Haddonfield Public LibraryHaddonfield Public Library

60 Haddon Avenue N. Haddonfield, NJ 08033-2469 · 856-429-1304

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Library Materials Selection Policies



Library Materials Selection Policies



The Haddonfield Public Library, as defined in its mission, provides “ready access to information and ideas” and is a “center for lifelong learning, welcoming patrons of all ages, backgrounds and interests. The Library’s collections are dynamic and designed to meet the informational, education and cultural needs of the community.”


The Library is a public forum for the collection, use and dissemination of information and ideas in a democratic and free society. The Library also is neutral ground, making information and ideas available without discrimination, without coercing a viewpoint on our public and by resisting barriers to information others may wish to impose. Inclusion of material in the collection does not consist of endorsement of its viewpoint by the Library.


In other words, by its nature and its mission, the materials and services of the Haddonfield Public Library, like the community its serves, must be diverse and must include all points of view on current and historical topics. To provide this diversity, some materials will be controversial, unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.




The Board of Trustees delegates the responsibility for the selection to the Library Director and the staff of the Library.




Providing a high quality library collection is an art, not a science, and many factors are considered as part of the selection process.


The most important factor in selecting materials is to acquire items of current usefulness and of interest to the patrons of the Library. For items in high demand, duplicate copies will be purchased.


Many other selection factors include: anticipated demand; patron requests; price; reviewed recommendations; format; presentation; differing points of view or perspectives; and what materials on the same subject are currently owned by the Library.


The Haddonfield Public Library may join with other libraries to jointly offer certain materials on a rotating or cooperative basis.


As determined by the staff and in accordance with national and regional protocols, interlibrary loan will be used to fulfill appropriate requests from patrons.  This includes most out-of-print titles, highly specialized works inappropriate for our collection and other materials not owned by the Haddonfield Library but readily accessible from other libraries. Lack of space in the library is a contributing factor in purchase and interlibrary loan practices.




Haddonfield is a town with a long and rich history. Working in cooperation with the Historical Society of Haddonfield, the Haddonfield Public Library will collect and preserve information and materials relating to Haddonfield in as great depth and diversity as is possible.




Information is collected and made available in many formats. These include, but are not

limited to:

  • books
  • periodicals
  • other printed materials
  • videocassettes
  • audiocassettes
  • compact discs
  • DVDs
  • microforms
  • digital information by computer
    • CD-ROMS
    •  on-line through the Internet
    • databases and other electronic resources
    • E-books


  • other digitized and downloadable formats including books, music, movies, television, devices and newer technologies as they evolve


Because of space and budget limitations, certain types of materials may be collected in more than one format which we believe to be the most useful for and to best serve our customers. For example, music may be collected in the compact disc format and in downloadable format; we do not purchase or add gifts of music on audiocassette.




Donations of books and other material to the Library are evaluated by the staff for their usefulness to the collection, being guided by the same general selection principles as for newly purchased materials.


Donations will be acknowledged, if requested. However, the responsibility for assigning a monetary value of the donation is with the donor, not the Library. A form to acknowledge the donation is available at the Main circulation desk.




Space in the Haddonfield Public Library is finite. The ongoing acquisition of new materials also necessitates the ongoing removal of other materials.


Many factors are used to determine what materials should be removed including:

  • usage statistics
  • what other material is available on the same subject in the library and for loan from other libraries
  • whether the material is out of date
  • condition of material


Withdrawn materials, if appropriate, will be offered to other libraries, institutions, or community agencies. If not offered or if rejected by other libraries, institutions or agencies, they will be either sold as used items or discarded. The library makes every effort to place discarded or donated items. It reserves the right to dispose of as needed in the event that placement is not realized.


Intellectual Freedom

The Board of Trustees of the Haddonfield Public Library affirms its commitment to:








Any person who wishes to complain about a book or other material from the Library may fill out a form and return it to the Library Director. The Director has set up a formal process to handle such complaints. The complainant shall discuss the complaint with the Library director. After discussion with the director about the item(s) in question, if the complaint is not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, s/he should fill out A Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form. (Available from the library director.) The Library Director will review the form and complaint. The Library Director will make a recommendation to the Library Board at the next regularly scheduled Library Board meeting. The Board may appoint a subcommittee to review the complaint. The Director will respond in writing to the complainant within seven days of the Library Board meeting. A final decision on the complaint will be relayed to the complainant within seven days of its availability.


During the time any complaint is under review, the material being challenged will not be removed from the active collection or moved to another area of the collection.


Access to Use of Library Materials and Services to Minors

Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states, “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, back ground or views.” Libraries should ensure that all members of the community have free and equal access to library resources. This principle applies equally to all users, minors as well as adults.


At the same time, the Haddonfield Public Library cannot and should not assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child. Parents — and only parents — have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children – and only their children – to library resources. Parents or legal guardians who do not want their children to have access to certain library services, materials or facilities, should so advise their children.




Confidentiality of Library Records and e-Content Policy

The Board of Trustees of the Haddonfield Public Library believes that it is the basic right of every individual to read what s/he wishes without fear of censure or legal consequence. It also affirms the right of every person to privacy.  The library will not disclose any personally identifying information except as required by NJ law.  Such records will not be made available to any individual, organization or government agency except pursuant to New Jersey Law (NJSA 18:A 73-43.2), which reads:  “Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:


  1. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
  2. Disclosure is requested by the user; or
  3. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or court order. “


As a public institution, the Library is legally required to comply with information requests pursuant to the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, P. L. 107-56, Oct. 26, 2001.) Under this act, the person whose records are subject to a search warrant may not be notified that a search warrant has been served. It permits the FBI to obtain a search warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to retrieve library usage records of someone who is under investigation of involvement in an ongoing terrorist or intelligence investigation. The act absolves all institutions and employees from any liability for releasing personal information in compliance with a FISA search warrant.


New Jersey’s confidentiality of library records law applies to electronic content within the library’s control. Libraries have a longstanding commitment to protecting the privacy of their customers. Records of physical books checked out are currently protected by law. However, the library cannot control the data practices of Google, Amazon, or other third party vendors that collect and / or disclose information about library customers and their use patterns (bookmarks, margin notes, etc.)

 Revised 7/31/14  Revised April 23, 2013 Revised 8/25/09 Previously adopted by the Library Board of Trustees.








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