The mission of the Augusta County Library is to provide the residents of the Augusta County area with materials and services to meet their educational and recreational needs. The library also recognizes its important role as an independent learning center and as a valuable source of reference and community information.
In accordance with American Library Association guidelines including the Freedom to Read statement and the Library Bill of Rights, the Augusta County Library sees its all-encompassing responsibilities as collecting materials appropriate to Augusta County and its citizens, organizing these resources, providing the public with access to the material, offering guidance in the use of resources, and participating in interlibrary loan. This selection policy reflects these responsibilities. The library is part of the educational and cultural life of Augusta County and defines the library’s role in the community as assisting in the democratic process through the free communication of ideas.
The authority for the determination of policy in selection and acquisition of materials is vested in the Augusta County Library Board of Trustees. The responsibility for material selection rests in the library director assisted by members of the professional staff who are qualified by reason of education and training.
The Augusta County Library addresses the goals for library service through the provision of the best available materials on all levels and in all acceptable formats within the general guidelines of its stated mission and the constrictions imposed by fiscal consideration. Controversial issues will be addressed by the library’s collection through a provision of material that speak to various sides of an issue while maintaining a balanced collection. Acquisition of a title is based upon the merit of the specific title and the value of that title to the library’s collection. Every effort will be made to provide material of lasting worth yet still be responsive to current demand.
SPECIFIC POLICIES FOR DESIGNATED AREAS
Books in English of a wide interest for the general public which include classics from all periods of literature as well as popular light reading material will be acquired. Since it is the duty of the library to ensure the rights of mature readers, no book will be eliminated from consideration because of language, violence, or frank sexual episodes so long as the use of these elements is an integral part of the work.
Expertly written material which presents the fundamental concepts and beliefs of various religions is acquired. The library maintains a well-rounded collection on major religions and their sacred writings. The Augusta County Library will not add proselytizing materials to the collection but encourages popular presentations of new ideas and movements in religion.
- Health and Medicine.
The Augusta County Library acquires standard and popular materials in the areas of health, nutrition, hygiene, diseases, and medicine aimed at the general public. Scientific and authoritative materials on human sexuality are acquired for the general user of every age and reading level.
The library may purchase popularly aimed material dealing with either the philosophy of law or specific areas of law such as taxation, family law, and real estate. Laws for Augusta County and the State of Virginia are provided. The laws and regulations of the United States or other states are also available on the Internet.
- Government and Economics.
Outright propaganda is avoided. A balanced collection on American government and economics as well as international government and economics is encouraged.
Textbooks will not be added to the collection unless the material is unavailable in another format.
- Genealogy and Local History.
The collection is limited primarily to how-to materials in the area of genealogy. The local history collection includes materials on Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley. Works by local authors and family histories are found in the collection. Other genealogical information is available on the Internet.
- Self-Published Materials.
The Augusta County Library welcomes the growing opportunities that self-publishing methods offer local writers and others to make materials accessible through non-traditional means. The library receives many requests from self-published authors for inclusion of their work in our collection. Often these works are not reviewed in standard published sources and may not meet our criteria for selection. Local authors and self-published books of local interest will be given special consideration for acquisitions. Any book donated by self-published authors become the property of the library and will be considered for inclusion on its own merit.
Young Adult and Juvenile Materials
Materials for children and teenagers are intended to broaden their vision, support recreational reading, encourage and facilitate reading skills, supplement their educational needs, stimulate and widen their interests, lead to recognition and appreciation of literature, and reflect the diversity of the community. The reading and viewing activity of children is the responsibility of parents, who guide and oversee their own children’s development.
Criteria for Selection
- Public demand, interest or need
- Contemporary significance, popular interest or permanent value
- Attention of critics and reviewers
- Prominence, authority or competence of author or publisher
- Timeliness of material
- Relation to existing collection
Suggestions for Purchase
Suggestions by patrons are always encouraged and may be made to any staff member who will complete the online Patron Request form. Consideration will be given to all patron requests, but purchase is not guaranteed.
Donated materials are accepted under the condition that the acquisitions staff will add the materials to the library as best fit the needs of the collection. Gifts and donations must meet the same criteria for selection as those materials which the library purchases. Donated materials become the property of the library and no conditions shall be attached to their use. Gifts to honor or memorialize are accepted and selected with input from the donor and the librarian.
REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF MATERIALS
Patrons who wish to express concern about materials located in the library collection are asked to fill out a Request for Reconsideration form. A Literary Review Committee, consisting of two library board members and three staff members including the library director, will be responsible for reviewing a request for reconsideration of material.
COLLECTION MAINTENANCE, REPLACEMENT AND WEEDING
The collection will be continually reviewed by library staff to ensure that patron needs are met and standards are maintained. Materials that are worn, damaged, obsolete, unused, or unnecessary duplicates are removed and may be given to the Friends of the Library book sale.
The Augusta County Library acquisitions staff relies on specific review media as well as on community interest in the selection of materials. The following is a partial list of materials of materials consulted:
Library Journal VOYA
School Library Journal Washington Post book reviews
Booklist New York Times Book Reviews
Publishers’ Weekly Bookpage
Adopted by the Library Board 09/04/1996, Revised 03/17/2010, 09/20/2018