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Updated: May 26, 2023

The Library District is committed to providing materials to residents and taxpayers of all ages, backgrounds, and opinions. The District’s collection, taken as a whole, will be unbiased and diverse representing as many viewpoints as possible. Subjects will be covered in sufficient depth and breadth and in various formats to meet anticipated and expressed community needs.

No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social views of the creator. Purchase of material by the library does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in said materials.

The Library District recognizes that budgets and space are not unlimited. Recreational and informational materials will be selected within the constraints of the budget and physical limitations of branch facilities. Resource sharing, electronic resources, and other methods of access are valid and necessary ways of meeting customer needs.

The ultimate responsibility of the collection rests with the Library Director under the authority of the Library Board of Trustees. Direct selection of materials is delegated to staff members qualified for the duty by education, training, interest and/or job classification. Selectors judge impartially and evaluate critically. Selection is made by use of authoritative reviews, knowledge of the reputation and the viability of the creator, and selection aids such as but not limited to: bibliographical publication, publisher’s advertising, and requests of library customers.

The lack of a review or an unfavorable review will not be the sole reason for rejecting a title which is in demand. Consideration is therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.

Materials are selected according to the needs and demands of the community. Factors considered include, but are not limited to:

· Collection philosophy

· Collection composition

· Popular demand, both existing and anticipated

· Public interest

· Enduring value

· Community relevance

· Diversity of viewpoint

Items in the library’s collection are shelved in recommended age-appropriate sections. The “E” collection is intended for patrons ages 0-8 (birth to 2nd grade), the “Youth” section is intended for patrons ages 8-12 (3rd to 8th grade), the “Teen” collection is intended for patrons ages 13-17 (9th grade to 12th grade), and the “Adult” collection is intended for patrons ages 18+. There may be some variation in the age appropriateness of each collection. In general, decisions to place particular items in the collections are done by the standard of the average person, applying contemporary standards nationwide or the publisher’s suggested age range if available. This statement is required by 15CSR 30-200.015 Library Certification Requirement for the Protection of Minors, subsection (a).

Patrons are not limited by these recommended age-appropriate sections. All patrons are welcome to checkout any materials in our collections. However, the responsibility for materials used by minor children rests solely with their parents or guardians. The Library does not stand in place of the parents or guardians (in loco parentis) when it comes to access to library collections. It is not the responsibility of the Library, its Board of Trustees, staff, or volunteers to determine which collection minor children should use or what item(s) in the approved collections is suitable for an individual. The Library staff is willing to work with the parents or guardians to determine what items are best suited for a minor child’s reading interests and needs, within the framework or guidelines established by the parents or guardians.

Historical and genealogical information resources and services have been established in the Cassville and Mt. Vernon Branch libraries by the local historical societies. As the county seats of Barry and Lawrence County, the bulk of historical and genealogical material will be housed and maintained by the library district in these two branches.

Microfilm of local newspapers will be purchased and maintained in the following branches: Aurora, Cassville, Monett, Mt. Vernon, and Pierce City, as funds allow.

A basic reference collection will be maintained in each branch. Budget limitations prevent duplication of more expensive reference items in all branches of the system, therefore, the bulk of the reference collection for the library district will be located at the Monett Branch Library.

Due to budget and space constraints, the library district will only purchase new or add donated dvd’s that are rated G, PG, or PG13. Unrated dvd’s will be considered on a case by case basis.

Purchase suggestions are accepted from any and all patrons. Each suggestion will be weighed against the selection criteria set forth in this policy.

Donations are accepted at each branch dependent upon space available. Items donated may be added to the District’s collection with consideration given to the selection criteria set forth in this policy. Items in good condition that are not added will be sold. All items donated become the property of the Library District at the time of donation. Receipts for tax purposes are available upon request. Determined value of donated material for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor.

Self-published/self-produced materials are subject to the same selection standards as other materials. The Library District does not accept unsolicited donations of self-published/self-produced material to be added to the collection. Nor does it accept unsolicited preview/review materials from any source. When the District receives these unsolicited materials, the District considers these donations.

6.21 Censorship

The Library District and its Board of Trustees considers reading, listening, and viewing to be individual, private matters. Full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential for patrons to exercise their constitutional rights. Libraries have a public and professional obligation to provide equal access to all library resources for all library patrons.

The Library recognizes the pluralistic nature of the community and the varied backgrounds and needs of all citizens, regardless of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or political persuasion. A public library does not promote particular beliefs or views. It provides a resource where the individual can examine issues freely and make his or her own decisions.

The Library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some library patrons. Selection will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or controversial subjects, including unpopular or unorthodox positions. The choice of Library materials for personal use is an individual matter; while anyone is free to reject materials of which he or she does not approve, no one has the right to exercise censorship to restrict the freedom of use and/or access by others.

The Library does not stand in place of the parents/guardians (in loco parentis) when it comes to access to library materials. The responsibility for monitoring a child’s reading, listening and viewing rests solely with the parent or legal guardian. Selection of materials for the Library is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain materials that their parents or guardians consider inappropriate. The Library staff is willing to work with the parent or guardian to determine what materials are best suited for a child’s needs, within the framework or guidelines established by the parent or guardian. This statement is required by 15CSR 30-200.015 Library Certification Requirement for the Protection of Minors, subsection (f).

Each item considered for selection will be evaluated on its own merits. Works that depict an aspect of life honestly will not be excluded because of frankness of expression; vivid descriptions of sex or violence; the philosophy, politics, or religion of the author; or any other factor which might be objectionable to some Library patrons.

The Library collection is organized and maintained to help people find the materials they are looking for. Any labelling, seclusion, or alteration of materials because of controversy surrounding the creator or subject matter will not be sanctioned, in standing with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.

6.22 Patron Request for Reconsideration of Material

The Barry-Lawrence Regional Library (BLRL) welcomes comments and suggestions regarding the continued appropriateness of materials in the collection, especially with regard to outdated materials. Suggestions and recommendations will be considered and utilized by the library in the ongoing process of collection development. Additionally, BLRL cardholders are free to express opinions or concerns about library programs, events, or displays.

Individuals may take issue with library materials, programs, events, or displays that do not support their own views or values on a subject or that is not compatible with their beliefs. Staff is available to discuss concerns and to identify alternate materials, programs, events, or displays that may be available. If a patron’s concern is not satisfied through discussion with staff, a formal, written request for reconsideration of materials, programs, events, or displays may be submitted to the Library Director. Copies of this form are available at each branch location.

The Barry-Lawrence Regional Library is not a judicial body. Laws governing obscenity, subversive materials, and other questionable matters are subject to interpretation by the courts. Therefore, no challenged material will be removed solely based on a complaint of obscenity or any other category covered by law until a local court of competent jurisdiction has ruled against the material. No material will be knowingly added to the library collection that has been previously determined to be in noncompliance with local laws.

For a request for reconsideration to be considered:

· The patron making the request must have read/viewed/heard the entire item, program, event, or display. All materials are judged as a whole rather than by isolated passages.

· The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Barry or Lawrence County and hold a valid borrower’s card.

· The patron must complete the form in full.

· The patron making the request must submit their name, library card number, address, phone number and e-mail address.

The item under consideration will remain in the collection throughout the process to support the freedom of other patrons to read, view, or listen.

An item, program, event, or display will be evaluated for reconsideration only once in a 12-month period.

The Library Staff and Library Director will consider each request in terms of the criteria outlined in the library’s materials selection policy, program policy, and the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights and related statements, printed reviews, and other appropriate sources.

The Library Director will respond, in writing within 30 days of receipt, to the patron’s request for reconsideration. The response will indicate the action to be taken and reasons for or against the request.

Upon receipt of an unsatisfactory decision, the patron may appeal to the Board of Trustees at their next regularly scheduled meeting. The Board of Trustees will have 30 days to make a decision, such decision being final.

Any board member receiving a complaint from a customer will refer it to the Library Director for proper handling.


6.22A Request for Reconsideration of Material

6.22A Request for Reconsideration of Material revised
Download PDF • 111KB

6.23 Bindery

Barry-Lawrence Regional Library will bind selections of its print holdings for the purpose of making the materials available in the original format for as long as needed at the lowest possible cost. The Regional Office staff will be the final authority on whether or not an item is sent to the bindery, replaced, or discarded.

Items sent to the bindery must be in good condition (not brittle or dirty) with all pages present. The margin at the gutter should be wide enough to allow for necessary trimming.


· When a book is sent for rebinding—please place ownership stamp on the title page, if it’s not already stamped then send it to the Regional Office.

· If other branches have a HOLD on the book, then it is the branches responsibility to notify them that the title is going to the bindery. This gives them the option of canceling the hold.

· If a decision is made to discard the book, the owning branch will be notified.

· Each book sent to the bindery will be charged out on a BINDERY BOOK card and will show as checkout out on the database. The due date is 120 days on bindery books.

· The barcode will not be removed, unless it’s on the inside cover.

· Most books sent to the bindery return within 60 days.

· When the book is returned from the bindery, it will be sent to the owning branch.

· The book will show “In Transit” until checked in at the owning branch.

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