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Materials Selection Policy

The purpose of this policy is to state the criteria the library uses to develop and maintain its collection. The Lebanon Public Libraries (LPL) provide materials to support the mission, vision, and values of the library. The LPL’s Materials Selection Policy upholds the principles expressed in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association, the ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement, the ALA’s Freedom to View Statement, and the protections of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The LPL collects materials of interest to all segments of the community. In determining suitability for the collection, selectors’ considerations include:

  • Professional reviews
  • Recommendations
  • Style & presentation
  • Accuracy of content
  • Availability from other libraries & resources
  • Available formats
  • Genre
  • General appeal
  • Reading level
  • Community interest or demand
  • Varying viewpoints

Decisions are also based on available budget and physical space. LPL does not generally duplicate resources already provided at local academic and special libraries including textbooks, scholarly materials, and highly specialized items. The Library Director and designated staff are responsible for selection of all library materials.

Selection criteria may vary depending on content or format. Selection of materials does not imply agreement with or approval of the viewpoints expressed in the material. Materials are evaluated as a whole work and not by selected passages or scenes. Items which may be considered controversial or offensive by some may be selected if they are determined to contribute to the overall variety and balance of the collection.

Additionally, all library cardholders may check out materials in accordance with circulation policies and procedures. LPL maintains several collections that are specialized, rare, not readily available elsewhere, and/or of special interest to our community.


  • Genealogical resources
  • Government documents
  • Local newspapers
  • New Hampshire and local history

As with the general collection, special collections are established and maintained by the library based on space, funding, local interest, and other criteria. Many items in these collections require special handling, due to their age and/or uniqueness. The library strives to provide access to these items while also preserving them for continued use.

LPL staff maintain the quality of the collection by regularly removing worn, dated, damaged, or under-circulating items. This process is not intended to sanction removal of controversial items.

LPL recognizes the right of individuals to recommend materials for the collection and to question both materials selected by the library and those that are not. Individuals who would like to request that an item be added to the collection may fill out Request a Purchase or Interlibrary Loan form which will be reviewed by library selectors. Lebanon residents or taxpayers who wish an item to be removed from the collection may review the libraries Policy on Controversial Materials and fill out a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials and Programs form which will be reviewed by library administration. Material under review will remain in the circulating collection until a determination is made.

LPL accepts gifts to enhance library services. Monetary donations are the responsibility of the Library Director. Donations of materials are evaluated by the appropriate library staff and are subject to the selection and removal criteria outlined in this document.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees 9/27/2022