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Gordon B. Olson Library

Collection Development Policy

Preface Collection Responsibility
Library Objectives Intellectual Freedom Statement
Collection Development Policy and Guidelines Selection Criteria
Library Mission Statement Collection Depth

Appendix A: Minot State University Mission Appendix D: The Freedom to View
Appendix B: Library Bill of Rights Appendix E: Request for Reconsideration Form
Appendix C: The Freedom to Read Appendix F: Gift Policy and Form


The purpose of a collection development policy is to promote the development of the library's collection based on the university's and library's goals and user needs. The policy should explain who is responsible for selecting, who is responsible for the actual ordering, and what different formats and kinds of materials are purchased and included in the collection. Specific criteria for the different formats should be stated. In addition, the library's target collection should be explained.

Various policies should be defined in a collection development document, such as policies concerning weeding, replacements, hardbacks vs. paperbacks, receiving gifts. A secondary purpose is to define the principles of intellectual freedom and how they relate to a library's collection.

The first Collection Development Statement for Minot State University's Memorial Library was approved by the Faculty Senate Library Committee on February 16, 1983 and the Faculty Senate on May 17, 1984. The 1997 revision, Gordon B. Olson Library's Collection Development Policy updates the 1984 document. The intervening period between the two documents has seen new technologies, such as CDs introduced; while some formats, such as filmstrips have fallen out of use. Explanations of collections such as the Special Collection, reference and children's collections are now included. As stated in the document itself, the Collection Development Policy should be reviewed and updated periodically to incorporate changes in the University's curriculum and reflect how the collection evolves. The Policy should be viewed as a tool to help build a better collection, not just a bigger collection.


The basic objective of the Minot State University Library is to play its full part in supporting the instructional and research program of the university:

  1. To secure, organize and service books, periodicals, documents, audio and video recordings and other library material used in the instructional and research program.
  2. To provide the physical facilities and equipment that will make possible the most effective use of library resources.
  3. To increase knowledge of the basic reference sources by providing guidance in the use of library facilities.
  4. To encourage students to develop the habit of self-education in order that books, other media and libraries may contribute to their intellectual development in future years.
  5. To encourage extracurricular use of library materials.
  6. To assist and cooperate with libraries in the community, region, and elsewhere in building total library resources and in making them available to users.

The library is primarily a teaching and research instrument. The professional library staff, administrative organization and building are so planned as to implement teaching, learning and research by the use of all library material. The staff is composed, therefore, of educators who teach, not in the classrooms, but by mobilizing the resources of the library according to a well-defined program.

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Collection Development Policy and Guidelines
The planned development of a library's collection requires the application of a stated collection policy. No policy can be definitive for all time, since a library is not a static institution. Ideas about its nature and content are constantly evolving. Therefore, a library collection policy must be responsive to change.

Library Mission Statement
The primary purpose of Gordon B. Olson Library is to support the mission of Minot State University. (Appendix A) The library's mission is to provide the services and resources necessary to meet the scholarly and informational needs of the Minot State University community, and to a lesser extent to Minot and the surrounding community.

Collection Responsibility
The responsibility for collection development rests with the library. The process of selecting material for the library's collection is a cooperative one involving faculty members and library staff. While it is hoped that every faculty member will participate in the selection process in areas of their expertise, the primary responsibility for collection development lies with the professional librarians, Coordinator for Collection Development and ultimately with the Library Director.

Each librarian with collection development responsibilities is designated as a library liaison to an academic college, division or department. Liaison responsibilities includes within their assigned subject areas: evaluating, planning and building the collection; to communicate, on a regular basis, with the faculty contact, sharing the budget allocation figures and progress throughout the year; monitoring encumbrances and expenditures; and approving all requests for materials to be purchased by faculty and librarians in their subject area.

Each year the College Deans assign a faculty member to work with the library liaison in their respective academic college, division or department. The faculty contact will approve and submit requests for the purchase of new library materials from all faculty members in his or her academic area. Every effort will be made to accommodate faculty requests that are within the scope of the library's collection policy. If for some reason an item is excluded from purchase and a faculty member and the library liaison cannot agree, the conflict shall first be referred to the Coordinator for Collection Development for resolution. If the conflict cannot be resolved at this level, the matter shall be referred to the Library Director.

The Coordinator for Collection Development supervises the collection development process. The Acquisitions Associate receives and processes all requests for materials to be purchased for the library's collection, with the exception of periodical titles.

Intellectual Freedom Statement
In accordance with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights (Appendix B), the American Library Association's Freedom to Read Statement (Appendix C), and the Educational Film and Video Association's Freedom to View Statement (Appendix D), Gordon B. Olson Library's collection will attempt to provide for the free exchange of all ideas. The collection will be available to all potential patrons of the library, and should offer the widest possible range of view-points; regardless of the popularity of these viewpoints, or of the sex, religion, political philosophy or national origin of their authors.

In areas where there is an honest disagreement concerning the truth or wisdom of particular ideas, issues or beliefs, and in the interest of reasonable economy, the library will attempt to see that the views of the best or major spokesman are represented.

No censorship will be exercised on the basis of frankness of language, or the controversial manner an author may use in dealing with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific or moral issues.

The Gordon B. Olson library requests that all patrons with a formal complaint or request for the removal of library materials from the collection fill out a "Request for Reconsideration" form (Appendix E) which can be obtained from the Coordinator for Collection Development or the Library Director. Upon completion of the form, the Library Director will acknowledge receipt of the form; notify the chair of the Faculty Senate Library Committee and inform the University President. The Senate Library Committee will convene, consider the request to remove the item, and either deny or approve the request. The Committee's decision will then be forwarded to the University President for approval. The person who originated the request will then be informed of the decision.

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Selection Criteria
The quality of content and fulfillment of academic curricular needs are the first criteria against which any potential item for purchase will be evaluated. Specific criteria used in selecting items for the library's collection includes:

This list is not in order of priority.

Special Format and Collection Statements
In an effort to develop and maintain a collection of informational resources adequate in quality for the varied learning and research needs of Minot State University, the following Library Collection Development Policy and Guidelines have been adopted.

The collection of Gordon B. Olson Library will include all forms of print and non-print materials, excluding those which are fundamentally for classroom use. Materials needed by faculty in their classrooms, department or offices on a permanent basis are not purchased with library funds.

1. NEWSPAPERS: Newspapers may be added to the collection if they significantly supplement the quality or quantity of local, national or international news available in those standard newspapers already available. If major changes occur in the quality or intent of those newspapers which have traditionally been part of the collection, they may be re-evaluated and/or discontinued.

2. SERIALS: In general, the same criteria will apply to the selection of serial titles as for the book collection. However, since even a relatively inexpensive journal title represents a continuing expense, titles will be added very selectively. Back runs will be kept for varying lengths of time depending on the title involved. Microform may be purchased to create a greater collection depth for certain titles and in some cases may be purchased in addition to hard copy for specific titles which receive heavy use. Because of current, and possible future budgetary constraints and escalating costs, some titles may have to be discontinued. Faculty and staff will be notified of impending cuts and their comments and suggestions will be sought before dropping any titles in order to add new ones.

3. GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS: (State and Federal) Most of the documents that the Gordon B. Olson Library receives are acquired automatically by virtue of being state and selective federal depositories. The library participates in the Depository Library Program as outlined in Title 44 of the United States Code and as administered by the Superintendent of Documents of the United States Printing Office. The Gordon B. Olson Library will be open to the public for free use of the depository publications and will facilitate access by the use of the Monthly Catalog and its commercial retrospective version on CD-ROM. Items received for this collection will not be duplicated by purchase for the general collection, but may be cataloged into the regular collection in order to make them more accessible.

4. MAPS AND ATLASES: The Gordon B. Olson Library's map collection consists mainly of maps received by the state and federal depository systems. Maps of the state of North Dakota are received through the depository and are primarily published by State Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Geological Survey. The transportation maps are housed in map cases, while the survey maps are cataloged individually and shelved in Special Collections. Maps received through the Federal depository are mainly from the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Defense, and the National Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and are housed in map cases. A small number of non-depository maps will be acquired occasionally to supplement this collection. A reference collection of atlases will be available, as well as a few in the circulating collection.

5. MUSIC SCORES: The library may acquire scores of standard musical works, but the collection does not aim at comprehensiveness.

6. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS: The Gordon B. Olson Library will purchase audiovisual materials needed to support the curriculum in formats for which it has equipment or facilities. The library will normally not purchase audiovisual materials for recreational use.

A reasonable collection of sound recordings will be maintained, primarily representing the music related to curriculum offerings. Compact discs are to be preferred over audiotapes and phono discs. Spoken word recordings that supplement the study of literature, history, etc. may also be purchased.

Videocassettes will be selected by the same criteria as the rest of the collection. Videos that cost more than $75-$100 will usually be purchased only after preview. The library will not order films. Taking into consideration ease of use and equipment availability, film-strips and slides will only be purchased when it is the only format available.

The library will acquire a reasonable collection of computer software and CD-ROMs to support the instructional program on campus. The library will not purchase software intended for the use of a single individual or under contractual agreements can only be used by one person. The library will not acquire computer software for its collection intended for the manipulation of data, e.g. word processing or spread sheets. The library will not purchase recreational software or CD-ROMs. Only games of sufficient educational or instructional value will be added to the collection.

The library will not acquire works of pictorial or plastic art, photographs, or non-book curriculum materials such as tests, toys or games.

7. MANUALS AND WORKBOOKS: The library will not acquire manuals, workbooks, or any other consumable materials.

8. MICROFORMS: Microform is acquired when necessary to preserve materials, for very little used materials, materials available only in microform format or no longer in paper format.

9. MANUSCRIPTS, RARE BOOKS, GENEALOGICAL MATERIALS: Items of this nature, which are already part of the library's collection, were either donated or were purchased in the past from private collections. Manuscripts, rare books, or genealogical material will not be purchased for the library at this time.

10. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: Gordon B. Olson Library's Special Collections is comprised of printed materials about North Dakota, its cities and towns, Minot State University, and Native American people from the region (materials about whom are classified under the subject heading "Indians of the Northern Plains"). The collection is intended to bring together materials about the history, culture, science and people of the state; enabling library patrons to utilize this area of knowledge in one location.

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Guidelines for consideration when selecting materials for special collections include:
1. The criterion for placing materials in Special Collections is that the content must be at least one half of the above mentioned.

2. Publications of the Minot State University includes university theses, catalogs, material of administrative nature (i.e. mission statements, accreditation reports) and yearbooks.

3. Local histories of North Dakota cities and towns will be placed in Special Collections, but the library will not attempt to locate and purchase every town history that is published. Emphasis will be given to acquiring materials about north central and north western North Dakota.

4. Indians of the Northern Plains include the Arikara, Mandan, Hidatsa, as well as earlier tribes such as the Teton, Sioux, Sisseton, Wahpeton and Plains Ojibway.

5. One copy of all North Dakota Geological Survey publications are included in Special Collections.

6. Generally state government publications will not be included in the collection unless they are deemed important enough and general in nature and value to be cataloged and placed into the collection in order to increase access to them. All other state documents are housed in the government documents area of the library.

7. The latest edition of all reference materials about North Dakota will be placed in the reference collection, with earlier editions located in Special Collections.

8. All North Dakota periodicals are located in the periodicals collection. This includes copies of the MSU's Red and Green.

9. All non-book materials about North Dakota will be located in the audiovisual collection of the library.

10. Maps, other than those issued from the North Dakota Geological Survey, are not included in Special Collections.

11. Materials by North Dakota authors that do not generally fit the Special Collections criteria will not be placed in the collection.

12. CHILDREN'S COLLECTION: The library will provide an adequate children's collection of both fiction and non-fiction materials appropriate for preschool through grade six. The collection is mainly intended to support the needs of patrons studying children's literature and to assist in preparing curriculum lessons for young children. The collection will strive to collect "outstanding" examples of children's literature published each year; examples of genres in the literature; as well as preserving the classics. No attempt will be made to completely acquire series.

13. FICTION: The library will attempt to collect works of fiction that are deemed the "best" or "outstanding" each year; as well as classic or standard titles. These titles will not be housed in a separate area, but will be shelved in their respective areas according to the Library of Congress Classification system. No attempt will be made to acquire a recreational reading collection.

14. REFERENCE COLLECTION: The reference collection is a non-circulating collection of materials designated to meet the basic research, verification, location and information needs of the library's patrons in all subject fields. With few exceptions, reference materials are not meant to be read continuously from beginning to end, but contain relatively short and discrete articles or bits of information users will consult one or a few at a time. Reference materials include, but are not limited to, indexes (both print and CD-ROM), encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, dictionaries and compilations of statistics.

Reference materials shall be as up-to-date as is necessary for the provision of current and reliable information. Superseded editions that are removed from the reference collection may be added to the circulation collection if the information in them is not obsolete or likely to be misleading to users.

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Additional Guidelines
1. GIFTS: The library only accepts gifts that supports the teaching and research mission of the University and meets the criteria of the library's Collection Development Policy. Materials which fall outside the library's Collection Development Policy, such as outdated textbooks, popular magazines, mass market paperbacks, unnecessary duplicates, books in poor condition, etc. are generally not accepted.

Upon receipt of gift materials, the Gordon B. Olson Library and Minot State University become owners of the material. The library reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, processing priority and other considerations related to disposition. The donor is requested to sign a form which indicates that he/she has read the Gift Policy statement (Appendix F) and understands and agrees to its content.

The library will provide appropriate acknowledgment of all gifts received, unless the donor prefers otherwise. Bookplates are available for placement in books when appropriate. The library will not make appraisals of gifts for tax purposes nor generally provide an inventory of gifts.

2. TEXTBOOKS: Textbooks are not normally purchased. The exceptions are those which have earned a reputation as "classics" in their fields, or when a textbook is the only or best source of information on a particular topic.

3. PAPERBACKS: The type of binding on a book will not be a consideration in the decision to purchase except that Collection Development/Acquisitions will exercise judgements of economy when an item is available in both paper and cloth bindings. Relative price when compared to the perceived long-term value and use will be considered.

4. FOREIGN LANGUAGE MATERIALS: The library shall purchase the foreign language materials required to attain the curricular objectives of the university. However, most of our students do not read foreign languages easily, a priority will be given to material in the English language unless that material is to be used as an aid in the teaching and learning of foreign languages. In such cases, difficulty and appropriateness of the material shall be a prime consideration before it is purchased.

5. DUPLICATE MATERIALS: One copy of an individual item for the reference and/or circulation collection will be sufficient. In certain areas, such as literature, for example, if duplicates are available through gift sources, they may be incorporated into the collection. Outside of a few basic tools, there will be not duplication between reference collection, documents collection and circulating collection.

6. WEEDING: Materials in the collection will be examined periodically to eliminate unnecessary duplicates, obsolete, and worn-out items. Items weeded may be replaced with a new copy -- but removal from the collection for any of the reasons previously stated does not imply that the item will always be replaced. When subject areas are weeded, faculty in the appropriate subject area will be consulted, as well as core bibliographies.

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Collection Depth
The library's collection may be separated into several distinct parts; the general circulating collection, the reference collection, children's, periodicals, documents, audiovisual and Special Collections.

The basic Gordon B. Olson Library collection will be made up of the following:

  1. Those items which constitute required, non-textbook reading for courses.
  2. Supplementary and ancillary reading for courses.
  3. A limited number of items for leisure reading, listening and viewing.
  4. A basic reference collection.
  5. An adequate collection of current periodicals and their backfiles.

In determining the levels of collection development appropriate for Minot State University's Gordon B. Olson Library, these generally accepted categories have been utilized:

LEVEL ONE: MINIMAL/BASIC REFERENCE LEVEL. Only fundamental reference works containing general information on a subject, e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias, surveys and bibliographies.

LEVEL TWO: SELECTIVE LEVEL. This level includes slightly more than the basic level. In addition to reference works, it would include a small collection of monographs and journals for general coverage on the subject fields.

LEVEL THREE: REPRESENTATIVE/UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING LEVEL: A balanced collection that covers all aspects of a subject field without going into great depth. In an academic library, this would be a collection that can support an undergraduate program in the field.

LEVEL FOUR: COMPREHENSIVE/BEGINNING RESEARCH LEVEL: A large, well-developed collection that includes general and fairly specialized books and journals in the field, some of which are on advanced level. In an academic library, a collection which provides adequate support for a Master's program in the subject.

LEVEL FIVE: EXHAUSTIVE/MAJOR EMPHASIS LEVEL: As comprehensive collection in the field as possible, including highly advanced and extremely specialized materials as well as more general ones, and rare and obscure publications in addition to more common ones. In an academic library, a collection (with the support of interlibrary loan) which can support most doctoral work in the field.

LEVEL SIX: EXTREMELY EXHAUSTIVE/INTENSIVE LEVEL: One of the largest, most inclusive, best developed collections in the world; collections of such scope and importance that they are internationally know, e.g., the Folger Shakespeare Library, American Geographical Society Map Collection, etc.

Gordon B. Olson Library will attempt to meet the guidelines set forth for levels one through four. Levels five and six will not apply to the collection at the present time.

In accordance with the above stated levels of collection development, the library may have to severely limit the purchase of materials solely for the research of individual faculty and staff members. While it is recognized that the faculty members have research needs, which on larger campuses can be more fully met through collection development, at Minot State University, faculty may have to rely on other types of library services to fulfill their needs, i.e., interlibrary loans. Faculty members are strongly urged to distinguish between a research collection and one which is designed to meet the needs of interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs. Although attempts will be made to provide on-the-premises research materials for as many faculty as possible, it must be realized that it is impossible for all but the most inclusive and large libraries to support faculty research from their resources alone. The library will attempt to support and subsidize individual faculty and staff members in their research by obtaining materials not found in our collection from other libraries.

These policies and guidelines shall be reviewed periodically and are subject to change or amendment at recommendation of students, staff, faculty or administration, or when the library staff feels that the curriculum indicates a change or amendment is necessary. Recommendations for change will be considered by the library director with whom the final responsibility and decision rest.

APPROVED: Minot State College Library Committee, Feb. 16, 1983

APPROVED: Minot State College Faculty Senate, May 17, 1984

REVISED EDITION APPROVED: Minot State University Library Committee, Mar. 6, 1997

REVISED EDITION APPROVED: Minot State University Faculty Senate, Apr. 10, 1997

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Mission, Vision and Goals

MSU Strategic Plan: Empowering Generations
Approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education September 2016

Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Minot State University will:

GOAL 1: Meet the educational needs of the local, regional, national, and global communities.

GOAL 2: Recruit, retain, and value well-qualified students, faculty, and staff.

GOAL 3: Create an institutional environment that supports student, faculty, and staff success.

GOAL 4: Promote and support the well-being of students, faculty, and staff, enabling them to address challenges across generations.

GOAL 5: Foster and grow collaborative partnerships locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

GOAL 6: Promote and recognize commitment to public service.

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The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.


The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

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We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

    No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

    To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

    The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

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This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

A Joint Statement by:

-- American Library Association
-- Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:

-- American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
-- The Association of American University Presses, Inc.
-- The Children's Book Council
-- Freedom to Read Foundation
-- National Association of College Stores
-- National Coalition Against Censorship
-- National Council of Teachers of English
-- The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

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The freedom to view, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:

1. To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.
2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.

3. To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.

4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.

5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.


Name _________________________________________ Date _________________

Address _______________________________ Phone ________________________

City ___________________________ State ____________ Zip ________________

Library resource on which you are commenting:

_____ Book _____ Audiovisual

_____ Periodical _____ Other

_____ Newspaper

Title _______________________________________________________________

Author/Producer _____________________________________________________

Call Number ______________________

What brought this title to your attention?

Have you read/viewed the material in its entirety?

To what in the material do you object? (Please be specific, cite pages, video sequences, etc.) Use other side, if needed.

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The Gordon B. Olson Library welcomes and encourages gifts of books and other library materials as a means of enhancing the Library's collection and its ability to provide a variety of resources to its university and community patrons.

The Library only accepts gifts that support the teaching and research mission of Minot State University and meets the criteria of the Library's Collection Development Policy. Materials which fall outside of the Library's policy, such as outdated textbooks, popular magazines, mass market paperbacks, unnecessary duplicates, books in poor condition, etc. are generally not accepted.

Upon receipt of gift materials, the Gordon B. Olson Library and Minot State University become owners of the materials. The Library reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, processing priority and other considerations related to disposition. The donor is requested to sign a form which indicates that he/she has read the policy statement and understands and agrees to its content.

The Library will provide appropriate acknowledgment of all gifts received, unless the donor prefers otherwise. Bookplates are available for placement in books when appropriate. The Library will not make appraisals of gifts for tax purposes nor generally provide an inventory of gifts.

In accordance with the American Library Association, the Library makes an effort, through its collection, to offer the widest possible viewpoints in its attempt to further the free exchange of ideas. Censorship will not be exercised in the selection of gift materials concerned with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific or moral issues. However, to maintain a reasonably balanced collection, the Library may retain only a few select or key resources which represent the views of major spokespersons of special interest groups.

Questions about gifts to the Gordon B. Olson Library should be directed to:

Susan Podrygula, Coordinator for Collection Development, (701) 858-3201
Gordon B. Olson Library, Minot State University, Minot, ND 58707


Gordon B. Olson Library
Gifts and Donations

Statement of Understanding and Agreement

Name of donor ________________________________________________________

Address of donor ______________________________________________________


Phone number _____________________________

I have read the "Gift Policy" statement for the Gordon B. Olson Library, Minot State University, and I understand and agree to its content.

Signature of donor _____________________________________________________   Date ______________________


Please return to :

Susan Podrygula,
Coordinator for Collection Development
Gordon B. Olson Library,
Minot State University,
500 University Ave. West, Minot, ND 58707

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