May 21, 1974



Revised June 18, 1987

Revised March, 1994

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Materials Selection Policy

With a population of over 125,000 people and a land area of 546 square miles, Davidson County is one of the larger, more rapidly developing counties in the Piedmont section of North Carolina. It is composed of the cities of Lexington and Thomasville with many small, rural communities. The major industries are furniture and textiles but agriculture is still important to the economy. Educational institutions consist of a county and two city school systems with a total of 20 elementary and nine secondary schools. The Davidson County Community College located five miles north of Lexington offers a threefold curriculum of college parallel, vocational-technical training and adult education.

The Davidson County Public Library System is the only library resource and information facility that serves all the people of the county. Libraries in the public schools and at the Davidson County Community College provide curriculum-oriented materials while the public library system makes every effort to supplement these collections. It cannot, however, supply materials in sufficient quantities to meet all the needs of the school curriculum.

The Davidson County Public Library System selects, organizes, preserves, and makes available information, research, and recreational materials in diverse formats such as books, cassettes, videos, periodicals, and software to every individual in the county. Educational and information materials shall be stressed over recreational pursuits. Part of the library system's responsibility is to provide materials for the reading and reference needs of the county's youth even though they may be served by a school or college library. The library reaches out to citizens who do not have access to formal library buildings through the services of its bookmobile and outreach programs. The system shall cooperate with other civic and cultural organizations to serve the needs of the citizens of Davidson County.


The library's purpose is to promote the communication of ideas, an enlightened citizenship and enriched personal lives; to serve as a reliable source for research and information; and to support educational, civic, and cultural activities of the community.

Additional materials may be selected to meet the special needs of major segments of the community such as business and senior citizens. Materials are added when they are of current and potential value to individuals and groups with varying levels of interest, age, and ability. The library's collection shall strive to foster intercultural communication by including multicultural materials that portray various cultures and minorities in a positive way. No library materials shall be excluded because of the race or nationality or the social, political or religious views of the authors.

The library shall endeavor to provide materials and information that present all points of view on current and historical issues. The collection shall include materials that present opposing views on controversial topics as well, aiming to strike the best possible balance among all sides of public issues. A sense of responsibility to both present and future users guides the library's selection of materials that enrich the collection and maintain its overall balance. Librarians on the staff are available to guide and assist readers in their choice of materials. However, inclusion of a particular title in the collection does not imply any recommendation or endorsement by the library system.

The library system is opposed to censorship and no materials shall be proscribed or removed from the libraries because of political, religious, moral or aesthetic disapproval. Consideration for selection shall be based on the accuracy, integrity, and literary merit of the material. Sexual incidents, profanity, and themes about controversial societal values appearing in materials shall not automatically be a reason for exclusion from the collection. Basic to this policy is the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of ALA (Appendix A and B).

Responsibility for guidance and monitoring reading, listening, and viewing choices made by children and by adolescents belongs to each child's and adolescent's parents or guardians. Materials considered for addition to the collection shall be judged on the following points, where applicable:

Provide for the interest, information, and enlightenment of the library community Authority and competence in presentation Authority and competence in content Reputation and/or prominence of the author Aesthetic and literary value Current, permanent, or historical significance Potential or known use of patrons Importance to the total collection Appearance of the title in important bibliographies, lists, or

recognized reviewing media Appearance of a title on a bestseller list shall not be the sole reason for inclusion in the collection Timeliness, permanent, and/or current value Presence or absence of similar materials in the collection Price CONCERNING FORMAT, THE FOLLOWING SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION: Appropriateness of format to content Type of use expected The physical condition of the work shall be of sufficient quality to withstand library use.

An item, however, need not meet all the criteria to be acceptable. Books and other materials shall be considered as whole works and may not be excluded based on individual passages taken out of context.

Materials containing an emphasis on sex or using profanity shall not automatically be rejected without consideration of literary value. However, the selection process shall exclude materials characterized by calculated eroticism lacking redeeming social or literary value. The origin, background, or views of those contributing to the creation of a work shall not automatically cause the exclusion of said work from the collection.


Non-fiction shall be selected based on its content as a whole, and shall be characterized by accuracy, integrity, and authenticity. No workshall be automatically excluded because of the origin, background, or views of the author. Rather, the author shall be a recognized subject authority, whose writing is characterized by competence and objectivity.

Subject fields needing fuller explanation are listed here:

Health, Medicine and Drugs. The lay person requires a growing amount of technical information; therefore, selection by the library shall range from the basic to the specialized. Acquisition of highly specialized materials shall normally be left to the medical libraries or the community.

Human Reproduction and Sexual Behavior. The library system is responsible for providing authoritative, scientifically accurate, up-to-date, unsensational materials on sex. Materials appropriate for various age and interest levels shall be acquired. In the selection of any book in this area, judgment is based on the total work, rather than words, phrases, or situations, which, in themselves, may be objectionable.

Law. The library system provides a collection of standard popular books for the general reader on such subjects as jurisprudence, legal history, legal ethics, court procedure, jury duty, etc. Standard texts by recognized authorities are purchased in certain fields.

Government Documents. Since 1971, the Lexington Library has been a limited depository for selected U. S. government documents. Publications in chosen series are received free from the U. S. Government Printing Office. The library also purchases useful documents not received on depository and duplicates depository items as needed.

Religion. The library system recognizes an obligation to provide materials about the major denominations, especially those represented locally. It also includes information about the beliefs, practices, and rituals of many sects, if presented with authority, accuracy, and objectivity. In addition to materials concerning individual beliefs, the collection contains basic authoritative studies in the area of history of religion, technology, comparative religion, and mythology. The collection also encompasses popular studies on new trends, ideas, and movements that are currently taking place in the field of religion. (Gift policy on religious materials is stated elsewhere).

North Carolina, Local History, Genealogy. The NCLHG collection shall acquire within the limitations of budget and facilities, materials that reflect the political, social, cultural, and economic life of Davidson County, North Carolina, and, to some degree, the southeastern area of the United States. Standards for the general collection may not always apply, since inclusiveness is the goal regarding materials produced in and about Davidson County. Copies of North Carolina items shall be placed in the collection and purchased for other agencies as needed.

A limited amount of genealogical materials shall be acquired--the majority dealing with North Carolina, some with the southeastern region of the United States, still fewer of a general nature.

The library system shall cooperate, as far as possible, with groups and individuals interested in local history. However, genealogical research cannot be done by library staff.



1. Only unconditional gifts of materials or objects shall be accepted. 2. All gifts of materials or objects are considered outright and unconditional property of the Davidson County Public Library System. 3. No gifts of materials or objects shall be accepted on which restrictions are placed which prevent maximum use within the system or effective disposal (exception furnishings, large equipment items, i.e., computers, etc.) 4. No gifts of materials or objects shall be accepted with the requirement that they remain permanently in a library - (materials may become out-of-date, furnishings wear out, and equipment inoperable). Judgment of the library must be retained in use and disposal of items in these instances.


Donations of works of art (paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and/or other forms of artistic endeavor), equipment and furnishings shall be accepted only after review by the director and librarian and with the approval of the Library Board of Trustees.


The library system welcomes gifts of books and other related materials with the provision that the director and the head of technical services have the authority to make whatever disposition they deem advisable. Gifts shall be evaluated by the same standards that are applied to material purchased with public funds - no special shelves shall be provided as a condition of acceptance. Exception: The libraries can provide special housing for a gift of a collection of books if that collection is a recognized entity of unusual value.

The system shall accept as many as three religious books per library from any one denomination on strictly doctrinal subjects, if these books meet stated library standards. The library system reserves the right to withdraw them on the same basis as other library materials.


Gifts of money for the purchase of books and other materials are welcome. The library system appreciates flexibility in the use of the donation for the enrichment of the collection and to avoid unnecessary duplication of titles.

Appraisal of Gifts

The library shall give a receipt for gift books and/or other materials donated to the libraries. Said receipt shall include the date of the donation, name of donor, and number of items donated. All donations are tax deductible under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. The library shall provide a receipt for the number of gift books but the Internal Revenue Service prohibits libraries from placing a monetary value on gifts.


The library system encourages the giving of cash donations or books as memorials. Plates shall always be placed in memorial books but otherwise shall be placed only on large library items of equipment and furnishings.


The library system attempts to weigh the specific demand in relation to the total library program and policies. Materials that are in great demand and selected titles on current problems may be duplicated. Paperbacks and a rental collection may be used to supplement further demands.


Only materials in the general collection (not reference) may be reserved. Duplication is considered based on accumulated reserves.


The library system's policy is to consider for replacement all books withdrawn because of loss, damage, or wear. Replacement in each case is based on the following factors:

Adequate coverage in the field by later and better


Demand for the specific title.

Weeding, Transfer or Disposal of Books and Materials

The weeding of a book collection is book selection in reverse. Weeding is a thorough and conscientious effort to achieve a well-balanced collection suitable to the patrons served, and should be a continuous, consistent process. Books and other materials that are obsolete, soiled, damaged, or no longer useful in the light of the SELECTION STANDARDS or purposes of the library shall be systematically removed from the collection. Books weeded from the collection may be sold to the general public for a nominal fee at an annual book sale. Receipts from such a sale shall be placed in the system's book budget for purchase of new titles. In some instances an irreplaceable title of importance must be retained regardless of condition. Special handling shall be given to such titles. Books, materials, furnishings, or equipment may also be transferred to another library unit or government agency if no longer needed or space is limited at the original location. Equipment or furnishings no longer needed by the library system shall be sold at public auction according to N.C. General Statutes 160A-270.


Readers wishing to register a complaint about a particular title should complete a considered by the Book Selection Committee composed of the director, assistant director, the head of acquisitions and technical services and any head librarians who may be concerned. The decision of this committee as to the validity of the complaint shall be communicated to the complainant by letter.

Should a complainant wish to appeal the decision, he may do so by requesting a hearing by the Board of Library Trustees. The request for such a hearing must be made in writing to the Director of Libraries at least one month prior to a board meeting. The request must include the name and address of the person who desires to appear before the trustees; a copy of the complaint form; the approximate amount of time required to discuss the complaint and if a group is to appear, the approximate number of persons to be present and the name of the spokesman for the group. Upon receiving notice of an appearance by a person or group, the Director of Libraries shall notify the Chairperson of the Library Board of Trustees. The chairperson shall place the item on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the board. Any available information regarding title(s) to be discussed shall be assembled. If other persons are involved or affected, these persons shall be notified that the matter is to be considered and shall be given an opportunity to be present.

Books may be removed from circulation only by the Board of Library Trustees.

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