Selection of Materials

  1. The Library Director is primarily responsible for the selection of books and all other materials for the library collections. Selection is based on information found in standard library selection aids, on the advice of experts who may be consulted in cases where warranted, and, when feasible, on the direct examination of the material itself.
  2. The library encourages suggestions from the public and specific requests are met if the material meets the criteria in the selection policy and as the budget allows.
  3. Qualities sought in selection of materials include permanent or timely value, authoritativeness, clear presentation and readability, and social significance. The deliberately distorted or sensational is avoided.
  4. Donations are accepted gratefully, with the stipulation that the library shall have complete control over disposition thereof. Federal tax law does not allow the library to provide a value for donations to the library. The donor must provide their own valuation. We can give a donor a list of the items donated, date donated, and a signature as a “receipt” if requested.
  5. Jensen Memorial Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, “Freedom to Read” and “Freedom to View” statements. (See Appendix A.)
  6. In coverage of current issues, as well as historical patterns of ideology and thought, the library attempts to present high quality works on all sides of any controversy. The library does not impose, nor will it submit to, any kind of censorship of thought through the exclusion of a particular facet of a controversial issue.
  7. The library believes strongly that materials are vehicles for thought, and that as such, their censorship represents a violation of the freedom of thought which is an implied part of the freedom of speech. While the library does select its materials in an attempt to maintain a quality collection, it does not censor any book for reasons of religious or political belief expressed, but does reserve judgment as to what is political and religious in nature and what is distorted or sensational. Furthermore, judgment is based on a thoughtful review of the whole book (or item), as well as a consideration of reviews found in responsible publications. In general, an item is not excluded from the collection on the basis of its faults alone; each item is judged in terms of a weighing of faults and merits.
  8. Because it is the library’s responsibility to acquire materials with a wide range of subject and treatment, the choice of materials which will suit the personal taste is left to the individual.
  9. Concerns about the inclusion of a particular item in the library’s collection should be directed to the Library Director and should be in writing. Please refer to the “Request for Reconsideration  of Library Materials” form.
  10. The library exists in a dynamic world. Its collection must not remain static if it is to serve the needs of such a world. The Jensen Memorial Library collections are maintained as flexible, growing entities which reach out to embrace new formats as well as new ideas.