Materials Selection Policy

Mission Statement:
Community Library's mission is to provide welcoming environments for all to pursue knowledge and cultivate interests.

To select, organize, and make available library materials to the people of the community. To stimulate an interest in reading as a source of pleasure, relaxation, and recreation. To provide additional materials for teachers and students of the Big Walnut School District. To assist patrons in obtaining library materials not owned by Community Library.

Scope of Collection:
In a free society, information on many points of view and in many fields of endeavor must be readily available. Community Library serves the public as a general center of information and diverse ideas. It has the responsibility of providing materials reflecting both majority and minority views. Community Library Board of Trustees believes education is a universal and lifelong process. For the self-directed, the library is a center of thought and knowledge. The library recognizes its obligations to provide reference and research materials for direct answering of specific questions and for continuing research. It also recognizes the purpose and resources of other libraries in the community and shall not needlessly duplicate functions and materials.

Community Library is not a supervisor of public morals. In 1970, the Board of Trustees adopted the Library Bill of Rights as attached. The library believes in the right and obligation of parents and guardians to guide moral development of their children. Adults may choose or reject library materials for themselves, but never for another adult.

The library recognizes its role in collecting the local history of the community and the genealogies of families in the community. These materials will be actively sought, protected, and stored in the heritage collection. The collection will primarily concentrate on the Big Walnut area with additional information on Delaware County, Ohio, and other areas from which the local settlers came. A staff member will be trained to share the local history materials with the community.

Responsibility for the selection of library materials shall be vested in the library director. The library director may delegate to trained staff the authority to interpret and guide the application of the policy in day-to-day selection. Any materials so selected shall be held to be selected by the board. Questions concerning materials will be referred to the director for resolution. Selection of library materials will be from reviews in Publisher's Weekly, New York Times Book Review, Booklist, Wilson Library Journal, Library Journal, School Library Journal, VOYA, Hornbook, WEB, Ohio Children's Book Review, and other reputable review sources as well as criticism appearing in selection aids, periodicals, brochures, and bibliographies and/or upon reading and examination of materials by staff members.

Criteria for selection:
  • The importance of the subject matter to the collection.
  • Community demands, needs and availability in community.
  • Authoritativeness.
  • Inclusion in standard bibliographies or indexes.
  • Suitability of physical format for library purposes including possibility of rebinding.
  • Price

Donations of library materials will only be taken with the understanding the library director will apply the criteria for selection to each individual title. Those needed in the collection will be added. Those not used in the collection will be sold by Community Library Friends.

Community Library will accept donations of money for the purchase of materials to serve as memorials or to honor individuals. The library director will work with the donor to purchase materials which are meaningful to the family and the donor.

Maintaining the collection:
Systematic withdrawal of materials no longer useful is necessary in order to maintain relevant resources. The same criteria used in adding the materials to the collection will be used in removing them. The guidelines for weeding, as set forth in the CREW Manual, will be used by the library director in making the decision on each item.

Materials withdrawn from the collection will be offered to the Community Library Friends for resale or recycled through other local organizations who may be able to use the materials. Any materials not sold or recycled will be disposed of in the most energy efficient and cost effective method.

Censorship Policies:
The selection of materials is predicated on the library patron's right to read and freedom to view and, similarly, freedom from censorship by others. Much material is controversial and any given item may offend some persons. Selections for this library will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the criteria for selection.

Community Library holds censorship to be a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject materials for oneself, one cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom of others. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that the materials may inadvertently come into the possession of minors. Parents or legal guardians who do not want their children to have access to certain library services, materials or facilities, should so advise their children. Librarians and the Board of Trustees cannot assume the role of parents or function as authority in the private relationship between parent and child.

Procedure for reconsideration of materials:
  1. The library will reconsider any material in its collection upon written request from a patron. If a complaint is made, the following procedure is to be followed:
  2. The patron will be given the Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form to complete.
  3. The completed form along with the material (if possible) will be given to the library director.
  4. The library director will locate the source from which the material was selected.
  5. If the material appears to meet the criteria for selection, the patron will be notified and the material will be returned to the shelf. If the patron has read/viewed the material in its entirety and is not satisfied with the library director's decision the reconsideration committee will review the material. (Skip to #6)
  6. If the library director finds the material does not meet the criteria for selection the reconsideration committee will review the material. The reconsideration committee will consist of the library director, the assistant library director, and the service director for the area in which the material is located. The committee will undertake the following:
    • Read, view, or listen to the challenged material in its entirety;
    • Review the selection process and the criteria for selection;
    • Check reviews and recommended lists to determine recommendations by the experts and critics;
    • Meet to discuss the challenge;
    • Make a recommendation for removal, retention, or replacement.
    • The Board of Trustees and the patron will be notified of the recommendation of the reconsideration committee.
    • If the patron is not satisfied with the reconsideration committee's finding, the complaint will be forwarded to the Community Library Board of Trustees for review.
Adopted 3-1993