Materials Selection and Weeding

Kilgore Memorial Library Policy Manual

The materials selection policy of the library is designed to carry out the general library objectives as outlined earlier in the policy manual in general.

Intellectual Freedom

The library endorses the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights,” “Intellectual Freedom Statement,” “The Freedom to Read,” and the “Freedom to View” documents as found in the Handbook on Intellectual Freedom.

Responsibility for selection

Responsibility for materials selection and weeding rests with the library director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board.  The library director may delegate to such members of the staff as are qualified by training or experience, the responsibility to make selections in their area of expertise.

Criteria for selection and weeding

In general, the library selects, acquires, organizes, and preserves library materials both of current interest and of permanent value.  Content, quality of writing and readability are major considerations.  Selection of any item does not constitute endorsement of the author’s viewpoint, nor does the library endorse particular beliefs or views.  The following criteria are provided as general guidelines for consideration in selecting materials or retaining materials when evaluating collections for weeding:

  1. Importance and value to the collection.
  2. Reputation, credibility, and authoritativeness of the author, artist, publisher, or producer.
  3. Current appeal, popular demand, and timeliness of the subject matter.
  4. Significance of the subject matter.
  5. Local interest.
  6. Availability or scarcity of materials on the subject.
  7. Level of difficulty and specialization.
  8. Reviews, summaries, and descriptions of materials.
  9. Format suitability.
  10. Physical quality and level of durability.
  11. Inclusion in indexes, bibliographies, and standard lists.
  12. Accuracy, physical condition, history of past use, and availability of space are additional considerations when evaluating materials for weeding or retention.

Collection areas and labeling

  1. The library labels collections to facilitate access by making it easier for users to locate materials.  The library does not label materials to warn, discourage, or restrict access based on a value judgment of the content, language, or themes of an item.
  2. Adult, Young Adult, and Children’s collections are distinguished on the basis of reading level, language comprehension, and audience.
  3. Nebraska Section materials include state and local history, productions of local authors, and other materials with local ties.  The collection includes ephemera and archival type materials.

Donated materials

Any donations of library materials may be accepted within the Ordinances of the City of York and provision of State Statutes, on the condition that the library director has the authority to make whatever disposition her or she deems advisable.

The same standards of selection will govern the acceptance of gifts as govern purchase by the library.  Useful but unneeded material may be sold and the money used to buy new materials.  Donations may also be offered to other libraries or institutions as a gift or exchange.

See also:  Gifts and Donor Recognition

Exclusion of material

The library director in the final analysis reserves the right to exclude materials which are judged to be strictly sensational or pornographic, according to community standards.  However, a serious work dealing with some problem or aspect of life will not be excluded because some readers may find the language or subject matter offensive.  Materials on controversial issues and current problems considered inflammatory, prejudiced, or violent may be acquired because they have influenced past or present thinking.

Problem materials

Serious objections to titles owned by the library should be in writing.  The library provides the form “Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources” which is to be filled out and signed by the patron.

The request should be returned to the library director who will examine the complaint, the material in question, and the circumstances involved in the complaint.  No later than one week later after receipt of the request, the library director will submit to the patron a response based on the reasons for the selection of the material.  A copy of the library’s Materials Selections Policy will be included with the response.

If the complainant feels the response of the library director is not support by the policy statement, the patron has the right to an additional hearing on the complaint with the Library Board.

  1. The Library Board recognizes that while individuals are free to reject materials for themselves which they do not approve, they do not have the right to restrict the freedom to read of others.  Whenever the question of censorship is involved, no library material shall be removed except under unanimous vote of the Library Board.
  2. No cataloged material will be placed on closed shelves except for the purpose of protecting it from injury or theft.
  3. Parents and guardians are responsible for supervision of their minor’s use of the library materials.