Special Collections Policy


The primary mission of the Special Collections of the Paul Sawyier Public Library is to collect, organize, provide access to, and preserve materials of historical value or local interest in connection to the area and people in Franklin County, Kentucky. Materials within this collection exist either by endowment or by the library’s decision to collect and make such materials available to the public. As such, they are available for use to any patron willing to be responsible for the care of those materials. In turn, all policies for this collection focus on this desire to have these materials used as much and as conveniently as possible, while fully realizing the responsibility inherent in preserving and protecting those materials from abuse and negligence.


To ensure the longevity of materials, these materials are normally non-circulating, except at the discretion of the Director. The Director may choose to allow loans to be made to museums, historical societies, educational institutions, and/or individuals for non-commercial purposes for a specific short-term period. Materials will only be loaned if they are in such condition that they can withstand the rigors of travel, extra handling and climate changes. For approval of the loan of a material, a written request and a completed Special Collections Loan Form must be delivered to the Director, via mail, email, or in-person. The borrower or borrowing institution will be responsible for the materials while in their possession, including appropriate insurance.

Use of the materials in the room:

To access the Special Collection materials, a patron must contact, either in writing or orally, the librarian in care of this collection or the Library Director. When in the Special Collections room the following policies are in an effect:

  • No smoking, food, or drink is permitted in the room, including chewing gum.
  • Materials should not be written on, erased on, leaned on, folded, traced, or handled in any way likely to inflict damage.
  • Materials may not leave the room.

At the discretion of the Director, the room may be used as an additional meeting place.


Every effort will be made to ensure the longevity and continued accessibility of materials within this collection. When possible, audio and audiovisual materials will be converted from their original format to a digital copy. Examples of formats that would be appropriate to convert include, VHS, DVD, floppy disk, CD, or cassette tape. Loose images will be stored in a folder, within an archival container so that they are out of direct sunlight. To minimize the damage of direct sunlight, the window blinds shall be kept lowered at all times. If an item appears to have mold but is still considered important, then the item will be placed in a bag that can be sealed and opened to prevent further mold from spreading but is still accessible for patron use.

Adding materials to this collection

Donations to this collection must be approved by the Director. If a proposed donation is approved as being appropriate for this collection and the Library can properly store the item, then the Library asks donors to complete a deed of gift. The deed of gift should include the following information: name and address of the donor, a description of the acquisition, and the provenance or origin of the donation. The deed also serves to record the history of the donation and protects the Library by transferring legal ownership of the materials to it. At the discretion of the Director and/or the Adult /Youth Services Managers, materials can be transferred from regular circulation to Special Collections, as long as it meets the scope of the collection.

Removing items from this collection

Materials may be transferred from this collection and added back into the regular collection at the discretion of the Director and the Adult /Youth Services Managers. The library shall use reasonable efforts to identify and notify the donor of the decision to withdraw the item from Special Collections.

For an item to be withdrawn from this collection, it must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • The material is outside the scope of the mission statement and the collections objectives, or it is no longer relevant to the purposes and activities of the Library as defined by the Director and the Board of Trustees
  • The provenance or authenticity of the material has been disproved
  • The material is redundant, or the Library has acquired a better or more complete example of the material
  • The material has deteriorated to the degree that renders it no longer useful or is a hazard to others or materials

Materials considered hazardous include those that are:

  • Moldy
  • Have biological or chemical agents

The material is not the only copy within the state based off of OCLC’s WorldCat holdings.

Once the item has been withdrawn, the following options are available for removal:

If the item is still in relatively good condition the item may be given to the Friends of the Paul Sawyier Public Library

If the item is in poor condition and the Friends do not want it, then the item is to be thrown away. The item is to be immediately bagged and thrown away, once removed, if the item is hazardous as defined above.

Adopted by the PSPL Board of Trustees, March 8, 2022.

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