Materials Selection Policy

So that a well-defined policy may guide and direct the staff of the Hibbing Public Library in selecting and purchasing materials for the library's users, the Board of Trustees enunciates the following Materials Selection Policy.


The word "materials", as it occurs in this policy, has the widest possible meaning. It includes but is not limited to printed material, records, audio cassettes, compact discs, filmstrips, 16mm films, art prints, photographs, posters, slides, 3-dimensional objects, computer software, and video cassettes. The Freedom to Read and The Freedom to View documents have been added as addendum to this policy.

"Selection" refers to the decision that must be made either to add a specific item or types of material to the collection or to retain material already in the collection. It is a means of collection development to meet user needs and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or values of the individual selector or of the Board of Trustees.


The Board of Trustees reaffirms its belief in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights.


The library shall provide materials in all subject areas insofar as possible. Materials and programs will be provided that will meet the information, cultural, educational and recreational needs of the community.


The following criteria will be considered in selecting all library materials:

  1. Favorable reviews
  2. User interest as expressed in requests by the public
  3. Best-seller status of materials
  4. Local and regional interest in material due to authorship or subject matter
  5. Popularity or importance of the author or subject
  6. Need to strengthen a particular part of the collection, including the need to provide various opposing opinions on controversial subjects

These criteria apply to materials for children and young adults as well as to adults.

Criteria for the selection of WWW resources for inclusion in the library's catalog has been added to this policy.

The library will not attempt to acquire curriculum related materials or textbooks unless such materials serve the general public.


The library will accept gifts of books and other materials, but reserves the right to reject such gifts for inclusion in the collection based on the criteria above and condition of the gift material.


The Board of Trustees recognizes the right and privilege of each person to select those materials he or she wishes from the library's collection. The Board further recognizes that no one is obliged to read or to view what he or she does not like.

The Board of Trustees respects the right of a person to express his or her opinions, negative or positive, regarding materials purchased by the library.

The library will review any materials in its collection upon written request by a user. Such a request will be made on the form, "Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials (PDF)," which will be submitted to the Library Director. A copy of the form is available at the front desk of the library. The Library Director will discuss the request with the staff members involved in the material selection. Their recommendations and the Director's decision will be returned to the complainant, with a copy to the Library Board of Trustees for its records.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the action taken, he or she may request a hearing at the next meeting of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will make a determination in accordance with an in-depth review of the entire materials selection policy statement. Full Board action will be final.


The Board of Trustees expresses its support for the staff who are responsible for the selection of library materials. The Board of Trustees delegates to them the authority to purchase for inclusion in the library's collection those materials which are considered essential, useful, and within the scope of this policy statement.


(added to the Materials Selection Policy and approved on April 14, 1999)


  • The site must be accessible on the library's public computers. It cannot require multimedia components, or documents that require special software not supported by the library or that has to be downloaded and installed.
  • The site must be stable. The URL has not changed.
  • It must be possible to reach the site consistently and it should not take too long to load.
  • There must be no membership and/or fees required.


  • The site should look and feel user friendly. Text must be legible.
  • Pages should be concise. Information should be represented in a layout that is visually enhancing.
  • Using the site should be intuitive.
  • All parts and links in the site must work.


  • The author and/or publisher of the page should be clearly identified.
  • If possible, the page should have recommendations from a source that is considered reliable.
  • The author's credentials should be available and indicate that he/she is knowledgeable in the field.


  • The information should be clearly written and organized in a useful way.
  • There should be unique or special features that will be particularly useful.
  • There should be references and/or links to additional resources that will lend credibility to the content.
  • The content should be up-to-date with verifiable and accurate facts.
  • When a web resource does not meet all of the above criteria, the benefits of the site will be weighed against the lacks. If the site is still considered to be of value to the library's users, it will be included in the catalog.



Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, September 14, 1988.

Revised by the Library Board of Trustees, April 14, 1999.