Materials Selection Policy

KDL Policy 1.1 

The purpose of this policy is to: 1) serve as a guide for the librarians of the Kent District library in the process of materials selection; and 2) inform the public of the principles upon which selections for the Library are made. Basic to this policy is the Library Bill of Rights as affirmed by the Kent District Library Board of Trustees.

Kent District Library strives to provide current, factual information to supplement and enrich individual learning and to provide materials for recreational reading and other leisure time activities. This information should be readily available to the total community regardless of gender, age, education, language, religion, ethnic and cultural background, or mental and physical ability.

Kent District Library is a popular materials library and maintains a varied and up-to-date collection. It attempts to acquire materials of both current and lasting value. Since one library cannot afford all the available materials, it must employ a policy of selectivity. The Executive Director has the overall responsibility for the selection and development of the materials collection according to the principles established by the Materials Selection Policy and other approved policies and procedures. In practice, the responsibility for materials selection is shared with other staff. Materials are selected to meet patron needs and reflect a variety of viewpoints and opinions. Criteria for consideration include popular demand, literary merit, enduring value, accuracy, authoritativeness,
local interest, social significance, the importance of the subject matter to the collection, timeliness, cost, scarcity of information on the subject, availability elsewhere, and quality and suitability of format.

Fiction – The Library maintains a representative collection of novels and works of fiction to satisfy a wide range of tastes. Ideas of literary merit vary greatly with individuals. Therefore, the library purchases fiction in many categories.

Non-Fiction – The Library attempts to provide a large general collection of reliable materials embracing the broader fields of knowledge. Legal and medical works will be selected to the extent
that they are useful to the lay person.

Minor – Materials are selected to encourage children and families to discover the joy of reading. In order to meet the varied abilities and interests of children, the collection includes materials covering a wide range of knowledge and reading levels, both fiction and non-fiction. The illustrations in books for young people are given as much critical attention as the literary quality of fiction.

Media – The Library recognizes its responsibility to provide access to information, cultural enrichment and recreation through as wide a variety of media as possible. Media is evaluated by the same criteria as printed materials. As new technologies are developed, the Library will investigate the appropriateness of new media formats and will acknowledge the need for experimentation.

Digital Materials –Digital items such as eBooks and eAudiobooks shall be selected using the same criteria as printed materials as described above.

Online Databases – The Library makes available a variety of online resources purchased to supplement and enhance the Library’s collection. These resources are evaluated on the basis of
timeliness, ease of use, and ability to meet patrons’ information needs.

Objects – The Library’s collection makes a variety of objects available to patrons. Objects are typically high-priced items not needed for regular, sustained use and which provide access to technology that is either helpful or enriching. These objects are evaluated based on their benefit to the community, patron demand, and use of library resources, with the goal of increasing access to technology or high-cost items that patrons wouldn’t otherwise have. 

Revised on 02.17.2022

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