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Chapel Hill Public Library
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Chapel Hill Public Library

A department of the Town of Chapel Hill

Materials Selection Policy

I. Mission Statement

The Chapel Hill Public Library, in recognition of the high service demands of a varied community of users, seeks to: aid the individual’s pursuit of self-education and research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time, while employing the most efficient library technology available; serve as a center of reliable, up-to-date information, endeavoring continually to identify and meet the general and informational needs of all the people of the community the library serves; support educational, civic, cultural, and recreational activities of the community; promote ease of access to the library, books, and other library materials in general, both locally and throughout the state; maintain a pleasant environment in an atmosphere of helpfulness; and provide library service in conformity with the Library Bill of Rights as adopted by the Council of the American Library Association.

II. Statement of Objectives

The objective of the Chapel Hill Public Library is to select, organize and maintain a collection reflective of the Library’s Mission Statement’s goals and to make that collection freely available to the people of our community. Materials are selected for the purpose of providing a balanced and well-rounded collection. Selection takes into consideration the diverse needs and interests of the residents of our community, limitations of space and budget and availability of other library resources. Priority areas for collection are identified in the Library Master Plan and include the following:

  • Current recreational reading, listening and viewing materials and information about contemporary culture and trends
  • General information materials in various formats to support reference services
  • Information and resources to support life-long learning

The Chapel Hill Public Library subscribes fully to the principles adopted by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to View Statement, Free Access to Libraries for Minors, and Access for Children and Young Adults to Non-print Materials.

III. Responsibility for Selection of Library Materials

The Library Director, operating within the framework of this policy, has ultimate responsibility for the selection of library materials. The Director shares this responsibility with the Library's staff of professional librarians. Materials recommended by other staff members and the general public are also considered.

IV. Selection Criteria

All materials are selected for their quality and usefulness in our Library. Each item must meet the following criteria as applicable:

A. Acceptable standards of quality in content
B. Authority of author and competence in presentation
C. Evaluation of critical reviews and critical lists and bibliographies
D. Current significance or permanent value
E. Relation to the existing collection
F. Importance in comparison with other works on the subject
G. Price, format, and ease of use
H. Popular demand as related to the above criteria.

V. Gifts and Donations

When the Library receives a monetary donation for the purchase of gift or memorial books or other materials, selection is made in accordance with the Library's established criteria.

The Library accepts donations of library materials, including works by local authors, for consideration as additions to its collections. All donations are subject to the same evaluation criteria as materials considered for purchase. The Library reserves the right to use any donation as it sees fit. Upon receipt, ll donations become the property of the Library. The Library does not return, nor does it track the status of, donations.

VI. Maintaining the Collection

The same criteria are used in withdrawing materials from the collection as in their acquisition. In order to maintain a current and useable collection, books and other materials are removed which are no longer useful, or are not in a condition suitable for circulation. Factors taken into consideration in the removal of library materials include age and accuracy of content, patron interest as reflected by circulation record, physical condition, availability of shelf space, and the need to maintain a basic collection.

VII. Materials Not Collected

The Library may choose to not add materials to the collection that do not meet its selection criteria.


Last updated: 29 October 2009