Prospect Heights Public Library District
Materials Selection Policy
Reviewed May 2022
Library materials are chosen based on their potential to serve the recreational and educational needs of the community, as far as community surveys, library patron requests, circulation records and the Library’s long-term plan can determine these needs.
The Library is a public institution with limited resources. Carefully and judiciously selecting materials, keeping diversity in mind, is important. Considering factors are; anticipated or existing patron demand, reputation and skill of the author, existing holdings in the subject area, availability of the materials from other sources and price. Consulting reviews in established review media is imperative.
While it is appropriate for a library to excel in one or more subjects, the collection as a whole must be planned so that all subject areas are adequately developed through sound selection practices. Due to staff and funding limitations, materials of a highly technical or professional nature cannot be systematically acquired. Materials outside the scope of the library’s collection may be obtained through interlibrary loan.
The public library serves a diverse community, and selection of materials cannot benefit from one group to the exclusion of others. While recognizing an obligation to encourage reading and library use among students, the Prospect Heights Public Library does not routinely purchase curriculum-oriented materials that are more appropriately found in school libraries.
It is in the public interest for the Prospect Heights Public Library District to make available diverse views and expressions, including those that may seem unorthodox or unpopular with the majority. We embrace the guidance from the American Library Association (ALA) and its subdivision Association for the Library Service to Children (ALSC) on the importance of diversity especially in children’s literature.
While everyone is free to reject titles that they do not approve for themselves and their children, they cannot restrict the freedom of others to choose what to read, hear, or view. A diverse collection is important. Material will not be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social view or either the author or the material.
Selection guidelines do not guarantee that each item purchased for the Library’s collection is suitable for each person who may choose to select it. Young people under the age of 18 have free access to materials from the adult collection, and parents may choose to advise their children in making an appropriate selection.
Responsibility for this Policy rests with the Library Board of Trustees. Implementation of the Policy is delegated by the Board to the Executive Director and staff who will abide by the Library’s collection development procedures governing the selection, acquisition and weeding of library materials of all formats.
To maintain relevant collections and content in all formats, the library must routinely evaluate and deselect materials. Criteria for withdrawing items include, but are not limited to declining interest; poor condition; unnecessary duplication; or inaccurate or outdated information. Deselected materials may be donated to other non-profit organizations.
Any resident or taxpayer of the Prospect Heights Public Library District has the right to question the inclusion or exclusion of any title by completing and submitting a Library Materials Reconsideration form. This form may be obtained from any of the Library’s service desks or through the Library’s website. The Executive Director will study the request and reply with their decision. The Executive Director will inform the Board president of the request and response within one week. The patron may appeal the Executive Director’s response to the Board of Trustees at a regularly scheduled meeting. However, until a decision is reached, no removal or restriction shall take place. Final authority for the removal or restriction of a title rests with the Board of Trustees.
Since all political, religious, and social opinions should be represented in a public library, no group or individual will be permitted to impose a partisan emphasis upon the library’s collection. Frankness of language, a widespread and contemporary phenomenon, will never, in itself be considered sufficient justification to remove or restrict library materials.
The Library does not seek donations. Any donated items become the unrestricted property of the Prospect Heights Public Library District and may be disposed of in various ways at the discretion of the Executive Director in accordance with Illinois statutes. The Library does not provide appraisals for donated items.
The Board of Trustees of Prospect Heights Public Library District endorses and promotes the American Library Association in the following statements:
A. Library Bill of Rights
B. Freedom to Read
C. Freedom to View