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Maude Shunk Local History Room Management

Chapter: Collection Development
Policy Number: 4.03
Original Effective Date: 9/19/18

Revision History: 2/17/21, 9/15/21


The Maude Shunk Local History Room is the area within the Menomonee Falls Public Library for collecting, preserving, and making accessible special collections of materials with enduring historical value that document the social, educational, economic, or political development of the Village of Menomonee Falls and surrounding communities.

Collections in the Maude Shunk Local History Room

The items in these special collections are distinguished from the Menomonee Falls Public Library’s general holdings by virtue of the material’s uniqueness, rarity, physical format, content or depth of subject, or intrinsic or monetary value warranting special treatment regarding housing, cataloging, preservation, or use.

  1. General non-fiction materials in the genealogy (929) and Wisconsin history (977.5XX) sections are located in the Local History Room.  These items can be borrowed from the Library.
  2. Reference – There is an area of For Reference Only materials.  These items can be used in the Library only and may not be checked out. This includes reference books and binders to aid your research.
  3. The Falls Collection is a non-circulating collection comprised of published books, monographs, serials, reports, studies, reference materials, fiction, videos/DVDs, biographies, and books by local authors. These items can be viewed one at a time by request.
    1. Non-fiction books and videos/DVDs represented include: history and historiography of Menomonee Falls; select materials from Waukesha County, Milwaukee County, and the state of Wisconsin that include information about Menomonee Falls; geography and ecology of the state; local history of area communities; governance and development of Menomonee Falls; local publishing imprints, and biographies of those instrumental in shaping the Village of Menomonee Falls and connected communities.
    2. Fiction collection includes a selection of books by local authors.
  4. The Maude Shunk Collection is a non-circulating collection that includes records which reflect the social, economic, and political development of Menomonee Falls and surrounding communities. Many of these items have been digitized and are available on the computer located in the Local History Room. Original copies are kept in storage and cannot be checked out.
    1. These items may be unique materials, including but not limited to: photographs, scrapbooks, ledgers, manuscripts, select organization minutes; or may be copies of important information found in another repositories that is not easily accessible.
    2. In general, museum objects (with or without provenance) are not collected.

Memory Lab

Inside the Local History Room is a memory lab consisting of a computer with a digital archive and equipment to digitize your family memories. 


The Maude Shunk Local History Room is open during normal Library hours. Users do not need a Library Card to access the room. The reading room is wheelchair accessible. It is requested that users under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult who remains with the child for the entire research process.

Only Library Staff or approved Library Volunteers will be allowed access to the storage area. Staff will assist users with scanning or photocopying items located in storage. The user will be responsible for photocopy fees as set by the Library.

Gifts and Donations

The Menomonee Falls Public Library accepts donations that fall within the scope of the Collection Development Policy. All donations or gifts are subject to review by the Library staff and may be declined. The Library reserves the right to decline any acquisition, including but not limited to, the following reasons:

  • Inability of the Library to provide suitable space, staffing, supplies and equipment. While the lack of one or more of these does not constitute a compelling reason for refusing archives and manuscripts, deficiency in one or more may constitute grounds for a temporary delay in acquisition.
  • Inability to provide sufficient support to preserve and provide access to the archival records.
  • Materials do not fit within the scope of the Collection Development Policy.
  • Materials can be readily found in other area archives or libraries (ex. newspapers, books, published and unpublished ephemera).
  • Donor’s ownership of the materials is in question or disputed.

Once a donation is accepted, a staff member will prepare a deed of gift specifying the materials to be donated, which then must be signed by the donor.  This deed of gift transfers any rights the donor may have concerning ownership or—in most cases–copyright to the Menomonee Falls Public Library. Special conditions may be specified by the donor, but the Library may refuse any donation in which it deems the conditions of use are overly restrictive.

Donors are welcome to examine the material that they have donated at any time during Library open hours by appointment.  Donors may request a copy of any inventories, finding aids, or other research materials produced about the donated material.

The Library will not appraise gifts. Under IRS regulations no Library, archive, or museum can perform an appraisal. The Library will not hire an independent appraiser.  If a donor would like their collection appraised for tax purposes, this should be done before collection is donated.

Cooperative Collection Development Efforts

The Menomonee Falls Public Library will work with other organizations involved in similar efforts, as appropriate (i.e. Menomonee Falls Historical Society, Falls Cable Access).

De-selection of Materials

In order to maintain a viable and useful collection and to assure adequate space for its housing, the Library may occasionally remove items from the special collections.  On a highly selective basis, materials that have become obsolete, fall outside the collection rationale outlined in this policy, are no longer relevant, or are in poor physical condition may be withdrawn from the collection and returned to the original donor, offered to a more appropriate repository, transferred to the general Library holdings, be disposed of, or sold.