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Ironwood Carnegie Library

Material Selection Policy


The Ironwood Carnegie Library provides library services to residents of the City of Ironwood, contracted townships, and residents purchasing a non-resident library cards. Its collection is developed in response to needs and interests of the patrons it serves. 

The purpose of the Ironwood Carnegie Library’s Material Selection Policy is to set broad guidelines in order to assemble, preserve, organize, administer and promote the use of a wide range of resources and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections/withdrawals for the library collections are made. Because of the large volume of publishing as well as limitations of the library’s budget and space, the library needs a Material Selection Policy to provide a framework for the growth and development of its collection in support of its mission. The policy guides library staff members in the selection and withdrawal of materials and informs the public about the principles upon which selections are made. The goal of the policy is to provide a useful, well-balanced, broad and diverse collection of materials that reflects a wide range of views, expressions, opinions and interests and meets the needs of the community. 

  1. Definitions: 

 “Library Materials” means books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, library programs or other synonyms as they may occur in the Policy having the widest possible meaning. This statement of Policy applies to all Library Materials in the collection, including adult, young adult and juvenile. However, this Policy and the term “Library Materials” does not apply to Internet sites available through the Library's computers or Internet collection. The Library has no control over the content of the Internet. Please see the Internet Use Policy for any issues related to computer or Internet Use. 

“Selection” refers to the decisions made to either add materials to the collection or to retain materials already in the collection.

“Withdrawal” refers to permanently removing an item from the collection.

III. Goals of Materials Selection. 

  1. To meet the individual’s need for information through maintenance of a well-balanced and broad collection of materials for information, reference and research. 
  2. To help the individual attain maximum self-development through life-long intellectual and cultural growth. 
  3. To support the democratic process by providing materials for the education and enlightenment of the community. 
  4. To assist individuals in their pursuit of occupational activity and practical affairs. 
  5. To provide diverse recreational experience for individuals and groups.
  6. To assist institutions of formal education with services that will assist individual study. 
  7. To maintain Michigan, local history and other relevant collections. 
  8. Responsibility for Selection. 

The responsibility for selection lies with the Library Director or the Director’s designee. That staff operates within the areas of service to children, young adults and adults. Both the general public and staff members may recommend materials for consideration. The ultimate responsibility for selection, however, rests with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Library Board of Trustees. The Director shall be responsible for ensuring that the funds budgeted for collection development are allocated appropriately depending upon the needs of the Library and the fulfillment of the above Goals of Material Selection. 

  1. General Principles. 

The Library strives to develop a collection of standard works of permanent value and popular materials of current significance. The interests and needs of the community, the individual merit of each item or program, and the Library’s existing collection, budget and services are the major factors in selecting materials.  The Ironwood Carnegie Library considers all types and formats of media to be in the realm of human expression and part of the human record. Because the Library functions in a rapidly changing society, it is flexible about changes in materials, both in format and style of expression.

Basic to this policy are the guidelines established by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement (appended) to which this Library subscribes. 

  • The Library Bill of Rights 
  • Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights 
  • The Freedom to Read Statement 
  • Freedom to View
  1. Selection of Library Materials is based on the relationship of such work to the needs, interests and demands of the community.

Selection is not made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval by patrons or Library users, but solely on the merits of a work, without regard to the race, or sexual orientation, nationality, political or religious views, of the writer. 

  1. Responsibility for the reading matter of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection shall not be inhibited solely by the possibility that books may inadvertently come into the possession of children. 

The Library respects each individual parent’s right to supervise his/her children’s choice of reading materials. However, the Library does not have the right to act in loco parentis (in place of the parent). Therefore, a parent who chooses to restrict the materials his/her children select must accompany those children when they use the collection in order to impose those restrictions. 

  1. Further, Library Materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of contents, and no catalogued book or other item will be sequestered, except for the express purpose of protecting it from injury or theft. The use of rare and scholarly items of great value may be controlled to the extent required to preserve them from harm, but no further. 
  2. It is the responsibility of the Library to provide circulating, reference and research materials for the general public and the student based on the services it is expected to perform. 
  3. Specific Principles for Selection. 

The following principles, individually or collectively, will prevail in the selection of all Library Materials. The total collection will attempt to represent opposing points of view. 

  • Interests, demands, and needs of the community served
  • Contemporary significance, popular interest, uniqueness or permanent value Accuracy and authoritativeness of content
  • Lack of bias, factual 
  • Diversity of viewpoint 
  • Timeliness of material; reissues of recordings are considered to be current publications
  • Literary style/artistic merit
  • Portrays issues sensitively 
  • Authority, reputation, popularity, and/or competence of author 
  • Attention of reviewers, critics and the public, especially in professional journals and other reputable resources
  • Relation of work to existing collection 
  • Price, format and ease of use 
  • Scarcity of information in subject area 
  • Available shelf or storage space 
  • Availability of material through Inter-Library loan 
  • Popular demand: The Library will make an effort to have materials available which are in high demand by the public; however, selections by popular demand will still be guided by consideration of merit, use and the specific principles for selection. 
  • Accessibility for multiple users of electronic formats.
  • Duplication of materials already in the collection; i.e., purchase of additional copies of materials, shall be governed by intrinsic or historical value, or immediate need 
  • Collection objectives 
  • Community relevance; local/regional importance or historic value
  • Audience for material 


VII. Gifts. 

Acceptance of gifts shall be governed by the same principles and criteria applied to the selection of items for purchase. Gifts of books or other materials which do not comply with the Library’s objectives and policies will be refused. No conditions may be imposed relating to any item either prior to or after its acceptance by the Library. All gifts and donated materials (including works of local authors) become the property of the Library. The manner of disposition of any materials which are not added to the collection will be decided by the Library. 

VIII. Maintenance of the Collection. 

The collection shall be periodically examined for the purpose of eliminating obsolete, damaged, duplicate or unneeded materials, and for binding or repair of materials, in order to maintain a balanced, attractive and useful Library Materials collection. 

  1. Reconsideration of Library Materials

 The library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the basis of the selection criteria set forth in this policy. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library materials will be sequestered except to protect them from damage or theft.

 Patrons requesting reconsideration of a library item may complete and sign a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form. When the form is completed, it will be given to the Library Director for response. The item will be reviewed in accordance with the library’s overall objectives, its Material Selection Policy, the Library Bill of Rights, and the American Library Association Manual - Guidelines on Intellectual Freedom.

 The Library Director will, at the earliest possible date, communicate his/her decision, and the reasons for it, in writing to the patron who initiated the request

 A written appeal of the Library Director’s decision may be made by the requester to the President of the Library Board within ten (10) business days after the written decision is made by the Library Director.

The Library Board will review any documentation it deems necessary to make a decision and render their decision. The Library Board serves as the final authority in cases involving retention or withdrawal of library materials including programming.

The Library Director will inform the Board of Trustees of all requests for reconsideration and their disposition regardless of whether an appeal is filed. The inclusion of any material in the library collection does not imply endorsement of the viewpoints of the author, programmer or creator expressed therein.























Ironwood Carnegie Library Request for Reconsideration of Material Form

The Board of Trustees of the Ironwood Carnegie Library have established a materials selection policy and a procedure for gathering input about particular items. Completion of this form is the first step in that procedure. If you wish to request reconsideration of a resource, please return the completed form to the library director.


Ironwood Carnegie Library                                           Date: ___________________

235 East Aurora Street

Ironwood, MI  49938


Name __________________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________

City ____________________________ State/Zip _______________________

Phone __________________________ Email __________________________


Do you represent self? ____ Or an organization? ____


Name of Organization Represented    ________________________________


  1. Resource on which you are commenting:
    ___ Book (e-book) ___ Movie ___ Magazine ___ Audio Recording
    ___ Digital Resource ___ Game ___ Newspaper ___ Other






  1. What brought this resource to your attention?


  1. Have you examined the entire resource? If not, what sections did you review?
  2. What concerns you about the resource?
  3. Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic?
  4. What action are you requesting the committee consider?




Version 1

Lynne Wiercinski, Director