Materials Selection Policy


The Public Library places major emphasis on informational, recreational and educational functions.  It recognizes the importance of basic materials of permanent value and timely materials on current issues.  Materials will be purchased in the format that best suits patron needs.


The trustees of the Hesseltine Public Library support the Library Bill of Rights promulgated by the American Library Association, and it serves as the basis for this policy and other lending policies of this library.  Choice of materials will result from a variety of professional activities  on the part of the Library Director.  Review of new books from both professional journals and popular reviewing media form an important tool in the selection process.  Recommendations from the staff and the public are also welcome and evaluated within the framework of the acquisition process.  Demand is a valid factor in book selection, and it shall be considered an important factor in cases wuch as books on best seller lists for which there is persistent local demand.


The LIbrary Director has the final responsibility for the selection of all materials to be incorporated into the library's collection, regardless of the mode of acquisition.  It is the Director's responsibiloity to provide materials that are of both current interest and permanent value, that are up-to-date, that are responsive to the interests and needs of every segment of the community and that do not discriminate against any political, religious, economic, or social view or group through deliberate exclusion of their views.  The Director shall try to provide for a diversity of materials without exercising either direct or implied censorship.  The Director shall be responsible for expending available funds in an equitable manner so that all divisions of the collection receive a just proportion of said funds.


Selection Criteria

     A. General

All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the standards listed below.  However an item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable.  Materials are evaluated on the significance of the entire work rather than individual parts.  When judging the quality of materials several standards and combinations of standards may be used.   The following principals will guide selection:

  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Community interest
  • Accuracy of content
  • Reputation and/or authority of the author, editor or illustrator
  • Literary merit
  • Relation to existing collection and to other materials on the subject
  • Price, availability and demand
  • Format and ease of use
  • Scarcity of information on the subject area
  • Availability of material in other area libraries
  • Attention of critics, reviewer, media and public

     B. Material Specific

Periodicals are purchased to supplement the book collection, provide recreational and professsional reading, and/or provide materials not yet available in book form.  Selection of periodidcals will be based upon their consideration as authoritative, objective, of local interest and demand, and indexed in standard periodical indexes.

Gifts of books and other items will be accepted on the condition that the Director has the authority to make whatever disposition he or she deems advisable.  Gifts will be judged upon the same basis as purchased materials.

Collection Maintenance

To maintain the effectiveness of the library's total collection, the library will attempt to systematically remove materials no longer useful.  The library must occasionally decide to withdraw unused, dated, or worn materials from the collection.  The library staff will use the CREW method to select materials for weeding.  The librarian will then check the materials against standard library guides before the item is discarded from the collection.  The library does not automatically replace all materials withdrawn because of loss, damage or wear.  Need for replacement is weighed with regard to several factors:  number of duplicate copies, existence of adequate coverage of a field, similar materials in the collection, later or more authoritative materials as well as current demand for the particular subject or title.


Patrons requesting that material in the collection be reconsidered may complete a "Material Selection Inquiry."  The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Hesseltine Public Library Board of Trustees.  Their decision will be based upon this selection policy after due consideration of the report of the LIbrary Director and the patron's inquiry.  The library recognizes that some materials may be controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons.  Selection or retention of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval of any group of patrons, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.  Lirary materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library materials will be sequestered, except to protect it from theft.  Responsibility for the reading of minors rests with their parents and legal guardians.  Selection of adult material will not be limited by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of minors.  Upon requesdt of the parents, the library will restrict the borrowing of materials of their minor children.

Approved by Library Boaard of Trustees:  March 3, 2008

Approved by Wilbur Town Council:  March 19, 2008

Made possible with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.