Library Materials Evaluation and Selection

Effective Date: October 26, 1970; Revised: April 10, 2023


The materials selection policy of the Wayne County Public Library evolves from the goals and purposes of the public library itself: the free informal continuing education of the people; the dissemination and advancement of knowledge; and the provision of recreational and inspirational reading. Recognizing the wide diversity of tastes, interests, and the cultural and educational background of the community, it is our aim to build a broad collection serving as many citizens as possible within the necessary limitations of space and budget.

 The Library’s collection may include works proselytizing political, economic, moral, and religious or other vested positions when those works meet the selection criteria. Materials are not excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation or because they represent a particular aspect of life, frankness of expression or controversial subject matter. Inclusion of an item in the collection does not mean that the Library endorses any theory or statement contained in those materials and resources.

Responsibility for children’s use of library collections rests with their parents, guardians and/or caregivers.

The WCPL Board of Trustees endorses the statements of the American Library Association entitled the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read.


The Director has the ultimate responsibility for selection with the aid of other staff members who are qualified by training and experience. Professional and reliable sources of criticism and review are regularly consulted in materials selection; requests and suggestions from patrons are considered.

Guidelines for Selection:

1. Subject matter.

2. Quality with regards to objectivity, accuracy, literary merit, and permanent value.

3. Demand (purchase is not mandatory if it does not meet other guidelines for selection).

4. Availability elsewhere.

5. Timeliness and social significance.

6. Authority of the author and publisher.

7. Cost and shelving limitations.

8. Availability of published material on the subject.

9. Inclusion of the title in special bibliographies, indexes, and reviews.

10. Textbooks and other school related materials (purchased only if they are of general interest).



Duplicate titles are supplied within reasonable limits. Current books in great demand as well as multiple copies of some best sellers may be furnished temporarily through a lease collection.

Assets of other libraries and institutions in the area are considered to avoid unnecessary duplication of expensive and seldom-used material.


Gifts are welcomed with the understanding that the library may dispose of them as necessary. Gifts added to the collection should generally have the same qualifications as purchases.


The library will consider donations of self-published or traditionally published material written/created by local (Wayne County, OH or surrounding counties) authors, pending staff review. If a local author chooses to donate their work to the library, one copy will be placed in a “Local Authors” collection.

The library will not purchase a local author’s work (self-published or otherwise) unless that work has been positively reviewed in a professional publication or it has particular value to the library’s collection.


Judicious and systematic discarding is recognized as important to keep resources alive and up-to-date. It is the policy of the library to re-evaluate its collection continuously in conjunction with the selection of new and replacement material. Titles withdrawn by reason of condition, loss or damage will be replaced if they meet selection criteria and are available.


Serious objections to titles owned by the library should be in writing. The library provides a form for such objections to be filled out and signed by the patron.

 The board recognizes that censorship is a purely individual matter. While library patrons are free to choose what they like from the collection or to reject what they do not like, they cannot restrict the freedom of others to choose. Whenever the question of censorship is involved, no book or other library material shall be removed from the library except under court order.

 When a Request for Reconsideration is received, the Library Director consults with appropriate staff to obtain information about the item, (e.g., professional reviews, awards, etc.) and reviews the item for inclusion in the collection in light of the Library’s mission and overall objectives, its Materials Selection Policy and the ALA Library Bill of Rights. During the reconsideration process, material that a patron is requesting be removed from the collection will remain accessible to the library patrons without restriction. The Library Director will prepare a written response that will be sent to the patron requesting reconsideration.

See Also: American Library Association’s The Library Bill of Rights

American Library Association’s The Freedom to Read Statement

Request for Reconsideration Form below