Collection Development Policy

Library Mission Statement

The mission of the Jackson County Public Library is to help the community connect, learn and grow.



The phrase “library materials” as it occurs in this policy includes, but is not limited to, books, periodicals, software, microforms, audio-visual, and online sources.


Collection Development Goal

To provide and make accessible a balanced collection of retrospective and contemporary material in various media that is responsive to a broad range of community interests and needs.


Intellectual Freedom

Selections are made on the merit of the work as it relates to the library’s goals and objectives and serves the expressed or anticipated needs and interest of the community. The library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some users. Selections will not be made on the basis of any assumed approval or disapproval. An attempt will be made to represent differing viewpoints, values, philosophies, cultures, and religions whenever possible, within the range of materials published. Material which is biased or which represents only one point of view may be selected to provide necessary alternatives to other material. Material should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. Inclusion of questionable language or attitudes in materials is not in itself reason to exclude it from the collection.

Library material will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, and no item will be sequestered except for the express purpose of protecting it from damage or theft.

Responsibility for the use of the library’s collection by children ages seventeen and under rests with their parents and legal guardians. Collection development of adult materials will not be limited by the possibility that items may come into the possession of minors.

The library has adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read, and the Freedom to View statements. These statements are included as appendices to this policy and interpreted to include all library material regardless of format.

In order to ensure effective communication between the library and the community concerning the range of ideas and information in the library collection, the library maintains a materials evaluation procedure. The procedure for reconsideration of library materials is included in this document.


Objectives of Collection Development

Considering space and budget limitations, the library selects materials to provide a balanced collection. The library collection includes both works of current interest and those of lasting value. Materials are selected in accordance with standards appropriate to the subject matter and to the needs of the community.


Responsibility for Collection Development

Final responsibility collection development of materials rests with the Library Director, operating within the framework of this collection development policy as adopted by the Board of Trustees. It is at the discretion of the Director to delegate collection development responsibility to members of the library staff.


Collection Development Criteria

All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, will be selected or withdrawn in accordance with one or more of the following criteria:

      • Critical reviews and information in professional collection development aids
      • Effectiveness of style, format, and content for intended audience
      • Need for variety and balance of viewpoints and subjects within the collection
      • Relation to existing collection and other materials on the subject
      • Reputation and significance of author, publisher, director, composer and/or artist
      • Customer interest
      • Cost
      • Contemporary significance or permanent value
      • Format
      • Condition
      • Ease of acquisition
      • Support of local organizations
      • Intellectual freedom

Textbooks are primarily the responsibility of the schools and are added to the collection only to supply information not available in other materials.

New formats will be considered for the collection when, by industry reports, national survey results, and evidence from local requests, a significant portion of the community has the necessary technology to make use of the format. Availability of items in the format, the cost per item, and the library’s ability to acquire and handle the items will also be factors in determining when a new format will be collected. Similar considerations will influence the decision to delete a format from the library’s collection.

Collection Development ToolsTools used in collection development include online collection management tools, professional journals, trade journals, subject bibliographies, frequent reference requests, publishers’ promotional materials and representatives, and reviews from reputable print and online sources. The library will use standing orders to purchase materials in selected genres and formats; however, the library does not accept preview materials. If pricing is competitive, the library may purchase materials from organizations in the library district on a rotating basis. Purchase suggestions from customers are welcome and provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection. Customer suggestions will be governed by this Collection Development Policy in making additions to or deleting items from the collection.


Customer Requests

Purchase suggestions from customers are welcome and provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection. Customer suggestions will be evaluated in terms of this Collection Development Policy in making additions to or deleting items from the collection. While every item customers request may not be purchased, items may be available to request from other Evergreen Indiana libraries, or a substantial effort will be made to acquire requested items through Interlibrary Loan.


Multiple Copies

While the library does not have the budget to buy multiple copies of every title it owns, it does buy or lease multiple copies of titles having high customer demand. When there are several reserves on a specific title, additional copies may be purchased, leased, or reserved through Evergreen Indiana. In subject areas where the interest is in the subject more than in a particular title, the library prefers to buy a copy of several different titles instead of buying numerous copies of one title.


Collection Maintenance

The library strives to maintain a collection that meets the needs of the community. In doing so, systematic collection development of the library’s materials improves the efficiency and vitality of the library’s resources. Materials are withdrawn from the collection by staff because of loss or physical damage or lack of shelf space. Materials that have been lost or damaged may be replaced using the same criteria as for selection. Systematic collection development helps library staff evaluate the collection by identifying areas or titles where additional materials are needed, older editions that need to be updated, and subjects, titles, or authors that are no longer of interest to the community. This includesmemorial/honorarium materials. If library staff is uncertain about a title to be withdrawn, standard bibliographic tools, and if necessary, subject experts, will be consulted to determine if the title has historical or literary value.


Local History Collection

The Local History Collection at the Seymour main library contains material on the history, description, and development of Seymour, Jackson County, its residents, and to an extent, nearby counties. Many of these materials are available only within the library with duplicate circulating copies occasionally acquired for the main library, branch, and outreach general collections. Some background histories of the surrounding area are also included in the collection, covering localities and events closely related to the development of Jackson County.

Works by or about Hoosiers with limited relevance to Jackson County and general Indiana subjects will be evaluated individually and only those works that add appreciably to the knowledge of Indiana will be added to the general collection.

Acceptable materials include, but are not limited to, yearbooks, postcards, identifiable photographs, and other items of historical significance in hard copy or digital format. Materials not accepted are restricted collections, undated and unidentified photographs of people, hard copies of newspapers already available in microform, or books by local authors that are outside the scope of the collection policy.

The general collection houses works of some Indiana and local authors. Works of local imprint are added to either the general collection or the local history collection on when they contribute directly to the social and cultural history of the region.


Family History

The library will acquire genealogical material related to Jackson County. The library attempts to include indexes to births, deaths, marriages, wills and land records, and when possible, indexes and compilations of the records for surrounding counties. Donations of family histories are accepted if any of the ancestors or descendants had ties with Jackson County.

The library purchases at least basic and current genealogical research guides and state historical society guides for states that had significant migrations to Indiana and that became destinations for groups leaving southern Indiana, and for the predominant countries of origin of the immigrants.

The library purchases census microfilm for Jackson County as it becomes available and
online databases as funds allow.

The library accepts census indexes for surrounding counties and states and, when possible, may purchase censuses for years and localities for which significant local demand can be documented.

Government & Business Documents

The Seymour main library receives and makes available many federal and Indiana documents related to Jackson County. While the documents may be withdrawn after the viewing period for which they were deposited, documents containing materials of historical and/or informational interest will be retained and cataloged.


Art Collection

The Jackson County Public Library Board of Trustees will consider requests to loan artworks from the Swope Gallery collection on an item by item basis. Artworks will be considered for loan only to those organizations which:

  1. are bona fide art related organizations
  2. will be displaying the works in a secure location
  3. will insure the work during the entire period it is out of the custody of the library.
  4. will handle all packing, transport, and shipping both ways, in a manner consistent with professional standards

The Jackson County Public Library will receive a copy of any show catalog produced for a showcontaining one of the Swope Gallery artworks. The Jackson County Public Library will not incur
any financial expense in the loan of any artwork.


Donated Materials and/or Funds

Materials and funds to purchase materials donated to the library are subject to the following: The library retains the unconditional ownership of the gift. The library makes the final decision on its use or other disposition of the gift. The library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials. Donations not added to the library collection may be given to the Friends of the Library for fund-raising. The library does not accept gift subscriptions to periodicals.



Memorial materials or honorariums may be purchased with donor funds given to the library. An appropriate bookplate will be included in each gift identifying the donor and purpose of the donation.


Challenged Materials

Members of the community concerned with specific materials in the collection should discuss the material with the appropriate department supervisor, branch manager, and/or the Director. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the customer may complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. Click here to complete this form online.

Upon receipt of the completed form, the Director will ask library staff for background information as to the criteria used in ordering the material in question, its relevance to the collection, and reasons for having the material in the collection.

The Director or delegated staff will, at the earliest possible date, study the information provided by the library staff and respond, in writing, to the person who initiated the request for reconsideration.

If the person or persons initiating the request is not satisfied with the Director’s decision, he or she may appeal the decision to the Board of Trustees. Any person wishing to make such an appeal should notify the Library Director of his or her intent, so that the subject can be placed on the agenda of the next library board meeting.


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.

I. 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.

II. 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.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free
expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or

VI. 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..


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.


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 possible 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. Collection development 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, and 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 and was endorsed by the ALA Council in June 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989 and was endorsed by the ALA Council, January 10, 1990.

Approved by Library Board of Trustees February 17, 2009, Revised February 19, 2013