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Materials and Resource Selection and Retention Policy

Jarrell Community Library and Resource CenterApproved June 25, 2020
Materials and Resource Selection and Retention PolicyRevised December 13, 2022

Collection Development

A. Objectives: Jarrell Community Library and Resource Center (JCLRC) supports the following collection development objectives:

  1. To provide the open exchange of ideas through free access to information.
  2. Connect a culturally diverse population with the global community.
  3. To provide for the research and information needs of Jarrell and surrounding areas by assembling, preserving and administering a collection in a variety of formats.
  4. Support the “Library Bill of Rights and “Freedom to Read” statements.
  5. Encourage continuing education by promoting the use of all library resources.

B. Criteria for Selection: The process of selection, acquisition, and organization of library materials is an ongoing task.

Library staff rely on a variety of sources for selection including reviews in professionally recognized literature, book lists by recognized authorities, popular reviews and bestseller lists, and recommendations of staff and patrons. Other criteria to be considered are cost, value, demand, format, regional interest, authority of the author and reputation of the publisher, relevancy of subject, organization and style, good quality illustrations, durable binding and paper, and language. The overall goal is a balanced collection.

C. Instructions for Ordering Materials: The Library Director will be designated as selector for the different collections of the library. These selectors are responsible for choosing materials for their areas of assignment.

D. Special Collections: JCLRC maintains special collections that include but are not limited to the genealogy/local history and reference collections.

E. Gifts, Memorials and Cash Donations: JCLRC encourages and welcomes donations of used or new books and AV as well as funds for the purchase of library materials. Used books in good condition may be added to the library collection and will be governed by the same principles and criteria used to select materials purchased for the library. The library retains ownership of gifted material and conditions cannot be imposed on any gift. The library reserves the right to decide how to use and/or dispose of the gift.

The library accepts monetary donations for the purchase of library materials to honor the memory of individuals or celebrate a special occasion. Bookplates are placed in the materials acknowledging the honoree and the donor. Notification is sent to the memorial family or the honoree when the item has been received and processed for library use. Memorials will be weeded using the same criteria as all other library materials.


F. Collection Maintenance: The library’s holdings are periodically evaluated using the CREW (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding) method to identify inappropriate or outdated materials. A practical, useful collection will be maintained through a continual process of discard and addition. Materials are withdrawn if they are outdated, no longer of interest or in demand, unnecessary duplicates or multiple copies, or worn or mutilated. Weeding is done with the same care, thought, criteria, and judgment as selection. Items removed from the collection are discarded, recycled, or designated for sale in the used bookstore or at a used book sale.

G. Challenged Materials: JCLRC believes in freedom of information for all, and does not practice censorship. The library declares that while anyone is free to reject books and other materials of which he/she does not approve, he/she may not exercise censorship to restrict the freedom of others. The library also recognizes that the collection of diverse materials may result in some complaints or requests for reconsideration.

Reconsideration forms are available from the Circulation Desk. Any patron who wishes the library to discard or reclassify a book or item of non-book material must be a resident of zip code 76537 and be a JCLRC library card holder in good standing for no less than a six month period. That patron may then complete the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form [below]. The form is sent to the office of the Library Director who assigns a committee of librarians to review the item. The committee will evaluate the request form, any available reviews, and the item to determine if it meets the library selection criteria and collection development guidelines. The committee will make a recommendation to the Library Director, who will review the material, related items, and the committee recommendation, and present to the Library Board for a final decision regarding the disposition of the challenged item.


Addendum 1: Request for Reconsideration of Library Material Jarrell Community Library and Resource Center (JCLRC)

Author: ________________________________________________________
Publisher: _______________________________________________________
Format: Book ____Video _____Audio _____Magazine
Your Name: ___________________________________________________________
JCLRC Card Number ______________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________________________
Email: _________________ Telephone:____________________

  1. Did you read/view/hear the entire work? If no, what parts?
  2. To what in the work do you object? Please be specific.
  3. What do you feel might be the result of reading, viewing, or hearing this work?
  4. For what age group would you recommend this work?
  5. What is good about the work?
  6. What reviews have you read or heard on the work?
  7. What do you believe is the theme of the work?
  8. In its place, what work would you recommend that would convey as valuable a picture and perspective on the subject treated?
  9. Other comments:

Signature: ______________________________________________ Date: ______________________


Addendum 2: The Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections. We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  1. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  1. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  1. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  1. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society, individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship. 7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

A Joint Statement by:

American Library Association
Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:

American Booksellers for Free Expression
The Association of American University Presses
The Children’s Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression