Program Selection Policy

Purpose

This policy establishes the objectives for the library's programming and establishes criteria for the creation, selection and presentation of such programming.

Background

Anne Arundel County Public Library (“the Library”) offers programs to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of all Anne Arundel County residents. The Library provides a wide selection of programming inspired by the community, staff, Library initiatives and priorities.

The Library's programming is an integral part of advancing its strategic goals. The transformational power of information, in all its expressions and manifestations, obligates a thoughtful, expansive, and inclusionary approach to programming, aligned with the Library's strategic vision and purpose.

Policy

  1. Decisions for programming are guided by the following framework as articulated in the Library's Strategy 2023:
    1. The Library is an agent for positive change for our community.
    2. The Library is committed to the truth and to trustworthy information, fighting all forms of disinformation, censorship, and barriers to free inquiry.
    3. The Library is a welcoming, inclusive place for every customer and acts to dismantle exclusionary structures including but not limited to racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.
    4. The Library advances individual and societal goals for equity, inclusion, and social justice to benefit the whole of our community.
  2. Programs are created and selected to meet customers' informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs to meet these objectives:
    1. Programs meet current demands for general information needs.
    2. Programs reflect the community's diversity of interests and opinions.
    3. Programs are continually reviewed and assessed for currency, relevance, professional quality, and alignment with the strategic framework.
  3. Program evaluations are made on the basis of content and quality according to these factors:
    1. Community needs and interests
    2. Alignment with early literacy education priorities
    3. Appeal of subject and style for the intended audience. This includes representation of an important movement, genre, or trend; cultural relevance; artistic presentation; and experimentation.
    4. Cost and availability
    5. Accessibility of subject coverage
    6. Authority, credentials or demand for previous programs by the author, artist, publisher, or producer or presenter
    7. Feedback and requests from reviewers, media and customers
  4. The Library affirms and supports customers' freedom and responsibility to choose library programs according to their needs, individual tastes, or family values.
    1. Customers apply those values to library programming only for themselves and may not restrict nor interfere in any way with other customers' freedom to view or attend programs.
    2. Children under age 8 must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. The Library does not assume the parental responsibility for children's choices of library programming.
  5. Presentation of programs does not represent the Library's endorsement of any opinion, belief, philosophy, or precept. A program that meets selection criteria will not be altered or cancelled solely because it represents a particular opinion, belief, or philosophy.
  6. Customers may request reconsideration of a particular program. These requests may be made in person or by email to any library branch manager. Reconsiderations are administered through a formal procedure which is approved by the Chief Executive Officer.
  7. The ultimate responsibility for selection and approval of programs rests with the Chief Executive Officer who may delegate specific authorities and tasks.

 

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees, February 17, 2022.

 

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