meeting, when public comments are entertained, the presiding officer will ask him to submit the appeal in writing.
 

APPENDIX

Policy statements concerning library collections adopted by the American Library and endorsed by the Trustees of the Free Public Library of the City of Newark.

LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980, inclusion of "age" reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.

Challenged Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association declares as a matter of firm principle that it is the responsibility of every library to have a clearly defined materials selection policy in written form that reflects the Library Bill of Rights, and that is approved by the appropriate governing authority.

Challenged materials that meet the criteria for selection in the materials selection policy of the library should not be removed under any legal or extra-legal pressure. The Library Bill of Rights states in Article I that "Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation," and in Article II, that "Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval." Freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution of the United States, but constitutionally protected expression is often separated from unprotected expression only by a dim and uncertain line. The Constitution requires a procedure designed to focus searchingly on challenged expression before it can be suppressed. An adversary hearing is a part of this procedure.

Therefore, any attempt, be it legal or extra-legal, to regulate or suppress materials in libraries must be closely scrutinized to the end that protected expression is not abridged.

Adopted June 25, 1971, by the ALA Council; amended July 1, 1981; January 10, 1990.

Diversity in Collection Development: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Throughout history, the focus of censorship has fluctuated from generation to generation. Books and other materials have not been selected or have been removed from library collections for many reasons, among which are prejudicial language and ideas, political content, economic theory, social philosophies, religious beliefs, sexual forms of expression, and other potentially controversial topics.

Some examples of censorship may include removing or not selecting materials because they are considered by some as racist or sexist; not purchasing conservative religious materials; not selecting materials about or by minorities because it is thought these groups or interests are not represented in a community; or not providing information on or materials from non-mainstream political entities. Librarians may seek to increase user awareness of materials on various social concerns by many means, including, but not limited to, issuing bibliographies and presenting exhibits and programs. Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in collection development and in the provision of interlibrary loan. Access to all materials legally obtainable should be assured to the user, and policies should not unjustly exclude materials even if they are offensive to the librarian or the user. Collection development should reflect the philosophy inherent in Article II of the Library Bill of Rights: "Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval." A balanced collection reflects a diversity of materials, not an equality of numbers. Collection development responsibilities include selecting materials in the languages in common use in the community the library serves. Collection development and the selection of materials should be done according to professional standards and established selection and review procedures.

There are many complex facets to any issue, and variations of context in which issues may be expressed, discussed, or interpreted. Librarians have a professional responsibility to be fair, just, and equitable and to give all library users equal protection in guarding against violation of the library patron’s right to read, view, or listen to materials and resources protected by the First Amendment, no matter what the viewpoint of the author, creator, or selector. Librarians have an obligation to protect library collections from removal of materials based on personal bias or prejudice, and to select and support the access to materials on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the community the library serves. This includes materials that reflect political, economic, religious, social, minority, and sexual issues.

Intellectual freedom, the essence of equitable library services, provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored. Toleration is meaningless without tolerance for what some may consider detestable. Librarians cannot justly permit their own preferences to limit their degree of tolerance in collection development, because freedom is indivisible.

Adopted July 14, 1982, by the ALA Council; amended January 10, 1990.

Evaluating Library Collections: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

The continuous review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. In the process, materials may be added and physically deteriorated or obsolete materials may be replaced or removed in accordance with the collection maintenance policy of a given library and the needs of the community it serves. Continued evaluation is closely related to the goals and responsibilities of all libraries and is a valuable tool of collection development. This procedure is not to be used as a convenient means to remove materials presumed to be controversial or disapproved of by segments of the community. Such abuse of the evaluation function violates the principles of intellectual freedom and is in opposition to the Preamble and Articles I and II of the Library Bill of Rights, which state:

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

The American Library Association opposes such "silent censorship" and strongly urges that libraries adopt guidelines setting forth the positive purposes and principles of evaluation of materials in library collections.

Adopted February 2, 1973, by the ALA Council; amended July 1, 1981.

Expurgation of Library Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Expurgating library materials is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights. Expurgation as defined by this interpretation includes any deletion, excision, alteration, editing, or obliteration of any part(s) of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its parent institution (if any). By such expurgation, the library is in effect denying access to the complete work and the entire spectrum of ideas that the work intended to express. Such action stands in violation of Articles I, II, and III of the Library Bill of Rights, which state that "Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation," that "Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval," and that "Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment."

The act of expurgation has serious implications. It involves a determination that it is necessary to restrict access to the complete work. This is censorship. When a work is expurgated, under the assumption that certain portions of that work would be harmful to minors, the situation is no less serious.

Expurgation of any books or other library resources imposes a restriction, without regard to the rights and desires of all library users, by limiting access to ideas and information. (See also other Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights, including Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks and Free Access to Libraries for Minors.)

Further, expurgation without written permission from the holder of the copyright on the material may violate the copyright provisions of the United States Code.

Adopted February 2, 1973, by the ALA Council; amended July 1, 1981; January 10, 1990.

THE FREEDOM TO READ STATEMENT

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
     
    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.
     
  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
     
    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.
     
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
     
    No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.
     
  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
     
    To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.
     
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
     
    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
     
  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
     
    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.
     
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.
     
    The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers. Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

THE FREEDOM TO VIEW STATEMENT

The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:

  1. To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
  2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
  3. To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
  4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.
  5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.

 

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