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 are provided for the interest, information, enjoyment, and enlightenment of patrons in the library’s service area. 

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 patrons in the community. The collection is not designed to support most in-depth research.
  2. Meet the basic recreational needs of patrons in 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. Authority for the determination of policy in the selection and acquisition of materials is vested in the Ada Community Library Board of Trustees. Furthermore, notwithstanding this delegation of responsibility to the Library Director and staff, the Board of Trustees reserves the sole and exclusive authority to determine what materials are obtained or retained in the library, irrespective of the criteria or objectives set forth herein.

Criteria for Selection:

The evaluation of materials is characterized by flexibility, open mindedness, and responsiveness to the needs of patrons 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, including compliance with Idaho law (see "Controversial Material", below).
  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

Patron Requests:

The library encourages its patrons to suggest items, topics, or authors they would like to see included in the collection. Patrons may submit requests using the online form. 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.

Requests to Add Self-Published Books:

If patrons wish to have their book added to the collection it is considered a donation, with the understanding that donations become the property of Ada Community Library. The library staff determine whether it becomes part of the library collection using guidelines set in this Selection Policy. Not every book received will be added, but may become part of the Friends of the Library book inventory.

Gifts of Materials:

The library appreciates and encourages donation of materials in good condition. The library accepts books and materials donated with the understanding that they become the property of the Ada Community Library. The library staff determine whether the materials are added to the collection using this Selection Policy. If not appropriate for circulation, materials may be made available to the Friends of the Library for their inventory, or disposed of at the library’s discretion. The library does not provide an appraisal for gifts; instead, a letter of acknowledgement for receipt of the number of items received is given to the donor.

Maintenance of Collection and Discarding of Materials:

The Library board has given authority to staff to evaluate and weed to maintain an accurate, current collection that is in good physical condition. Several criteria will be considered when evaluating the collection such as, but not limited to: physical condition, relevance and accuracy, usage, scope and duplication within the collection or in other area libraries, space considerations. Maintenance is ongoing and selectors formally evaluate and weed their collections annually. Material 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, offering to other libraries, or non-profit organizations or, for items in poor condition, recycling.

Controversial Material:

The library recognizes that some materials may be controversial to some patrons. 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 patrons is a personal matter. Children and young adults have access to all materials in the Library, regardless of their location within the Library. Legal guardians are solely responsible for the materials minors check-out from the library. The Library does not act "in loco parentis.”

Materials selected for the collection shall comply with Idaho law, including those statutes on obscenity as well as those defining what is harmful to minors.

Reconsideration Procedures:

The Library recognizes the right and responsibility of individuals to choose their own reading materials. This necessarily permits an individual to reject materials for themselves and their minor children while preserving access to those materials by others.

The Library recognizes the right of the individual or group in the local community to make their objections known to the Library. Patrons wishing formal reconsideration of library resources must complete the "Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources" form, available at Service Desks and from the Administration Office. Patrons may also receive a copy of the selection policy if they wish. Requests for reconsideration are only accepted from Ada Community Library District residents for materials owned by Ada Community Library. The form must be completed in its entirety and submitted to the Library Director. The Director and relevant staff will determine whether the resource was appropriately included 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. Once a decision has been made regarding the retention or removal of the material, a letter will be sent to the patron explaining the decision. If the patron is dissatisfied with the resolution, they may appeal in writing to the Library Board of Trustees. The Board will receive this appeal request along with staff recommendations. After reading/viewing/hearing the item in question in its entirety, the Board will review the decision of the Library staff. The complainant shall be notified in writing of the Board’s decision. The Board’s decision on the matter is final. Generally, access to challenged resources shall not be restricted during the review process.



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; Revised April 19, 2022; Revised October 18, 2022; Revised February 21, 2023.