Materials Selection

Materials Selection

Effective Date: October 26, 1970; Revised 4/18/22


The materials selection policy of the Wayne County Public Library evolves from the goals and purposes of the public library itself: the free informal continuing education of the people; the dissemination and advancement of knowledge; and the provision of recreational and inspirational reading. Recognizing the wide diversity of tastes, interests, and the cultural and educational background of the community, it is our aim to build a broad collection serving as many citizens as possible within the necessary limitations of space and budget.

The WCPL Board of Trustees endorses the statements of the American Library Association entitled the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read.


The Director has the ultimate responsibility for selection with the aid of other staff members who are qualified by training and experience. Professional and reliable sources of criticism and review are regularly consulted in materials selection; requests and suggestions from patrons are considered.

Guidelines for Selection:

  1. Subject matter.
  2. Quality with regards to objectivity, accuracy, literary merit, and permanent value.
  3. Demand (purchase is not mandatory if it does not meet other guidelines for selection).
  4. Availability elsewhere.
  5. Timeliness and social significance.
  6. Authority of the author and publisher.
  7. Cost and shelving limitations.
  8. Availability of published material on the subject.
  9. Inclusion of the title in special bibliographies, indexes, and reviews.
  10. Textbooks and other school related materials (purchased only if they are of general interest).


Duplicate titles are supplied within reasonable limits. Current books in great demand as well as multiple copies of some best sellers may be furnished temporarily through a lease collection.

Assets of other libraries and institutions in the area are considered to avoid unnecessary duplication of expensive and seldom-used material.


Gifts are welcomed with the understanding that the library may dispose of them as necessary. Gifts added to the collection should generally have the same qualifications as purchases.


Judicious and systematic discarding is recognized as important to keep resources alive and up-to-date. It is the policy of the library to re-evaluate its collection continuously in conjunction with the selection of new and replacement material. Titles withdrawn by reason of condition, loss or damage will be replaced if they meet selection criteria and are available.


Serious objections to titles owned by the library should be in writing. The library provides a form for such objections to be filled out and signed by the patron.

The board recognizes that censorship is a purely individual matter. While anyone is free to reject for himself books of which he does not approve, he does not have the right to restrict the freedom to read of others. Whenever the question of censorship is involved, no book or other library material shall be removed from the library except under court order.

See Appendix:

            American Library Association’s The Library Bill of Rights

            American Library Association’s The Freedom to Read Statement

            Request for Reconsideration Form