210 Court Street · Burlington, IA 52601 · 319-753-1647
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The Burlington Public Library Board maintains that the freedom to read is essential to our democracy. Therefore, this Board affirms the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View documents as statements of each individual’s right to freedom of choice in information and materials use.
It is the task of the staff of the Burlington Public Library to choose, organize, and make print, non-print and electronic resources available to the users of the library without regard to age, sex, race, creed, social, educational, or economic backgrounds. Children and young adults may use both the youth and the adult collections. Parents or guardians are responsible for the reading, viewing, and listening of library materials by their children.
In addition to professional knowledge and experience, the library staff will use requests, staff suggestions, use patterns, community issues, review literature, special bibliographies, and reports of information trends as source data for the selection of materials to be added to and deleted from the library’s collection. The library staff will endeavor to be impartial in materials selection and will make every effort to obtain materials to represent more than one point of view. Inclusion of material in the collection does not constitute an endorsement. The Library recognizes that certain materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some library users.
Acquiring new formats for public access plays an important role in supporting the ever expanding definition of literacy in our society. As new formats become popular, the library staff will make an effort to include them in the library’s collection to meet users’ need to access information in a variety of ways.
Items that are not owned by the library may also be requested by residents of Burlington and the contracted service areas. An effort will be made to purchase the materials if they meet the selection criteria as outlined in this policy or to borrow such items using interlibrary loan as a means of fulfilling the request.
The ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director who operates under the policies determined by the Library Board.
Removal of Materials
The library staff will withdraw materials from the collection that are worn, damaged, outdated, or no longer used. Disposal of withdrawn library materials will be determined by the Library Director.
Gifts and Memorials
Gifts of print and non-print materials are accepted with the understanding that the library staff may add the materials to the collection or dispose of them using the same criteria as purchases. It is the responsibility of the donor to provide the value of a gift for tax purposes. Memorial funds are also accepted with the understanding that the library staff will use the same criteria as other purchases for the library. However, the staff will do their best to fulfill requests of particular topics and titles. If contact information is provided by the donor, donations to the library will be acknowledged with a note of thanks from the library to the donor.
Reconsideration of Materials
Any person who wishes to object to the inclusion of a particular item in the library’s collection may discuss the concern directly with the Library Director. If the concern cannot be adequately addressed through this discussion that person may complete a Statement of Concern Regarding Library Resources form requesting reconsideration of the item in question. When the form is returned, it will be forwarded to the Burlington Public Library Board of Trustees. The Library Board will make the final ruling on the concern. The item in question will remain in the collection and available during the review process.
The Burlington Public Library recognizes that media collections often require equipment that users may not own. To make these collections accessible to all, the Burlington Public Library provides a variety of equipment for check-out by any individual 18 years of age or over who holds a valid Burlington Public Library card. A small fee may be charged for some equipment to provide for on-going maintenance costs. Loan periods vary with the type of equipment. The Burlington Public Library also provides a variety of equipment that can be signed out for use in the library’s meeting rooms. The person checking out or signing out equipment is responsible for the cost of damage to or loss of equipment. Equipment must be returned in the condition it was checked out as judged by staff. The equipment may only be checked out if not in use or scheduled to be in use by Library staff, as the library’s activities take precedence over all other requests.
Local History and Genealogy Collection
The purpose of the local history and genealogy collection is to preserve source material on the history of Burlington and Des Moines County and provide basic research material for area genealogists. The library will make these materials available on a restricted basis to patrons and hold the materials in trust for future generations.
The major emphasis of the collection is on the City of Burlington and Des Moines County. Local history and genealogy materials for these areas are collected on a comprehensive basis, but do not include objects better suited for museum collections. The genealogy materials, which include record indexes and abstracts, histories, census microfilms, and other sources useful to family historians, are also collected on a more limited basis for counties adjacent to Des Moines County. Genealogy materials on other areas of Iowa, other states, and other countries are collected as they pertain to areas where large groups of people who settled in Burlington originated. These materials are collected on a limited basis. Family histories are acquired as gifts and purchased only when they have a significant connection to Burlington and Des Moines County.
The local history collection also includes selected published works by Burlington and Des Moines County authors. The authors must have lived in Burlington or Des Moines County for over two years to have their works included.
The extent of duplication of copies of historical sources is based upon demand; but, in general, the library will archive no more than two copies of significant local history materials. The library does not generally discard materials in this collection unless an item does not fit the criteria set for the scope of the collection.
Since many of the items are in fragile condition and some are one-of-a-kind, the local history and genealogy materials are used in the library and may not be checked out. Attempts will be made to preserve these materials through careful storage, handling, and reproduction to insure access for future generations. When microfilm copies of specialized material are available, it is the policy of the library to encourage use of this format rather then use of the original material.
Revised and adopted: April 17, 2013; August 17, 2011; August 19, 2009; October
18, 2006; May 20, 1998; April 17, 1996; May 9, 1990; April, 1990