Materials Selection & Intellectual Freedom

The Mission of the Canton Public Library is to provide residents of Canton with access to the best available intellectual, cultural, and recreational resources and opportunities to encourage a lifelong love of learning and reading, support educational success, enrich their quality of life, promote community participation, and preserve Canton’s unique heritage.

Materials Selection Policy
The Canton Public Library selects material to be included in its collection according to the particular needs of the Canton community. Selection is guided in general by the American Library Association in its Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements. Selection is performed by the Library Director and designated staff.

Library materials are not kept from public access except as protection from theft. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that material may come into the possession of children. The responsibility for the reading and viewing habits of children rest with parents or legal guardians.

Intellectual Freedom
The library is not an advocate of any ideas reflected in the materials presented in its collection but does defend the principles of the Freedom to Read and View and declares that no material under attack will be removed from the library except under the direct orders of a court of competent jurisdiction. Selection of materials is characterized by open-mindedness, and responsiveness to the changing needs of the service community. Materials are evaluated as complete works and not excluded solely on the basis of specific parts. Nor will a work be excluded because it represents a particular aspect of life, because of frankness of expression, or because it is controversial. Variety and balance or opinion is sought. Titles are selected without regard to the race, creed, nationality, or sexual orientation of the author.

Providing textbooks and curriculum material is the responsibility of the school system. The library will provide general resources necessary to supplement education at all levels.

Systematic withdrawal of materials will follow the same general criteria as selection of new materials.

Frequency of use, uniqueness, accuracy and currency of content, and physical condition are prime considerations in retention of materials. All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are evaluated by the following general criteria.

Selection Criteria
Works need not meet all criteria, nor should any single criteria be decisive.
  1. Present and potential future relevance to community's civic and cultural interests
  2. Suitability of subject, style and reading level for the intended audience
  3. Appropriateness and effectiveness of medium to content
  4. Importance as a document representative of a particular genre, theme, or time period
  5. Quality of representation of a social, cultural, political or religious perspective
  6. Positive review in one or more appropriate professional journals
  7. Provides balance of opinion or perspective
  8. Importance in filling subject area for which insufficient materials are in the collection
  9. Unavailability from other lending sources
  10. Completes, continues or enhances a series or collection of related works
  11. Format is appropriate to repetitive use, and not easily damaged
  12. Literary and artistic merit
  13. Accuracy and/or currency of informational content
  14. Popularity or broad appeal
  15. Local authorship
  16. Aesthetic appeal of presentation
  17. Expectation of enduring relevance, validity or appeal
  18. Cost, relative to budget limits
  19. Supports school curricula; complements school library collections
  20. Reputation and/or significance of the author, publisher, or producer
  21. Relationships with existing materials in the collection
Voted: Board of Library Trustees, October, 1996.