Materials Selection

The freedom to read and to view is a corollary of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press. The freedom of choice in selecting materials is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read and shall be protected. The essence of democracy is: 
  1. that citizens shall have the right of forming their own opinions, 
  2. that this right is of the utmost importance to the continued existence of democracy, and 
  3. that freedom of the press in all forms of public communication be defended and preserved. The Burleson Public Library subscribes to the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement by the American Library Association (Texas Library Association Intellectual Freedom Handbook)
The Library should hold materials presenting various points of view, within the limitations of space, budget, and availability, to enable individuals to make their own decisions. The Library Staff do not endorse the opinions expressed in the materials held. 

Selection of library materials will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to collection development and to serve the interests of customers. 

The library collection will include as wide a selection as possible, and subjects will be covered in sufficient depth to meet anticipated and expressed needs. The library collection (as a whole) will not be representative of any particular beliefs or points of view.

Collection Development and collection maintenance are among the most important professional duties assigned to the librarians and other staff members holding similar responsible positions. These staff members, and others that the Library Director may choose to assign, comprise the Collection Development Committee. 

The Collection Development Committee shall maintain a proper public library collection of materials, databases, on-line access, and so forth, reflecting the general demographics of the service area. The Committee will develop a broad collection that meets the needs and interests of a diverse community for information, education, and enlightenment. 

Community input into the selection of materials is encouraged. Library customers shall have a mechanism for suggesting acquisitions to enhance the collection of Burleson Public Library. Within the scope of budget limitations and strong selection criteria, the Collection Development Committee shall endeavor to fulfill a customer request whenever possible. 

The professional staff will systematically review for worn, dated, or damaged library materials as an integral part of the selection process. This process maintains the quality of the library collection and is not intended to sanction removal of library materials based upon any controversy surrounding the material.

Materials Reconsideration

Customers finding certain library materials objectionable, or customers objecting to the exclusion of materials from the collection, may discuss the item with a professional library staff member. If the customer requests additional consideration, the customer must complete the Materials Reconsideration form. Upon receipt of this request, a member of the Collection Development Committee will contact the customer to discuss the item with the customer. 

If the matter is not resolved, the request will be forwarded to the Collection Development Committee for review. The customer will be notified of the time and place of the meeting and may attend the meeting if he or she desires. A written evaluation of the material(s) will be made by the Collection Development Committee and the customer will be notified of the results within four weeks from the date of the Collection Development Committee review meeting. 

All materials selected under the materials selection policy of the Library are considered constitutionally protected until such time as any item taken individually is determined unprotected by judicial action in courts of jurisdiction and after all appeals have been exhausted. In the event that the customer charges that any particular item is not protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution, the onus of proof rests with the customer. Items being challenged will remain in the active collection until such judicial determination is made. A title may only be reconsidered one time.