Magnetawan Public Library
Collection Policy

Materials Selection Policy

This Selection Policy applies to all materials collected by the Library within the broad divisions of Adult and Juvenile collections, including audio-visual and special collections and format.

The Library believes that Library materials should be chosen for values of interest, information and the enlightenment of all the people of the community it serves.

To build a collection of merit and significance, materials will be considered according to the general objectives of the Library. All acquisitions whether purchased or donated will be considered in terms of the following criteria.

General Criteria

* Suitability of physical form for Library use.

* Suitability of subject for intended audience.

* Relations to existing collection and other material on subject.

* Reputation and/or significance of author.

* Public and critical reception of this item.

* Skill, competence and purpose of the author.

Each item must be judged on its own merit and the audience for which it is intended.

Criteria for specific collections:

Adult Non-Fiction:

The following factors affect the selection of adult non-fiction materials:

* Authority of author and publisher

* Currency and Relevance of subject material

* Quality of writing

* Degree to which the subject material is represented by the existing collection.

* Format

* Cost

Current and popular titles of interest will be included but also a well-rounded collection includes serious and esoteric works.

Non-fiction which is sensational in approach and prejudice, may be excluded. Textbook materials are not generally included. In the case of controversial questions, variety and balance of opinion are sought.

Adult Fiction:

The majority of adult fiction is selected for inclusion on the basis of positive reviewing by recognized library reviewing sources. Works are selected if they represent an important movement, genre, trend or national culture. Fiction works must be of a level to sustain interest, present effective characterization and should provide pleasure reading for recreation and creative use of leisure time.

Juvenile Collection:

The juvenile department provides books appropriate for children from infants to age 15. The objective of the collection is to foster the joy of reading for both educational and recreational purposes. Materials selected reflect a wide range in age and mental or emotional development. They are selected on the basis of cost, format, style, reading level, popularity, and their asset to the collection as a whole.


Books must be accurate, up to date, unbiased and fulfill the need to maintain a balanced collection. Subject interest and vocabulary must be appropriate to the age level for which it is intended. Controversial subject books are chosen for their honest, non-sensational and balanced treatment of the subject.

Fiction titles:

Are judged by their individual merit. Each title must have a coherent plot, fresh approach, strong characterisation and good literary style. Acknowledged children´s classics are maintained in spite of words or opinions, which may be currently unacceptable. Contemporary books which promote sexual stereotyping are avoided. Series, widely available and poorly written books are purchased in limited quantities.

Local History:

Materials relating to the immediate surrounding area regardless of format are purchased if costs permits and general criteria are met.


Recognizing the responsibility of a Canadian Public Library to make works on Canada and by Canadians available, the Library will acquire Canadian materials in all categories of selection, if they meet general selection criteria. Canadian materials will be designated.

Responsibility of Selection:

Final responsibility for selection of books and other materials rests with the C.E.O. / librarian, who operates within the framework of policies established by the Board. Suggestions from the library patrons and staff are welcome and given serious consideration.

Gifts and donations:

Accepted under the following provisions:

All books must meet standards of selection criteria outlined. The Library reserves the right to reject donations which do not meet the standards outlined. All donations become the property of the Library and will be processed, located and withdrawn as determined by the needs and priorities of the Library. Memorial donations will be accepted upon the same criteria as above. A memorial plate with the donor´s name will be inserted in the book. All books become the property of the Library and will be processed, relocated and withdrawn as determined by the needs and priorities of the Library.

Review of Policy:

These policies may be revised as time and or circumstances require.

Policy for weeding and discarding of Library materials.

Weeding is selection in reverse ( deselection ) and the same care, thought and judgement should be exercised in this process as with the original selection.

The purpose of weeding is to maintain a Library collection that is vital and relevant to the community´s needs, as well as being visually appealing.

This policy applies to all Library material.

Criteria for withdrawal of Library materials:


* Materials too badly damaged to be repaired.
* Books with missing pages or general damaged and shabby appearance.


* Outdated works, which are not authoritative, have been replaced or were once popular but are now outdated: for example, in science and geography.
* Works containing obsolete information or theories.
* Duplicate copies where heavy demand is not apparent.
* Special Consideration

* Materials should not be withdrawn solely on the basis that it contains controversial or unpopular opinions unless they meet other criteria outlined above.

* Circulation or use is not the sole basis for withdrawal.

* One volume of multi-volume work should not be withdrawn by itself (discard all or none).

* The latest edition of a work should not be withdrawn while leaving older editions on the shelf.


* Withdrawn materials shall be stamped "DISCARD" and depending on their condition will be offered for sale as a fund raising project for the Library, given to charitable institutions or otherwise disposed of.