Materials Selection Policy

The major goals of the Champaign Public Library are to select, acquire, organize, circulate, and promote the use of a broad range of communication materials and services, which are provided to meet the individual‘s need for information; to help the individual attain maximum self-development through life-long intellectual and cultural growth; to supplement both the formal and informal educational experience of individuals; to encourage the use of leisure time through library materials, services, and programs; to provide the means for thoughtful and productive participation by individuals and groups in the affairs of the community, the nation, and the world; to support the educational, governmental, cultural, recreational, and economic activities within the community; to foster productive diversity; to accommodate the library needs of a changing and dynamic community; and to sustain the principles embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements, as enunciated by the American Library Association.

While striving to attain these goals, the library will also recognize the following general principles:

A. The development of ILLINET, multi-type library systems, and the rich library resources in the Champaign area permits citizens of this City to have access to a wealth of information and materials. The library will seek to address the citizen‘s primary needs and purchase materials that complement rather than duplicate other local library collections.

B. The library‘s collection is one that is intended to be active, useful, and circulating. The criteria for weeding (i.e., the periodic discarding of library materials) are continuing accuracy, frequency of use, physical condition, and relevance. Replacements and updated editions are purchased when warranted.

C. The library staff will, at all times, attempt to select materials that represent a wide range of viewpoints and will do its best to exercise impartiality in all selection activities. The public library is unique among institutions as an unbiased repository for the recorded expression of though. It must, therefore, accept responsibility for providing free access by the public to all points of view. However, the addition of an item to the collection in no way represents an endorsement by the library of any theory, idea, or policy contained in it. In the collection of the library, all sides of controversial issues will be represented as far as budget, space, and availability of materials allow. Selection will be based upon criteria given throughout this policy statement. The race, religion, nationality, or political views of an author, the frankness or coarseness of language, the controversial content of an item, or the endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group in the community will not cause an item to automatically be included or excluded. Processing and shelving of materials in no way reflects a value judgment of the materials. There will be no labeling of items or of catalog cards to indicate a point of view or bias. All materials, with the exception of some local, state, or government documents, will be shelved in their proper order on open shelves.

D. Children are not limited to materials in the juvenile collection, although juvenile collections are kept together to facilitate use. The library assures free access to its holdings to all patrons who are free to select or reject for themselves any item in the collection. Responsibility for materials selected for a child must rest with his or her parent or guardian, not with the library.

E. In addition to the requirements of the general public served, materials will be selected to meet the needs of such groups as business; the professions; government; community organizations; the homebound; the visually, physically, and mentally disabled; individuals with learning disabilities, adult beginning readers, and of people for whom English is not the principal language. Both the adult and young people‘s collections will serve as supplementary sources for student use, but materials selected for students must also be useful to the general reader.

F. Criteria which are used, where applicable, in materials selection are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Appropriate physical format
  • Artistic excellence
  • Award-winning or “classic“ titles
  • Contemporary or historical significance
  • Current interest
  • Curricular enrichment
  • Entertaining presentation
  • Favorable reviews in reviewing sources
  • Inclusion in indexes or bibliographies
  • Intended age and reading/listening/viewing level
  • Patron requests
  • Price
  • Relation to other materials in order to maintain impartial but comprehensive collection
  • Scarcity of materials on a subject/author/performer
  • Subject area and collection-development value
  • Technical value
  • Value as a source/reference materials

All criteria are measured by the professional judgment, knowledge, and experience of Champaign Public Library staff.

G. Materials currently provided for library patrons include books, paperbacks, audio recordings, videos, magazines, newspapers, maps, comics, story cassette kits, and microforms.

H. The library will encourage and accept gifts with the understanding that gifts of materials will be added to the collection only when they meet the same standards required of purchased materials. Gift materials which do not meet those standards, are out-of-date, are unneeded duplicates, or are in a format unsuitable for library use, may be given to the Friends of the Library for book sales, exchanged, or recycled. Gift items may be marked with an appropriate bookplate. A letter for tax purposes will be sent to the donor if requested at the time the donation is made. Whenever a gift is no longer needed or useful, it will be disposed of in the same manner as materials purchased.

I. The library will review the selection of a specific item upon request of a member of the community. Whenever, possible, complaints should be handled by the staff person to whom they are made, the department manager and then the assistant director if further assistance is required. The form “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” may be used at this point with a written response sent to the person or organization making the request.

J. Also adopted by the Library Board as part of the Materials Selection Policy, are the following American Library Association statements:

*Library Bill of Rights

*Freedom to Read Statement

*Freedom to View Statement

*Labeling and Rating Systems