Material Selection

I. Objective

The mission of the Addison Public Library guides the selection of materials.

The mission of the Addison Public Library is to foster a love of reading, to promote lifelong learning and to provide recreational resources.

To support this mission, materials are selected, organized, and made accessible by professional library staff that recognizes the varied and diverse needs of the community.

II. Philosophy

This selection policy is based on the following premises:

  • Materials selected include a variety of formats. New formats are considered for purchase when they are established nationally and a significant number of local households have the necessary equipment to make use of the format. In addition, consideration is given to the cost and the library’s ability to obtain and house the format. Formats no longer in demand may be phased out.
  • Materials are chosen to represent a broad range of popular fiction genres and nonfiction categories. Some materials are chosen for their artistic merit or value as classic documents in their field; others are selected to satisfy recreational needs; others are chosen for timely coverage of current issues.
  • School and academic libraries have primary responsibility for providing materials to their students. The library accepts responsibility for providing students with supplementary reading materials.
  • The library encourages the examination of diverse opinions; thus various points of view are included in the collections. Materials selected will not be determined by pressure from outside groups and organizations; rather the library will apply established professional standards in the selection and retention of its resources.
  • The Library Board of Trustees supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements, and Students’ Right to Read of the National Council of Teachers of English. These documents are hereby incorporated in this policy and are available upon request. The library recognizes that materials which offend or shock one reader may be considered meaningful or significant by others.
  • Any patron has the right to question the inclusion of an item in the collection after reading this selection policy. Patrons filing formal objections to material read, viewed or listened to in its entirety, should follow the Reconsideration of Library Materials Procedure.

III. Goals

  • To recognize the various interests, abilities, and learning styles of Addison Public Library cardholders.
  • To choose materials which support the informational, cultural, educational, and recreational needs of the community.
  • To provide lifelong learning opportunities, stimulate self-understanding, enhance job-related skills, and make available entertaining reading, listening, and viewing materials.
  • To provide resources which support the industrial and business activities in the community.
  • To represent differing viewpoints on a broad range of topics.
  • To acquire selectively, within financial limitations, materials covering a broad range of topics.
  • To select items impartially and judiciously, allocating materials budgets based on circulation, cost, and objectives of collection development.
  • To acquire standard works, classics, and popular titles for representative coverage.
  • To provide duplicate copies of books in heavy demand when long use is anticipated and of books in current high interest though use may be short term. The number of reserves and inquiries is considered as well as media promotions.

IV. General Criteria for Materials 

Each item is judged as a whole. The Children’s Services Department selects materials for children from birth through 5th grade. The Adult Services Department selects materials for patrons in 6th grade through adulthood. Duplication of material between the Children’s Services Department and the Adult Services Department may occur. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to monitor and supervise the child’s choice of reading materials.

Tools used for selection include: reviews from reputable sources, such as professional journals, trade journals, subject bibliographies, and media promotions. One or more of the following criteria will be considered for items selected for the Addison Public Library Collection:

  • Accuracy, currency, and objectivity
  • Attention of the media and public
  • Authority or popularity of the author, publisher, or producer
  • Clarity and readability
  • Comparison to other books owned in the subject area
  • Literary merit or artistic value Need or value to the existing collection
  • Price
  • Quality and suitability of physical format for library use
  • Relevance to community needs
  • Reviews by popular press and library professional publications
  • Scarcity of material on the subject
  • Space limitations
  • Suitability of content for age level

V. Responsibility for Selection and Weeding

Ultimate responsibility for materials selection rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees. The Collection Development Coordinator supervises the selection and withdrawal of all library materials and is responsible for the growth and maintenance of the library’s collections. Designated Department Heads and staff make their recommendations to the Collection Development Coordinator.

Continuous weeding keeps the collection up-to-date. Items are removed when they become dated, worn, damaged, or are no longer in demand. Some withdrawn items are offered to other libraries, or are offered to the public at ongoing or periodic book sales sponsored by the Friends of the Addison Library, with proceeds from these sales retained by the Friends organization. Personal requests for such items cannot be honored.

VI. Replacement

The library does not routinely replace all lost, damaged, or worn items. The number of copies in the collection, existing coverage of the subject field, contemporary material of greater value, and public demand are all considered before a replacement purchase is made.

VII. Gifts and Donations

Through our Book Dedication Program, the Addison Public Library greatly appreciates monetary donations to the library for the purpose of supporting the library’s collection. Materials offered as gifts to the library are evaluated for suitability to the collection according to the criteria stated in this policy. Upon acceptance of the donation of material(s), the library has full discretion and authority regarding any and all uses of the material(s) including, but not limited to, their addition to our collection, inclusion in a book sale, or discard.

VII. Reconsideration

Once an item has been purchased in accordance with the Material Selection Policy of the Addison Public Library, it will be removed only (a) when it is withdrawn under Section V of this policy, or (b) it is shown to be in violation of the Material Selection Policy.

Addison residents wishing to initiate the review of an item’s adherence to the Material Selection Policy may do so by completing the necessary form contained in the Addison Resident’s Request for Reconsideration of Library  materials packet. The library maintains a stock of these packets at each public service desk. The packet contains: (1) a cover sheet explaining the procedure that will be followed subsequent to the receipt of the completed ‘Request for Reconsideration Form,’ (2) the ‘Request for Reconsideration Form,’ and (3) a description of the hearing procedure for reconsideration of materials.

Each completed ‘Request for Reconsideration Form’ that is submitted to the library will be acknowledged by the Assistant Director, or in the Assistant Director’s absence by the Director, within 5 business days. All requests for reconsideration must include the patron’s signature.