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Materials Selection Policy

Open Book.

Selecting of Materials


Webster Parish is located between several cities with major universities:  LSU-S, Southern University - Shreveport, Grambling, and LA Tech.  These cities provide a wealth of access to academic resources within 40 miles of either side of the parish.  Therefore, through surveys, observation of use, and community feedback, the Webster Parish Library has determined our primary role is Popular Materials and our secondary role is Preschoolers’ Door to Learning with some Formal Education Support for elementary to high school students.



Webster Parish Library Board of Control supports the Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights promulgated by the American Library Association.  It serves as the basis for this policy and other lending policies of this library.  Choice of materials will result from a variety of professional activities on the part of the library staff.  Reviews of new books from both professional journals and popular reviewing media form an important tool in the selection process.  Recommendations from the staff and the public are also welcome and evaluated within the framework of the acquisition.



The Library Director will endeavor to budget at least 10% of the previous year’s operational expenses for library materials in varying formats as recommended by the Standards for Louisiana Public Libraries.  The acquisitions staff has the final responsibility for the selection of all materials to be incorporated into the library’s collection, regardless of the mode of acquisition.  Every endeavor will be made to provide materials that are of both current interest and permanent value, that are up-to-date, that are responsive to the interests and needs of every segment of the community, and that do not discriminate against any political, religious, economic, or social view or group through deliberate exclusion of their views.  The library staff shall try to provide for a diversity of materials without exercising either direct or implied censorship. 




A. General

All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the standards listed below.  However, an item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable.  Materials are evaluated on the significance of the entire work rather than individual parts.  When judging the quality of materials, several standards and combinations of standards may be used.  The following principles will guide selection:


  • Contemporary significance or permanent value

  • Community interest

  • Accuracy of content

  • Reputation and/or authority of the author, editor, or illustrator

  • Literary merit

  • Relation to existing collection and to other materials on the subject

  • Price, availability, and demand

  • Format and ease of use

  • Scarcity of information in the subject area

  • Availability of material in other area libraries

  • Attention of critics, reviewers, media and public

  • Inclusion on the New York Times’ Best Seller List


B.  Material Specific

  • Periodicals, audio, video, digital, and other non-book materials are purchased to supplement the collection, aid recreational and professional activity, and/or provide material not available in book form.  Selection of these materials will be based upon their consideration as authoritative, objective, of local interest and demand, and indexed in standard periodical indexes.

  • Gifts of books and other items will be accepted on the condition that the Director has the authority to make whatever disposition he or she deems advisable.  Gifts will be judged upon the same basis as purchased materials.



To maintain the effectiveness of the total collection, the library will attempt to systematically remove materials no longer useful.  Materials cannot be withdrawn until one year after purchase unless lost or damaged.  Duplicate copies and other items that are no longer circulating will be reassigned to another branch.


The library does not automatically replace all materials withdrawn because of loss, damage or wear.  Need for replacement is weighed with regard to several factors:  a field, similar material in the collection, later or more authoritative materials, availability, as well as current demand for the particular subject or title.



Patrons requesting that material in the collection be reconsidered may complete a “Patron’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Material.”  A decision, based upon this selection policy and due consideration of the Library Director, will be issued.  The library recognizes that some materials may be controversial and that any given item may offend some patron.  Selection or retention of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval of any group of patrons, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.  No library material will be sequestered, except to protect it from theft.  Responsibility for monitoring or controlling what children and young adults read rests solely with their parents or legal guardians.

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