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Policies

Resources Selection Policy

The local and community nature of the service requires special emphasis to be placed on the needs and aspirations of the local community and on the provision of services for particular groups within it, while also providing access to wider resources through regional and national library networks.

Statutory Requirements

As a public library authority, Ceredigion is required to meet the terms of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

Library Standards

Generally accepted professional standards will be aimed at and improved upon whenever practicable.

A Brief Community Profile Of Ceredigion:

Population

1991=63, 094
1996=69, 700
1997=70, 399

Ceredigion is one of the fastest growing counties in Wales due to net inward migration exceeding the natural decrease in the resident population. The natural decrease of 1200 between 1981 and 1991 was offset by an inward figure of 6,800. Distribution of population growth was uneven. The southern parts of Ceredigion, Cardigan, Lampeter and Aberaeron experienced a larger proportional increase of population than the northern parts in Aberystwyth and Tregaron.

28% of the county's resident population live in the three main towns of Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Lampeter. The university towns of Aberystwyth pop. 11,502 and Lampeter pop. 1,987 support some 7,000 and 1,500 students respectively. Other key towns include Aberaeron, Llandysul, New Quay, Tregaron, Aber-porth and Borth.

The vast majority of the county's population is located along the coastal belt, the county becomes progressively more sparsely populated further east.

Welsh Language

Ceredigion is one of the heartlands of the Welsh language. 59% of the county speak Welsh 36,000 people.

Only 4 of the 51 local community and town council areas contain populations with fewer than 50% Welsh speakers: Aberystwyth, Llanbadam Fawr, Y Borth and Ysgubor y Coed. 64% of the population of Ceredigion were born in Wales. This figure is the lowest of any county in Wales.

Depopulation, inward migration, poor income levels and employment opportunities are a significant cause of change. The high level of inward migration, combined with the high incidence of out-migration by young people is changing the socioeconomic, cultural and linguistic character of Ceredigion.

Consideration is given to these features as they influence the needs of the reading public.

Criteria to be considered for materials that are added to the collection:

  • Authority and competence of the author in presentation
  • Authority and competence in content
  • Reputation of the author
  • Literary value of the work
  • Current, permanent or historical value of the work
  • Importance of the work to the total collection
  • Potential or known use by readers
  • Appearance of the title in important bibliographies, lists or recognised reviews.

The appearance of a title on a bestseller list shall not be the sole reason for inclusion in the collection.

  • Permanent or current value of the title
  • Presence or absence of similar materials in the collection
  • Price
  • Format: appropriateness of format to content; likely use of the material

An item however, need not meet all the above criteria to be acceptable.

Books and other materials shall be considered as whole works and may not be excluded on individual passages taken out of context.

The library shall endeavour to provide materials and information that present all viewpoints on current and historical issues.

The collection shall include materials that present opposing views on controversial topics.

Staff are available to help and guide readers choose reading materials.

Including a particular title in the collection does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the library.

Censorship

The position of public libraries with regard to censorship has been clearly established for many years by following the guidance of the Library Association. This as outlined below is Ceredigion's policy:

The function of a library service is to provide as far as resources allow, all books, periodicals, etc., other than the trivial, in which its readers claim legitimate interest. In determining what is a legitimate interest the librarian can safely rely upon one guide only the law of the land. If the publication of such matter has not incurred penalties under the law it should not be excluded from libraries on moral, political, religious or racial ground alone, to satisfy any sectional interest.

The public are entitled to rely upon libraries for access to information and enlightenment upon every field of human experience and activities. Those who provide library services should not restrict this access except by standards which are endorsed by law.

Fiction

Classics: the aim is to maintain one copy at area headquarters.

Standard authors: new works by established authors are purchased automatically to meet readers demands. The list is periodically revised.

Light Fiction (romances, westerns, mysteries): a selection of new titles are bought each month to meet demand.

New authors: Use of reviews is made to ensure a selection of the best new authors are included in the collection.

Non-Fiction

No work shall be rejected because of the origin or views of the author. Rather the author shall be a recognised subject authority, whose writing is characterised by competence and objectivity.

Large Print Books

10% of the book fund is spent on a regular monthly supply of large print books.

Reference Books

The most extensive collection is kept at county headquarters. Due to lack of space individual works of an encyclopaedic nature only are kept at branches.

Expensive (¦pound;50.00+) annuals are rotated around the major branches.

Books For Children

10% of the book fund is spent on fiction, non-fiction, picture books and teenage books for children of all ages.

Local History

  • Within limitations of budget and facilities materials which reflect the political, social, cultural and economic life of Ceredigion will be collected.
  • The above standards for items in general will not always apply, since inclusiveness is the goal.
  • Taking into account the present collection which includes slides and photographs, and the nature of the department at present which includes an archive and museum, the main aim of the library in future will be to collect printed material. Manuscript items and original photographs will be directed to the archive. The library will continue to collect copies of photographs to add to the extensive slide collection.

Welsh Language Provision

The Library is committed to promoting and encouraging the demands of a Welsh speaking community. This means ensuring that a sufficient range of titles, and multiple copies, of popular, readable material are bought.

Gifts And Donations

Only unconditional gifts will be accepted.

All gifts are considered the outright and unconditional property of Ceredigion Library.

Weeding Of Stock

Weeding stock is the reverse of book selection. Weeding is a thorough and conscientious effort to achieve a well-balanced collection. Books and other materials that are obsolete, soiled, damaged or no longer useful in the light of the above selection standards shall be systematically removed from the collection.

Books removed may be sold for a nominal price to raise income for the library.

Important titles, especially local material will be kept regardless of condition.

Videos

The value of information in a wide range of new formats is appreciated.

The video collection supplements the traditional book collection. The emphasis of the selection is on educational and instructional videos. Income is also an important factor and the collection contains a range of popular and classic films and T.V. programmes in both English and Welsh.

Approximately 5% of the resources fund is aimed at videos.

Talking Books

There is an increasing demand for talking books both from people who find difficulty in reading conventional books and the ordinary reader.

A range of popular talking books is available at the larger branches. On mobile libraries priority is given to housebound and those who find difficulty in reading conventional books.

Cassettes And Cds

A collection of classic CDs is maintained at the County Headquarters library.

Due to financial restraints priority in the branches and mobiles is given to those who are unable to take advantage of reading books.

28 February 1997 R J Williams
Director of Education and Community Services