Materials Selection


Our primary target populations are the pre-school child and the post high school adult. The collection is developed to meet the tastes and needs of the average citizen. Funds are inadequate to create and maintain collections that duplicate the area schools and university collections unless such materials also support the average adult citizen. Technical materials, or materials of an extremely narrow interest, will not usually be considered for ordering. Likewise, such donations will not likely be retained. If there is a need for a specific title or a very narrow subject range, the customer will be directed to use interlibrary loan.


Judgments of subject specialists, professionally trained librarians, and qualified book reviewers in national and international magazines, provide a balance of opinion as the basis for selection. Though a variety of criteria is used for each subject area, the final decision is based on the value of the material to the library and its public, regardless of the personal taste and opinions of the selectors. These standards apply equally to materials purchased, requested for inclusion, and accepted as gifts. Certain general criteria are as follows:

1. Appropriateness to our primary target groups of pre-school and adult customer or as a supplement to materials found in school libraries.

2. The author’s significance as a writer and / or reputation as an authority on the topic.

3. Importance of the subject matter to the collection.

4. Comparison to other works in the field.

5. Scarcity of material on the subject.

6. Timeliness or permanence of the work.

7. Appearance of title in special bibliographies or indexes.

8. Reputation of the publisher.

9. Authoritativeness.

10. Availability of material elsewhere in the area.

11. Price.

12. Format.

13. Attractiveness or appropriate binding (not yellowed or brittle; no underlining or writing in the book; and binding which can be reinforced to withstand public use, if necessary, are examples of acceptable appearance of materials).

14. Currency of information.

Special aspects of materials selection

Used Item Donation, Monetary Gifts, Memorials and Honorariums, Presentations, Patron Request

There are five types of materials acquisitions, which are not initiated by library staff. These include used item donations, monetary gifts, memorials and honorariums, presentations and patron requests.

A used item donation is material, which has been used by someone previously. Receipts are given if the donor asks for one. Donors are responsible for recording donations and estimating the value of the materials. The donor will be informed that the materials will be used, placed in the book sale or given to a neighbouring library. items which do not meet the book selection criteria will be rejected. Donors may specify if they wish to have material returned to them.

Monetary gifts are cash donations. The donor may specify the types of materials he wishes the library to obtain. If corporate matching funds are involved, the donor should be directed to donate to a Foundation Endowment Fund because the foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization. The donor should also be asked if such funds are intended for the Foundation Endowment account or to be spent immediately for books or other materials and equipment.

Memorials and honourariums are materials or funds donated in the name of an individual. Funds collected for a memorial or honourarium should cover the cost of the book or material being purchased. The staff will inform the donor of any problems in obtaining material with the available funds. The donor may wish to have the funds placed in the Library Development Fund for future purchases of library materials when the donated funds are not sufficient to cover the cost of an item. If a specific title is donated or requested, the inclusion of the specific item must meet the selection criteria. When specific titles are not requested, the library staff will make every effort to obtain a memorial or honourarium title which has lasting value. For this reason best sellers and mass market paperbacks are usually avoided. Staff members assigned to purchasing particular types of material will make the selection, keeping the importance of “lasting value” in mind. A plate designating the memorial or honorarium will be included in or on the material requested or donated.

Presentations are pre-purchased books, usually new, offered by individuals or organizations. Inclusion of specific titles must meet the selection criteria. A plate designating the presentation will be placed in or on the material donated.

Once a donation has been received, a thank you card will be sent to the donor and an announcement card sent to the family of the deceased or the person being honoured , the organization or the individual making the presentation, or the donor of the monetary gift.

After a period of time, a memorial, honourarium, or presentation will be withdrawn due to wear, obsolescence, or loss. In most cases, the item will not be replaced, especially in the case of obsolescence. If an item is replaced, a new plate will be placed in the book.

Patrons may request that a particular item be purchased. If the requested item meets the collection development guidelines and if there are sufficient funds, such items will be purchased.

The collection may include:

1. Works of recognized authors, within the realm of each author’s specific contribution, regardless of his moral or political reputation.

2. Works of potential historical significance, regardless of political, scientific, or social variance.

3. Educational video; instructional audio and video; books on tape, abridged and unabridged; CD-ROM audio; CD-ROM video (computer based); CDs (music or spoken word) and DVDs (movies) and other similar media.

The collection may include, if donated:

1. Textbooks.

2. Test books, e.g. GED, SAT, ASVAB

3. Typing books.

4. Feature motion pictures, full length video. The local private market handles this area sufficiently and at a reasonable cost.

The collection will not include:

Collector items, such as rare books. The library does not have the resources or staff necessary for the development, maintenance, and display of this kind of collection.