Material Selection and Reconsideration Policy

Library goals for acquiring materials. How to issue a complaint about the inclusion/exclusion of a particular item.

The Nevada Public Library serves a wide variety of people with a wide range of experiences, education, and desires; therefore, the library’s objectives must be diversified enough to encompass a variety of interests, needs, and opinions. Books and materials are selected for the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the community.

The responsibility for selecting library materials rests with the library director or designee, who operates within the framework of policies established by the ultimate authority: the Board of Trustees. The director delegates selection responsibilities to a professional staff with the authority to interpret and apply selection policy.

The designated librarians apply their training, knowledge, and expertise in making selection decisions, as do the catalogers who determine where an item is placed within the collection. Anticipated demand, community interests, strengths and weaknesses of the existing collections, physical space limitations, date of publication, acquisitions procedures, and available budgets are all factors taken into consideration when considering potential items.

Sources for selection decisions encompass, but are not limited to, published reviews from standard review sources, publisher/vendor catalogs and advertisements, professional and trade bibliographies, and patron requests and recommendations. The library strongly encourages patron input, and all patron requests and recommendations are subject to the selection criteria outlined above.

No restrictions are placed on the materials anyone may read, view, or listen to. Selection of materials to include in the collection will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the material in relation to maintaining a dynamic, relevant, and balanced collection and to serving the needs and the interests of all users . Inclusion of an item in the collection does not mean that the library endorses any theory or statement contained in those materials and resources.

While every patron may not agree with the viewpoints offered in some library material, the library has a responsibility to provide a balanced collection with access to material reflecting diverse ideas through which any side of a question, cause, or movement may be explored, provided that the material meets the outlined selection criteria. Patrons are free to choose what they like from the collection, to reject what they don't like, but not to restrict the freedom of others to choose. The library supports the right of each family to decide which items are appropriate for use by their children. Responsibility for a child’s use of library materials lies with his or her parent or guardian.

Concerns about the inclusion or exclusion of a particular item pertaining to the library's collection should be directed to the library director and the library Board by following the steps below.

  1. The patron will complete the appropriate “Library Materials Selection Inquiry” form and submit it to the library director and library Board.
  2. The library Board will consider the objection at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
  3. The library Board will render a decision to the patron within 5 working days of the meeting. The decision of the Board is final.

Revised 2/12/18

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.