Materials Selection Policy

Last Updated Date

The purpose of the Materials Selection Policy of the Woodridge Public Library is to guide the Library staff in their assigned areas of collection management and to inform the public of the principles which govern the management of the Library’s collections. The Woodridge Public Library collects and provides access to a wide range of materials to meet the leisure, cultural, informational and educational needs of the community. The Library provides materials in a variety of formats which will be of interest and value to its patrons.

Selection Criteria

Library staff use their professional judgment and expertise to make selection decisions, including choosing titles, identifying quantities for purchase, selecting locations for materials, and choosing materials for topical library displays, highlighting different collection areas.  Highest selection priority is given to those materials having the broadest appeal.

Multiple criteria may be used to evaluate and select items for the collection. Selected items are not required to meet all of these criteria which include:

  • Popular demand
  • Relevance to community interests and needs
  • Quality (including awards received, literary or artistic merit, opinions of professional reviewers, reputation or qualifications of the author or publisher)
  • Existing holdings in relation to customer demand
  • Currency, contemporary significance, or historic importance
  • Price and availability
  • Relation to existing collection
  • Availability of materials via reciprocal borrowing, interlibrary loan, and from other sources
  • Suitability for the intended audience
  • Suitability of format for library circulation and use

The Library does not collect materials for advanced scholarly or professional research, nor does it act as an archive of historical materials. While the Library does endeavor to support school curricula, textbooks are not purchased. New formats are considered and collections established when a significant portion of the community has access to the technology to make use of the format.

Withdrawal/Deselection of Materials

To maintain the quality of the collection, all materials are periodically evaluated by staff to ensure they are still useful to the public, are in good condition, and do not contain obsolete information. Items may be withdrawn due to:

  • Low usage
  • Multiple copies that are no longer circulating
  • Space considerations
  • Superseded editions of formats
  • Outdated or inaccurate information
  • Items that are worn, soiled, badly marked, or in disrepair

Formats and special collections are discontinued when they are no longer widely used. Withdrawn materials may be given to the Friends of the Woodridge Public Library, offered to other organizations or discarded.

Patron Suggestions for Purchase

The Library encourages input from the Woodridge community concerning additions to the collection. All suggestions for purchase are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials.


The Woodridge Public Library accepts donations of books and other materials. The Library retains the right to accept or reject donations based on the same evaluative criteria that are applied to purchase materials. Not all donations can be accepted. Personal property, art objects, memorial or commemorative objects, displays or plaques, portraits, artifacts and similar materials are generally not accepted as gifts by the Library. Library staff and/or representatives of the Friends of the Library make all decisions as to the use, housing, and final disposition of donations.


Responsibility for the policy governing the management of the Library’s collection rests with the Board of Trustees. Librarians select materials based on their knowledge of the community’s needs. It is the responsibility of the Library staff to see that collections are developed appropriately. The final responsibility for the selection of materials and displays rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library is committed to the principles expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements.

To this end, the Library has the responsibility to provide materials representing a wide range of ideas and opinions, including controversial, unpopular and unorthodox viewpoints and expression. Language, situations, or subjects that may be offensive to some community members do not disqualify material whose value is to be judged on its entirety based on the outlined selection criteria. Inclusion of an item in the collection does not constitute an endorsement of its content. While patrons are free to reject titles of which they do not approve for themselves, they cannot restrict the freedom of others to choose what to read, hear, or view. There are no age restrictions on the borrowing of Library materials. The responsibility for monitoring library material used by minors rests with the parent or guardian.

Concerns About Library Materials

Patron concerns about a title will be referred to the appropriate Manager (Adult &Teen or Children’s), depending on the classification of the material. If the initial response is not satisfactory to the patron, the patron will be referred to the Library Director. Patrons not satisfied with the response from the Library Director may complete a copy of the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” (see Appendix IV in PDF below) and request the matter be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Board Meeting. The Board will then review the matter and respond to it.

This policy shall be updated every two years.

The Library staff shall develop such rules and procedures as are necessary to ensure compliance with the Woodridge Public Library Materials Selection Policy.

Approved by the Woodridge Public Library Board of Trustees on 12/16/20

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