Collections, Computers, Technology

These policies govern what materials are available in the library, and how computers are to be used in the library.

The Reinbeck Public Library aims to provide our patrons of all ages with materials for recreational and educational purposes, with a primary emphasis on current, high interest, high demand materials, and a secondary empasis on reference materials. The Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read to Read Policy have been adopted as guidelines for library practice.

The responsibility for the selection of materials is the duty of the library director. Materials wil be selected according to the needs of the community. Selection of books will be based on content rather than race, sex, nationality, political, or religious views of the authors. Special requests and recommendations will be taken into consideration. The library welcomes gifts, with cash gifts being especially appreciated. Books purchased through gifts of money will be appropriately labeled.

Patrons requesting certain materials be withdrawn may present their complaints in writing. The requests will then be considered by the library board and staff.

Current issues of periodicals will be put on display. Back issues will be kept for no more than five years with the exceptions of "Ideals", "The Iowan", and magazines of historical interest which may be kept indefinitely. Craft magazines and children's magazines may also be kept for longer than the five year period if they continue to be used.

The collection of the Reinbeck Public Library shall be weeded on a regular basis. Factors to be considered in the weeding process include the following:

1.Usage. Based on the latest recorded circulation date.

2. Accuracy of material.

3. Needs of the community.

4. Literary merit.

5. Physical merit.

The library staff may dispose of the weeded material in any way which may be considered proper by the board of trustees.


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

1.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,

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

3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightment.

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

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

6. Libraries which 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.


The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continously 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 avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens 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 citizen, by excersing critical judgement, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow citizens.

We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read believe. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. 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 laeger 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 expession by those who to seek to avoid controversy and difference.

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 openthe 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 though 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 wil excercise the responsiblities that accompany these rights.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 unorthodox or unpopular with 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 democractic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength by times like this. 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 determing 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 lerning. 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 is 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 responsiblitiy to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsiblity to help them learn to think critically for themeselves. These are affirmative responsiblities, 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 with any expression the prejudgment of a label characterizing it or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The idea of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. 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 indivivuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.

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 for themselves what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democractic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded onlly to the accepted and the inoffensive.

7. It is the responsibility of the 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 citizens 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 the disseminiation 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 is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is 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.


The library currently has four Internet access computers for public use. Patrons in good standing may use the computers for a half hour period. The time may be extended if no one else is waiting to use a computer. In order to maintain safety of the Internet users, we have an acceptable use policy, which is as follows:

The use of the Internet for unethical or unlawful activities is prohibited. Users may not make any unauthorized changes to the system, install software, damage or alter the software or hardware, connect or disconnect cables. Patrons may use hotmail and chat rooms, but sending threatening or obscene messages is prohibited. Persons violating these rules will be banned from use of the Internet for a 30 day period for a first offense. For a second offense, no Internet use will be allowed for a 90 day period. Further offense will be left up to the discretion of the library board.

Wireless: As of October, 2011, the library provides free, unsecured wireless Internet access for public use. The library does not provide technical support for privately owned personal wireless devices. Personal use of the library's public wireless access will conform with policies regulating other types of public Internet access provided by the library.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.