Bridgeport Public Library Collection Development and Management Policy
Adopted National Statements from the American Library Association
We embrace the rich heritage and vibrant future of our growing community and aspire to be the best possible public library for Bridgeport. We create opportunities to participate, connect, and discover. We encourage lifelong learning, respond to the needs of our diverse community, offer space for people and ideas to come together, and provide materials and programs that entertain, inform, and inspire. We are committed to excellent customer service and stewardship of the physical and financial assets entrusted to the library.
It is the mission of the Bridgeport Public Library to provide materials, resources and services which help patrons meet their personal, educational, cultural and professional information needs. The library’s collection is a key part of service to the community.
It is the goal of the library to provide a high-quality collection of books and other materials that is responsive to the needs and interests of the community. The collection should reflect the diversity of the community as well as the wider world and represent various points of view. The Bridgeport Public Library provides free and equitable access for all users.
The library upholds the right of the individual to secure information, though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to others. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy.
Responsibility for Selection
Collection management under this policy is administered by the Library Director. Suggestions from Bridgeport residents and the Bridgeport Public Library Board of Trustees are welcomed.
General criteria for selecting books and other materials include, but are not limited to:
An item need not meet all criteria to be acceptable. Books and other materials will be considered as whole works and may not be excluded based on individual passages taken out of context.
Criteria for Children and Young Adults
Materials for children and teenagers are intended to broaden their vision, support recreational reading, encourage and facilitate reading skills, supplement their educational needs, stimulate and widen their interests, lead to recognition and appreciation of literature, and reflect the diversity of the community. The reading and viewing activity of children is ultimately the responsibility of parents, who guide and oversee their own children's development. The library does not intrude on that relationship. Selectors use the School Library Journal and the Junior Library Guild to select a variety of diverse high-quality material to encourage and facilitate reading skills on a multitude of levels. Selectors also choose current-interest materials.
Requests for Reconsideration
While patrons may reject materials for themselves or their children, they cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.
The following steps below will be used when a patron feels that further action is necessary to address concerns about a library resource. For the duration of this process, the material in question will remain in circulation in the library collection.
1. A concerned patron who is dissatisfied with earlier informal discussions will be offered a packet of materials that includes the library’s mission statement, selection policy, reconsideration form, and the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights.
2. The patron is required to complete and submit a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form to the Library Director.
3. The Library Director, with appropriate professional staff, will review the reconsideration form and the material in question within thirty (30) days, using published reviews and consider whether its selection follows the criteria stated in the Collection Development Policy. The Library Director will notify the patron in writing of the decision, and the reasons for that decision.
4. If the patron is not satisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be submitted within ten (10) business days to the Bridgeport Public Library Board of Trustees.
5. If the Bridgeport Public Library Board of Trustees plans to address the appeal at their next board meeting, the patron will be notified of when and where the meeting will be held. The Bridgeport Public Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to limit the length of public comments.
6. The decision of the Bridgeport Public Library Board of Trustees is final.
7. A copy of the request form, without identifying patron information, will be mailed to the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee.
8. The Library will not undergo this review process for the same material for a period of five (5) years unless the content has undergone major revisions.
Discarding Books and Other Library Materials
It is the responsibility of Bridgeport Public Library staff, acting under the authority and direction of the Library Director, to select and discard library materials. These decisions are made within the limitations of available space and within the scope of this collection development plan.
Withdrawal of Materials
An item may be withdrawn from the library collection for several reasons, including:
Withdrawn items may be given to local nonprofit organizations or may be sold during Library Book Sales.
Suggestions for Purchase
The Bridgeport Public Library strongly encourages input from the community concerning the collection. A suggestion for purchase procedure enables Bridgeport residents to request that a particular item or subject be purchased for the library's collection. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. You can ask for a form at a public service desk.
Digital resources, including eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video are subject to the same general selection criteria as other materials.
The Bridgeport Public Library accepts all donations of materials, except textbooks. Donations will be accepted into the collection if they meet the same standards as purchased materials.
Decisions regarding the final disposition of donations are the responsibility of staff. The library does not place a value on donations, nor provide appraisals for income tax or any other financial purpose. The library is pleased to accept monetary donations intended for the purchase of library materials when the donors’ intentions for the gifts and the library’s collection development objectives are consistent.
Adopted by the Bridgeport Public Library Board on Febraury 23, 2023