not4me wrote: ↑
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:30 pm
!st, I'm on the "pro" library side, but don't think I could improve on what has previously been said. I do have a question regarding the law cited (my underline added)....I honestly don't know what jurisdiction that is...Local? State? etc. I would be interested in hearing more. I note you say 'protect access' so wonder if you could elaborate. I don't have an ax to grind here, but I'm not sure I've seen this really in practice. The libraries I've been associated with over the years obviously had finite budgets & that meant some info would NOT be available. I've seen occasional flaps mostly with school libraries, not 'public' ones, regarding what is & isn't on the shelves
Hoping to learn yet again!
Sure thing! You're right, school libraries have a totally different set of codes and are not considered public libraries. As far as the required by law, I was thinking our state library codes but also the policies of the American Library Association (admittedly not law).
Here's an example of protecting access: a teenage girl comes into the library and wants to check out "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Maybe she wants it because she thinks she's pregnant; maybe she wants it for a research project. In my state, at least, librarians are 1) not allowed to ask why she wants the book, 2) are not allowed to restrict her access to it, 3) are not allowed to call her parents and alert them to the checkout if she has her own library card. In fact, even if the parents call and ask what books their daughter has taken out, the librarian can't tell them. This is one of the reasons you'll see self-checkouts popping up more and more now--at least for us, it's a matter of privacy and making it easier for everyone to access information.
However, because of finite budgets, not every library can have every book ever published. And, one could argue, there's not a need for every library to have a complete collection of, say, Harlequin Regency novels. So each library has a set of circulation guidelines governing what books they acquire. Patrons can always request that the library purchase a book that is not already on the shelves, and the request will be run through those guidelines.
Does that make sense?