Materials Selection Policy
Purpose of Policy: This policy sets broad guidelines for the selection of library materials that correspond to the library ‘s mission and goals, and has been adopted by the Library Board. It is also used to inform the public and staff about the principles upon which selections are made.
a. “ Selection” refers to the decision to add, retain, or withdraw materials in the library’s collection.
b. “Library Materials” include all items in the library’s collections regardless of format.
c. “Access” is the availability of materials in a variety of formats for users of all ages and abilities.
- Goal of Materials Selection
The goal of selection is to provide materials that meet the identified needs and demands of the customers in the library’s service area, both now and in the future, are at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal and presentation of different points of view, and are in accordance with the library’s mission statement.
- Responsibility for Selection
Final responsibility for the selection of all materials rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees. The Library Director shall delegate materials selection duties to a staff trained in the principles and practices of materials selection. Both the general public and staff members may request or recommend materials for consideration.
- Criteria for Selection
a. The library supports intellectual freedom and has adopted the following statements as policy: The American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read Statement, the ALA-endorsed Freedom to View Statement, and the ALA Library Bill of Rights.
b. Each type of material must be considered in terms of its own merit and the audience for whom it is intended. No single standard can be applied in all cases. Some materials may be judged primarily in terms of artistic merit, scholarship, or value to humanity; others are selected to satisfy the literary, informational, recreational, or educational interests of the community.
c. The selection of an item does not imply the library’s endorsement of the opinions expressed by its creator, nor does the failure to purchase an item imply library disapproval of those opinions.
d. All librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in developing collections. Efforts will be made to provide materials representing a variety of interests, viewpoints and interpretations.
e. Reviews in professionally recognized resources are a primary source for materials selection, but not an exclusive source. Other sources will include, but not be limited to, standard bibliographies, vendor-generated lists, the advice of competent people in specific subject areas, book lists by recognized authorities, and the judgment of the professional staff.
f. The library keeps its collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing essential materials, and by removing, on a systematic and continuous basis, those works that are worn, outdated, of little historical significance, or no longer in demand.
a. Gifts shall meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials. The library retains unconditional ownership of all donations and makes the final decision on acceptance, use or disposition. The appraisal of the gift for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor.
b. When the library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature or subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based upon the wishes of the donor. The library staff in accordance with the needs and selection policies of the library, however, will make selection of specific titles.
c. Special collections and memorial collections may be shelved as separate collections, or integrated into the general collection at the librarians’ discretion. The form of memorial or gift identification will be a gift plate.
- Reconsideration Procedure
a. The customer’s choice of library materials for personal use is an individual matter. Responsibility for the use of materials by children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for himself or herself and for his or her children, he/she cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.
b. Any customer in the library’s service area who objects to the presence or absence of a work may do so by completing the “Citizen’s Request For Reconsideration” form. The form will be reviewed by the Library Director and professional staff, and will be followed by a formal discussion between the Library Director, the appropriate department head and the concerned party.
c. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached following this formal discussion, the reconsideration form along with a written summary and recommendation from the Library Director will be forwarded to the Library Board of Trustees for consideration and formal action at the next regularly scheduled public meeting.
d. No item under reconsideration will be removed pending a final decision by the Board without a formal directive from the Library Board of Trustees. Further, no item will be reconsidered by the Library Board of Trustees if the “Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration” form has not been completely filled out, and if the item has NOT been completely read, listened to, or viewed.
e. The decision by the Library Board of Trustees is final. Once an item has been reconsidered and retained OR removed, it will not be reconsidered again. A permanent file will be kept of all records pertaining to any challenged item.