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  1. Purpose
    The Oliver Wolcott Library’s Materials Selection Policy serves as a guide for authorized personnel in the selection and withdrawal of library materials. It also serves to inform the public as to the criteria upon which library materials are selected and withdrawn. The Oliver Wolcott Library supports intellectual freedom and subscribes to the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, and the related supportive documents of the American Library Association.
  2. Responsibility for Materials Selection
    The selection of books and other library materials is the responsibility of the Library Director and under his or her direction, other members of the library staff, in accordance with the selection guidelines herein described.
  3. Selection Criteria
    Library materials are diverse in topic, format, and other characteristics. Each type of item must be considered in terms of its own merit and the audience for whom it is intended. No single set of selection criteria can be applied in all cases.
    • Favorable reviews from sources listed below
    • Reputation of author and publisher, musical artist, filmmaker, and/or audio creator
    • The degree of interest to library users and the community as a whole
    • Contribution of the item towards strengthening the existing collection
    • Popular demand
    • Timeliness or permanence
    • Value commensurate with cost and/or need
    • Local author and/or local interest
    • Reading, viewing or listening level in relation to audience target
    • Suitability of format for library use and content
  4. Sources of Selection
    Reviews in library and publishing industry periodicals are primary sources for materials selection. Reputable bibliographies, booklists by recognized authorities, list of recent national or regional award winners, and the advice of competent individuals and/or entities in specific subject areas also are used. Suggestions from the general public are also accepted and considered.
  5. Review media
    Review media include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • booklist horn book
    • library journal school library journal publishers weekly
    • the new york times book review the new york times bestseller list
  6. Online Collection & Website
    The library has an established presence as a 24/7 virtual branch on the world wide web at The website serves as a gateway to the library’s online presence. this includes a growing number of services including but not limited to online databases and online collections. the online collection is selected based on the same principles set forth in this policy.
  7. Gifts
    Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria herein outlined and shall be accepted or rejected for the collection accordingly. this decision is the responsibility of the library director and under his or her direction, other members of the library staff.
  8. Replacement and Mending
    The library does not automatically replace or mend books or other materials because of loss, damage or wear. in each case, the need for replacement and/or mending is weighed with regard to several factors including but not limited to: number of copies owned, extent of adequate coverage of the field, other similar materials in the collection, ability to mend the item, and demand.
  9. Weeding
    Library collections, not being static, require an active weeding and discarding policy. the collection should be active, up-to-date and useful to its clientele. candidates for weeding include but are not limited to: outdated materials; items no longer of interest or in demand; duplicate copies, worn or damaged items, frequency of circulation, community interest, and availability of newer and more valid materials.
  10. Access to Collection
    Materials will be freely and easily accessible to the public. Patrons are free to select or reject for themselves any item in the collection. Children are not limited to the children’s collection, although juvenile materials are kept together to facilitate use. Responsibility for a child’s reading, listening or viewing must rest with the parent or guardian.
  11. Objections and Complaints
    Objections to materials owned by the library should be made in writing, giving reasons in detail. Material Reconsideration Forms are available for this purpose. The Library Director will review the material in question, make an initial determination on the request, and discuss it with the person who challenged the material. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the Library Director’s determination, the complaint will go to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will meet with the Library Director and will make a determination about the materials. Decisions of the Board of Trustees will be final. The Library Director and the Board of Trustees will use this policy, the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, and the related supportive documents of the American Library Association to help make its final determination of any challenged materials.

Library Bill Of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Oliver Wolcott Library, INC. Materials Selection Policy Revised, April 1996, March 2011