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This policy will guide in the selection of books and other materials in order to fulfill the Library’s Mission Statement. Available interlibrary loan and reciprocal lending networks will be used to provide access to additional material.


Final responsibility for the selection of all materials in the library’s collection lies with the Director, who operates within the policies established by the Maplewood Public Library Board of Trustees.


The collection will represent a wide range of viewpoints, opinions, and tastes. Unpopular as well as popular positions, both sides of controversial issues, and minority views will all have a legitimate place in the library. Factors involved in the selection process include the knowledge of the library staff, their familiarity with the community, other library resources, and the library’s budget. The library will be responsive to public suggestion of items and subjects to be included in the collection. Reviews in professional journals as well as other material selection tools will be used in the selection process; however, the lack of a review or an unfavorable review will not be the sole reason for rejecting a title, which is in demand. Materials will be selected based on current interest, permanent value, up-to-date information, local demand, literary merit, and historical or regional value. Materials may be excluded on the basis of cost, availability elsewhere, or lack of demand. The library will strive for a diversity of materials without exercising direct or implied censorship. The following standards for specific materials will be considered:
  1. Nonfiction: Accuracy of information presented, quality of writing, cost, format, extent to which the subject matter is already represented in the library collection, readability and literary style, suitability of the material to the community, social significance, timeliness, or permanent value.
  2. Fiction: Standards are the same as for nonfiction, plus: contributing to the value of the library’s collection as a whole by representing all types and styles of writing and providing reading for recreation and the use of leisure time.
  3. Reference materials: Basis of authority, reliability, scope, treatment, arrangement, format, cost, and existing holdings.
  4. Children’s materials: Offers adventures of mind and spirit to the growing child, cultivates an appreciation of literature both oral and written, encourages the creative use of leisure time by inquiring minds. Children’s nonfiction meets the same criteria as adult. The library does not provide basic texts or materials needed in quantity for schoolwork. It does provide supplementary materials of varied kinds to enrich the resources available to the individual student or teacher.
  5. Periodicals: Basic, popular, and general information magazines are selected to supplement the book collection. Newspapers are selected to provide current information.
  6. Nonprint materials: Nonprint materials in a variety of formats will be selected subject to the same criteria as print materials, as the budget allows and demand requires.


In order to maintain the usefulness of the library and to make room for new materials, the collection will be continually evaluated. The C.R.E.W. method developed by the American Library Association will form the basis of criteria for weeding.

Discarded material will be disposed of according to these priorities, at the discretion of the Director:

  1. Material that can be used by another tax-supported library may be made available to that library.
  2. Material may be made available to other tax-supported institutions in Maplewood.
  3. Material judged to have possible resale value may be put out for sale.
  4. Material not disposed of by any of the three above methods may be thrown away. At this time, material may be given to persons or organizations requesting it.

Adopted 4/23/03