Materials Selection

The purpose of the Okeene Public Library is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time. Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The Purpose of the Materials Selection Policy

The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection. The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Okeene Public Library Board and are integral parts of the policy. The material selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be review and/or revised as the need arises.

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Okeene Public Library Board. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

Selection Criteria

The main points considered in the selection of materials are:

  • Individual merit of each item
  • Popular appeal/demand
  • Suitability of the material for the clientele
  • Existing library holdings
  • Budget

Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The sources of reviews are varied. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title which is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.

Gifts and Donations

The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they become the property of the library and will added to collection only if appropriate and needed. If they are not needed because of duplication, condition, or dated information the director can dispose of them to the greatest benefit to the library. The same criteria of selection which are applied to purchase materials are applied to gifts. Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted with suitable bookplates placed in the book.
The Okeene Public Library encourages and appreciates gifts and donations. By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, though it can provide an acknowledgment of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.


An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director and is authorized by the Library Board. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.

Challenged Materials

Although materials are carefully selected, differences of opinion can arise regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form which is available in the library. The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Okeene Public Library Board.