Policy for Selecting and Discarding Materials

Policy for Selecting and Discarding Materials


"Dreams, Ideas and Information"

We are a comfortable place for the community to connect, create and be inspired.

Objectives of the Collection
Materials/resources will be selected for the collection to help fulfill the Mission and the Strategic Plan of the Ada Community Library. Books and other library resources of requisite and appropriate quality will be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of people in the library’s service area. The library will provide materials and information that would be of the greatest direct benefit or interest to the people in the library’s service area. The library will consider not only the present needs of the community but will attempt to anticipate future needs in order to give timely service. It also has an obligation to collect materials and search for methods of service to satisfy the needs of those in the community, including those with disabilities, who have not traditionally been library users. The collection, taken as a whole, will be an unbiased and diverse source of information representing different viewpoints and cultures.

The Ada Community Library selects, makes readily available, and promotes the free use of library materials, whatever the format, which:

  1. Meet the up to date informational needs of members of the community. The collection is not designed to support most in depth research.
  2. Meet the basic recreational needs of members of the community.
  3. Supplement formal and informal study, homeschool study and literacy.
  4. Reflect a variety of opinions on a subject.
  5. Support business, cultural, recreational, and civic activities in the community.
  6. Stimulate self understanding and growth; enhance basic job related knowledge and skills.
  7. Increase knowledge of and participation in the affairs of the community, the country, and the world.

Authority and Responsibility for Collection Development
The Library Board has delegated responsibility for the selection of library materials to the Library Director who, in turn, may appoint staff to assist who are qualified for this activity by reason of education, training, or experience. Authority for the determination of policy in the selection and acquisition of materials is vested in the Ada Community Library Board of Trustees.

Criteria for Selection
The evaluation of materials is characterized by flexibility, open mindedness, and responsiveness to the needs of the citizens of the library district. Materials are evaluated as a whole and not on the basis of a particular passage or passages. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the following standards. Clearly, however, an item need not meet all of the criteria to be acceptable. The following general criteria are used:

  1. Popularity as measured by lists, such as the New York Times Book Review Best Sellers, and Retailing Top Sellers.
  2. Critics' and staff members' positive reviews.
  3. Patron demand for the material
  4. Community relevance
  5. Suitability of subject, style, and reading level for the intended audience
  6. Insight into human and social conditions
  7. Creativity and imagination
  8. Current or historical significance of author or subject
  9. Diversity of viewpoint
  10. Existing subject coverage in collection
  11. Availability and accessibility of the same materials in other Treasure Valley area libraries

The library encourages its patrons to suggest items, topics, or authors they would like to see included in the collection. Serious consideration will be given to purchasing patron requested materials when these requests meet the above general criteria. Reviews or information about the materials will be considered prior to purchasing, or in the case of donated materials, before adding them to the collection. Requests not purchased may be met through resource sharing with other libraries, electronic retrieval or other means.

Controversial Material
The library recognizes that some materials are controversial. The inclusion of an item in the collection is not to be considered an endorsement, official or otherwise, by the Library.

The choice and use of library materials by users is a personal matter. Children and young adults have access to all materials in the Library, regardless of their location within the Library.

Reconsideration Procedures
The Library recognizes the right of the individual or group in the local community to make their objections known to the Library. Patrons wishing reconsideration of library resources must complete the "Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources" form, available at the Reference Desk, Youth Services Desk, Circulation Desk and from the Administration Office. Only requests made by Ada Community Library patrons regarding materials on the shelves at Ada Community Library branch libraries will be considered. The form must be completed in its entirety, and, along with the resource in question, be submitted to the Library Director. The Director and staff will determine whether the resource was appropriately accessed under existing library selection policy and check general acceptance of the resource by gathering available reviews of the materials, checking other library holdings, or conducting other research. This information, the resource itself, and copies of the completed "Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources" form, will be provided to the Board. Board members will review the material in question and will make a decision on resource status by simple majority. The challenger shall be notified of the results.

Generally, access to challenged resources shall not be restricted during the review process.

Gifts of Materials
The Library appreciates and encourages donations of materials in good condition.

The Library accepts all books and materials donated with the understanding that the books and materials become the property of the Ada Community Library. The library staff will determine whether the materials are added to the collection, made available to the Friends for their book sale, or disposed of at the library's discretion. The library does not provide an appraisal for gifts; instead, a letter of acknowledgment or receipt of the number of items received is given to the donor.

Discarding of Materials
The collection receives ongoing evaluation and weeding to maintain an accurate, current collection that is in good physical condition. Criteria for weeding are the following: physical condition, relevancy and accuracy, usage, scope and duplication within the collection or in other area libraries. Materials discarded from the collection are disposed of at the library's discretion. Options include, but are not limited to, making discarded materials available to the Friends for book sales, or offering to other libraries or non profit organizations.

Approved by the Board Trustees, February 18, 1998
Revised, June 15, 2005; Revised, September 20, 2011; Revised, January 21, 2014; Revised, February 21, 2017; Revised June 20, 2017