A. Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Kingston Library is to be a vital center in our diverse community that inspires lifelong learning and empowers our citizens by providing free and equal access to information, ideas, books, and technology. The Library will provide the community with quality staff, resources, programs and service. The Library recognizes these five main fields of responsibility are:

  1. Establish the Kingston Library as a trusted center of information connecting the Kingston community with relevant resources for education, enrichment, empowerment,
    and entertainment
  2. Provide well-designed experiences for all who connect with the Kingston Library by focusing on building and service plans that prioritize patrons and users of the library
  3. Create a culture prioritizing diversity and inclusiveness of all members of the Kingston community in every aspect of the Library’s operations
  4. Promote the Library as central to the activities of all citizens of Kingston, and a place to engage and connect with others in the community as well as the larger world
  5. Align the Library’s efforts with the ongoing growth and progress of our community, and foster active and open communications with local leaders and organizations

B. Selection of Materials

For a well-rounded collection, library staff select materials based on local and national demand, professional and popular media reviews, and recommendations from the public and other library staff, while also ensuring adequate availability of literary staples. Budget and space limitations require a focus on materials that appeal to a broad range of library users, rather than the academic and highly technical works collected by universities and other research institutions.

Criteria for Book Selection

  1. The Library will provide a wide selection of print, non-print, and electronic resources in order to serve a broad spectrum of users. Innovative formats will be acquired and made accessible as they are judged relevant to the collection and the community and as funds allow.
  2. The Library will collect non-fiction primarily in subject areas of general interest to library patrons, including opposing viewpoints. Less emphasis will be placed upon, but will not exclude, other areas of non-fiction.
  3. Attempts will be made to purchase best-selling fiction materials during the extent of their popularity.
  4. Older titles may be purchased to fill gaps in series or to fill gaps in the collection as budgetary funds are available.
  5. Patrons will be encouraged to utilize inter-library loan to access needed materials when this library does not have a particular title.
  6. The number of copies of any title shall be dependent upon local patron demand.
  7. It is not the responsibility of the Library to provide curriculum-supportive materials for students, including home schooled students.
  8. The Library will not purchase textbooks but may purchase study guides.
  9. Materials that will not be acquired or added to the collection include literature in languages not justified by community needs, religious materials designed for proselytizing, or purely propagandistic literature.
  10. Addition of an item to the Library’s collection in no way represents the Library’s endorsement of any theory, idea or policy contained in the material.
  11. Librarians will strive to find a review of items before considering them for purchase. Materials that receive poor reviews or no reviews may be purchased if there is local demand. No one publication or source is relied upon exclusively.
  12. The director may delegate responsibility for selection to other staff members. The final authority for the determination of policy to guide the selection and acquisition of library materials rests with the Kingston Library Board of Trustees.

Criteria for Programming Selection

  1. The Library will provide a wide range of programming in order to serve a broad
    spectrum of participants in the community.
  2. All programs must be free and open to the general public.
  3. Programs do not have to be solely educational, but should serve community interests.
  4. The Library will work with community groups and individuals to develop programs to meet the above criteria.
  5. Programs that focus on a traditional mission of a library (story times, book clubs, local history) will be prioritized for selection.
  6. Any proposed program must be put in writing and shared with the Director or appropriate staff member.
  7. Programming that will not be included in the calendar includes in languages not
    justified by community needs, religious materials designed for proselytizing, commercial activities, or purely propagandistic content.
  8. A program in no way represents the Library’s endorsement of any theory, idea, or policy.
  9. Librarians will strive to find reviews of programming and presenters before considering them for inclusion in the calendar. Programming and presenters that receive poor reviews or no reviews may be included if there is local demand.
  10. The director may delegate responsibility for selection to other staff members. The final authority for the determination of policy to guide the selection of programming rests with the Kingston Library Board of Trustees.

C. Gifts

The Friends of Kingston Library accept donations of materials in good condition which are sold to raise money for the Library.

By accepting gifts, Kingston Library assumes no special obligation to the donors or that the gift will be retained in perpetuity. Donated materials are accepted with the understanding that the Library has the right to determine the disposition of the gift items. Donations become the property of the Kingston Library, and may be given to other libraries and nonprofit agencies, sold at the Friends of Kingston Library book sale, or discarded at the discretion of Library staff. Donated materials which may be added to the collection will not automatically be replaced if worn-out, damaged, or lost, or if they have become obsolete. Gifts that do not meet the Library’s selection criteria are disposed of in whatever way the Library sees fit.

The Library discourages conditional gifts, but the Board of Trustees may approve special arrangements. Upon request, the Library will provide the donor with an acknowledgement letter to serve as a tax receipt. The Library is not permitted to place a value on donations.

Due to the volume of gifts received, the Library cannot track or return unsolicited items received from publishers or individuals. The Library can supply the donor with a letter of acknowledgment if one is requested at the time of donation. By law, the Library cannot determine the value of a donation for tax purposes.

Donors who wish to have an evaluation of their gifts for tax purposes are referred to the IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property, and Publication 526, Charitable Contributions.

D. Withdrawal of Materials, Resources and Equipment

Materials which no longer meet the stated objectives of the Library, will be withdrawn from the collection. An item is considered for discard when it is:

  • obsolete or outdated
  • damaged or deteriorated
  • no longer circulating
  • one of many copies of a formerly poplar title

The Library will follow the standards set forth in the latest edition of The CREW Method: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries as closely as possible. Materials that are weeded from the collection will be disposed of in the most appropriate manner, which may include sale to the public, donation to another library or organization, exchange with another library or recycled. Disposition of library materials weeded will be at the discretion of the director.

E. Cessation of Programming

The library may choose to end regularly scheduled programming if one of more of the following conditions are met:

● consistently low or no attendance
● lack of resources, including staff, facilities and/or funding
● content no longer meets the criteria by which it was originally approved

F. Requests for Reconsideration of Services

The Kingston Library Board of Trustees understands that individuals within the community have diverse interests, backgrounds, cultural heritages, social values and needs. The Board further acknowledges that the library serves all people within the community, and that library policies and procedures recognize protected classes as outlined by the Ulster County Human Rights Law; learn more about the law here.

The library defines services as materials including books and magazines, as well as programming and events. The library does not exclude services that are biased, partisan, or anti-social, or that may offend the tastes of some citizens for reasons of frankness of vocabulary or description, unless these books are also below our accepted standards of selection.

A balanced collection of materials and programming will represent all points of view on a subject, even those that might be considered extreme. The purchase of controversial items by the library does not constitute endorsement of the views expressed.

The Board believes that while anyone is free to reject for themselves services of which they do not approve, this cannot be exercised to restrict freedom of others to read or attend. Kingston Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements.

Kingston Library serves people from many walks of life, with a variety of viewpoints and tastes. Materials are purchased and programming is scheduled to meet these diverse needs, believing that the right to read and the right of free access to library services for people is essential to the individual’s freedom of thought. It is the obligation of the public library to reflect within its collection differing points of view and a variety of types of writing. The Library does not endorse particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply endorsements of the viewpoint of the author.

Consequently, it is inevitable that some patrons will find certain services in the Library’s collection objectionable. But, the Library belongs to the entire City of Kingston and has a responsibility to serve it in all its diversity. That responsibility includes providing services that may be offensive to certain patrons.

The Library will attempt to present various points of view for controversial issues, but in no circumstance should it take a public stand. The Library’s function is not to dictate, but rather to educate and provide materials from which patrons can make intelligent choices and decisions.

As a responsibility of our library service, materials and other programming are chosen to cover a wide variety of subjects for the information, education, and enjoyment of the people of our community. No materials are to be excluded due to the race, nationality, political or religious views of the writer. No reading matter shall be removed from the library shelves or programming excluded from our schedule because of doctrinal or social content.

Patrons or staff members who wish to request the reconsideration of library services must fill out as completely as possible and sign a Request for Reconsideration Form (See Exhibit A), which is available at the circulation desk. The form must be completely filled out, thus assuring the patron that his/her concern will be addressed by the appropriate library staff. Anonymous communications will not be honored. Action will only occur after the signed Request for Reconsideration Form is returned to the Library.

Once a completed Request for Reconsideration Form is returned to the Library, the board is notified and a formal process begins. During this process, the services in question will remain in the Library’s collection. The director, in conjunction with members of the board, will review the services in question and make a decision. The board will forward a written response to the complainant.