Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
- Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
See also: Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights | American Library Association Policy
Confidentiality of Library Records
The Libraries of the Vermont State Colleges affirm the American Library Association's position on the confidentiality of patron records. Circulation records, in particular the association of library users with specific materials, will be kept in the strictest confidence.
Circulation records shall not be made available to college personnel, governmental agencies, or law enforcement unless relevant legal protocols have been established. All requests for information should be given to the library director of the institution in question. In the director's absence requests should be made to the General Counsel of the Vermont State Colleges.
Vermont State College Libraries, Library Council Mission Statement
The VSC Library Council advances teaching and learning throughout the Vermont State Colleges.
The VSC libraries are campus centers of scholarly inquiry and communication and are vital to the intellectual, social, and cultural lives of the colleges and their communities. We are virtual centers as well, providing equivalent services to non-residential populations.
The VSC Library Council stewards excellent library services. It encourages the open and free exchange of ideas. It is committed to life-long learning, critical thinking, and information literacy. It supports collaboration within and beyond the VSC libraries.
The VSC libraries recognize that freedom of expression and free access to ideas is fundamental to the educational enterprise and to the preservation of a democratic society. The libraries adhere to the principles outlined in the American Library Association's Bill of Rights, its Intellectual Freedom Statement, and its Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records. (March 2014)
Castleton University Library Mission
The Calvin Coolidge Library’s primary mission is to foster information literacy and provide our community with access to collections that support research, teaching and learning, intellectual curiosity and enrichment, and civic engagement. The library offers services to support students and faculty in conducting research and contributing to scholarship in their disciplines and professions. The library provides an inclusive space for exploration, reflection, and collaboration. In advancing information literacy, the library advocates for and supports intellectual and academic freedoms, including the rights of our community members to seek and access information, and to speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. The library actively supports the missions of both the Vermont State Colleges and Castleton University, engages with the broader University community, and collaborates with our academic and professional peers. (May, 2017)
Library Collection Development
In an environment of rapidly shifting patterns of information delivery it is critical that decisions regarding the selection of materials and services be based on sound principles that have the support of all stakeholders in the community.
The collection development policy that follows reflects the stated missions of both the Vermont State Colleges and Castleton. In particular it supports the VSC goals that graduates of the state colleges will:
"Demonstrate competence in communication, research and critical thinking. Be engaged, effective and responsible citizens. Embrace the necessity and joy of lifelong learning."
These goals cannot be met without a well-managed library that embraces technological change while at the same time preserving the rich deposit of our intellectual heritage.
Library Mission Statement
"The central mission of Calvin Coolidge Library is to help our students to become readers, that is to actively engage students in the great conversations of history and of their own democratic society. The library should provide focused support for students and faculty in their coursework and research, but it should also provide the college community and the region with a resource that enables each of us to learn more about ourselves as human beings and as citizens. In this regard, the library makes particular note of the longstanding role this and other American libraries have played in honoring first amendment freedoms, particularly freedom of expression and the right to privacy.
Finally, the library supports the missions of both the Vermont State Colleges and Castleton, with particular respect to "citizenship," "lifelong learning," "development of knowledge," and "competence in research and critical thinking." Along with the other VSC libraries, the Coolidge Library maintains a strong commitment to "information literacy" as a crucial intermediate step in assisting our students to become learned and contributing members of society."
The primary objective of Calvin Coolidge Library is the support of undergraduate and graduate academic programs at Castleton. The goal of Castleton's curriculum, as stated in the College catalog, is "to provide students both with a solid foundation in the liberal arts and with preparation for selected careers and professions."
Library collection development works in support of these goals as a first priority. Secondary objectives of the library acquisitions programs include:
- Acquisition of research material (print, electronic, media, microform, etc.) of lasting value that is requested by faculty and administration.
- Acquisition of materials for general reference and information outside of the areas of academic instruction, thus providing a general information resource for the University and local community.
- Acquisition of popular reading material that will promote a life-long reading habit.
- Acquisition of a variety of materials to provide different perspectives on controversial issues.
- Acquisition of archival material pertaining to Castleton and the surrounding area.
- While budgetary constraints are always a factor in selection decisions, Calvin Coolidge Library is committed to providing the best, most current information regardless of format or method of presentation.
Ultimate accountability for the development and maintenance of the library's collection rests with the library director. It is the library director's responsibility to assign selection subject areas to the professional library staff and to solicit selections from faculty in their respective areas of expertise. Faculty members are encouraged to make recommendations for library acquisitions from their professional literature as well as for course requirements and students' research needs. Students' requests for acquisition of materials are also welcomed, and are reviewed by the same standards as are requests from all other sources.
It is the library director's responsibility to allocate the materials budget in such a way as to fulfill the library's collection development goals. A number of financial, institutional, and system-wide pressures affect the allocation of funds. The exploding cost of serial publications and the migration from print to electronic formats are factors that have had profound effects on library budgeting.
Materials allocations are reviewed yearly and appropriate changes are made.
General Guidelines for an Acquisition of Library Materials
- Ethical and Legal Principles
Calvin Coolidge Library supports the standards on collection development contained within the "Standards for College Libraries" adopted by the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries. Calvin Coolidge Library also supports and complies with the American Library Association's Bill of Rights. In accordance with the principles contained within these documents, the library will purchase materials that reflect a wide range of opinions on moral, social, political, philosophical, and religious issues. The library will not, at the request of any individual or group, withdraw any item that has been added on the basis of the stated selection criteria or add any item that has been excluded on the basis of the stated criteria.
Calvin Coolidge Library complies fully with all the provisions of the U. S. copyright law and will aid other members of the college community in understanding and complying with copyright law.
- Criteria for Selection of All Materials
Institutional goals, relevancy to the curriculum, quality of content and fulfillment of academic need are the primary factors taken into consideration when selecting materials. Considerations in choosing materials also include some or all of the following:
- support of specific academic programs
- appropriateness of the level of treatment
- strength of present holdings in same or similar subject areas
- demand, as determined by, e.g. circulation data and interlibrary loan requests for material on the same or similar subjects
- suitability of format to content
- authority of author, publisher, vendor
- reviews in subject-specific and standard library reviewing sources
- The funds available for monographs are divided among approximately 40 subject lines. The amount allocated to each line reflects such factors as the number of courses taught and majors offered, the number of students and faculty involved, and past library circulation statistics. The rate of publishing and the average cost of materials in the field are also factored into the allocation procedure. A basic mathematical model is used in arriving at the allocations, with the realization that some flexibility is necessary for changing conditions (for example, new course offerings, new levels of academic accreditation for programs, changes in student research requirements, etc.).
- Textbooks are not normally purchased. The exceptions are those which have earned reputations as "classics" in their fields, or when a textbook is the best or only source of information on a particular topic.
- Duplicates are purchased only under unusual circumstances.
- When there is an option of paper or electronic, the choice is based on the nature of expected use, lasting value of content, and cost differential. When feasible, reference materials (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.) are preferred in electronic format.
- The majority of selections are current publications. Calvin Coolidge Library recognizes the need for retrospective purchases, and occasionally uses standard bibliographies and other evaluation tools to locate and fill gaps in the collection. Except for foreign language dictionaries, the library acquires only English language reference and research sources. Literature and language materials that are part of the curriculum are collected as well.
There are a few special collections:
- Those books which have an intended audience of preschool through young adults are shelved separately from the general collection in an area designated "Juvenile Collection." The purpose of the collection is to provide a sampling of quality children's literature for students planning to go into education or other careers working with children and young people. The collection includes all Dorothy Canfield Fisher Medal and Honor books since the award's inception in 1957.
- A small, frequently replenished collection of recreational reading materials—the “Casual Collection”--is maintained to encourage the reading habit. Acquisitions are always paperback, occasionally are also found in the main collection, but are usually the type of popular fiction not purchased for academic purposes.
Because serials consume such a large percentage of the library materials budget, special attention must be paid to the unique requirements of developing and maintaining a serials collection.
The serials collection supports the research needs of Castleton undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Serials are issued in paper, microform and electronic format. All formats will be considered in the library's purchase and/or access decisions. The exploding cost of serials, and the ongoing nature of a subscription, require that special care be exercised in reviewing serial titles before they are purchased for the collection and that regular evaluation of current subscriptions is conducted.
Regular review is key to maintaining a collection that best supports student research. Special factors to be considered include:
- Cost, including such data as rate of price increases and cost of storage
- Uniqueness of subject coverage
- Full-text availability through electronic means.
- Usage or projected usage
- Availability of indexing for any serial being considered
- Holdings at other institutions
Calvin Coolidge Library regularly conducts serials reviews in order to determine which serial subscriptions should be added or canceled and also to determine the most appropriate, cost-effective format for subscriptions.
Most indexes to journals and other serial literature are now available in electronic format. Other electronic products provide content that was formerly available only in looseleaf services, as print encyclopedias, or collections of reports. In addition to the “Criteria for Selection of All Materials” (above), issues to be considered in the selection of electronic products include:
- Ease of use
- Flexibility of search features
- Availability of full-text, including HTML or pdf status of text
- Coverage of core resources in the discipline
- Duplication in other electronic and print resources
- Compatibility with other electronic products
- Licensing issues, such as permission for remote access through a proxy server
- Consortial options for purchase
- Reliability of vendor and vendor customer service record
Whenever possible, electronic products are purchased through consortia (the Vermont State Colleges, Lyrasis, WALDO, Vermont Consortium of Academic Libraries, Vermont Department of Libraries), where group purchasing enables better rates. Trials of products are always hosted before purchase, and feedback from faculty and students is solicited.
Requests for audio/visual materials (CDs, DVDs, streaming video, etc.) are evaluated using much the same criteria as other materials, with special emphasis on the suitability of the format to the content, and on the quality of the production. Evaluation, weeding and replacement of CDs and DVDs follow approximately the same guidelines and procedures as for monographs.
Castleton has been a selective depository for federal documents since 1969. The government documents librarian has primary responsibility for the selection and acquisition of materials for this collection. The government document collection is intended to both support the mission of the library and to serve the government information needs of the citizens of central and southern Vermont. The government documents collection has its own collection development policy, available on request in the library.
Gifts are encouraged, with the understanding that the library may dispose of them or add them to the collection at its discretion, and in the same manner as purchased material. As a general rule, gift books will be added based on the same criteria as purchased ones. The library assumes no responsibility for the appraisal of gift items, nor can the library accept gift items under restricted conditions. For further information see the Castleton University Library Gift Policy, available on request in the library.
Collection Maintenance and Evaluation
Deselection of library materials (the process of removing materials from the collection) is essential for the maintenance of a current, active collection that meets the needs of the academic community. Deselection provides quality control through the elimination of inaccurate, outdated and worn-out materials. Deselection requires the same level of attention to collection development requirements as does the original selection process.
The reference collection is continually monitored for outdated material, which is replaced or withdrawn. Individual sections of the general collection are periodically reviewed. Faculty members are encouraged to draw to the attention of the library staff any outdated or inaccurate materials.
Cooperative Collection Development
Calvin Coolidge Library’s status as a member of a network of college libraries has a significant impact on collection development decisions. Shared electronic periodical databases influence each member institution’s decisions regarding the acquisition of individual serial titles and aggregated electronic databases. The Vermont State Colleges online catalog facilitates interlibrary loans, with the result that less intensive collection development can sometimes be undertaken in those subject areas where other VSC collections are strong. Castleton is committed to the maintenance and enhancement of a comprehensive statewide database of information sources.
Calvin Coolidge Library recognizes that freedom of expression and free access to ideas is fundamental not only to the educational enterprise but also to the preservation of a democratic society. The library, therefore, supports the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, its Intellectual Freedom Statement, and its statement on challenged materials, all of which are available at the library on request.
Library Gift & Donation Policy
Over the years, Calvin Coolidge Library has been enriched by generous gifts from alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University. The library welcomes gifts that support the University’s mission and academic programs.
The library welcomes the following kinds of donations:
- Hardback and paperback books in good condition that support Castleton’s academic programs
- Substantial runs of appropriate academic journals
- Music compact discs
- Videos and DVDs
- Financial contributions
The library generally does not need old textbooks, damaged or heavily underlined books, laboratory or repair manuals, workbooks, photocopies, or most artifacts (objects).
No library collects everything. Calvin Coolidge Library primarily collects materials that support the mission and programs of the University. Gifts are evaluated for addition to the collection using the same criteria that are used for purchasing new material. (See the Castleton Collection Development Policy Statement.)
Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the sole property of the library, and the library reserves the right to use them to best serve its patrons. Donated materials will often serve to complete partial sets, add additional copies, and replace worn or lost titles. The library will sell gifts that do not meet current needs, or it may exchange items with other libraries for materials that are more appropriate for Castleton’s collection. It may also donate them to Little Free Libraries in the area. The library will recycle items as a last resort.
The library cannot create a special collection for a donor’s materials nor can it accept donations with restrictions.
Purchasing a book (or other items) for the library
You may also purchase something for the library. For example, if you wish to remember a loved one who had an interest in art, the librarian who selects art materials will select something that is needed by the library and that is in the price range you specify. An “In Memory Of” gift plate will be placed in the book.
How to make a donation
To donate books or other items: Call Michele Perry, Technical Services Cataloger/Archives (802-468-1343), who will discuss your donation with you and let you know of any special circumstances regarding your gift.
To make a financial contribution: Call the Castleton Development Office (802-468-1241) or visit the Alumni & Giving page and give to the Castleton annual fund.
A note about appraisals
Most donations are tax-deductible. The library, however, assumes no responsibility for estimating the monetary value of donated items. Donors may receive further information on the valuation of donated property from the Internal Revenue Service and IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.
The library will acknowledge all donations with a letter of thanks unless requested not to. Other methods of acknowledgment may include bookplates or temporary displays.
Patron Behavior Policy
All library patrons are expected to behave courteously and with respect for their fellow library patrons, the library space, and library faculty and staff.