Sacred Space Online Learning Collection Development Policy
I. The Policy
The Sacred Space Online Learning (SSOL) Collection Development Policy provides a framework for the growth and development of individual collections and materials in support of SSOL’s overall mission to “provide a wide range of spiritual, religious, and faith-based resources in the form of online classes, live webinars, on-demand webinars or lectures, online book studies, and virtual retreats.”
SSOL’s goal is to provide a diverse online community with materials that reflect a wide range of views, expressions, opinions and interests. Specific acquisitions may include items that some may deem controversial in nature. SSOL’s decision to list these items on Sacred Space Online Learning does not constitute endorsement of their content, but rather makes available its expression.
SSOL provides free access to materials in a number of formats to all users. Each user makes their own choices as to what they will use based on individual interests and concerns. SSOL supports the right of each parent or guardian to decide which items are appropriate for use by their minors (individuals under the age of 18). Responsibility for a minor’s use of materials found on SSOL lies with that minor’s parent or guardian.
II. About SSOL and the SSOL Community
The community that uses SSOL is global and diverse. It is open to any individual or group who wishes to learn more about matters of spiritual, religion, or faith. While SSOL is based in the United States and is primarily visited by English-speaking individuals, we will also strive to make attempts to include materials from a variety of countries – and to provide information in other languages – as time, money, and resources allow us to do so.
III. The Collection
SSOL’s collection of materials seek to provide a wide range of religious, spiritual and faith-based materials for people of all ages. Collections and selections can include popular and in-demand materials; religious, spiritual and faith-based materials; as well as special formats, such as government documents, foreign language materials, test and study guides, financial, tax and business information, and consumer, health or medical information.
IV.Criteria for Selection
General criteria for selecting SSOL materials are listed below. An item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable.
- public demand, interest or need,
- relevancy to current ministerial or faith-based settings
- contemporary significance, popular interest or permanent value
- attention of critics and reviewers
- prominence, authority and/or competence of author, creator or publisher
- timeliness of material
- relation to existing collections or SSOL Categories of Learning
- statement of challenging, original, or alternative point of view
- authenticity of historical, regional or social setting
- accessibility for multiple users of electronic formats
V. Responsibility for Selection
Responsibility for the initial selection of SSOL resources rests with the operators of SSOL and are primarily based on the criteria cited above. The responsibility for selection ultimately rests with the SSOL Coordinator operating within the guidance provided by the Office of Formation and Leadership Development of Metropolitan Community Churches, and with respect to the MCC Vision Statement, the MCC Denomination Mission Statement, and the MCC Denomination Core Values (see http://mccchurch.org/overview/).
VI. Suggestions for Additions to the Collection
Suggestions from users are always considered for addition to SSOL’s collection. Users can request that specific items be added by emailing their request to email@example.com.
VII. Collection Maintenance, Replacement and Weeding
SSOL will review items in the SSOL collection to ensure that they continue to meet user’s needs as often as possible. Materials that are obsolete, extremely updated, contain broken links, or unnecessarily duplicated are removed. When possible similar materials will replace the removed items. Items are not automatically replaced. Decisions are based on need, demand, and budget.
VIII. Request for Reconsideration of Materials
SSOL welcomes their user’s expressions of opinion concerning items found on SSOL. Requests to remove materials will be considered within the context of the policies set forth in this document. Anyone who wishes to request that a specific item be reconsidered for inclusion in the collection of SSOL materials is asked to email SSOL at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the name of the material(s) they would like us to reconsider, the url(s) of those materials, and the reason(s) why a request for removal is occurring. The email will be forwarded to individuals operating SSOL as well the Office of Formation for Leadership Development of Metropolitan Community Churches. Together they will consider the request in a timely fashion. The questioned material will be reviewed, in its entirety, and once a decision has been made regarding the retention or removal of the material, a letter will be sent to the person, explaining the decision.
(Approved by Sacred Space Online Learning and the Office of Formation and Leadership Development of Metropolitan Community Churches – May 17, 2016)