Mt. Pleasant Public Library
Material Selection Policy
I. Mission Statement and Guiding Principles
The Mt. Pleasant Public Library is a center of community life, offering opportunities for people of all ages to learn, know, gather and grow.
In addition to the Mission Statement, the library endorses a series of principles that serve as a framework for decision-making.
1. The Mt. Pleasant Public Library is governed by a representative Board of Trustees and funded through the authority of the City Council.
2. All residents of Mt. Pleasant City are entitled to free access to the information and basic services provided by the Mt. Pleasant Public Library.
3. Serving the public in a professional and pleasant manner is the highest priority of the Mt. Pleasant Public Library.
4. The Mt. Pleasant Public Library is committed to intellectual freedom and open access to information. We endorse the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Free Access to Libraries for Minors.
II. Responsibility for selection
The final authority for the determination of policy to guide the selection and acquisition of library materials is vested in the Mt. Pleasant Library Board of Trustees.
The Library Director and staff have full responsibility for the selection of materials.
III. Selection criteria
A. The library subscribes to the “Library Bill of Rights: (Appendix 1), to the “Freedom to Read Statement” (Appendix 2), and to the “Free Access to Libraries for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights” (Appendix 3); which include the following basic policies:
1. “Books and other materials selected should be chosen for values of interests, information and enlightenment, of all people of the community. In no case should library materials be excluded because of the race or nationality, or the social, political or religious views of the authors.”
2. “Libraries should provide books and other materials presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times: no library materials should be proscribed or removed from libraries because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” 3. “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.”
4. “Inasmuch as the responsibility for the reading of minors rests with their parents or legal guardians, selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that minors may inadvertently come into possession of materials considered by their parents to be inappropriate.”
B. Specific selection criteria include:
1. The author’s significance as a writer and/or reputation.
2. Importance of the subject matter to the collection.
3. Scarcity of material on the subject.
4. Timeliness or permanence of the work.
5. Appearance of title in special bibliographies or indexes.
7. Reputation and standing of the publisher.
8. Cost and shelving limitations.
9. Availability of materials elsewhere in the area.
10. Acceptable reviews in recognized review media.
11. The materials should contribute to the balance and variety of the collection as a
C. Aids in selection:
1. Recognized reviewing media, including pre-publication reviews.
2. Judgement of staff members.
3. Regular inspection and evaluation of books at the Utah State Library Association and at local, regional, and national meetings.
4. Suggestions from borrowers. (Special consideration will be given to materials
requested by users of the library).
D. Library materials:
1. Books –
a. Fiction – The library attempts to include notable, classic and popular novels and
short stories. Selection is based primarily on the reading interests of the com-
b. Non-fiction – The library aims to have and authoritative, up-to-date circulating
non-fiction collection and a non-circulating reference collection for the general
reader in various fields of knowledge. Within each subject area, priority is given
to those books which will serve the most readers. No attempt is made to
specialize in particular subject areas.
c. Selection guidelines for textbooks: Textbooks used in the schools of the
community are purchased only when the content and manner of presentation met
The needs of the library’s collection.
d. Selection guidelines for professional material: Books written only for specialists
are not usually purchased, however, laymen’s interpretations of this material are
2. Special collection:
Local history, special materials on Mormons, Sanpete County and Utah are
Selected to provide both the adult and juvenile departments with information
in these fields.
3. Pamphlets and other temporary materials:
Pamphlets, maps, clippings and magazine reprints are chosen to add subject
materials not available elsewhere, too recent to be in book form and of current
4. Audio-visual materials:
Audio-visual materials currently include, but are not limited to, such items as
sound recordings and videos/DVD’s. Selection criteria are the same as those
for printed materials. However the purchase of books is the first priority.
The selection process for periodicals will parallel that for books. Periodicals
that are commonly indexed (e.g., in Abridged Reader’s Guide) will be selected
for reference and research in a variety of subject areas. A selection of general
and popular reading titles will be provided.
The library maintains a popular paperback collection based largely on patron
demand and anticipated patron demand.
Gifts of materials or funds to purchase materials are welcome. Gifts must meet the same
selection criteria as purchased material. Upon receipt all such material or funds become the property of the library. Gift material may be added to the collection, sold, exchanged, given to other organizations, or discarded. Gift material which is accepted is integrated into the library collection in normal shelving sequence. Separate shelving and/or special collections of gift items are not provided, because such accommodations complicate the location and use of library materials.
Memorial gifts are accepted using the same criteria for selections for purchased material. Gifts of money are accepted to purchase memorial material which meet selection criteria. Such gifts are acknowledged and a memorial plate is added to the material.
Material withdrawn for reasons of loss, damage or wear is not automatically replaced. Considerations for replacement include availability, circulation records, inclusion in standard bibliographies, currency, continued value to the collection, and budget and space limitations.
The library maintains an active policy of discarding outdated material; material no longer of interest or in demand; duplicated material; worn or mutilated copies; and material which no longer contributes to the total collection.
Because library material is purchased with public monies, no material may be given to an individual even though it is marked for discard. Discarded materials may be sold, exchanged or given to another non-profit organization at the discretion of the library director.
VII. Patron complaint procedure
Procedures for handling complaints on specific titles held in collection will be followed as described in Appendix IV.
VIII. Policy review
This policy statement shall be reviewed each year in January.