The mission of the Lambertville Free Public Library is to provide accessible resources that inspire and assist the community to learn, explore, create, and connect. The Library will provide access and guidance to books, videos, electronic resources, and other media while maintaining quality materials and service
To be Lambertville’s center for literacy and information resources that serve and empower our diverse community.
Purpose of Collection Development Policy
The collection development policy is intended to provide guidance for the selection, evaluation, and withdrawal of materials which anticipate and meet the needs of the Lambertville community. It establishes the Library’s collection in relation to its mission statement and defines the scope and standards of the various collections.
The policy also provides the staff and public with an understanding of the purpose and nature of the Library’s collection development practices and plans for future development.
As the community changes, the Library will need to reassess and adapt its collections to reflect new and differing areas of interest. The collection development policy will be periodically evaluated and revised every 3 years as necessary to provide guidance towards implementing any changes in the collection.
Philosophy and Scope of the Collection
The Library collects materials in a variety of popular formats which support its function as an information source for the City of Lambertville. The collection also serves the general educational, recreational, and entertainment needs of the public, and reflects the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the community.
Lambertville is a small city in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The city is not part of the county-wide library system; for the residents of Lambertville, the Lambertville Free Public Library is the nearest and most accessible library and information source. The Unique orientation of the Library’s independence from the county library system means that it is imperative that the Library have a deep understanding of the community it serves.
The ultimate responsibility for the selection of Library materials rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Lambertville Free Public Library Board of Trustees. The responsibility may be shared with other members of the Library staff, however the Director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff. All staff members and the general public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration.
Material Selection Criteria
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 needs of the community. The collection of the Lambertville Free Public Library is intended to meet the informational, cultural, and recreational needs of a broad public audience.
No title is excluded based on moral, racial, religious, or political prejudice. The Library ensures that the collection reflects contemporary views and ideas, including minority views. The existence of an item within the collection does not imply an endorsement of the author’s or artist’s viewpoint. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, nor will items be sequestered, except for the purpose of protecting them from damage or theft. Audio/visual materials will retain any markings or ratings as indicated by the original producer.
The Lambertville Free Public Library will select materials that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Demonstrated or perceived need, interest, or request of Library patrons
- Cost and budgetary limitations, including cost of the material and shelving limitations
- Reviews from professional sources
- Significance or importance of a subject
- Quality, accuracy, timeliness, and suitability of the format for public lending
- Availability of the material in the inter-library loan system
- Diverse viewpoints
- Author credentials
- Relevance of the work to both current affairs and the existing collection
The Library identifies potential collection acquisitions through the consideration of positive reviews in one or more of the major review journals (e.g. New York Times Book Review; Booklist; Kirkus Reviews; Publisher’s Weekly; Library Journal), trade publications, subject bibliographies, and publisher’s material.
Criteria for the selection of children’s materials are the same as for adult materials, with the addition of consideration of the material’s suitability to the age of the intended audience or interests that may not be adequately met by the current collection. The Library collects materials that appear on local schools’ current curriculums and titles required for summer reading.
Policies for Special Collections in the Lambertville Free Public Library
The Michael Lewis Art Book Collection- Titles in this collection of books and videos cover a range of time periods, artistic movements, geographic locations, media, and perspectives in the world of fine art.
Exclusions: technical how-to manuals, exhibition and auction catalogs
Local History Collection- The local history collection provides information in formats that include, but are not limited to books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, vidoes, and CDs that contain information pertaining to the City of Lambertville and its immediate neighbors. Priority is given to materials that are not held in libraries in the surrounding area.
Patrons may request items that the Library does not own. Each request is reviewed for inclusion in the collection using the selection criteria listed above.
The library holds multiple copies of certain titles based on circulation statistics that indicate a high request rate and demand brought upon by intermittent programming such as school summer reading and local seasonal interest. Multiple copies of singular titles are added and withdrawn from the collection based upon need and patron use.
Criteria for Weeding and Withdrawal
Weeding is done on a regula basis in conjunction with systematic collection evaluation. Materials are weeded according to the evaluation of the Library Director and are based on the following 6 areas of general criteria:
M= Misleading–factually inaccurate
U= Ugly–worn beyond repair
S= Superseded by a new edition or by a better book on the subject
T= Trivial–of no discernible literary or scientific merit
I= Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the Library’s community
E= Elsewhere–the material is easily obtainable from another library
Criteria for Replacement
Material items that are in poor physical condition, but do not meet other areas in the weeding criteria will be considered for replacement.
Requests for Reconsideration
Any patron who is a resident of Lambertville may question the presence and suitability of an item in the Library’s collection. Patrons requesting that materials be withdrawn from or restricted within the Library’s collection may submit their concerns to the Library Director for consideration. The patron will be informed of the disposition of the request after review. If the patron is not satisfied with the decision they may appeal to the Board of Trustees, who will review the item and respond with a final decision.
Policy on Donated Materials and Gifts
The Library accepts donated materials that can be added to the collection if they meet the same standards as those required of purchased materials. If donated materials do not meet these standards, they are to be put out for sale or otherwise discarded. Lambertville Free Public Library will not assign a value to any gift material.
Gifts are material items that are given to the library in memory or in honor of a Lambertville resident. Once given, they become property of the Library. Gift items are exempted from certain acquisition standards and weeding criteria, given that they reflect some of the Library’s mission statement and are morally sound.
American Library Association Bill of Rights:
American Library Association Freedom to Read Statement: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/freedomreadstatement
American Library Association Code of Ethics: http://www.ala.org/united/sites/ala.org.united/files/content/trustees/orgtools/policies/ALA-code-of-ethics.pdf
New Jersey State Library Laws: http://www.njstatelib.org/services_for_libraries/resources/library_law/
Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations/minors