Library Policies
Materials Selection

Library Board policy as of March 14, 1990. Revised May 12, 1999; February 14, 2001; December 12, 2007; September 13, 2023.

Policies > Materials Selection

Mission Statement

With the desire to give service to all members of the community, the Library will serve the diversified interests of its citizens, encourage reading, and provide information and educational opportunities.


General Principles

The materials selection policy statement is directed toward the development and maintenance of a balanced collection of material within the budget constraints and availability of materials in the marketplace. These materials include books, periodicals, newspapers, audiobooks on CD, DVDs, Blu-Rays, ebooks, eaudiobooks, and databases as well as items for personal or recreational use (Library of Things).

The Library is the cornerstone of democracy in the community, providing free and open access to all its citizens. The freedom to read, hear, and view is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The Library upholds the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statements attached as appendix A and B.

The Library does not serve in loco parentis (“in place of a parent”). It is the responsibility of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to manage and restrict their child’s access to library materials. Responsibility for children’s reading rests with the parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Selection of materials for the library collection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

The following criteria are used in the selection process:

  • Reviews in library journals and other recommended sources
  • Credibility of author, illustrator, or publisher
  • Representation of diverse viewpoints or lived experience
  • Accuracy, quality, and authority of resource
  • Relevance to present or anticipated needs, interests or demand from the community
  • Patron request
  • New areas of knowledge or changing conditions of society
  • Relation to existing material in the library collection
  • Readability and clarity in relation to the intended readers
  • Accessibility in other collections in the area
  • Suitability of the format for library use
  • Price and availability of funds
  • Local interest
  • Quality of book construction (i.e. strength of binding and quality of paper)


Responsibility for Selection

Responsibility for selection rests with the Library Director and the staff. Responsibility for selecting in specific areas may be delegated to professional library staff.


Adult Department

Types of materials included in the Adult Department:

  • Fiction books: emphasis on building a balanced collection that includes all genres from Science Fiction to Romance. Current titles and requested older titles will be added on a regular basis.
  • Non-Fiction books: the informational needs of our patrons will be served by adding current titles in various subject areas.
  • Newspapers: emphasis on local news and financial data.
  • Paperbacks: purchased when hardcover is unavailable, when the cost differential is substantial, or titles are needed in multiple copies.
  • Graphic Novels
  • Periodicals: selection and retention of titles is based on a broad variety of general and informational needs.
  • Audiobooks on CD: books on compact disks are acquired using the same criteria as for books.
  • Textbooks: not purchased or added as a gift
  • DVDs and Blu-Ray: while the emphasis is on feature films, non-fiction titles in various popular subject areas will be added each year.
  • Games: popular computer games for various play stations will be added as needed.
  • Ebooks and Eaudiobooks: emphasis on building a balanced collection that includes all genres from Science Fiction to Romance. Priority given to new releases.
  • Databases: considerations include ease of use, need or interest in the community, accessibility to patrons (both in-house and remote access), availability from vendors, terms of licensing agreements, and cost.
  • Library of Things: The library collects a wide variety of items for checkout for patron recreation and general use. These items are selected based on community interest with special attention to risk management, ability to maintain the item in working condition, and cost of item.


Young Adult Department

Young Adults are served with a separate collection. Materials are chosen with an understanding that adolescence covers a wide range of reading skills, developmental levels and ages (grade seven through twelve).


Children’s Department

Selection is geared to create a collection that satisfies the informational, recreational and cultural needs to encourage the full potential of children from infancy through grade six.  To achieve this goal, a varied selection of materials including books, periodicals, recordings, ebooks, eaudiobooks, electronic devices, databases, video games, and board games are made available and accessible to children.  Materials are also available to those who work with and care for children. These materials are located in the children’s area for easy browsing and focus on topics relevant to caregivers including child development, health, and resources to use with children.

The Library’s role is not as a primary support for curriculum or the schools. The Library may coordinate with the local school system to provide support and complement school library collections, but the Library’s materials are chosen for value and interest for the whole community.”

Children are recognized as having a right to read.  Children have complete and easy access to all library materials, including the Adult Department.  Children have full rights to interlibrary loan, reserves, and reference.

Parents are ultimately responsible for what their children select for reading material.


Appendix A

Library Bill of Rights

Library Board policy as of March 14, 1990, revised as of February 14, 2001.

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and that the following policies should guide library service:

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community that the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of their 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 be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  5. Libraries that make exhibition 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.


Appendix B

Freedom to Read

Library Board policy as of March 14, 1990, revised as of February 14, 2001.

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea, of presentation contained in the books 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 determining what books should be published or circulated.
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
  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.
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as submissive or dangerous.
  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 individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expressions. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, bookmen can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.