Dolton Public Library District

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What We Collect and Why

The purpose of the materials selection policy of the Dolton Public Library District is to implement one of the goals of the Library's Board of Trustees, which is:

  • To meet the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational reading needs of the Dolton Community through the variety of materials that are provided.

General criteria for the selection of materials

The library staff selects a general representative collection, for all ages at a variety of reading levels, but the collection is also attuned to the specific needs of the community.  Book selection sources, such as Library Journal and Booklist, will not be followed solely.  Patrons demand still must be considered even if reviews are not favorable.

Materials are to be selected in a variety of formats, both print and non-print, reflecting the diversified needs and preferences of the community.

Widely diverse points of view, including controversial and unorthodox subjects, will be available in the collection.  Inclusion in the collection does not imply library approval or agreement with the contents.  The library board and staff recognize that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons.  Selections will not be made on the merits of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the work in relation to building the collection and to serving the interest of the readers.  Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents.

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents and legal guardians.  Selection and display will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

If materials are of limited appeal, interlibrary loan will be used to meet patron request.

The library board upholds the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, as amended January 23, 1980, and The Freedom to Read Statement, revised January 28, 1972.

Responsibility for selection

Responsibility for materials selection rests with the Administrative Librarian, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Trustees.  Under the Administrative Librarian's direction, such members of the professional staff who are qualified by education and training participate in selection of library materials.


Books, pamphlets, periodicals, and other printed materials are selected for the collection according to the selection criteria described previously.  An up-to-date reference collection, including business information, is an important priority.  Periodicals are selected according to reader use and according to titles that are indexed in library indexes.  Non-print materials are also viewed as an integral part of the library's collection and are purchased within budgetary constraints. 

Policy on gifts and donations

The library is grateful for donations, and its collection has been greatly enriched by many fine donations of materials which the library might otherwise not have been able to afford.

When accepting a donation, the library reserves the privilege of deciding whether or not to add it to the collection.  Because of the many books donated to the library each year, a portion of the materials cannot be used by the library, because any book, though of value in itself, may be:

  1. A duplicate of an item which the library already has in sufficient number
  2. A title which is not of sufficient reference or circulating use for the library
  3. In poor physical condition which would not add to the library collections
  4. Does not conform to the standards presented in the material's selection policy which has been developed to provide the library with a balanced quality collection

Donations which are not added to the collection are given to the Library Bookstore for sale to the public.  Professional library staff will evaluate items according to condition, currency and broad appeal to determine resale price.

Weeding the replacement of materials

The library's collections are continuously evaluated by the professional staff in order to maintain a useful collection.  Outdated and unused materials are given to the Dolton Library Bookstore for sale to the public.

Reconsideration of materials

If a patron objects to an item in the library collection, he/she will be given the following form to fill out:

"Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials" pdf

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The Administrative Librarian will respond to the objection and also notify the Board.

If an objection from a Dolton resident is not completely resolved, the resident is invited to bring the matter to the Board's attention at the next regularly schedule board Meeting.  A decision by the Library Board to keep an item in the collection will sand unless a subsequent judicial decision is rendered that the materials should be removed from the collection.  The library's philosophy is that censorship is a purely individual matter.  While anyone is free to reject for oneself any book or other material which he/she does not approve, he/she cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom to read of others.