Selection Policy

The Library Board of the Robey Memorial Library hereby declares it the policy of the library to provide a wide range of reading, audio visual, and technology materials with diversity of appeal, and the presentation of different points of view and to allow review of allegedly inappropriate materials.

Statement of Rules

I. Responsibility for Selection of Materials

A. The direction and control of all affairs of Robey Memorial Library, including the selection of materials, is delegated to the library board by the Waukon Municipal Code.

B. The library board is specifically authorized by the Code to delegate to the professionally trained and certificated library
director responsibility for the selection of materials.

II. Criteria for Selection of Materials

A. The following criteria will be used as they apply:

  1. Materials shall meet high standards of quality in content and presentation.
  2. Materials shall be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, and social development of the people for whom the materials are selected.
  3. Materials shall have aesthetic, literary, or social value.
  4. Materials chosen shall be by competent and qualified authors and producers.
  5. Materials shall be chosen to foster respect for minority groups, women, and ethnic groups and shall realistically represent our pluralistic society, along with the roles and life styles open to both men and women in today’s world.
  6. Materials shall be designed to help patrons gain an awareness and understanding of the many important contributions made to our civilization by minority groups and women.
  7. Materials shall be selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.
  8. Physical format and appearance of materials shall be suitable for their intended use.

B. The selection of materials on controversial issues will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.

III. Procedure for Selection

A. In selecting materials for purchase for the library, the director will evaluate the existing collection and will consult reputable, professionally prepared selection aids and other appropriate sources. The term materials includes all media considered part of the circulating library collection.

B. Recommendations for purchase will be solicited from the public.

C. Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria in Section II and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.

D. Selection is an ongoing process which should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of value to the collection.

IV. Objection

A. Any patron of the library may raise objection to materials selected, despite the fact that the individuals selecting such materials were duly qualified to make the selection and followed the proper procedure and observed the criteria for selecting such material.

B. A library board trustee or staff member receiving a complaint regarding materials shall try to resolve the issue informally. The materials shall remain in use.

  1. The staff member or library board trustee initially receiving a complaint shall explain to the complainant the library’s selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those persons selecting the material.
  2. The library board trustee or staff member initially receiving a complaint shall explain to the best of his/her ability the particular place the objected-to-material occupies in the library collection, its intended usefulness, and additional information regarding its use, or refer the complaining party to someone who can identify and explain the use of the materials.

C. In the event that the person making an objection to materials is not satisfied with the initial explanation the person raising the question would be referred to the director. If, after private discussion, the complainant desires to file a formal complaint, the person to whom the complainant has been referred will assist in filling out a Reconsideration Form in full.

D. The individual receiving the initial complaint shall advise the library board at the soonest possible time. A written record of the contact shall be maintained by the library.

E. The director and library board shall review the selection and objection rules. They shall be reminded that the right to object to materials is one granted by policies enacted by the board and firmly entrenched in law. They shall also be reminded of ethical and practical considerations in attempting to handle resident complaints with courtesy and integrity.

V. Request for Reconsideration.

A. Any patron of the library may formally challenge materials purchased by the library on the basis of appropriateness.

B. The library will keep on hand and make available Reconsideration Request Forms. All formal objections to materials must be made on this form.

C. The Reconsideration Request Form shall be signed by the complainant and filed with the library board.

D. At the first meeting (as per section VI part B), the library board shall consider the material in question for reevaluation. This meeting will take place within five business days (Monday - Friday) of the filing of the form.

VI. The Reconsideration Committee

A. The Reconsideration Committee shall be made up of the director and the library board trustees.

B. The procedure for the first meeting following receipt of a Reconsideration Request Form is as follows:

  1. Distribute copies of the written request form
  2. Give complainant or group spokesperson an opportunity to talk about and expand on the request form.
  3. Distribute reputable, professionally prepared reviews of the material when available.
  4. Distribute copies of the challenged material as available.

C. At a second meeting (to be held within two weeks), interested persons, including the complainant, may have the opportunity to share their views. The committee may request that individuals with special knowledge be present to give information to the committee.

D. The complainant shall be kept informed by the library board concerning the status of his/her complaint throughout the
committee reconsideration process. The complainant and known interested parties shall be given appropriate notice of such meetings.

E. The Reconsideration Committee shall make its decision in open session. The committee’s final decision will be:

  1. to take no removal action;
  2. to remove all or part of the challenged material from the collection; or
  3. to limit the use of the challenged material.
  4. The criteria for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended use as stated in Section II. The vote on the decision shall be by secret ballot. The written decision and its justification shall be forwarded to the complainant and to all interested parties.


Adopted 1995
Reviewed July, 1998
Reviewed April, 2000
Reviewed June, 2004
Reviewed March, 2007
Reviewed April, 2010
Revised May, 2013
Reviewed February, 2016
Reviewed April, 2019