A. Philosophy

The mission of the Kingston Library is to be a vital venter in our diverse community that inspires lifelong learning and empowers our citizens by providing free and equal access to information, ideas, book and technology. The materials selected will allow all residents of Kingston to have a collection that fulfills their appetite for information about popular culture and social trends and their desire for satisfying recreational experiences, to have information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school, and personal life and to be able to engage in self-directed personal growth and development opportunities.

The Kingston Library Board of Trustees recognizes that individuals within the community have diverse interests, backgrounds, cultural heritages, social values and needs. The Board further recognizes that the library serves all people within the community regardless of age, race, national origin, or political or social views.

The library does not exclude books that are biased, partisan, or anti-social, or which 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 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 materials of which they do not approve, this cannot be exercised to restrict freedom of others to read or inquire. Kingston Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements.

B. Selection of Materials

Library materials (print and non-print) shall be chosen on the basis of their value in terms of interest, information and enlightenment of all people of our community. No library material shall be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. Library materials should be of sound factual authority and may represent all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times. Materials for individuals of varying ages, educational levels and interest should be acquired.

The authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials are delegated by the Library Board to the library director and, under his or her direction, to staff members who are qualified for this activity.

No employee may be disciplined or dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance of the written policy. Suggestions from patrons are welcome and will be considered using the same criteria as all other selections.

Library materials will be selected in a variety of formats including, but not limited to, print, video, sound recording and electronic media. Each type of material must be considered in terms of its own excellence and the audience for whom it is intended. No single standard can be applied in all cases. Some materials may be judged primarily in terms of artistic merit, scholarship, or value to humanity; while others are selected to satisfy the informational, recreational, or educational interests of the community. Among elements that may be considered in purchase of materials are accuracy, comprehensiveness, scientific or literary merit, artistic repute, currency, entertainment value and human interest.

Reviews in professionally recognized periodicals are a primary source for materials selection. Standard bibliographies, indexes, book lists by recognized authorities, including best seller lists, and the advice of competent people in specific subject areas also may be used.

Kingston Library endeavors to build a collection representing varying points of view. The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the reading materials children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for himself or herself and for his or her children, he or she cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.

Suggestions from the community about items for purchase are encouraged, but must meet selection criteria.

C. Gifts

The Kingston Library welcomes gifts of new and used books, subscriptions, journals, audio recordings, videos and similar materials. Guidelines for acceptance of materials include but are not limited to pertinence, age, condition and type of materials offered. Donated materials that meet selection criteria and do not needlessly duplicate holdings may be added to the collection. Once donated, items become the property of the library, and may be given to other libraries and non-profit agencies, sold, traded or discarded if they are not added to the collection. Donated items will not be returned to the donor and the library will not accept any item that is not and outright gift. Upon request, the library will acknowledge receipt of donated items but is unable to set fair market or appraisal values. If items are being donated to obtain a tax benefit, it is the donor’s responsibility to establish fair market value.

Monetary gifts, bequests and memorial or honorary contributions are particularly welcome. Materials purchased with such funds, in accordance with the selection policy of the library, will be identified with special donor plates whenever possible. Upon request, notification of memorial or honorary contributions will be sent to the family of the person being recognized. Suggestions for subject areas in which purchases will be made are welcome and will be followed to the extent possible.

D. Withdrawal of Materials, Resources and Equipment

The library keeps the collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing essential materials, and by removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand. By decision of the library Director or designated staff, materials which are removed from the library collection may be sold by the library, contributed to other libraries expressing interest in using them in the collections, recycled or disposed of in accordance with local laws and regulations.

Materials, resources and equipment that no longer support the roles of the library as defined these policies will be withdrawn from the collection or the facility. These items may become damaged, include obsolete information, or are no longer used. The professional judgement of the library Director or designated staff will be used in making decisions about withdrawal. When necessary, specialists will be consulted to determine relevance and reliability of materials.

E. Reconsideration of Materials

The library Director and responsible staff place or retain materials in the collection based on the criteria state in “B. Selection of Materials” and “C. Gift.” The library welcomes comments from library users on the adequacy, currency and relevance to the mission of the library choices made. Individual patrons who take issue with library materials that are not to their taste, or do not represent their views, are welcome to discuss their concerns about materials in the collection with the library Director and other staff responsible for selection and retention. If a patron’s concerns are not resolved by discussion, he or she may make a formal, written request to the library Director for reconsideration of individual items. Copies of the form by which this may be done (Exhibit A of Policy Exhibits) are available at the circulation desks in the Main Library and the Children’s Library.

For a request for reconsideration to be considered, the form must be completed in full. The patron submitting the request must be a resident of the library’s chartered jurisdiction and hold a valid borrower’s card. The library Director will respond to the patron in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of a properly submitted request for reconsideration. The response will indicate the action to be taken and reasons for or against the request.

Since the library lacks judicial authority, the library will not remove items solely for the complaint of obscenity or for any other reason covered by law unless a court of competent jurisdiction has ruled against the material. No materials that have been previously determined to be non-compliant with local laws will knowingly be added to the library collection.

Appeals from the library Director’s decision may be directed only to the Board for their final decision.