Resources Selection Policy

Library Mission

Our mission is to provide resources and services for reading, thinking, learning, and living. 

Purpose of the Resources Selection Policy

The Resources Selection Policy defines the criteria library staff uses to select both physical and digital resources. 

General Statement

The Davidson County Public Library seeks to provide resources to reflect a broad range of human experience, both locally and globally. The collection should represent a variety of material formats including print, audio-visual, and digital. The selection of resources should take into account the wide ranging interests, needs, and ages of patrons from infants to elderly, as well as a diversity of ethnicities, religious beliefs, races, and social and economic levels. The collection should offer a broad range of opinion on current issues, with selection criteria and trusted resources guiding staff, rather than a spirit of censorship or exclusion. The collection will contain popular works, classic works that have withstood the test of time, and other materials of general interest to meet the informational, educational, recreational, and cultural needs of the community. The selection of any given item for the library’s collection does not equate to the library’s or any individual staff member’s endorsement of a particular viewpoint. 

Responsibility for the guidance and monitoring of children’s reading, listening, and viewing selections belongs to each child’s parent or guardian. 

General Criteria for Selection

  • Members of the library’s staff evaluate resources according to one or more of the following standards: 
  • To promote literacy and offer support for lifelong learning
  • Present and potential relevance to community needs
  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • Cost and availability
  • Importance as a document of the times
  • Relation to the existing collection and to other materials on the subject, striving for balance, diversity, and completeness
  • Attention by critics and reviewers
  • Potential user appeal
  • Requests by library patrons 

Content Criteria

  • Authority
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
  • Skill, competence, and purpose of the author
  • Reputation and significance of author
  • Objectivity
  • Consideration of the work as a whole
  • Clarity
  • Currency
  • Technical quality
  • Representation of diverse points of view
  • Representation of important movements, genres, or trends
  • Vitality and originality
  • Artistic presentation and/or experimentation
  • Sustained interest
  • Relevance and use of the information
  • Effective characterization
  • Authenticity of history or social setting 

Note: The Library welcomes item requests from patrons. If an item is not obtainable from within the Davidson County Public Library System or the NC Cardinal Consortium and costs less than $50, the branch manager, using the above content and selection criteria, may opt to place an expedited order, with every effort made to order, receive, process, and circulate to the requesting patron in less than two weeks. 

Special Considerations for Electronic Information Sources

  • Ease of use of the product
  • Availability of the information to multiple simultaneous users
  • Equipment needed to provide access to the information 
  • Technical support and training 
  • In keeping with current and emerging trends 
  • Availability of the physical space needed to house and store the information or equipment 
  • Available in full text 

Examples of Trusted Selection Sources

  • Library Journal 
  • School Library Journal 
  • Booklist 
  • Goodreads 
  • New York Times Book Review 
  • Publishers Weekly 
  • Shelf Awareness 

Related Guiding Documents 

Requests for Reconsideration of Materials

Parents and legal guardians are responsible for the selection and use of library materials and resources by their children. The library supports the right of individuals to reject for themselves or their children resources and materials they find unsuitable or objectionable; however, the freedom of others to read or inquire will not be restricted. The library recognizes that a diverse collection may result in some requests for reconsideration. In order to ensure they are handled in a consistent manner, requests for removal of items from the collection should be made using the following procedure: 

  1. Patrons wishing to register a formal reconsideration request will receive a copy of the Resources Selection Policy and a Request for Reconsideration of Material Form from the location manager or manager on duty at that location. 
  2. A committee comprised of the library director, assistant director, ILS division manager, and manager of the owning library of the material in question shall consider the Request for Reconsideration of Material and notify in writing to the requestor(s) the decision of the committee. 
  3. Should the requestor wish to appeal the decision, he or she may do so by notifying in writing the library director at least one month prior to a regularly scheduled Library Board of Trustees meeting (meeting details can be found at https://www.co.davidson.nc.us/calendar.aspx), during which the appeal will be considered. The notice should include the name(s) and address(es) of the person or people who wish to address the board, name of any organization involved, approximate amount of time required to discuss the request, and approximate number of people expected to attend. Taking into consideration safety and the time required to conduct other Board business during the meeting, the Board of Trustees chairperson may reasonably limit the amount of time allowed for each person to address the Board and/or the number of people allowed in the meeting. Other involved or affected persons shall be notified and also given an opportunity to address the Board of Trustees. Only the Library Board of Trustees is authorized to remove contested books from circulation and the Board’s decision is final. 

Collection Maintenance

The Library engages in an ongoing evaluation to keep its collections current, in good condition, responsive, diverse, and useful to the needs of the community. Based on this evaluation, materials may be retained, replaced by new copies, preserved to ensure long-term retention, permanently withdrawn from the collection and discarded according to accepted professional practices, or sold with proceeds benefitting library services and programming. The same judgement exercised in the selection of the collection shall be used in the weeding process. Materials will be evaluated according to professionally recommended criteria such as: 

  1. Frequency of circulation 
  2. Format or physical condition 
  3. Currency of information 
  4. Role in the overall collection 

Gifts

Only unconditional gifts of materials or objects will be accepted. Decisions whether or not items are incorporated into the collection will follow the general criteria for selection. The library staff reserves the right to discard or sell donated items (proceeds benefitting library programs and services). 

The library accepts and appreciates gifts of money for the purchase of books and other materials, including monetary gifts designated in memory or honor of others.