Materials Selection

Policy No. 98-13

Effective Date:  December 12, 2006

The Board of County Commissioners adheres to the principles adopted by the American Library Association (ALA) with respect to access to library materials, services, and resources. The ALA's Library Bill of Rights prescribes at a minimum that:

  1. Library materials should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background or view 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 attempts made to restrict them in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.

The Library Director shall be responsible for developing materials selection guidelines based on the above principles. In addition, factors considered in the evaluation of materials or acquisitions will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Authenticity of the media: accuracy, currency
  2. Authoritativeness
  3. Clarity of presentation: readability and technical quality
  4. Social significance
  5. Importance of the subject matter to the collection
  6. Availability or scarcity of materials on the subject
  7. Timeliness or permanence of the work: its historical value
  8. Appearance of the title in special bibliographies and indexes
  9. Availability of the materials elsewhere in the area
  10. Literary and artistic value
  11. Public demand or popular appeal
  12. Reputation and qualifications of the creators, producer, publisher, and/or author
  13. Format; changing technology
  14. Price
  15. Recommendations from reviews in mainstream media sources, and in professional library and academic publications.

The Library Director shall also be responsible for implementation of a formal procedure for the general public to request review and evaluation of library materials.