Materials Selection Policy

Revised: March 2013


The Ohio County Public Library places major emphasis providing library services that support the community's informational and educational needs. The Library recognizes the importance of basic materials of permanent value and timely materials on current issues, and that its major concerns must be positive contributions toward the development of the individual as a citizen and the removal of ignorance, intolerance, and indifference. Materials will be purchased in the format that best suit patron needs.

The Library, recognizing its responsibility to develop adult citizens for whom the use of books and other media of communication are a necessary and natural part of intelligent living, provides special service for young people. It seeks to direct and stimulate young readers by making available expertly selected collections and skilled individual and group guidance.

In provision of special services for children, the Library strives to guide the child toward a love of reading and an awareness of books as a means of satisfying their mental, emotional, and activity interests. To integrate this program, the Library works closely with parents, schools and other educational agencies, as well as the children themselves.


The Trustees of the Ohio County Public Library support the Library Bill of Rights promulgated by the American Library Association, and it serves as the basis for this policy and other lending policies of the library. Choice of materials will result from a variety of professional activities on the part of the Library Director. Reviews of new books from both professional journals and popular reviewing media form an important tool in the selection process. Recommendations from the staff and the public are also welcome and evaluated within the framework of the acquisition process. It should be understood that acceptance of a public suggestion is not a promise or commitment to purchase.


The Library Director has the final responsibility for the selection of all materials to be incorporated into the Library's collection, regardless of the mode of acquisition. It is the Director's responsibility to provide materials that are of both current interest and needs of every segment of the community and that do not discriminate against any political, religious, economic, or social view or group through the deliberate exclusion of their views. The Director shall try to provide for a diversity of materials without exercising either direct or implied censorship. The Director shall be responsible for expending assets available in an equitable manner so that all divisions of the collection receive a just proportion of said funds.

Selection Criteria

All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the standards listed below. However, an item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable. Materials are evaluated on the significance of the entire work and not on the presence of words, phrases or situations which in themselves, or taken out of context, might be objectionable. No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, political or religious views of the author or producer. Material representing all points of view concerning controversies, problems and issues of our times, international, national and local, may be selected, for the purpose of providing readers with facts from which they may form their own judgments. When judging the quality of materials several standards and combinations of standards may be used.

The following principles will guide selection:
  • Contemporary significance or permanent value
  • Community interest
  • Accuracy of content
  • Reputation and/or authority of the author, editor or illustrator
  • Literary merit
  • Relation to existing collection and to other materials on the subject
  • Price, availability and demand
  • Format and ease of use
  • Scarcity of information in the subject area
  • Availability of material in other area libraries
  • Attention of critics, reviewers, media and public

  • The Library's intent is to purchase the best books which will satisfy the clientele of the Library within budget limitations. Other books may be made available through interlibrary

    Objections to items in the collection should be made in writing to the Library Director.

    Material Specific
  • Periodicals are purchased to supplement the book collection, provide recreational and professional reading and/or provide materials not yet available in book form. Selection of periodicals will be based upon their consideration as authoritative, objective, of local interest and demand, an indexed in standard periodical indexes. This precludes the addition of specialized journals to the collection. Articles from journals are readily available through inter-library loan, or Indiana State Library databases..

  • Audio-visual materials are a component of the resources provided by the Library. Audio-visual materials can develop perceptions, present ideas, and relay other types of information that are not readily transmitted through print. General selection criteria apply to audio-visual resources..

  • The Library provides its users some information in electronic format. The replacement of print resources by electronic ones is determined by a number of factors including ease-of-use, search capabilities, cost and available hardware. The cost of new equipment is weighed when considering titles for selection..

  • The Library subscribes to selected local and metropolitan newspapers for news, current affairs and business information. Limited backruns of paper copies will be maintained, along with more extensive microfilm backruns of selected newspapers..

  • Gifts of books and other items will be accepted on the condition that their use or disposal is subject to the discretion of the Library Director. Gifts will be judged upon the same basis as purchased materials.

  • Collection Maintenance

    To maintain the effectiveness of the Library's total collection, the Library will attempt to systematically remove materials which can no longer be circulated because of physical condition or because they are no longer useful. Materials which are obsolete and of no historic value, or dated both as to subject matter or literary style shall be removed. The Library does not automatically replace all materials withdrawn because of loss, damage or wear. Need for replacement is weighed with regard to several factors: number of duplicate copies, existence of adequate coverage of a field, similar material in the collection, later or more authoritative materials as well as current demand for the subject or title. The primary goal of all weeding is to keep the collection current, attractive and usable.

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    Ohio County Public Library | 503 Second Street | Rising Sun, IN | 812.438.2257