December 16, 2020
Collection development for any public library is greatly influenced by its clientele, both active and potential. For this reason, a community profile is provided in the Materials Selection Policy.
Located on 15.97 square miles in the western edge of Cuyahoga County, Westlake is approximately one mile south of the southern shore of Lake Erie. It is a 15-minute commute via I-90 to downtown Cleveland.
Westlake's 2019 population is estimated at 32,275 according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey; 2019: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables.
The city's residents have many housing options including neighborhoods of single-family homes, as well as condominiums, townhouses and cluster homes and apartments. In addition, the city has 18 independent living, assisted living and nursing home facilities.
Westlake’s convenient location and accessibility to a variety of major highways make it an ideal place for many businesses. Some of the major employers in the city include:
2020 census data is not yet available, but community demographics will be added when they are released.
In general, Westlake residents are heavy library users. Users indicated they appreciate the library’s atmosphere, collection, and staff. The library is consistently ranked as one of the best libraries in the country according to Library Journal’s American’s Star Libraries rating.
The purpose of this Materials Selection Policy is:
The responsibility of the policy governing the inclusion of materials in the library collection rests with the Board of Trustees. The actual task of selection has been delegated to the Director and the staff members knowledgeable in each of the various subject areas. Selectors choose materials according to the guidelines stated herein, which have been approved by the Porter Public Library Board of Trustees.
Porter Public Library’s collection meets the informational, educational, and recreational needs of its community. Within the limitations imposed by the budget, the library provides materials in a variety of genres, on a variety of subjects, in several formats appropriate for various individual users.
A philosophy of and belief in intellectual freedom underlies Porter’s Selection Policy. The Board of Trustees, administration, and staff of Porter Public Library are committed to these tenets: 1) Intellectual freedom makes possible an informed, enlightened populace by providing a wide variety of facts, opinion, and ideas from which to choose; 2) Free and open access to information is necessary for informed citizens who think and make choices for themselves – voting choices, consumer decisions, opinions on social issues, economic decisions, etc.
Thus, the library has an obligation to provide materials representing diverse points of view on controversial subjects. Material that inspires one reader may indeed sometimes offend another. But, by providing free and open access to diverse information and viewpoints, the public library serves as a cornerstone of the principles of democratic society. However, inclusion of materials in Porter’s collection in no way constitutes or implies agreement with any particular viewpoint, or approval or certification of the content of any item.
Library materials are available for use by all members of the library’s service area regardless of age, sex, or national origin. Library staff cannot make judgments about what a child may or may not read, i.e., they cannot serve “in loco parentis.” Responsibility for the use of the library’s collection by a minor remains with the minor’s parent or guardian.
Porter Public Library’s Board of Trustees supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the interpretations of that document including the Freedom to Read Statement, the statement on Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors, the statement on Labeling Systems, the statement on Expurgation of Library Materials, the statement on Diverse Collections, and the Freedom to View Statement. Links are in the last section of this policy.
This Materials Selection Policy will be reviewed regularly by the library staff to ensure that it continues to accurately describe the library’s philosophy of the selection of materials. As necessary, changes will be recommended to the Board of Trustees for formal approval.
Porter Public Library staff very carefully select materials for this library collection for Porter’s clientele from among the large number of published materials and information available each year.
To do this, trained staff selectors refer to standard professional review sources such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly.
In addition, general newspaper and magazine reviews and reviews available on the Internet, as well as publishers’ catalogs and announcements, are used to evaluate potential new materials.
Specific subject or genre guides are used to develop the collection and evaluate older material.
Finally, Porter Public Library encourages user input and tries to be responsive to customer demand. However, titles suggested for purchase by patrons must meet the same standards and criteria applied to all materials selection decisions.
Library staff members do not usually have an opportunity to examine materials first-hand before they are purchased, nor can they be expected to be experts in all fields. Therefore, selectors must rely primarily on reviews appearing in professional library journals and in other magazines and newspapers. Based on careful reading of those reviews, staff evaluate and purchase materials. Some evaluation criteria are the same regardless of genre or format, while others vary.
Fiction (novels) are evaluated and purchased on the basis of these criteria:
Nonfiction books are evaluated and purchased on the basis of these criteria:
Some other general considerations come into play in each purchasing decision, including the following variables.
Textbooks may be purchased when they are the best available source of current information on a subject. Textbooks currently in use in area schools will not be automatically added to the collection.
No material will be selected or not selected solely because of the race, nationality, and social, political, or religious views of the author.
No material will be excluded from purchase solely because of its frankness of expression, unorthodox language, nontraditional theme, or unusual style.
The need for material on a subject, the need for a representative point of view, or patron demand may override ordinary considerations regarding format.
Selectors will not be inhibited by the possibility that a child might come into possession of the material. The library recognizes and respects the sole right of the parent or legal guardian to guide their child’s reading.
Some books are more vulnerable to mutilation, loss, or theft than others. Selectors must be aware of that only as a secondary consideration and will not allow that possibility to deter them from adding something the collection needs.
With the rapid rise in popularity of e-materials the library is invested in creating and maintaining a robust digital collection. While the criteria for purchasing print books is generally followed (see above), the emphasis is placed on popular titles and demand in the community (generated by publicity, media tie-ins, patron requests, etc.). E-materials are not purchased with the intention of replacing print materials but to enhance the library’s collection as a whole.
The audiovisual collection of Westlake Porter Public Library exists to meet the informational, educational, and recreational listening and viewing needs of the community it serves, just as the print collection does for reading needs.
Audiovisual materials constitute an integral part of the library collection. A variety of formats is essential to the collection, in fact, so that information is accessible in the format that is most useful to or usable by each individual library patron.
Criteria for deciding what audiovisual formats to purchase for the library collection include:
The selection of audiovisual materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. In addition, the capacity of an audiovisual title to increase accessibility by a segment of the general population for whom regular print materials or formats may be inappropriate is an influencing factor. Further factors influencing selection of particular formats follow.
While both entertainment and nonfiction DVDs and Blu-ray titles are purchased, emphasis is placed on entertainment titles. An effort is made to provide a mix of classic films, current wide-release films, smaller films, foreign films, and television movies, miniseries, and series. Nonfiction video titles are purchased on a variety of topics concentrating on those areas where the video format is well suited to the topic and demand is high (e.g., travel, exercise, documentary).
Expected demand for new titles is gauged in large part by past box office performance, popularity of the actors and/or director, patron requests, and past circulation performance of similar titles.
Quality of titles is gauged in large part by reviews, awards received, and other recognition (such as inclusion in the annual Cleveland International Film Festival). In addition to quality of content, technical production quality may also be an influencing factor. Reviews are found in general reviewing sources as well as in specialized review publications and on various Internet sites. Publishers/distributors catalogs, advertisements, and patron requests are also used to identify new titles suitable for purchase.
Selection emphasis is placed on audio versions of current popular fiction and nonfiction print titles. Some classic titles are added as well. In addition, some titles unique to the audio format such as radio plays and “learn while you drive” titles are purchased.
We order unabridged editions of adult audiobooks due to patron input and request.
Reviews of audio titles are found in general reviewing sources as well as specialized titles such as Audiofile. Publishers/distributors catalogs, advertisements, and patron requests are also used to identify new titles suitable for purchase. Other influencing factors may include awards received, production quality, durability, and availability of replacement audiobooks. Every effort is made to stay current on new formats and trends in the audiobook industry and with our collection.
Musical works in various formats are added to the collection according to the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. The emphasis is on popular materials. The work of local artists is included whenever demand warrants.
The ESOL collection was originally created in 1996 with a $3,000 State Library of Ohio administered Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) grant. This money, which was matched by the Westlake Porter Public Library, was used to purchase ESOL materials and equipment. Since then, the Westlake Porter Public Library has continued to add to this collection.
The selector follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials, and actively seeks input from the ESOL teachers. Our collection is comprised of various formats including multimedia kits.
The ESOL Collection is cataloged with the special designation of EL in the call number. This collection is shelved in a special shelving unit so that the materials may be primarily shelved face-out.
The Express Collection is designed to improve patrons’ access to current, popular materials by providing multiple copies of adult “Best Sellers,” and other high demand material.
The Express Collection consists of materials that have a 7-day, non-renewable loan period. No holds may be placed on these items.
Westlake Porter Public Library has been designated a Government Depository library with a partial collection since January 30, 1992.
The library selects the required core collection and a small percentage of additional materials that fit the needs of a small-to-medium-sized public library collection. Of the total number of government documents available, the library selects less than 10%.
The number of documents available in paper format continues to decrease as the United States Government continues to try to contain or reduce paper, printing, and mailing costs by using the Internet to disseminate its information. The library is balancing the two formats, paper and Internet-accessible, to continue to make available to the community the government data it needs with the best and easiest access available.
The selection of Large Print materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials and relies on the same reviewing sources.
Popular and genre fiction, including romance, mystery, and fiction, along with some classics, science fiction, and westerns, make up the fiction collection. The nonfiction collection is comprised of biographies, self-help, travel memoirs, inspirational titles, and humor.
Selection is based on the popularity of the author, the need for a particular subject, and the appeal to and relevance for its intended audience and is limited by the availability of materials in the Large Print format. Standing order plans are set up with several vendors.
The selection of Local History materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. The selection of Local History materials is on an “exhaustive” level for the specific community that the library serves, i.e., Westlake/Dover Township.
The selection of Local History materials will be based on the following criteria:
In all cases, the material must be deemed usable.
Materials associated with areas outside of Westlake may be selected when they have some direct relationship to Westlake/Dover Township or when they serve a popular as well as a local interest.
The library will not aggressively seek to select genealogical materials except in the case of unpublished materials pertaining to Westlake/Dover Township. Because of the ephemeral and irreplaceable nature of Local History materials, the library actively seeks materials that meet the stated criteria. Gifts of books, printed materials, audiovisual materials, maps, original correspondence, and unpublished materials pertaining to Westlake/Dover Township are materials that fall within the parameters of the library’s collection. Realia are not actively sought unless the specific item had special significance in the history of the library. The library will determine the ultimate use and method of processing the gift materials. As with all donated materials, disposition of the materials is entirely up to the library. The library does not accept materials with restrictions.
Westlake Porter Public Library offers a small display area for local Northeastern Ohio authors, musicians, directors, and filmmakers who want their work sampled to library users. This collection is designed to give new and emerging creators, especially those whose materials are not yet widely reviewed or stocked by libraries and bookstores, an opportunity to be shared with friends and neighbors.
The library subscribes to a small number of newspapers to provide local, state, and national coverage of general and business news. The emphasis is on local news. All the major newspapers of Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties as well as the local newspapers that specifically cover Westlake are part of the collection.
That base collection is augmented by papers The Plain Dealer for regional news and The New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today for national news.
Business newspapers include The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Cleveland Business, and Barron’s.
The retention periods for the newspapers vary. Selected newspapers are retained in microform if they are valuable sources of local history and information or if they are indexed but not available in full text in those indices.
Selection of paperbacks follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials in addition to the following:
Donations of paperbacks are accepted for those in like new condition, with preference given to filling in holes or replacing older copies in the collection. Duplicate copies are ordered of new, popular titles.
All paperbacks are cataloged.
Paperbacks are retained as long as they are in good condition, circulating, and/or part of a series. To keep the collection fresh and current, worn or damaged titles are removed from the collection. Physical condition, circulation statistics, and space are the basis for the decisions on retention.
Periodicals are selected according to the same general criteria applied to all other library materials. They, too, meet the recreational, informational, and educational needs of library users. Factors considered in the acquisition of a periodical are popularity and potential usage of a title; indexing by a service which the library already has; coverage of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Northeast Ohio, or Ohio; and cost.
Periodicals of a highly technical or specialized nature are not usually selected. Duplicate subscriptions of popular titles are ordered as Express copies.
Gift subscriptions are the result of 1) a donated subscription of a specific periodical; or 2) donated current issues of a periodical delivered to the library by the donor. The periodical in question may be a periodical the library has been subscribing to or one that the library would like to try. If the donor does not renew the gift subscription, the library may or may not choose to continue subscribing to it. The library may accept or refuse gift subscriptions, according to the same general criteria applied to all periodicals.
Gifts of back files of periodicals will be accepted only if the library currently subscribes to the periodical and wants to replace worn or missing copies. In instances where demand warrants, duplicate copies may be added as Express copies.
Free subscriptions and trial offers from publishers are periodicals that are received free of charge and without any commitment on the library’s part. The library reserves the right to utilize or refuse such publications at its own discretion.
Retention of back issues of periodicals is determined by usage, availability online or in other formats, availability in other libraries, and availability of storage space.
The reference collection contains materials in the whole range of the Dewey Classification System. The reading level of these materials varies from middle school to college.
These materials are selected according to the same general criteria applied to the selection of all library materials. In addition, it is important that reference materials be updated as frequently as the budget allows, be authoritative, clearly presented and arranged, adequately indexed and easy to use.
The availability of comparable information from authoritative Internet sources and the reference resources of surrounding libraries are also considered, especially if the reference work in question is expensive, specialized, or requires a considerable amount of shelf space.
The business/investment collection receives special emphasis. Legal reference sources are another larger part of the collection and include state and city codifications of laws and regulations, form books, and handbooks. Other areas with some depth are the college and scholarship guides, the medical books, and the car repair manuals. Other subject areas may be developed in response to school assignments.
Some reference titles that are published periodically are placed on a standing order basis with either the specific publisher or a library jobber.
In most cases, only the current edition of a title is kept in the reference collection.
Westlake Porter Public Library provides information or access to information in whatever format is available and usable. As the budget allows and customer needs dictate online databases and streaming services are acquired through subscription or in a cost-per-use format, to replace or supplement print materials.
Online databases accessed through the Internet offer speed of access, current information, and enable the user to manipulate information and generate it in a format he/she needs.
Online databases and/or streaming services must meet these criteria:
Selection will be made after staff members preview the product. Reviews in appropriate sources may also be consulted.
These products will be retained or renewed based on usage statistics, cost, and availability of the same or similar information in OPLIN-provided resources, free Internet websites, or other consumer products.
The Research Databases & Subscriptions section of the library website includes links to quality sites on a variety of topics. Although the library does not limit access to any content on the Internet, only relevant, useful, quality sites will be linked to from the website. These sites must meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of this community. These sites are also selected to enrich and complement the library’s print and audiovisual collection. Often the Internet is able to provide more current or esoteric material than is available in the library. This policy is consistent with the collection development policies for other library materials.
Some criteria the web site needs to meet before a link can be established:
Often the library will take recommendations from credible sources such as Library Journal. If a link becomes inactive, or out-of-date it will be eliminated.
Selection of children’s materials will follow the same general criteria applied to all other library materials within each genre.
In addition, because children's materials encompass a broad range of levels and audiences, additional consideration is given to the format or physical make-up of the materials. These include:
Children’s materials are selected to promote the growth and development of cultural, informational, and recreational reading on all levels of children’s comprehension and reading abilities. The children’s collection must be current, fresh, lively, and attractive.
In concert with Porter Public Library’s philosophy of intellectual freedom for juvenile as well as adult users, no material will be excluded from the collection solely because of potentially controversial words or situations.
Porter Public Library provides a diverse collection to meet the diverse reading needs of all children in the community. The library recognizes and respects the sole right of the parent or legal guardian to guide his/her child’s selection of individual items from the array of library materials provided.
Selection emphasis is placed on popular demand for children’s and young adult titles.
The selection of Young Adult (YA) materials follows the same general criteria applied to all other library materials.
The Young Adult collection consists of fiction, graphic novels, comic books, and periodicals which address the special needs of maturing young adults. Materials which promote and develop a tolerance and understanding of people, cultures, and personal situations and dilemmas are given special consideration. The small collection of Young Adult non-fiction is continuously updated to keep abreast of teens’ current interests.
In concert with Westlake Porter Public Library’s philosophy of intellectual freedom for all library users, regardless of age, no material will be excluded from the young adult collection solely because of profanity, sexual frankness, or controversial situations.
Westlake Porter Public Library provides a diverse collection to meet the diverse reading needs of all young adults in the community. The library recognizes and respects the sole right of a parent or legal guardian to guide his/her child’s selection from the array of materials provided.
In order to maintain a collection that is current and relevant to the community’s needs, items must be removed from the collection according to the same criteria by which new materials are added. It is the materials selector’s responsibility to continually reevaluate the usefulness of materials previously added to the collection. In this process the selectors are guided by “Westlake Public Library Materials Deselection Policy” (1996) and The Crew Method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries.
Deselected materials are neither given nor sold to individuals. No special care is taken to retain advertising supplements or inserts or to reserve them for individuals or groups. Instead, deselected materials in fair to good condition are donated to the Friends of the Library to be sold in their public book sales. Materials not needed by the Friends of the Library are donated to a non-profit organization that donates books to people in need. This enables the library to maintain its service to the public as a lending rather than a commercial institution. It also benefits the library monetarily because proceeds from the Friends’ book sales are used to purchase new materials and equipment for the library or to fund library programming.
Just as the Westlake Porter Public Library carefully selects materials for purchase, it must also carefully deselect materials that no longer fit the library’s established roles. The library’s primary role is a “Popular Materials Library,” featuring current, high demand, high interest materials in a variety of formats for persons of all ages. A very close secondary role is as a “Reference Library,” providing timely, accurate, and useful information with a variety of format, access, and delivery options for community residents, organizations, and businesses. A third role is that of “Preschoolers Door to Learning,” encouraging young children to develop an interest in reading and learning through services for children, as well as for parents and care givers.
Deselection of nonfiction materials is based on four criteria:
Deselection of fiction materials is based on the above criteria in addition to the following:
Regular deselection of the collection saves both shelf space and database space. It prevents the need to use the hard-to-reach shelves at both the top and bottom of each stack, making the entire collection more accessible to those of all ages and physical conditions. Removing ragged books with illegible labels saves time for both patrons and staff trying to find titles. Library housekeeping from dusting to reclassification is made more efficient.
More specific deselection guidelines from The Crew Method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries are used by each selector to evaluate the portion of the collection for which they are responsible.
Donated books and other materials are added to the collection according to the general criteria applied to all other library materials. They must be in good physical condition.
Donated books and other materials must be delivered to the library. The library does not have the staff to pick up donated materials.
Library staff members are not qualified to assess the fair market value of donated materials. A donor may request an “Acknowledgment of a Donation” form.
The disposition of donated materials is entirely up to the library. Donated materials that are not added to the collection are often given to the Friends of the Library for their sales that raise money for library projects, programs, and materials.
The library does not accept special collections which the donor stipulates must be kept together as a separate entity or which the donor gives with restrictions concerning circulation, location, or usage, except in the case of Local History materials. The library determines the use, location, and method of processing for all materials.
Gift materials, like all other library materials are subject to theft, mutilation, deterioration, and obsolescence. These items will be deselected on the same basis as the other items in the collection.
The library welcomes gifts of books or other library materials, and funds for library projects by individuals or organizations as lasting and useful memorials of friends or family members and as celebrations of special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, etc.
Usually the library selects the title(s), but donors are asked to recommend subject areas or specific authors to be considered. Staff will complete the “Commemorative and Monetary Donation” form. Every effort will be made by selectors to choose materials that will both benefit the collection and please the donors. A gift or memorial plate will be placed on the material if requested.
All library materials are subject to deterioration, loss, damage, and obsolescence, unfortunately, and the library cannot guarantee that “in memoriam” or gift materials will remain a part of the collection forever. These items will be deselected on the same basis as other items in the collection.
The library collection is selected to reflect a variety of viewpoints and satisfy a variety of tastes. Occasionally, a library user may feel that a particular material is inappropriate for the collection or inaccurate. To address this kind of concern, the library has developed a procedure for the reconsideration of library materials.
The library provides the library user with a “Request for Reconsideration of Materials” form. The completed form is given to the Technical Services & Collection Development Manager, who will work with the Collection Development team (including the selector of the material under discussion) to read, view, or listen to a substantial amount of the material in question, read any available reviews, and, as a group, make a written recommendation to the Assistant Director, who in turn notifies the Director of the decision. The Board of Trustees will be informed at the next Board meeting. The Assistant Director then replies in writing to the library user.
“Interlibrary Loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library” (Interlibrary Loan Code of the United States, 2001).
The library has the responsibility of developing its collection to meet the needs of its community. Interlibrary loan affords the library a means of supplementing its collection, a means of accessing materials outside the scope of the library’s collection or budget.
The library provides Interlibrary Loan services for physical materials primarily through the resource sharing consortium SearchOhio/OhioLINK. The library also utilizes WorldCat Resource Sharing for Interlibrary Loan that extends beyond Ohio libraries. Porter Library belongs to the Ohio Digital Library (ODL) consortium for resource sharing of eMaterials.
SearchOhio/OhioLINK and ODL requests are initiated through our catalog by patrons or with staff assistance. Items are received and delivered through a statewide courier contracted with the State Library.
Interlibrary Loan through WorldCat requires facilitation of library staff and, as materials are sent and received all over the country, has a unique set of protocols that must be followed:
The library will initiate an interlibrary loan request for any material in any format with only these commonsense restrictions: it will not request bestsellers, newly released feature films, or materials already owned by the library but checked out. The library will, of course, request interlibrary loans for titles that are lost, missing, damaged, or long overdue. The library will not request multiple copies of titles for the use of individuals or of groups. The library will, however, interlibrary loan titles in sufficient quantities for the discussion groups it serves or sponsors.
The library will request copies of journal or magazine articles if it has complete enough information to make the request and if the request complies with copyright law.
The library will act as an intermediary to obtain microfilm reels from the National Archives. The patron makes a check out to the lending agency.
A patron requesting interlibrary loan service must have an active card and not be barred or blocked from checking out materials from Westlake Porter Public Library.
This library will lend any material in any format to any reciprocating library, with these restrictions:
The library will not reserve materials in order to fill interlibrary loan requests. We will renew materials we lend on interlibrary loan for a two-week period if there is no reserve on them by one of our cardholders.
The library is a member of two resource-sharing groups, LVIS, Libraries Very Interested in Sharing, and OHIO, a group started by the Avon Lake Public Library.