With budgetary and space constraints, the Library can only acquire a limited number of the thousands of books published annually. Selection is done carefully and is based upon true principal rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice and judgment rather than censorship.
Responsibility for Selection
Selection is the administrative responsibility of the Director in cooperation with staff and public input. The Library Board is the final authority in determination of policy to guide the selection of materials.
TCPLS’s goal is to purchase the best materials available which meet the needs of the community and in the confines of the budget.
Each resource must be considered for its value, its format, and the audience for which it is intended. No single criterion is applicable to all purchase and access decisions. Some resources may be judged primarily for their artistic merit, scholarship or value to humanity; others are chosen to satisfy the informational, recreational or educational interests of the community.
Librarians apply their judgment and experience in selecting materials according to the criteria listed below. All criteria do not apply to each item. Works of imagination are judged by different standards than are works of information and opinion. Works that present an aspect of life honestly are not necessarily excluded because of frankness of expression. Materials are judges as a whole rather than on isolated passages. In considering titles, librarians consult reviews, bibliographies and other respected evaluative sources. The Library generally purchases current best sellers, giving priority to demand than to reviews or other relevant criteria. The criteria includes:
- suitability of physical form for Library use
- suitability of subject and style for intended audience
- present and potential relevance to local interests and needs
- appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content
- number and nature of requests from Library users
- historical significance
- importance as a document of the times
- relation to existing collection, alternative formats, and other materials on subject
- reputation and/or significance of the author/artist and publisher/producer
- authority, competence and purpose of the author/artist
- attention of critics, reviewers and public
- comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
- clarity, accuracy, logic of presentation
- representation of a minority point of view
- relevance to the experiences and contributions of diverse populations
- quality of illustrations
- vitality, readability or ability to sustain interest
- effective characterization
- authenticity of historical or social setting
- value of resource in relation to cost
TCPLS welcomes donations with the understanding that the materials will be subject to the same selection criteria as stated. Materials not added to the collection will be sold, exchanged, donated to other organizations or discarded. (See Gift and Donation Guidelines)
TCPLS does not appraise donations for tax purposes. It will issue a statement indicating the number and type of materials but it is the owner’s responsibility to determine the appraised value.
Complaints from a Library patron concerning having or not having a selected item is handled using proper procedures. (See Reconsideration of Library Materials)
Weeding and Discarding Library Materials
To maintain the vitality of the collection, materials are regularly weeded. This is the process of withdrawing materials which no longer meet the criteria for inclusion in the Library’s collection and is an integral part of collection management.
Factors involved in the decision to weed materials are:
- Poor physical condition
- Superfluous because of duplicate titles or because demand no longer exists
- Obsolete, superseded edition, no longer accurate- this does not sanction the removal of materials because of controversy
If suitable, discarded materials will be sold in Library book sales, by Library staff and Friends of the Library.