Collection Policy


Library Mission

Rosenberg Library represents Galveston’s past, present, and future, a unique institution serving as the principal repository of Galveston’s historical heritage and providing technological and traditional library services, all as a continuing resource for the community, its children and its children’s children. (Approved by the Board of Directors, April 20, 2004.)

Library Roles

The Rosenberg Library traces its beginnings to the founding of the Galveston Mercantile Library (1870) and the Galveston Historical Society (1871). These antecedents gave rise to the Rosenberg Library’s hybrid character. Today, the Library serves several roles: (1) traditional public library (through Adult Services and Children’s Services); (2) technology center (through Computer Services); (3) historical society (through Special Collections, which embraces the Galveston and Texas History Center and the Museum).

Purpose of This Policy

This policy serves as a guide to Library staff in the selection and de-selection of materials, as well as a means of informing the public about the principles upon which materials are added to or withdrawn from the collection.

Revisions to This Policy

This policy is subject to revision as time and circumstances warrant.

Intellectual Freedom

The Rosenberg Library acquires and provides materials that allow individuals to examine issues and make independent decisions. A customer may reject materials for himself/herself and his/her children but may not restrict others’ access to the materials. The Library supports the concept of intellectual freedom and endorses Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, Free Access to Libraries for Minors and Freedom to View Statement (see Appendix for these documents).

Materials Selection


In most instances, the Executive Director delegates the day to day responsibility for library collection development to the heads of Adult Services, Children’s Services, and Special Collections. These department heads select new materials for use by the Library’s patrons. (An exception is the Museum; see “Gifts – Special Materials” below.) These individuals are accountable for their decisions to the Executive Director, who, in turn, is accountable to the Board of Directors. The Rosenberg Library welcomes collection development recommendations from the public.

Selection Criteria

Library materials are selected for purchase on the basis of review media (e.g., journals, best-seller lists, standard bibliographies, etc.), input from professional and paraprofessional staff of their departments, and customer input. In addition, the Head of Special Collections purchases publications for the Museum as requested by the Curator.

The following are limiting factors in the acquisition of Library materials:

  1. Budget
  2. Availability
  3. Format
  4. Shelf space
  5. Perceived community need

The following criteria govern the selection of new materials:

  1. Quality, including accuracy, clarity, and usability
  2. Individual merit
  3. Suitability for patrons
  4. Their “fit” with existing Library holdings
Collection Maintenance

Circulating and Non-Circulating Collections

Adult Services, Children’s Services, and Special Collections all serve as public service departments. Adult Services and Children’s Services have circulating collections, although each department also maintains reference collections that do not circulate. The holdings of Special Collections also do not circulate. The circulating collections require continuing, systematic withdrawal and replacement of materials to ensure that their holdings remain useful and relevant. The holdings of the Galveston and Texas History Center and Museum, although non-circulating, may still be subject to periodic review.

CREW Method

The heads of Adult Services and Children’s Services follow the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding) method, developed by the Texas State Library. Materials are evaluated throughout their life cycle, until they are no longer useful and are withdrawn/de-selected. CREW ensures that the Library receives the following benefits:

  1. Saved space
  2. Saved time
  3. Enhanced collection appearance
  4. Improved library reputation
  5. Continual monitoring of the collection’s condition
  6. Constant tabs on the collection’s high points and weaknesses
  7. Timeliness of the materials

Materials are candidates for de-selection if they satisfy one or more of the following general requirements:

  1. Poor content (including inaccurate, outdated, and obsolete information)
  2. Poor condition (for mending, binding, or withdrawal)
  3. Lack of use or demand
  4. Duplicate copies no longer needed
  5. Lack of shelf space

The last copy of a work in the collection will be examined more closely and evaluated in terms of its value to the community, with consideration given to the following:

  1. Local interest*
  2. Reputation of author, publisher,producer, or illustrator*
  3. Significance as identified in standard bibliographies*
  4. Quality of graphics*
  5. Uniqueness of information for research
  6. Memorial gift*

Effective weeding relies on common sense and professional judgment, including knowledge of the collection and the community. Specific de-selection guidelines are contained in the CREW document (see citation in Notes below).

* The Rosenberg Library staff will use a higher standard of retention for the following types of materials: local histories, books by local authors, memorial books, Newberry Medal & Caldecott Medal award books and oversize collection books.


Over the years, the Rosenberg Library’s acquisitions budget and newly acquired materials have continued to increase, while the available space for the storage of materials has remained static. Therefore, de-selection is important and a compelling factor for withdrawing books and other materials from the collection. De-selection ensures the availability of more shelf space for newly acquired materials.

Responsibility for De-selection

Public services department heads are responsible for reviewing and approving (or rejecting) all de-selection decisions and ordering replacement copies if deemed appropriate, subject to review of the Executive Director or designated reviewer. Withdrawn items are donated to the Friends of the Rosenberg Library for their book sales.

De-selection of Archive and Museum Holdings

This procedure involves removing archival materials and museum artifacts from the Library’s collection. In 1980, the Board of Directors adopted a Museum and Archives Deaccessioning Policy (see Appendix). The Head of Special Collections or the Museum Curator and the Executive Director recommend the withdrawal of an archival item or an artifact. Their recommendation is subject to review by the Board of Directors, which must approve the decision before the item or artifact may be withdrawn. Historical materials and objects that have already been accessioned may be subject to periodic reappraisal to ensure that they conform to the Collection Development Policy.

Impact of Technology

The impact of technology is now being firmly felt in all aspects of American life, with access to information only a click or two away. Although the Internet has opened up access to vast amounts of information, it is a largely unregulated medium that provides both highly reliable and completely unreliable information. The Library has selected a variety of quality databases for its website in an effort to provide patrons with up-to-date, highly reliable information. These databases provide both current information and dated information such as back issues of periodicals and newspapers. Because of –the currency, accuracy, and 24-hour accessibility of on-line databases, acquisition of some print -materials is being de-emphasized, thus saving –space that can be -used for other collection development needs. The Rosenberg Library must be prepared to adapt to constantly evolving formats of electronic resources as it delivers more of them in the future.


Traditional Library Materials

The Rosenberg Library accepts and encourages gifts of new and used books, audio recordings, videos, and similar materials. The Library accepts gifts with the understanding that most items will be offered for sale through the Friends of the Rosenberg Library book sales or by other means as deemed appropriate. Items added to the collection must meet the Library’s selection policy and be accepted by the Executive Director or a designated reviewer. A gift added to the collection can be withdrawn at any time.

Special Materials

The Galveston and Texas History Center and the Museum have historically relied on the generosity of donors in building their archival and artifact collections. These materials require the completion of a Gift Conveyance (see Appendix), whereby the donor agrees that the Library shall have all rights associated with the gift. The Head of Special Collections is authorized to accept donations to the Galveston and Texas History Center. On the Curator’s recommendation, the Library’s Board of Directors approves all artifacts that are offered for donation to the Museum.


The Rosenberg Library welcomes monetary gifts given as memorials. Memorials may be given for a variety of purposes including the purchase of materials in memory of or in honor of an individual. Funds are used to purchase materials in accordance with the Library’s selection criteria. Items purchased with memorial contributions will be identified with special donor plates whenever possible. If requested, notification of the memorial contribution will be sent to the family of the person being recognized. Items designated as memorials may be kept longer than other similar items, if the content remains timely and accurate. However, few, if any, items designated as memorials will stay in the collection indefinitely.

Tax Considerations

Gifts are tax-deductible as provided by law. The Rosenberg Library does not establish a monetary value of gifts for income tax purposes.

Print Materials

Adult Services (circulating; reference)

Adult Services provides materials for both young adults (seventh grade and up) and adults of all ages. It acquires materials in a number of formats, including books, periodicals, and large-type print formats. Its print collection attempts to meet recreational, educational, and informational needs. Selections are made for purchase from authoritative professional review media, as well as patron demand. Selection areas include popular interest, lifelong learning, and general information. Titles purchased for the adult collection range from current best sellers to classic titles, both fiction and non-fiction. Ongoing de-selection keeps the collection as current as possible.

Young Adult materials embrace current high interest fiction, including graphic novels, and current topical non-fiction titles that reflect local interests, as well as curriculum-related subjects. Young Adult materials support the curricula of local middle and high schools, as well as the general information needs of teens.

The Young Adult fiction collection serves educational and reading needs. All Young Adult books are chosen primarily through review media.

Children’s Services (circulating; reference)

Children Services serves children from infancy through the sixth grade, as well as parents, teachers, and other adults who work with this age group. Its collection aims for diversity, non-partisanship, and currency of information to meet educational and recreational needs. A wide diversity of ideas reflects major viewpoints on a variety of subjects. Books and other materials must be in good condition and actively used. The department does not maintain a historical collection of children’s literature. Children’s Services seeks to provide a collection that is colorful, vibrant, and inviting to visitors.

The collection consists of current, high-quality print materials available for children, a core of standard titles, and a selection of notable classics. Children’s materials are intended to excite children about reading and researching areas of interest, and to provide a literary background for readers. Quality fiction and non-fiction, some high-interest popular materials, basic research tools, and materials to help children practice reading skills are available. Materials to support classroom instruction are purchased, with the exception of textbooks unless they are the best source of information on a subject. A majority of titles are selected from professional reviews.

Galveston and Texas History Center (reference only)

The Galveston and Texas History Center serves both serious researchers, such as scholars, students, authors, genealogists, and historic preservationists, as well as persons having a general interest in local and state history. Its book collection embraces all aspects of Texas history and culture. Acquisitions include historical and genealogical sources concerning Galveston and Texas counties. Fictional works by Galveston and Galveston County authors, as well as fiction concerning Galveston and Galveston County, are also acquired.

Other Kinds of Materials

Archival (Galveston and Texas History Center)

Archival materials include manuscripts, maps, photographs, architectural drawings, newspapers, and oral histories. Acquisitions relate to Galveston for all time periods (1839 through present) and Texas (Spanish period through 1865, with an emphasis on the Republic of Texas, 1836 – 1845). Archival materials do not circulate and must be used in the reading room. Certain categories, such as manuscripts, maps, photographs, and architectural drawings, are added to the collection through accessioning. This simply means that the item or items are assigned a unique identifying number to identify their origin (provenance) or to denote their vault location.

Artifact (Museum)

The Museum collection includes artwork (approximately 40%), clothing and textiles (30%), and historical artifacts (30%). Acquisitions must conform to the Museum Collection Policy (see Appendix). The Curator recommends the acquisition of artifacts to the Board of Directors, which votes on their acceptance.

Audiovisual (Adult Services; Children’s Services; Galveston and Texas History Center)

Audiovisual materials, including videos, audio books, and compact disks serve informational, educational, and recreational needs. An emerging trend is the blurring of distinction between audiovisual and print materials. In order to better serve patrons and maximize the available audiovisual budget, the Library has elected not to attempt to purchase the same materials in different formats, such as audiotape and CD.

Electronic (Computer Services)

The Library subscribes to a selection of on-line information resources, many of which now have replaced print versions to better serve patrons. Additionally, the Library also provides access to a variety of on-line databases made available cooperatively through the Texas State Library. The Library’s collection of e-books, provided by the State Library, is available in the Computer Lab, and accessible by patrons from home computers.

Periodicals and Newspapers (Adult Services; Children’s Services; Galveston and Texas History Center)

Periodical subscriptions are reviewed on an annual basis. Titles are added or deleted, as budget and demand allow. Another emerging factor that strongly influences subscription decisions is the availability of on-line databases which provide Rosenberg Library patrons with 24/7 remote access to millions of magazine and newspaper articles. Therefore, special emphasis is placed on the purchase of subscriptions to high interest periodicals. General interest magazines on topics of wide appeal, including sports, hobbies, and current events, as well as special interest magazines, are acquired. Adult Services and Children’s Services circulate older copies of magazines. Adult Services maintains a microfilm collection of the Galveston County Daily News back to 1846, as well as available ship passenger lists for Galveston, 1846 – 1948. It also maintains microfilms of the Texas federal census and some other early Galveston newspapers. The Galveston and Texas History Center subscribes to scholarly journals concerning Galveston, Texas history, literature, and culture, and the archives profession. It also maintains an extensive hard copy collection of historic Galveston and Texas newspapers.

Rare Books (Galveston and Texas History Center)

Previously kept in the Fox Room, this collection is now housed in the Galveston and Texas History Center’s vault to provide a more appropriate, controlled environment to better preserve these volumes, as well as better accessibility. It has multiple foci, including the history of Texas printing and publishing, examples of fine press Texana, first editions, and selected fine press works produced in and outside Texas.

Spanish Language (Adult Services; Children’s Services)

Spanish language books, periodicals, and videos are selected via review media. Adult Services and Children’s Services maintain basic core collections of Spanish materials for various levels of readership. Spanish is the only foreign language collected, with the exception of foreign language instructional materials.

NOTES: (1)THE CREW METHOD: Expanded Guidelines for Collection Evaluation and Weeding for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries. Austin, Texas; Texas State Library and Archives Commission, 1995.

Museum Collection Policy
The Rosenberg Library collects historical artifacts to augment and illustrate the collections of its Galveston and Texas History Center, following its same guidelines which are: The Library collects objects significant in Texas history from its beginnings up through the period of the Civil War, and thereafter only objects significant to Galveston’s history.

The Library may from time to time, by action of its Board of Directors, accept, preserve and display art objects from any source of origin and created at any time with the primary objective of enhancing and decorating the Rosenberg Library. However, the Library will seek to obtain and preserve only art works of museum quality which were created in Galveston, or depict Galveston, or were created by persons with a significant direct connection to Galveston by birth and/or long-term residence. In addition, the Library will accept gifts to enlarge and extend those individual collections which it already owns.

Gifts offered to the Library for its museum collections may only be accepted or declined by action of the Board of Directors of the Rosenberg Library Association.

Adopted by the Board of Directors on May 18, 1988.


Gift Conveyance Form

Gift Conveyance Form – PDF | Gift Conveyance Form – RTF

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which 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.

Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

The Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

Free Access to Libraries for Minors

An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources available to other users violate the Library Bill of Rights. The American Library Association opposes all attempts to restrict access to library services, materials, and facilities based on the age of library users.

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, background, or views.” The “right to use a library” includes free access to, and unrestricted use of, all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of, library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V.

Libraries are charged with the mission of developing resources to meet the diverse information needs and interests of the communities they serve. Services, materials, and facilities that fulfill the needs and interests of library users at different stages in their personal development are a necessary part of library resources. The needs and interests of each library user, and resources appropriate to meet those needs and interests, must be determined on an individual basis. Librarians cannot predict what resources will best fulfill the needs and interests of any individual user based on a single criterion such as chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation.

Libraries should not limit the selection and development of library resources simply because minors will have access to them. Institutional self-censorship diminishes the credibility of the library in the community, and restricts access for all library users.

Children and young adults unquestionably possess First Amendment rights, including the right to receive information in the library. Constitutionally protected speech cannot be suppressed solely to protect children or young adults from ideas or images a legislative body believes to be unsuitable for them. 1Librarians and library governing bodies should not resort to age restrictions in an effort to avoid actual or anticipated objections, because only a court of law can determine whether material is not constitutionally protected.

The mission, goals, and objectives of libraries cannot authorize librarians or library governing bodies to assume, abrogate, or overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents. As “Libraries: An American Value” states, “We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children’s use of the library and its resources and services.” Librarians and and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children — and only their children — to library resources. Parents who do not want their children to have access to certain library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their children. Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child.

Lack of access to information can be harmful to minors. Librarians and library governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to ensure that all members of the community they serve have free, equal, and equitable access to the entire range of library resources regardless of content, approach, format, or amount of detail. This principle of library service applies equally to all users, minors as well as adults. Librarians and library governing bodies must uphold this principle in order to provide adequate and effective service to minors.

1See Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205 (1975) -“Speech that is neither obscene as to youths nor subject to some other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable [422 205, 214] for them. In most circumstances, the values protected by the First Amendment are no less applicable when government seeks to control the flow of information to minors. See Tinker v. Des Moines School Dist., supra. Cf. Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).”

Adopted June 30, 1972, by the ALA Council; amended July 1, 1981; July 3, 1991, June 30, 2004. [ISBN 8389-7549-6]

American Library Association Freedom to View Statement

The Freedom to View, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place of censorship in any medium of expression. Therefore, these principles are affirmed:

To provide the broadest possible access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas.

Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.

To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.

To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of content.

To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, and other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.

To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

Reconsideration Form – PDF

Thank you for your interest in the Library’s materials collection; all concerns are taken seriously and your input is valued. The Library serves a widely diverse clientele with varying demands and needs for information, pleasure reading, historical documentation and educational pursuits. In selecting materials to meet the needs of this community the Library staff is guided by the Collection Development policy. The Rosenberg Library’s Board of Directors and staff support the concept of intellectual freedom and believe in the individual’s right to read and in access to library resources for persons of all ages. These are fundamental rights of a democratic society. This means the Library will resist efforts to remove or censor “objectionable” materials or authors. If you would like to review copies of the Collection Development Policy, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Free Access to Libraries for Minors, or the Library Bill of Rights, please ask a librarian.

Archives and Museum Deaccesioning Policy

All artifacts donated to the Rosenberg Library are subjected to careful scrutiny by the Executive Director and Head of Special Collections. The finest become part of the permanent collection. Many others fill gaps in the teaching collection and thus become a bridge between the past and the present for students.

Those objects not filling either need are sold or auctioned. The decision on what can be rejected for addition to the collections or removed from the collections rests solely with the Board of Directors of the Rosenberg Library, acting on recommendations from the Library’s professional staff. All parties concerned try always to be guided by the long range needs of the Library, the Collection Policy, the availability of similar material, and the feelings and intentions of early donors who gave material under other than existing policies. In any case, if an artifact to be removed from the collection and slated for trade or auction has substantial intrinsic value, and if it is convenient for the Library to do so, the donor will be given an opportunity to purchase it from the Library at its current market value.

With regard to a request by a donor that property previously given to the Library be de-accessioned and returned to said donor, the procedure shall be as follows:

The Curator or Department Head in charge of such property must report in writing to the Executive Director approval or disapproval of the request to deaccession, giving reasons therefore, which report cannot be made until the expiration of thirty (30) days after receipt of such request.

After such report by the said Curator or Department Head, the Executive Director must forward the report of the Curator or department Head along with the report of the Executive Director in writing, approving or disapproving such request, to the Board of Directors, which report by the Executive Director cannot be made until the expiration of thirty (30) days after receipt by the Executive Director of the Curator’s or Department Head’s request.

After such report by the Executive Director, the Board of Directors, in regular meeting assembled, which meeting to act on such request cannot be held until thirty (30) days after receipt of report by the Executive Director. If a majority of the Board of Directors in such meeting shall approve such request to de-accession, the Board of Directors in regular meeting assembled must vote a second time on whether to approve or disapprove such request, which second meeting cannot be held until the expiration of at least thirty (30) days after the Board of Directors’ first vote on such matter.

Adopted by the Board of Directors December 12, 1980.