Many of you will have seen the discussion taking place on NZ-Libs following the posting of the following snippet contained in the “Auckland: Your Council. Your Vote” flyer:
“Location and design of libraries
The local boards will decide on the location and design of new local libraries, and any upgrades to existing facilities. They will also decide on what should be in local library collections, as well as other programmes and events.”
I have highlighted the part everyone is talking about. I thought it was worth reposting here.
I am unsure if the writers had any real understanding of how collection development works in libraries, especially in one as large as the new Super City Super Library. It does open up again the debate about community involvement in collection development however. There will be, and already has been the, that leads to censorship, leave it to the professionals, type statements and arguments.
Certainly communities should participate in discussions surrounding what goes into the library, but the size, scope and modern practices of collection development would/should preclude any direct involvement in day-to-day selection.
What hasn’t been discussed is the part directly after the highlighted section; “as well as other programmes and events.” Are they really contemplating that community boards would be micro-managing council services to that level? The community board is going to decide what reading programmes are run? Whether the library facilitates a book club?