Material Selection Policies

Selection Policy

  • The purpose of this policy is to guide the staff responsible for materials selection and to inform the public about the principles by which selections for the library collection are made.
  • The library selects, organizes, makes available and encourages the use of print and non-print materials which:
    • Support the informational, recreational, and educational needs of the community at large.
    • Provide access to a variety of ideas, opinions, and perspectives on topics of current and local interest.
    • Support local business, cultural, recreational, and civic activities.
    • Stimulate the individual sense of self-awareness and intellectual development.
    • Enable informed participation in the affairs of the community, the state, the nation, and the world by providing free access to informational resources.
  • The Board of Trustees, the governing body that determines the library’s policies, delegates the responsibility for the selection of books and other library materials to the director. In turn, the director will delegate selection of particular materials to qualified staff members.
  • Patrons are invited to request the purchase of specific items by the library. The final decision for purchase of such items will rest with the technical services coordinator and the library director.
  • Selection of materials will be made after the staff has suggested selections from book reviews and other reviewing media, such as special bibliographies, subject lists, and catalogs.
  • The composition of the existing collection is also taken into account when selecting new materials as is materials listed on various best-seller lists.
  • When reviewing books, certain criteria may be taken into account such as the following:
    • Popular demand and or appeal
    • Currency of information
    • Present and potential relevance to community interest and needs
    • Suitability of physical form for library use
    • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
    • Availability of material in other libraries or in print
    • Cost of the item
    • Physical limitations of the building
  • The technical services coordinator will order chosen materials under the supervision of the library director.

Interlibrary Loan

  • The Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library attempts to provide access to as many materials as our space and budget allows. There are worthy materials that the library does not offer.
  • Materials desired by a patron and not available in the library can be requested from another library through ILL.
  • Patrons wishing to request interlibrary loan items must be cardholders in good standing.
  • A request form is completed and sent by the library. The library cannot guarantee any request being filled or the delivery date of the request.
  • The patron is responsible for returning the item on or before its due date and responsible for any fines if the item is damaged, returned late or lost.

Reconsideration of Materials

  • Even though materials are carefully selected, differences of opinion regarding the suitability of a particular title may occur.
  • The patron will first discuss his/her concern with the director. After reviewing the concern, the item will either remain or be removed from the shelf.
  • If the director does not remove the item, the patron will then complete the Reconsideration of Materials form.
  • Upon receiving the Reconsideration of Materials form. The library director will reexamine reviews of the material and will call a three member committee consisting of the director, a library trustee, and a member of the community.
  • This committee is not a standing committee and will only be called when such cases arise.
  • The committee will consider the material in question in terms of its appropriateness for the library, and will recommend to the Board of Trustees what action should be taken.
  • Upon taking the committee’s recommendation into consideration, the Board of Trustees will make a final decision.
  • A reply will be made to the patron in writing by the library Board of Trustees as soon as possible.
  • Material will remain in the active collection until the library Board of Trustees makes a final decision.

Weeding Material

  • Materials that are not longer useful, are damaged or worn out, will be systematically weed (discarded) from the collection according to accepted professional practices.
  • The Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library uses the CREW Method to weed the collection.
  • There are several reasons for weeding:
    • Item is out of date.
    • Item is in poor physical condition
    • There are duplicate copies of a title
    • Insufficient use of the item.
    • Limited space for housing materials.
  • The final decision to weed an item from the collection rests with the library director. The director is authorized by the Board of Trustees to discard materials as needed.
  • The director may delegate the weeding of particular materials to qualified staff members.