Pierce County Library System selects materials and resources that support the Library’s Mission Statement:
To bring the world of information and imagination to all people of the County.
The Board of Trustees of Pierce County Library System recognizes that the highest potential of American democracy can only be realized when a full range of ideas is accessible to the people as embodied in the United States Constitution’s First Amendment, which protects the free expression of ideas.
The Library’s collection, protected by the First Amendment and Article I of the Washington State Constitution, is a marketplace of ideas, contained in varied and divergent materials and formats.
The Library’s collection will be selected and maintained to provide material to enable each individual to acquire or adapt the skills and knowledge necessary to participate in self-government, be productive, elevate the individual’s humanity and contribute to the enjoyment of life according to the full exercise of free choice.
In pursuit of this goal, the Library’s collection will include as wide a selection as possible. Subjects will be covered in sufficient depth to meet anticipated and expressed needs.
The collection will be impartial and will seek the greatest possible balance by including, as available, diverse and opposing points of view on issues of public interest.
Factors to be considered in adding specific materials to the Library’s collection shall include:
The Library welcomes public suggestion of items and subjects not included in the Library’s collection.
No materials shall be excluded because of the race, nationality, gender, religion, political or social view of the author.
Individual items which in and of themselves may be controversial or offensive to some may appropriately be selected if their inclusion in the collection will contribute to the balance and effectiveness of the Library’s collection as a whole.
Forms of expression that are unprotected by the First Amendment will not knowingly be included in the collection. Unprotected materials are those that have been declared obscene by a U.S. Court of Law.
The Board of Trustees recognizes that full information about issues of public concern requires access to information sources which embody, represent, illustrate and challenge these concerns.
The Board believes that library use is an individual, private matter. While individuals are free to select or reject materials for themselves, they cannot restrict the freedom of others to read, view or inquire.
Parents have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the library use of their own minor child. The Library does not serve in loco parentis (in the place of parents).
Selection is and shall be vested in the Executive Director of the Pierce County Library System and, at the Director’s designation, in such members of the staff who are qualified by reason of education and training.
The Board of Trustees recognizes the right of individuals to question suitability of materials in the Library’s collection. The Library will give serious consideration to each customer’s opinion.
The Library’s collection will be organized and maintained to facilitate access. Any additional labeling, sequestering or alteration of materials because of controversy related to them will not be sanctioned.
The Board of Trustees recognizes that withdrawing materials from the collection is as important part of the maintenance of the Library’s collection as the initial selection.
Therefore, the withdrawal policy of the Library shall include the same factors as the selection policy.
This paragraph is not intended to sanction removal of library materials based upon any controversy surrounding the material.
Board Policy 2.6
Adopted by the Pierce County Rural Library District Board of Trustees on November 11, 1992. Mission Statement revised April 11, 1996 with the adoption of the Long Range Plan. Revised February 13, 2008. Revised, January 8, 2014.
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