Content & Book Selection

Colfax-Perry Township Public Library serves the Clinton Prairie K-12 Schools and citizens of Perry Township and the town of Colfax. The library strives to provide the best library materials, print, non-print, and electronic available within our means. Interlibrary Loan via INCOLSA augments our collection and offers patrons services equal to larger libraries.

The library’s goal is to develop a collection which reflects the present as well as future needs and interests of our patrons. The Library Trustees and Staff are united in the belief that a library should offer something for everyone through its collections, technical services, and programs.

Purpose for Policy and General Selection Statement

The Purpose of a Selection Policy is to define what materials should be collected to support the mission of our library and to guide the staff in selecting materials for the collection, protecting their choices and rights to make those choices. The Selection Policy for Colfax-Perry Township Public Library will be guided by the principles of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement. The collection should represent all disciplines and all points of view, as much as possible.

Criteria for Selection

Criteria for Selection will primarily be influenced by the quality of presentation, the needs of the community, funds available, and the needs of the collection. Special criteria for non-fiction works are quality of style, objectivity, and accuracy.

Procedures for Selection

Library materials will be made from current review sources, standard lists, requests by patrons, and recommendations by Library Staff. Materials receiving unfavorable reviews by the review media may, but need not, be selected if there is significant patron demand, when the material is of particular local interest, or if the material fills a special unmet need in the collection. It is the function of the Library Director to make all final selection decisions and to advise their use.


Weeding, or deselecting, books & materials is a continuous process and is considered sound collection development programming. The following guidelines describe a minimum schedule for weeding various library materials:

  • Damaged materials and duplicates will be withdrawn as necessary.
  • Periodicals (magazines) will be weeded once each year.
  • Reference materials will be weeded periodically and at least every two (2) years.
  • All other materials will be reviewed for weeding at least every two (2) years.
  • Withdrawn materials may be sold as surplus public property in Friends of the Library book sales or otherwise discarded as determined by the Director and Library Board of Trustees.

Challenged Materials

Challenged Materials include library materials censored by volunteer arbiters of morality or political opinion or by organizations that would establish a coercive concept of Americanism and must be ‘challenged’ by the library in carrying out its responsibility to provide for the intellectual, informational, and recreational needs of the entire community.

Library Trustees will be briefly and routinely alerted to potentially controversial new materials and advised of the Director’s justification for including them in the collection.

If a complaint concerning a specific item in the Library’s collection is made, the person or organization making the complaint will be given a copy of the Library’s Selection Policy, and will be asked to fill out a written complaint form. The citizen’s request for Reconsideration of Library Material will then be examined by the Director. The Director will review the material in question and author a written justification for its continued inclusion in the collection or withdraw the material if no justification is found. The Director will meet with the complaining party after having reviewed both the material in question and the complaint form. At that meeting, the Director will explain the library’s selection policy and his/her justification for inclusion of the questioned material. The complainant will be given the opportunity to further explain their reasons for requesting the material be reconsidered. If the meeting fails to satisfactorily resolve the complaint, the request will be forwarded to the Library Board of Trustees for review at the next regular scheduled meeting. If any material is withdrawn from the collection by the Director due to a formal complaint, the Board of Trustees will be informed.

Video/DVD Selection

The Library will maintain a selection of quality educational and entertainment films for adults/families and children. Film ratings acceptable for selection are G, PG, PG-13, & R (age-restricted). There will be no X-rated videos/DVDs purchased for the library collection. The library reserves the right to change this policy at any time.