2.2.1 — Management of the Library Collection

Effective: November 1, 2023
Last Reviewed: October 24, 2023

  1. Purpose
  2. This policy establishes and communicates the guiding principles and scope related to developing and maintaining the physical and digital collection of the Jacksonville Public Library. All decisions about the collection will be governed by this policy and made in support of the Library’s mission and strategic plans.

  3. Definitions
    1. Cataloging Treatment refers to the creation and maintenance of information intended to aid a customer in the discovery and use of the Library’s collection.
    2. The Collection refers to the diverse and comprehensive range of resources that the Library acquires, organizes, and makes available to its customers. The collection encompasses various formats, both physical and digital.
    3. Collection Management is the ongoing process of assessing the Library collection and encompasses all decisions as to the selection, retention, deselection, cataloging treatment, placement, display, and any other considerations relating to the disposition of the collection.
    4. Deselection refers to the intentional processes used by Library staff to evaluate and remove items from the collection based on considerations established in this policy.
    5. Format refers to the medium or media through which information is made available to users. Formats include, but are not limited to, books, digital video discs (DVDs), compact audio discs (CDs), eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming audio or video, etc.
    6. Digital collection refers to items that must be viewed through an electronic means, such as a computer, tablet, smart device, etc. This may include licenses to individual titles that the library selects and purchases, subscriptions to collections of items, or information the Library has digitized and made available through the internet.
    7. Library refers to the Board of Library Trustees (BOLT), members of the staff of the Jacksonville Public Library, and other agents serving or representing the Jacksonville Public Library.
    8. Labels are markings the Library adds to items or descriptions of items to aid a customer in the discovery and use of the Library’s collection.
    9. Physical collection refers to physical items that are available to be borrowed or used in-house by customers.
    10. Placement refers to the intentional processes used to determine where an item or group of items will be housed, both more permanently for shelving purposes or temporarily to highlight portions of the collection.
    11. Retention refers to the intentional processes used to determine which items will be retained in the Library’s collection.
    12. Selection refers to the intentional processes used to determine which items will be added to the Library’s collection.

  4. Board of Library Trustees Authority
  5. Pursuant to sections 90.101 and 662.101 of the City of Jacksonville Ordinance Code, the BOLT is authorized to administer and maintain a public library for the use and enjoyment of the citizens of the Consolidated Government.

  6. Library Director’s Responsibility
    1. Ultimate responsibility for the implementation of this policy rests with the Library Director, who administers the collection under the authority of the BOLT. The Library Director may delegate decisions and actions related to this policy as established in departmental procedure.
    2. The Library Director shall maintain on staff the necessary expertise, education, and training to authoritatively make all decisions relating to collection management and disposition.

  7. Non-Endorsement
  8. The presence of an item in the Library’s collection does not indicate endorsement of its content by the Library, the City of Jacksonville, or any of its representatives.

  9. Guiding Principles

    The Library considers the following concepts as foundational in providing context for all collection management decision-making:

    1. Freedom to Read, View, and Learn
      1. The freedom to read, view, and learn is the right of each individual to privately read, listen to, view, and otherwise experience the full range of published thought and ideas. The freedom of an individual to choose what to read, view, and learn is firmly rooted in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which guarantees Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. All titles included in the Library collection are protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
      2. The Library upholds the rights of individuals to secure information they seek, despite the fact that the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some.
      3. The Library recognizes both the right and freedom of an individual to select or reject any item for themselves and/or their minor children but does not accord to any individual or group the right to restrict the freedoms of others to use that same item.
      4. The Library recognizes that, while not every item is right for every individual, it is in the public interest for the Library to make items available that reflect the widest diversity of views and expressions.
      5. Within the constraints of budget and space, the Library supports and promotes the freedom to read, view, and learn by providing a collection that represents a diversity of perspectives.
    2. Literacy
      1. Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute, and use printed and written materials. Literacy involves a continuum of learning that enables individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the community and wider society (adapted from UNESCO).
      2. The Library maintains that literacy is a basic right for all individuals in Jacksonville and Duval County and is essential to the welfare of the community.
    3. Lifelong Learning
      1. Lifelong learning is the ongoing pursuit of knowledge, for both personal and professional purposes. Lifelong learning is useful for an individual’s competitiveness and employability, and enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development.
      2. The Library is a place where people, regardless of their differences, can connect to ideas, information, and each other through the Library’s collection and in pursuit of individual enrichment and community success.
    4. Parental Freedom and Responsibility
      1. Parental freedom and responsibility are the rights of parents and legal guardians to decide what information is suitable for their children.
      2. The Library encourages and welcomes the active participation by parents and guardians in the selection and use of information for their own children.
      3. The Library cannot, does not, and shall not stand in the place of a parent or guardian (in loco parentis) for any child with respect to use of the Library’s collection.
  10. Scope of the Collection
    1. The Library serves a large and growing, demographically diverse population. The Library’s collection intentionally reflects the diversity of the community it serves, within the constraints of its available budget and space.
    2. While the physical collection is held in multiple facilities across the city and the digital collection may be accessible through multiple digital platforms, the Library considers its collection a single entity.
    3. The collection contains popular and general knowledge titles for a variety of comprehension and age levels and for informational, educational, and enrichment purposes.
    4. The Library provides educational and enrichment content which may supplement, but is not intended to replace the information provided by school or college libraries. The Library does not attempt to meet the curricular needs of any educational program offered by any institutions of learning at any level.
    5. Professional resources (such as legal, medical, technical, and other scholarly titles) may be included to the extent that they are useful to the layperson and where the items provide information or perspectives on subjects with little or no popular titles available.
    6. The Library collection contains items reflecting diverse ideas through which questions may be explored and answered, new knowledge gained, and enrichment reading supported, provided that the items meet the guiding principles and scope established in this policy. The Library does not expect that every item in the collection will appeal to every person in the community.
    7. While individual works may promote the acceptance of particular beliefs, ideas, or viewpoints, the Library supports each customer’s right to access information without promoting the acceptance of any of the same.
    8. The Library will not exclude titles from the collection solely on the basis of:
      1. moral, racial, religious, or political beliefs;
      2. the background, origin, or views of those contributing to their creation;
      3. inclusion of explicit text or explicit illustrations; or
      4. frankness of expression.
    9. The Library will exclude items from the collection that are determined to violate federal, state, or local laws.
    10. The collection is primarily divided, organized, and arranged into three broad categories (Adult, Teen, and Children) based on the intended -- but not exclusive -- audience of the work:
      1. The Adult Collection includes fiction and nonfiction items that are intended to support the informational and recreational needs of adult audiences. Inclusion of items for adults is not influenced by the possibility that teens and children have access to the items.
      2. The Teen Collection includes fiction and nonfiction items that are intended to support the informational and recreational needs of young people in grades six through twelve. Inclusion of titles for teens is not influenced by the possibility that children have access to the items.
      3. The Children’s Collection includes fiction and nonfiction items that are intended to support the informational and recreational needs of children from birth through grade five.
    11. The collection may be further subdivided, organized, and arranged to aid customers in locating items of interest.
  11. Interlibrary Loan
  12. The Library participates in cooperative resource-sharing programs known as “interlibrary loan” (ILL). Participation in ILL enables Library members to borrow titles held by other libraries that are not held locally.

  13. Collection Management
    1. The Library incorporates a variety of methods and tools to make collection management decisions, including industry best practices as implemented by libraries of similar size and scope; the use of professional and trade journals, bibliographies and catalogs; historic and projected circulation data; and professional library and subject matter expertise gained working closely with the Library’s collection and its customers.
    2. Selection. The following considerations are established to allow the Library to purchase a wide array of items to meet the diverse information and enrichment needs of the community. Items must fall within the Scope of the Collection and meet at least one of the following (listed in no particular order):
      1. Format, ease of use, quality of production and accessibility, including formats to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities
      2. Accuracy, authoritativeness, relevancy, and clarity of presentation
      3. Artistic quality and literary merit
      4. Availability or scarcity of items on the subject
      5. Contribution to diversity, depth, or breadth of collection
      6. Timely in meeting current and anticipated demand, interest, or trends, while also supporting library programs and initiatives
      7. Local interest
      8. Receipt of or nomination for awards
      9. Relationship to and coverage within the Library’s existing collection
      10. Reputation or significance of the author, editor, illustrator, producer, and/or publisher
      11. Uniqueness of content
    3. Additional considerations for digital items include:
      1. Compatibility with Library-provided or customer-owned technology devices
      2. License terms and requirements and platform or content provider support
      3. Ability to access remotely
    4. Replacement, Retention, and Deselection. In addition to the considerations listed above, the considerations listed below will apply to items identified for replacement, retention, or deselection (listed in no particular order):
      1. Format, including the obsolescence of a format or the availability of the item in alternative accessible formats
      2. Enduring or historical significance, interest, or value
      3. Physical condition
      4. Space considerations
      5. Content that is superseded, inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise lacking usefulness
      6. Surplus duplicate copies
    5. Placement. Considerations for cataloging treatment and placement of items within the collection include, but are not limited to:
      1. Contents or genre of the item
      2. Intended audience of the item
      3. Physical space considerations
      4. Relationship to other items within the collection
    6. Labels and Rating Systems
      1. Labels and descriptions will be added to items by the Library to aid customers in locating items both on the shelves at the Library, in the Library catalog, and in Library-provided discovery platforms and interfaces.
      2. The Library does not mark, sequester, or deny access to items to show approval or disapproval of the contents.
      3. The Library does not endorse any external rating systems.
      4. The Library will not alter, remove, or obliterate ratings or labels attached to items by copyright holders, publishers, industry groups, or distributors.
  14. Donations
  15. Prior to being added to the Library’s collection, donated items will be evaluated using this policy. Items that do not meet this policy or are deemed to be duplications or otherwise unnecessary will not be added to the Library’s collection.

  16. Request for Review of Library Material
    1. The Library welcomes expressions of opinion from customers concerning physical and digital items in the collection. Decisions related to the collection will not be made solely based on customer feedback, but will be considered along with other relevant information gathered about the title and outlined in this policy.
    2. A customer holding a General Membership for the library, as described in Library policy, who wishes for the Library to formally review a work to determine whether it meets the guiding principles and scope established in this policy shall submit a signed, written request that includes a description of how the inclusion of the item in the Library’s collection violates this policy. To be considered, the request shall be submitted to the Library Director in compliance with current Library procedure. Following a formal review of the title, the Library Director will render a decision and will communicate it in writing to the requesting customer.
    3. During the review process, items owned by the Library will remain accessible to Library customers.
    4. Individual titles are reviewed as a complete work, not on the basis of a particular element or passage.
    5. Individual titles will be reviewed no more than one (1) time per 12-month period.
  17. Appealing the Library Director’s Decision on a Request for Review of Library Material
  18. A customer who has submitted a Request for Review of Library Material and is unsatisfied with the decision rendered by the Library Director, may appeal the decision to the BOLT in accordance with Library policy.

  19. Authorization to define procedures
  20. The Board of Library Trustees authorizes the Library Director to establish procedures to administer this policy, and to delegate any and all responsibilities herein to other staff through such procedures.

Associated Policies:

Relevant Legislation: