Material Selection Policy

Title:  Material Selection Policy
Effective Date: April 20, 2023
Review Date:

The Hamlin Community Library (hereinafter “Library”) creates a collection of materials to serve the community, one that takes into consideration a broad range of criteria and makes the best use of its limited resources. The Library uses criteria recommendations from the American Library Association as guiding factors when making decisions about how best to invest resources to maximize the impact of the Library’s collection. 

As a public library, consideration is given to the diverse and broad demographic patron base that can include infants to the elderly. The Library selection criteria take into account the various interests and needs of the patrons the Library serves. As a result, the Library strives to select materials and develop collections for adults, as well as for children and teens that represent the broad range of human experience, reflecting the ethnic, religious, racial, and socio-economic diversity not only of the region it serves but also the larger global perspective. The Library collections include popular works, classics, current affairs, and other materials of interest. Works are not excluded or included in the collection based solely on subject matter or on political, religious, or ideological grounds. In building collections, the Library is guided by the principle of selection, rather than censorship. Furthermore, the selection of a given item for the Library’s collections should not be interpreted as an endorsement of a particular viewpoint. 

To build a collection of merit, the Library evaluates materials according to one or more of the following standards. An item need not meet all of these criteria to be acceptable. 

General Criteria: 

a)       Present and potential relevance to community needs 

b)      Suitability of physical form for library use 

c)       Suitability of subject and style for the intended audience 

d)      Cost 

e)      Importance as a document of the times 

f)        Relation to the existing collection and other materials on the subject 

g)       Attention by critics and reviewers 

h)      Potential user appeal 

i)        Requests by library patrons

Content Criteria: 

a)       Authority 

b)      Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment 

c)       Skill, competence, and purpose of the author 

d)      Reputation and significance of the author 

e)      Objectivity 

f)        Consideration of the work as a whole 

g)      Clarity 

h)      Currency 

i)        Technical quality 

j)        Representation of diverse points of view 

k)       Representation of important movements, genres, or trends 

l)        Vitality and originality 

m)    Artistic presentation and/or experimentation 

n)      Sustained interest 

o)      Relevance and use of the information 

p)      Effective characterization 

q)      Authenticity of history or social setting 

Special Considerations for Electronic Information Sources:

a)       Ease of use of the product 

b)      Availability of the information to multiple simultaneous users 

c)       Equipment needed to provide access to the information 

d)      Technical support and training 

e)      Availability of the physical space needed to house and store the information or equipment 

f)        Available in full-text