Selection Policy

The purpose of this policy is to further the stated objectives of the Radford Public Library. It will serve to guide librarians in the selection of materials and to inform the public about the principles upon which selections are made.

The goals of selection are: to maintain a well-balanced collection of materials for information, reference and research; to support the democratic process by providing materials for the education and enlightenment of the community; to provide recreational resources; and to maintain a strong collection of current and classical literature.

The responsibility for selection lies with the professional staff of the library, which operates within the framework of policies determined by the City Manager. The staff and public may recommend titles to be added to the collection.

General Principles of Selection
  • Selection is based on the merits of a work in relation to the needs, interests, and demands of the Radford community.
  • Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or guardians. Selection shall not be inhibited by the possibility that books may come into the possession of children. Appropriate material for all ages shall be provided in the library’s collection.
The following criteria should be considered in selection:
  1. Contemporary significance or permanent value
  2. Accuracy
  3. Authority of author
  4. Relation of the work to the existing collection
  5. Price, format, and ease of use
  6. Scarcity of information in the subject area
  7. Availability of the material elsewhere in the community or through interlibrary loan
  8. Popular demand
  9. Duplication of material already in the collection
  10. Critical reviews
The library accepts gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that items that are useful to the library collection will be retained, while other items will be disposed of in whatever manner the library deems best, i.e., by giving them to the Lamplighters, our Friends of the Library, for their used books sales, by exchanging them for other books the library needs, by selling them, or by discarding them. Memorial books purchased by the library with donated funds will meet all library selection guidelines and will have a gift label affixed to the material.

Collection Re-Evaluation
Obsolescence, damage, and normal wear-and-tear make the discarding of books a continual process. A careful study of each book should be made, especially non-fiction titles, taking into account the following: number of copies in the library, provision for other coverage in the field, other similar material, and demand for material on the particular subject. Generally, recommended titles that are still accurate will not be discarded, or will be replaced when they become badly worn.

Objections to Material in the Collection
If an individual or group wishes to make a formal complaint about an item in the library’s collection, they may complete the attached Library Materials Comment Form.