Materials Selection Policy
Purpose: This policy sets broad guidelines for the selection of library materials that correspond to the Library’s mission. It may also be used to inform the public and staff about the principles upon which selections are made.
Selection refers to the decision to add, retain, or withdraw materials in the library’s collections.
Library materials include all items in the library’s collections, regardless of format.
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 materials selection shall be to provide collections that meet the informational, educational and recreational needs and interests of the residents of Wethersfield.
Responsibility for materials selection
Selection of all materials shall be the responsibility of the Library Director, who shall operate within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board. A staff of librarians with professional education and training shall assist the Director in materials selection. Both the general public and staff members may recommend materials for consideration.
Criteria for materials selection
The library supports intellectual freedom and as such has adopted the following documents of the American Library Association: the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to View Statement. Policies on discards and donations have also been adopted.
Each type of material shall 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. It shall be the goal of the library to be inclusive, not exclusive, in developing collections.
Reviews in professionally recognized resources are a primary source for materials selection. Standard bibliographies, book lists by recognized authorities and the advice of knowledgeable people in specific subject areas shall also be used.
Additional criteria will include:
Evident need in subject areas
Professional judgment as to subject, quantity and physical format
In selecting films, the Library will aim to provide alternatives to commercial television and to offer quality domestic and foreign films.
The Library shall keep its collection vital and useful by retaining or replacing essential materials. Works that are worn, outdated, inaccurate, of little historical significance or not longer in demand shall be removed on a systematic and continuous basis.
Gifts shall meet the same selection criteria as materials purchased for the collection. As set forth in the Donations of Materials policy, the Library shall retain unconditional ownership of all donations and shall make the final decision on acceptance, use or disposition. The appraisal of the gift for tax purposes shall be the responsibility of the donor.
When the Library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, whether as a memorial or for any other purpose, the general nature of the subject area of the materials to be purchased shall be based upon the wishes of the donor. However, the library staff, in accordance with the needs and selection policies of the Library, shall make the selection of specific titles.
Special collections and memorial collections shall not be shelved as separate physical entities and collections shall be accepted only with the donor’s understanding that such collection shall be integrated into the general collection. A gift plate may be used for memorial identification at the donor’s request.
The borrower’s choice of library materials for personal use shall be an individual matter.
Responsibility for the use of materials by children and adolescents shall rest with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for himself or herself and for his or her children, he or she shall not exercise censorship to restrict access to the materials by others.
Any borrower in the Library’s service area who objects to the presence of a work may question the presence of the item in the collection by completing the Statement of Concern about Library Resources form and signing the form. The form must be signed in order to be considered.
The Library Director and the Library board shall review all statements of concern that are submitted. While an item is under review it shall remain in the collection. In all cases, the quality of resources shall be judges on the content as a whole and not by detached excerpts. The final decision will be made by a vote of the Library Board.
The borrower shall be informed of the Board’s decision regarding the challenge.
Approved by the Library Board
October 29, 2002
Revised October 23, 2007
Revised October 26, 2010
Statement of Concern about Library Resources
Wethersfield Public Library
The Library Board has authorized the use of this form as part of its Materials Selection Policy.
Title of item_____________________________________________________________
Format: (i.e. book, DVD, audio book, etc.___________________________________
I represent: myself________ Organization______________________________
Position within organization_______________________________________________
1. Have your read, viewed or listened to the entire work?
If not, which parts did you read or view?
2. What concerns you about this material?
3. What do you feel might be the result of reading or viewing this work?
4. What action would you like the Wethersfield Library to take?
The Library will only consider statements that are signed by an individual.When completed, this form should be returned to the Library Director, Wethersfield Public Library, 515 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield, CT 06109.