February 2001 / Revised November 2004/ December 2009

Last reviewed: December 2009




            This document is intended to guide the staff in the selection of materials and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.


Library Mission Statement


The Scott County Public Library is a center of community life, offering opportunities for people of all ages to learn, know, gather and grow.


Scott County residents will have access to innovative library services, delivered in an efficient and effective manner, that will assist everyone to continue to grow and learn throughout their lives, provide the materials, programs, and services needed to meet their recreational needs, develop their ability to find and use information in a variety of formats, provide the information services needed to answer their questions and enable people to explore their personal heritage.


The library has identified four service responses as appropriate to our community; 1. Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong Learning, 2. Create Young Readers: Emergent Literacy, 3. Stimulate Imagination: Reading, Viewing and Listening for Pleasure 4. Building Community



            The SCPL selects, organizes, makes available, and encourages the use of print and non-print materials which:

·         Support the informational, recreational, and educational needs of the community at large.

·         Provide access to a variety of ideas, opinions, and perspectives on current topics.

·         Support local business, cultural, recreational, and civic activities.

·         Stimulate the individual’s sense of self-awareness and intellectual development.

·         Enable informed participation in the affairs of the community, the state, the nation, and the world by providing free access to informational resources.

·         Promote intellectual freedom by providing for free access to all points of view on current and historical issues.




            The Board of Trustees, the governing body that determines the Library’s policies, delegates the responsibility for the selection of books and other library materials to the Director.  In turn, the Director may delegate selection of particular materials to qualified staff members.


            A committee of librarians for the participating libraries may select materials in regional or statewide resource sharing collections.




            The following sources are considered during the materials selection process:


·         Standard review media for public libraries (such as Library Journal and Booklist).

·         Publishers’ announcements of upcoming and recent publications, and vendor’s catalogs.

·         Recommendations by library patrons and staff.

·         The composition of the existing collection.


            The Library Director and staff welcome recommendations from patrons and consider them carefully during the process of materials selection.





            No set of criteria can be applied to each and every item that the library considers for purchase.  Certainly, some criteria are more applicable to particular kinds of materials than they are to others.  While some materials may be judged primarily on artistic merit or factual content, for the purposes of this library and its chosen service roles, most materials are judged to the extent that they satisfy community interests and popular demand.  Consideration is given to the fact that interests may not occur without the material to create it.


            The specific factors considered in the Library’s process of materials selection are as follows:

·         Library’s mission and service roles.

·         Popular demand and/or appeal.

·         Recommendations by patrons and staff.

·         Present and potential relevance to community interests and needs.

·         Recommendations in standard review media.

·         Suitability of physical form for library use.

·         Suitability of subject and style for intended audience.

·         Relation to the existing library collection and to other material on the subject.

·         Availability of material in other libraries or in print.

·         Cost of the item.

·         Physical limitations of the building.

·         Library’s ability to provide delivery platforms as well as user support and training.

·         Balance to the collection which reflects a diversity of materials and resources.


            Budgetary limitations and the physical limitations of the building, play significant roles in materials selection.  As a result, there are worthy books, which the Library simply cannot afford to add to the collection.

                        The Library does offer interlibrary loan service to provide patrons access to books, magazine articles, and other materials that are not in the collection.  The library staff welcomes such interlibrary loan requests from patrons and makes every effort to fill them in the timeliest manner possible.  The collection development staff will analyze interlibrary loan transactions.




            Maintenance of the collection, which includes discarding, replacement, and repair, requires the same careful study and attention as initial selection.  In order to maintain a vital and useful collection, the Library must not only select new materials, but also it must remove or weed materials as well.  The very objectives and criteria used in the materials selection process should also be applied to the practice of weeding.  To a well-kept library, regular weeding is just as important as adding materials to the collection.


            There are several reasons for weeding:


·         Out of date and has been superseded by more relevant or current materials on the subject.

·         In poor physical condition and its use is not sufficient to warrant repair or rebinding.

·         Duplicate copies of a title that is no longer in demand.

·         Insufficient use of an item

·         Limited space for housing materials.

·         Maintain balance in the collection


            The final decision to weed an item from the collection rests with the Library Director.  Materials of little or no value or in very poor condition may be destroyed.  Materials still useful elsewhere are made available to schools or other appropriate non-profit institutions.  Materials with market value are made available through special sales conducted by the Library or Friends of the Library.  The Director is authorized by the Board of Trustees to discard weeded materials.  The Director may delegate the weeding of particular materials to qualified staff members.





Donated materials will be considered as possible additions to the collection and are subject to the same selection criteria and collection maintenance criteria used for the acquisition of materials.  The library will accept materials only if the donation is made without stipulations on the part of the donor.  Donated materials will not be maintained in collections or special areas if not in the best interest of the library.  Materials will be interspersed within the existing collection as needed.  The library does not accept A-V materials.


Those patrons desiring a statement for tax purposes must state the value of the contribution.  The library is not an appraisal agency and cannot assess the worth of gift materials.


The Scott County Public Library encourages monetary donations in memory or in honor of individuals or groups.  Materials will be ordered in keeping with the donor’s wishes if the request complies with the library’s selection guidelines.  A memorial / honor form must be completed by the donor so proper acknowledgements can be sent to individual or family members by the library.


The donor of any gift should understand that the library shall assume the complete authority over disposition of the gift and reserves the right to assign gifts wherever the need is greatest or to dispose of them in some other way if they are not acceptable on library terms.






            Occasionally, objections to a selection will be made by the public despite the care taken to select appropriate and useful materials for the library and the qualifications of the staff that make the selections.

            All objections to the presence of any library material will be referred to the Library Director or supervisor, who will discuss the matter with the complainant.  In the event that they are unable to come to a resolution, the patron will be given the appropriate complaint form.  Upon receiving the patron’s completed “Citizen’s Request Form for Re-evaluation of Library Materials, the Director will reexamine reviews of the material and will take the complaint to the Board of Trustees who will make the final decision.

            The Library’s Board of Trustees will be notified of all written Statement of Concern forms that are filed with the Library.

            In these matters, as in all matters pertaining to materials selection and removal, the SCPL acts in accordance to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights and its Freedom to Read Statement.