Materials Selection Policy

Last Updated Date

Wauconda Area Public Library District

Materials Selection Policy

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees November 8, 1999 

Revised by the Board of Library Trustees October 8, 2018
Revised by the Board of Library Trustees December 14, 2020
Revised by the Board of Library Trustees February 13, 2023
Revised by the Board of Library Trustees May 13, 2024

1.0 The Board of Trustees of the Wauconda Area Public Library District (herein thereafter referred to as “Library”) has adopted the following materials selection policy to guide Library staff and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.

1.1 The Mission Statement of Wauconda Area Public Library District guides the selection of materials as it does the development of services and allocation of resources.

1.2 The Library supports the individual’s right to have access to ideas and information representing all points of view.  The Board of Trustees of the Wauconda Area Public Library District has adopted the American Library Association’s LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS, THE FREEDOM TO READ and THE FREEDOM TO VIEW statements, attached herewith.

2.0 Authority

2.1 The responsibility for the policy governing the inclusion of materials in the Library collection rests with the Board of Trustees.  Selection of materials for the Library is done by staff members, delegated by the Library Director, who have subject and/or format area specializations. Ultimate responsibility for the Library’s collection resides with the Library Director.

3.0 Staff Commitment to Selection Responsibilities

3.1 The Library Director and Library Board require selectors to adopt certain basic and minimal practices as a prerequisite to effective selection and collection management.

  • Diligently examine and keep apprised of reviews, prepublication lists, publisher’s catalogs and announcements, standard biographies and other sources which serve as the basis for responsible selection.
  • Develop and maintain a familiarity with and regularly as well as systematically assess the strengths and weaknesses of those sections which fall within their respective areas of responsibility. Selection of individual titles must take place within the context of purposeful collection management.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with one another to assure that the combined effort is both integrated and comprehensive.

4.0 Criteria for Selection and Maintenance

4.1 New materials are selected on the basis of readability, accuracy of the information presented, format of the material and the varied interests of the community.  Criteria to be considered in adding specific materials, including gifts, to the collection include, but are not limited to:

  • collection objectives
  • existing subject coverage
  • public interest
  • community relevance
  • patron requests
  • timeliness of a topic
  • audience for material
  • current or historical significance of author or subject
  • support for lifelong learning
  • diversity of viewpoint
  • effective expression
  • creativity
  • imagination
  • reading, listening, or viewing enjoyment
  • popularity
  • nature of media
  • quality of production
  • durability of format

4.2 Individual items, which in and of themselves may be controversial or offensive to some patrons or staff, may be selected if their inclusion will contribute to the range of viewpoints in the collection as a whole and if they meet one or more of the criteria listed.

5.0 Collection Maintenance

5.1 The purpose of the Library’s collection is to provide the materials most in demand by the community.  Aside from the Library’s current Local History Collection, it is not to serve as an archive of historical materials nor as an institute for advanced scholarly or professional research.  In maintaining a vital, current collection which meets the needs of the community, continuous review is necessary.  Materials which have deteriorated, become dated, or otherwise outlived their usefulness relative to other materials will be withdrawn.

6.0 Reconsideration of Resources   

6.1 Library District cardholders wishing reconsideration of Library resources will be asked to fill out a Library Resources Reconsideration Form (attached herewith).  The form shall be submitted to the Library Director or designee. The Library Director and appropriate Library staff shall meet and carefully review the materials under consideration.  The Director shall notify the District cardholder originating the reconsideration request.  If an individual is not satisfied with the action taken, they may appeal to the Library Board by contacting the Library Director, requesting for the item to be placed on an upcoming Library Board meeting agenda. The Board will review the material questioned, the Reconsideration of Library Resources Form, and findings of staff reviewing the item. The decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final.

7.0 Gifts and Special Collections

7.1 The decision to include gift materials is based upon the Library’s criteria for selection.  The Library shall not accept special collections of materials that are to be kept together as a separate entity, nor shall it accept gifts with restrictions to use, permanence and/or location.

7.2 The decision to include gift materials written by local authors is based upon the Library’s criteria for selection. Local authors are defined as residents of the Wauconda Area Public Library District’s boundaries.











OTHER (Indicate here)______________________


AUTHOR/PERFORMER: _________________________________


TITLE: ______________________________________________________________________


Did you read, watch or listen to the entire work?   YES_____    NO_____


If not, which portions of the work did you read, watch or listen to?







What are your specific reasons for requesting reconsideration of this resource?






Reconsideration request made by (please print):__________________________________


Address: _________________________________ Phone:___________________________________


Email: __________________________________


Date: _____________________________________


Signature: _______________________________


Date Received: ___________________________

Received by: _______________________________


The Library Director or their designee shall consider this request along with a staff recommendation and decide whether to retain the item in our collection or to proceed with the program.  We shall keep confidential the information you have provided.



The Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other Library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the Library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a Library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

The Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.
  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.
  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.
  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, June 30, 2004, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.

First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution


The Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on December 15, 1791

The Freedom to View Statement

The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:

1. To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.
2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.

3. To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.

4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.

5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.


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