The materials selection policy is intended to implement the general services objectives of the library.The purpose of the selection process is to obtain selected books and other material to further the library program of giving information, reference assistance, and assistance to those engaged in educational pursuits, as well as to provide general recreational reading. In its most general terms, it will be the library’s policy to purchase the best books to satisfy the greatest number of patrons within budget limitations.
Special Aspects of Book Selection
- Religious matter and gift books must be of a general nature and of value to the collection as a whole.
- Addition of a book to the library collection in no way represents an endorsement by the library of any theory, idea, or policy contained therein.
- In the field of fiction, the quality of the book shall be judged on the content as a whole, not by detached excerpts. Fiction will be purchased mainly by popular demand of the library patrons.
- Indicating a book’s point of view or bias by the use of label or special shelving is considered an unwarranted assumption on the part of the library in that it denies the reader the right to judge the material for himself.
- Works of a borderline literary value, or those dealing with unorthodox or fad topics about which there is a great curiosity, will be acquired by the library in inexpensive editions and discarded when they have served their purpose of meeting a strong, current, though temporary, demand.
The preceding policy was formulated according to guidelines published in The Library Journal, and distributed by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
Reconsideration of Titles
In the event that an adult within the community questions the desirability of having a particular book, periodical, or other material within the library collection and available for public use, that person may request that the acquisition and availability of the item be reconsidered by making a request on a form provided for that purpose. The library director and the library board will give the request serious consideration. Written notice of their decision will be given to the patron making the request.
Responsibility for Selection
Ultimate responsibility for materials selection, as well as for all library activity, rests with the librarian. Suggestions from board members, patrons, and staff members will be given primary consideration.
Criteria and tools
The purchase of adult fiction material is based on review sources such as, The New York Times Review, Entertainment Weekly, Good Reads and other publisher best seller list and also request by library patrons. Non-fiction material must be selected on the basis of readability, social significance, and authoritativeness unless the book deals with local interests.
Criteria for non-fiction and children’s books
Permanent or timely value
Accuracy of information
Reputation of author and publisher
Clear presentation, readability, and literacy quality
Suitability to intended audience
Contribution to a balance of presentation of controversial issues
Contribution to a balance of presentation of special interest groups with general readership demands
Format and price
The children’s collection is selected to provide material which offers mental stimulation and encourage development of an inquiring mind, as well as providing knowledge of the social and physical worlds in which we live. Book selection for children follows the general criteria as that set forth previously under “Criteria and Tools.”
All books are selected in the hope that they will lead to continued reading in adult life. Standard classics of well-established reputation are included in the collection even though, in the modern social context, they may contain words or situations offensive to some individuals.
Publications currently used in the evaluation of adult and children’s books
The New York Time Book Review, Forecast, Booklist, Library Journal, and Review Collection of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
These publications have been endorsed by the American Library Association Council and the American Book Publisher’s Council Board of Directors, Book Manufacturers’ Institute, Board of Directors, and the National Education Association’s commission has subsequently endorsed them for the Defense of Democracy through Education.
The library welcomes gifts of books and other materials, but it reserves the right to make use of them as it sees fit. Gifts must meet the same standards of quality as purchased materials. The final decision on their disposal resides with the librarian. Money for memorial articles is welcomed; organizations or individuals are encouraged to consult with the librarian in the selection of appropriate items. Books and other items purchased from gift funds are identified with suitable plates.
Books and other materials will be constantly evaluated and weeded according to the CREW Method.
Books and other materials that are considered classics should be replaced as they are weeded.
When books have been weeded from the shelves, they should be removed from the library in the following manner:
- They may be sold to the public for a very small charge; the price asked will depend on the condition of the book.
- They may be given to a school or other institution.
- They may be put on a free table for patrons to take. Once the materials have been judged as no longer useful to the library, that material should not be stored or kept by the library; this applies equally to materials that have been a gift, donations, or memorial.
Freedom to Read and the Selection of Controversial materials
The library has a duty to provide a representative selection of books on all subjects of interest to its patrons that are not prohibited by law, including books on all sides of controversial issues.
The decision to purchase books which might be considered offensive to some individuals should be guided by qualified review based on the general intent of the author, his and his publisher’s previous reputation, and the status of the book as a serious literary effort.
No book will be eliminated from consideration for purchase because of language or frank treatment, verbal or illustrative, of certain situations that may be objectionable to some people.