The goal of the Jake Epp Library is to make a wide variety of print, audio, and visual materials available to as many community residents as possible to promote individual life-long learning. Within the limits of its budget and the criteria contained in the selection policy, the library will do its best to meet the educational, entertainment, and informational needs of its patrons and to provide convenient hours and appropriate library services for all community residents.
The freedom to read is essential to a democratic society. The Jake Epp Library acts as a guardian of this freedom. As such, it will resist efforts by individuals or groups, no matter how well meaning, who seek to impose their own standards and tastes on the selection of materials for its collection. The fact that children have access to all library resources will not in any way restrict the selection process. Responsibility for what children read rests with their parents and guardians.
The Jake Epp Library also has a responsibility to protect and enhance intellectual freedom. It will do this by making it possible for readers to choose from materials which represent the widest diversity of thought and expression, including ideas which may be considered unpopular or unorthodox. It should be clearly understood that the library does not necessarily endorse the points of view taken by all the material it makes available to the public.
Policies for Selection
- We will select materials of contemporary significance and interest as well as materials of historical value. The goal of our collection is to reflect the intellectual heritage of the people of our community and to provide the means to test and mark its’ validity and growth.
- We will not select textbooks. It is our desire to enhance and enrich, rather than duplicate the collections provided by the libraries in schools and other institutions of learning.
- We will consider readability and popular appeal as well as the competence, literary reputation and skill of the author. We will never allow the private life, political, religious or ideological views of authors to influence our selection of their work.
- We will consult book reviews, bibliographic lists, publisher’s catalogues and brochures, but not be bound by them.
- We will consider recommendations by library patrons, library board members, community members, subject authorities and library personnel, but not be obligated or bound by them.
- We will select materials in such a way that an equal balance of all possible points of view on controversial subjects is provided.
- We will select materials within the limits imposed by law, and will not provide materials that promote hatred or intolerance against groups or individuals.
- We will strive to maintain a balanced collection which covers as many different subject areas as possible, but which also attempts to represent library patrons with specialized interests and needs.
- We will acknowledge a special interest in materials about Canada, Manitoba, Steinbach, and in particular the Mennonite community. We will acknowledge the same special interest in materials by Canadian, Manitoba, Steinbach and Mennonite writers. However, we will be under no obligation to add all materials which fit these categories to our collection.
- We will recognize that our community has a substantial number of residents who espouse the Christian religion. Materials for the special interests of this group will be provided, but never to the exclusion of other religious groups.
- Generally, we will not order duplicate copies. We will instead attempt to acquire as many different titles as shelf space and budget will allow.
- We will provide materials in a variety of formats including hard cover, paperback, newsprint, audio, and video. We will select videos that enhance and enrich but do not duplicate the collections available in the commercial video outlets of our community.
This policy has been formulated to reflect the belief of the Jake Epp Library that the items in its collection are of great value and must be carefully selected in order that freedom of expression and respect for the printed word and visual image are upheld.
Regarding the inclusion of material in the library collection: click here to access the form.