Materials Selection Policy

poetry activities 001


     Recommend that the library purchase an item

Materials Selection Policy of the Attleboro Public Library


The goals of library materials selection evolve from the goals and purpose of the library itself: the free informal continuing education of the people; the dissemination and advancement of knowledge; and the provision of recreational and inspirational reading.

The act of selection should be implemented by the regular consultation of reliable sources of reviews.

The “Library Bill of Rights”, as adopted by the Council of the American Library Association, June of 1948, and amended in 1961, 1967 and 1980,   is officially adopted as part of this statement as is the “Freedom to Read”, a statement of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council.

The Library purchases materials in formats, both print and non-print, that best meet the needs of our patrons for access to diverse materials.


Guidelines for Selection:

1.  Provide as wide a selection as practical, with regard to subject matter, and specialize when local interest dictates a demand.

2.  Provide materials of varying complexity to accommodate the wide range of ages, interests, and reading levels of patrons.

3. Be guided by a sense of responsibility to both present and anticipated needs, in    adding materials which will enrich the collection and maintain an over-all balance.

4.   Selection and retention of materials should be guided by respect for the past and   cultural traditions.

5.  Acquire materials pertaining to new knowledge in as great quantity and variety as possible without omitting items otherwise essential to the collection.  The inclusion of a title in a “Best Sellers” list does not automatically require its purchase.

6.  Develop and maintain a high level of enjoyment of good reading for patrons.

7.  Provide multiple copies of a title for which there is obvious demand but limit such duplication subject to the expectation that such demand will decrease and terminate.

8. Acquire specialized works to the extent that they are needed by the community.

9.  Judge gifts by the same standards as items considered for purchase and retain the right to keep or dispose of same.  The Library reserves the right to judge all gifts by their merit and use.

I0.   Apply the selection policy also to the removal of items which are no longer needed, and to those items which should be replaced.

11. Represent all shades of opinion and provide accurate information on topics of current interest and concern.

11a. Responsibility for selection lies with the Library Director.

11b. Serious objections to titles owned by the Attleboro Public Library should be in writing, giving reasons in detail, and signed.  The Library’s written reply should be prompt and concise.

12.  It is not the responsibility of the Library to supply required textbooks or other specialized curriculum materials or to provide multiple copies.  Textbooks may be added to the Library’s collection if they are considered the best available material on a given subject.

13. Where appropriate, the purchasing decisions of the library will be guided by the collection development goals of libraries cooperating with APL.


Guidelines for Selection, in addition to those above.

1. Titles already in the adult collection may be duplicated here because of overlapping interest and reading ability.

2. Responsibility for their children’s reading rests with parents or legal guardians.  Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that an advanced book may be borrowed by a child considered by his parents too young for its contents.

3. In general the library does not purchase abridgments because they tend to be substandard in literary merit.  However, they may be purchased if public demand and availability in format require it.

4. The Attleboro Public Library maintains a high standard of literary value and accurate information in selecting materials for children and applies the same yardstick in all subject areas.  As stated in the adult guidelines, the library will provide all sides of an issue in question and will include in its juvenile collections a sample of all subjects, on a suitable level, necessary to the formation of a well-rounded, unbiased intellect.


In establishing its own aims as a service to the community, the Attleboro Public Library makes no attempt to duplicate the collections of other libraries in its neighborhood.  Through  books and other  materials formats materials, acquired in a studied and unbiased manner to meet the needs of all patrons, the Attleboro Public Library strives to help the people of its community achieve a deeper enjoyment of life and to attain a broader understanding of their world and themselves.