The freedom to know is the foundation of our democracy. The mission of the Pasadena Public Library, a basic municipal service, is to be an information center for the Pasadena community in order to preserve and encourage the free expression of ideas essential to an informed citizenry.
The collection development policy is intended to provide guidance, within budgetary and space limitations, for the selection and evaluation of materials which anticipate and meet the needs of the Pasadena community. It directly relates the collection to the library's mission statement, and defines the scope and standards of the various collections.
As the community changes, the library will need to reassess and adapt its collections to reflect new and differing areas of interest and concern. The collection development policy will be periodically evaluated and revised as necessary to provide guidance for implementing changes in the collection.
The Pasadena community, as more fully described in The Pasadena Community and its Information Needs (1983), is characterized by a large number of organizations, a growing business community, a long tradition of interest in art and culture, and several notable colleges and universities. The individuals in the community reflect varying economic, racial, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. As with other communities in the Southern California area, an increasing number of immigrants, particularly Hispanics, Armenians and Asians, are moving into the city. Studying the community is essential to selecting materials for the library. Knowledge of the community enables the library to better serve its users by developing collections that reflect the changing interests and composition of Pasadena.
In support of its mission "to preserve and encourage the free expression of ideas essential to an informed citizenry," the Pasadena Public Library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. The library upholds the right of the individual to secure information, even 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.
The primary responsibility of the Pasadena Public Library is to serve the citizens and employees of Pasadena by providing a broad choice of materials to meet their informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs. Materials are selected to aid individuals, groups, and organizations attain practical solutions to daily problems, and to enrich the quality of life for all community members.
Budget and space limitations, as well as local needs, preclude the library from duplicating the specialized and comprehensive collections that exist elsewhere in Pasadena and the greater Los Angeles area. Access to these collections is provided through cooperative networking, interlibrary loan, and direct referral. All outlets of the Pasadena Public Library system are designed to provide access on an equal basis to the collections of both the Pasadena Public Library and the Glendale Library system. Emphasis is placed on shared access and ease of use through the Automated Control system (ACS) jointly owned by Pasadena Public Library and Glendale Public Library.
The Central Library serves the Pasadena community as a whole, in addition to serving as a resource for the eight branch libraries. The size and scope of its collection attracts users from surrounding areas in the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles Basin, but the main purpose is to serve Pasadena citizens and employees. As an urban library, the Central Library places major emphasis on the provision of information. It offers a strong reference collection that supports an extensive and in-depth reference service. A broad choice of circulating print and non-print materials is selected to accommodate the diversity of tastes, reading levels, languages and interests of users of all ages. The Central Library aims at providing a comprehensive collection of materials relating to the City of Pasadena, and builds upon existing strengths in business, economics and the arts. Scholarly and highly technical or specialized materials are not acquired, but are made available through other libraries with strong collections, such as the Huntington Hospital Library or the Brand Library in Glendale.
The nine branch libraries serve specific neighborhoods in the City. The interests and needs of the actual and potential users of the branch are continually evaluated so that each library has a collection reflecting the community that it serves. While each branch serves basic reference needs of its neighborhood with a core of reference materials, it does not duplicate the in-depth sources or special collections of Central and other libraries. Budget and space limit the branch collection to materials of high interest to its patrons.
The authority and responsibility for the selection of library materials rests ultimately with the Library Director. Under his/her direction, selection is delegated to the professional library staff. All staff members and the general public are encouraged to recommend materials for consideration.
All materials, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards in order to be added to the collection.
The library strongly encourages input from the Pasadena community concerning the collection. A suggestion for purchase procedure enables Pasadena citizens to request that a particular item or subject be purchased by the library. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. It is the library's intent that suggestions for purchase be used to help the library in developing collections which serve the interests and needs of the community. You can make a suggestion online using our Suggest to Purchase Form.
Persons from the Pasadena community wishing to recommend the removal of a particular item in the library collection may submit a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form, which will be reviewed by the Library Director and the staff in relation to the library's mission statement and the selection criteria of this collection development policy. After evaluating journal reviews and other materials submitted by the patron and the staff, a response will be made by the Library Director within 30 days of receiving the formal objection.
The Pasadena Public Library accepts gifts (including publisher's gift copies) for the library's collection that fall within needed subject categories, as determined by the Library Director and the staff. Gift additions must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials and are subject to the following limitations.
Monetary gifts to the collection are welcome and may be designated as memorials.
The library will accept for evaluation gift materials only in designated areas as listed below. All gifts must be in excellent condition.
Multiple copies of materials are purchased in response to user demand as evidenced by number of reserves, anticipated popularity, repeated requests and monitoring of the collection. For popular fiction and non-fiction titles, the Pasadena and Glendale libraries maintain a ratio of one copy for every six reserves, placed through the shared computer system (ACS).
Through its Web site, the Pasadena Public Library directs users to informational resources on the Internet that complement, enhance, and in some cases, parallel resources housed in the library collection. As new resources become available via the Internet, similar reference resources in the library’s print reference collection will be evaluated for retention, taking into consideration access, cost, ease-of-use and other selection criteria.
The following definitions of collection intensity have been developed to provide guidelines for acquisition and evaluation of subject areas within the collection. They are used in analyzing the collection by Dewey number and/or material type, so that subject strengths and collection emphases at Central and the branch libraries are clearly delineated.
Maintenance of the library's collection through constant re-evaluation by the library staff ensures its usefulness and relevancy to the community. This evaluation depends heavily on the staff's professional expertise in assessing the needs of the community and the content of the collection. Those materials determined to no longer be of value are withdrawn from the collection.
Library materials are discarded for one or more of the following reasons:
The last copy of a work in the Pasadena system is evaluated in terms of its value to the community, with consideration to the following:
Replacement of materials withdrawn is not automatic. The decision to replace is influenced by:
The decision to bind materials is made with consideration to the same factors involved in replacement. In addition, the following should influence the decision to bind:
This collection development policy will periodically be evaluated and revised as times and circumstances require.