- NPL Mission: Northland Public Library enables, empowers and encourages lifelong learning and discovery.
- NPL Vision: Northland will be the primary community connection for residents of its supporting municipalities.
- Strategic Priorities:
- Library Funding;
- Library Programs, Collection and Services;
- Library Space;
- Library Promotion;
- Library and Community Partnerships;
- Library Technology
- Philosophy of Librarianship: Northland endorses the principles expressed in “The Freedom to Read Statement” and applies them in managing its collection. See Attachment #1 to read the statement. Northland also follows the “Library Bill of Rights” (see Attachment #2).
II. Community Profile:
- The library primarily serves a population of approximately 81,000 people in 61.15 square miles comprised of five communities: Borough of Bradford Woods, Franklin Park Borough, Marshall Township, Town of McCandless, and Ross Township. It is largely a well-educated, white-collar community with many commuters. Compared to the rest of Allegheny County and Pennsylvania, it is whiter, wealthier, more educated, and more of its households’ members are married with children. (See Attachment 3, “Demographic Profile”).
- Brief library history:
- Opened on October 6, 1968 with 10,000 square feet, 16,000 items & serving 54,000 residents in 4 municipalities (Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Ross & McCandless).
- 1972-started offering children & adult programs & started getting overcrowded.
- 1978-opened in present location with 30,000 square feet, over 200,000 items serving about 68,000 residents in 4 municipalities (Marshall Township joined in 1989).
- Northland officially joined ACLA (Allegheny County Library Association) in 2001. In October, 2005 the Northland Library catalog was integrated with the ACLA catalog, giving patrons access to materials all across the county.
- As of January, 2016, 60% of Northland’s funding comes from the 5 municipalities it serves. 20% comes from RAD (Regional Asset District), 11.5% from the state (including table gaming money) and 9.4% from all other sources (including the NPL Foundation).
III. Community Needs Assessment Results:
According to a survey conducted in 2015, 79% of respondents are “very satisfied” with Northland Public Library. The collection is highly valued by the community. Due to the size and education of the population served by Northland, the collection is large in size (about 200,000 items), breadth and depth. It is one of the most heavily used collections in the state, with a turnover rate of 5.02. That means that on average, an item at Northland is checked out 5.02 times each year. The state average is 2.18. In fact, Northland has the 12th highest turnover rate out of 613 public libraries in Pennsylvania.
However, one of the reasons that the items circulate so well is because the collection is not large enough for the library’s service population. According to state statistics, we have 2.42 items per capita; Allegheny County public libraries have an average rate of 4.15 items per capita; Pennsylvania libraries have an average rate of 2.51 items per capita (http://www.statelibrary.pa.gov/Libraries/Statistics/Pages/default.aspx#.Vo6EjMvlt9A and click on “2013 (Excel)” under “Public Library Statistics”).
IV. Collection Evaluation & Assessment:
- Northland’s collection contains materials in a wide variety of formats and levels of difficulty. It includes, but is not limited to print, audio, video, and digital (downloadable and read-only). For the purpose of this document, “the collection” refers to items that have been selected by Northland. Selected items may be physically available in the library or available through the Internet. In general, the collection is current and popular; not scholarly or archival. The library does not generally go beyond sophomore year of college in difficulty level. Northland strives to reflect the interests of the community that it serves. The vast majority of the collection is in English, though there is a small but growing collection of books and movies in other languages. The table below reflects 2015 data (see Attachment 4, “Circulation Stats & Turnover” for a more detailed breakdown). The average publication year of the physical collection is 2003. The items that circulate the most are DVDs (16.34% of circulation), Adult Non-Fiction (13.67%), Children’s Picture Books (10.68%), Adult Fiction (8.20%) and Children’s Non-Fiction (7.09%). The adult non-fiction items that circulate the most are Drawing & Decorating, Food & Drink and Geography & Travel. The children’s non-fiction items that circulate the most are Animals, Sports and Engineering. See Attachments 5 & 6 for non-fiction statistics.
|DIVISIONS OF COLLECTION||Avg Copyright Date||Record Count||% of Collection||2015 Circ||% of Total Circ||Turnover Rate|
|Young Adult Books||2008||6578||3.48%||20842||3.62%||1.04|
|AV (includes audiobooks||2009||20846||11.04%||148053||25.74%||2.33|
|Total Reference Materials||1988||2051||1.07%|
|Lucky Day Items||945||0.49%||16738||2.89%||17.71|
|TOTALS & AVERAGES||2003||188810||575228||4.62|
- NOMADS: Northland’s Off-site Modern Alternative Dispensers: Northland currently operates two off-site lending kiosks: one at the Baierl Family YMCA in Franklin Park and one in the Ross Township Community Center. These vending machines provide popular materials for adults and children in locations that might be more convenient for some people in Northland’s service area, and that are open more hours than the library building is able to be open. Patrons are able to borrow materials with a library card, and to return items to the kiosk location or to any other County library drop-off. NOMAD materials should be current, high-interest, high-circulation materials that will appeal to a broad range of patrons. The NOMADs’ collections must be weeded continually to ensure a quick turnover rate, to pique patrons’ interest in the materials and to meet the physical size constraints of the kiosks.
- Every year, a thorough evaluation of the collection is done. It should consider each section of the collection by location and item type–how large it is compared to the rest of the collection, what the average copyright date is, and what the turnover rates are. A comprehensive collection evaluation was done in January, 2015.
V. Collection Goals:
- Collection Development Philosophy: There are two main schools of thought regarding collection development philosophy. The one extreme is that the library should have only “good” books, carefully chosen to present a perfect balance between subject areas and between varying schools of thought within subject areas, and chosen to nurture, sustain and preserve the intellectual capital of our society. On the other hand, the “on-demand” theory says that a book of outstanding quality is not worth the price if no one will read it, and items should be purchased based solely on what patrons want. Northland’s current goal is to strike a balance between these two extremes, and provide current, high-demand materials and programs in a variety of formats while also providing materials that reflect the intellectual capital of our society.
- Scope & depth definitions (from Collection Development for Northland Public Library, April 1998):
- Basic Collection: would include only the most basic important titles providing foundation words or introductions to the subject. Treatment is overview in nature or popular in approach and is geared to the understanding and taste of the general public. Materials would require no specialized knowledge or training to appreciate.
- Working Collection: includes all basic items plus goes to greater depth and scope including all recognized standard works in the field with emphasis on current titles. The collection would include a broad selection of works of the most important writers in the field and the classics (items having recognized permanent value and/or enduring interest and/or appeal).
- Representative Collection: larger collection including Basic and Working Collection plus retention of older works in field. It would include a complete collection of major authors in the field plus selections from secondary authors. Retrospective materials would be sought to fill significant historical gaps. The collection should depict many viewpoints at levels from minimal through sophomore level in college.
- Advanced Collection: comprehensive in-depth treatment of a subject which would include at least the Basic and Working collections (and in some subject areas the representative collection) plus analytically, technically and/or theoretically oriented materials designed to support special user groups, work-related use, and professionals in the community, but also covers materials for a wide spectrum of users.
- Research Collection: an extensive collection with emphasis on retrospective collections, research reports, highly specific, specialized with scholarly orientation. It generally includes secondary source materials designed for advanced levels of study.
- Comprehensive Collection: the exhaustive collection containing all significant works of recorded history in a narrowly defined field. It includes primary source materials and materials in foreign languages.
- Based on the above definitions, Northland’s goal is to maintain a Representative Collection, with subject areas developed to the depth necessary to meet the communities’ needs and interests.
VI. Selection Responsibility:
- Adult Materials: Adult materials are chosen by members of the Adult Services Department.
- Children’s Materials: Children’s and young adult materials are chosen by members of the Children and Young Adults Services Department.
- Online databases: Northland provides online databases in three different ways. Many are subscribed to by the county consortium of which Northland is a member. Many are provided by the POWER Library, Pennsylvania’s Electronic Library. A few are purchased by Northland directly. Northland is represented on the county-wide Database Committee which is charged “to identify authoritative, comprehensive, diverse, and user-friendly formatted web-based databases for Allegheny County; to evaluate similar databases and gather input through online surveys; negotiate with vendors to provide the most cost-effective and beneficial method of access within budgetary constraints and to provide additional pricing for individual library purchase if unable to provide database for entire county; to recommend, based on system-wide subject area benefits, trials, comparisons, access, and pricing; to advocate usage of the databases through targeted flyers and other promotional materials; to train staff and patrons with classes and utilize various formats of instructional materials; review yearly each of the databases by applying usage statistics, evaluation of content, ease of use, emerging databases for comparison and pricing. Recommend changes as necessary”. (http://acla.pbworks.com/w/page/34543515/EREC%20Charge, accessed 12/17/15). Northland subscribes to additional databases through various reputable vendors.
- E-materials: Northland is represented on the county-wide Downloadables Committee which evaluates and selects for purchase e-books, e-audio, e-video and e-magazines. The online databases and downloadables provide resources that the library would never be able to provide if Northland had to purchase the physical products—thousands of issues of magazines, thousands of literary essays, census records, local histories, business directories, language instruction, readers advisory, and much more. Together, the Database and Downloadables Committees make up the DRC—Digital Resources Committee.
VII Selection Criteria:
- Collection development staff use their training, knowledge and expertise along with the following general criteria to select materials for the collection:
- Relevance to interests and needs of the community
- Extent of publicity, critical review in mainstream media, review journals, or websites, and current or anticipated demand
- Current or historical significance of the author or subject
- Local significance of the author or subject
- Relevance to the existing collection’s strengths and weaknesses
- Reputation and qualifications of the author, publisher or producer, with preference generally given to titles vetted in the editing and publishing industry
- Suitability of format to Library circulation and use
- Date of publication
- Price, availability and Library materials budget
- Customer recommendations (each one is evaluated for possible purchase)
- Standing orders & subscriptions
- Adherence to holds ratio guidelines
- For donations only, condition of the material is also considered
- Scope of collection:
- Collection levels currently range from minimal level to study level (college sophomore) in all subjects. The collection will be evaluated yearly in order to make purchasing decisions based on the needs and desires of the community.
- Cooperative Collection Development: Cooperation with Outside Consortia:
- Northland belongs to three consortia: the Allegheny County Library Association, the eiNetwork, and AccessPA.
- The Allegheny County Library Association is a federated library system comprised of 46 public libraries delivering service to over 70 locations (as of January, 2016). ACLA makes possible the sharing of resources among the County libraries through group purchasing, the transferability of library cards and staff development. ACLA is the legal entity for distributing state library funds.
- The eiNetwork is a collaboration of ACLA and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. It maintains the online Catalog for more than 70 library locations in Allegheny County; provides Internet access to those locations; provides access to reference databases and e-book and e-audio collections; maintains library PCs; and provides Assistive Technology.
- The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, in its capacity as the District Library Center for Allegheny County, provides the resources to enable ACLA libraries to easily loan materials back and forth between libraries. CLP-District also processes interlibrary loans outside the county.
- AccessPA was started in 1985 as a way to provide a union catalog across the state of Pennsylvania. Currently more than 3000 school, public, academic and special libraries participate. The Database contains approximately 19.5 million titles and 75 million items.
- Northland agrees to cooperate in the development of services, programs and collections in response to specific needs that cross the District, as appropriate.
- Northland belongs to three consortia: the Allegheny County Library Association, the eiNetwork, and AccessPA.
- Formats collected: print books, print magazines, music CDs, books on CD and MP3players, DVDs, e-books, e-audio (books & music), e-video, e-magazines & databases. When a format becomes obsolete due to a new format, the library will cease collecting the old format. New formats are generally evaluated initially at the county level (by ACLA). Northland is represented on the ACLA committees that explore this. Northland will consider adding new formats ahead of the county if local demand warrants it.
- Physical materials are purchased through a variety of library vendors.
- Print magazines are purchased through an agreement with W.T. Cox.
- Databases are purchased through reputable vendors.
- Self-published materials are evaluated by the same criteria that are used to evaluate all purchased materials.
The Northland Public Library accepts donations of books and other materials. The Library retains the authority to accept or reject gifts. Gifts are evaluated by the same criteria that are applied to purchased items. Library staff make all decisions as to the use, housing and final disposition of donations. The Library does not evaluate or appraise gift materials for tax purposes.
- Use Create Lists to evaluate the collection annually; ideally in January to capture stats for the previous year
- Calculate average copyright date
- Turnover rate
- Collectionhq is also used to evaluate the collection
- Staff will adhere to a weeding schedule that ensures every NL location and Dewey section is evaluated at least once every two years. Criteria for weeding and withdrawal:
- Damage or poor condition
- Number of copies in the collection
- Relevance to the needs and interest of the community
- Current demand and frequency of use
- Accuracy and timeliness
- Local interest
- Relevance to Northland Public Library’s research collections
- Availability elsewhere including other libraries and online
- Deemed to be of an enduring nature
- Considered to be part of the core collection
XI Reconsideration of Library Materials:
- In order to represent the diversity of thought within the community, it is very important that the public library’s collection contain materials representing differing points of view. Northland Public Library does not endorse particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply an endorsement of the viewpoint expressed by the author (see: Requests for Reconsideration Policy).
- There may be occasions when a member of the community objects to a particular item in the Library’s collection. If a library user wishes the Library to reconsider material that is in the collection, a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form is available. A committee of professional librarians is convened to review such requests, and a written response is sent to the customer.
XII Policy Adoption, Review & Revision
- Policy is assembled by the Director of Library Services with major input from the Adult Services Department and the Children & Young Adult Services Department.
- Draft of Policy given to Library Executive Director for approval.
- Revisions made if necessary then given back to Executive Director.
- Once Executive Director approves the policy, the final draft is submitted to the NPLA Policy & Planning Committee, followed by the NPL Authority Board for approval and adoption.
- Policy is reviewed annually and revised as necessary, with a more thorough review conducted every five years.