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Material Selection


Library Materials Selection

The authority for the selection of library materials is delegated to the Library Director and under his/her direction to individual professional librarians, who are qualified for this responsibility by reason of education, training, and experience. (A professional librarian is defined by the State Library of PA as "one who has received an MLS, the Master of Library Science degree, taken as a fifth year of study beyond the bachelor level.")

Suggestions and donations from patrons are welcome and are given serious consideration but the final decision for inclusion in the collection rests with the Library Director and the Professional Librarians.

When making decisions for materials selection, librarians consider reviews in library publications and other journals, publishers' and booksellers' catalogs, standard bibliographies, user requests, and authoritative reading lists.             

While a single standard cannot be applied to each potential item for inclusion, materials are judged by the following general criteria.

  • Suitability of format for library use
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audiences
  • Artistic merit and/or scholarship
  • Critic and staff reviews
  • Reputation of the author
  • Reputation of the publisher
  • Relevance to community needs
  • Currency of the information
  • Relationship to existing materials in the collection
  • Local demand for the material
  • Cost in relation to similar titles
  • Level of materials funding
  • Inclusion of the work in indexes or bibliographies
  • Importance of the item in providing balance or diversity
  • No library materials shall be excluded based on expressions of race, religion, nationality, political or social views.

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