Collection Policy




Section 1. Objectives

The purpose of the Poynette Area Public Library is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.

It is the mission of the Poynette Area Public Library to provide information via diverse materials and programs for all people; to foster the development and growth of intellectual, artistic and cultural interests; and to meet the lifelong learning needs of our public through continued improvement.

The Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement, adopted by the American Library Association, are integral parts of this policy.  (See appendix A. & B.)


Section 2. Responsibility for Selection

Selection of materials is the responsibility of the Library Director, who may delegate this role to qualified staff. The Director has full authority to use his or her judgement in interpreting this policy. Any book or library material so selected shall be considered to be selected by the Board.


Section 3. Selection Criteria

The collection shall be based on the following criteria:

  1. Popular appeal/demand
  2. Quality of writing/production/reputation/significance of author/artist.
  3. Suitability of subject and style to the community as set forth in the library’s mission statement.
  4. Timeliness or permanence
  5. Availability of materials elsewhere in the community or other public libraries through interlibrary loan.
  6. Accurate depiction of the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of the American society; i.e., it does not violate legislation in regard to discrimination against any segment of our society. No material shall be excluded because of the race, nationality, or the political social views of the author.
  7. Budgetary considerations.
  8. Physical limitations of the library building.
  9. The need for added materials in subject areas.

The Library recognizes that some materials may be deemed controversial. Public libraries strive to offer materials that represent all points of view. The Library does not practice censorship, and selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the principles stated in this policy. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context. The Library does not act in loco parentis. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for the reading and viewing of library materials by their children. Selection of library materials will not be restricted by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children. Please see Section 7 of this policy for further information.


Section 4. (Outer)Interlibrary and LINK Loans

(Outer)Interlibrary loans (ILL) and LINK loans shall be used to obtain materials from other libraries to fulfill patron requests which cannot be satisfied through our library collection. There are no limits to LINK loans. Patrons will be limited to five ILL items per month.  Exceptions will be granted at the discretion of the Director.


Section 5. Gifts and Donations

The library will accept gifts of books and other materials with the understanding that they will be added to the collection at the discretion of the Director. Once donated, the materials become the property of the library, and the library reserves the right to use or dispose of them in the manner most useful to the library. Any proceeds derived from such disposal may be used for library improvement. 

The library will not appraise the value of donated materials, although it can provide an acknowledgement of receipt of the items if requested by the donor.

The same criteria used for selection of purchased materials will be used in evaluating gifts.  Memorial donations may be marked with suitable bookplates.

Gifts of money, real property, and/or stock will be accepted if conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the Library Board. Gifts of money shall be deposited in Fund: 105 – Library Fund, General Donations/ Contributions, unless donor requests otherwise.


Section 6. Withdrawal of Materials

The director is responsible for withdrawing materials on a continuing basis based on the following criteria:

  1. Material is obsolete (facts are outdated)
  2. Material is physically worn
  3. Material is not used (frequency of circulation)
  4. Superseded by a newer edition
  5. Information is better handled in another format
  6. Material is deemed unsuitable after re-evaluation
  7. An effort shall be made to retain classics and local history materials

Materials received as gifts and added to the collection will be withdrawn on the same basis.

Magazine subscriptions shall be evaluated annually to determine worth. Magazines shall be kept for the current year. 

Disposal of discarded materials is at the Director’s discretion.


Section 7. Challenged Materials

Requests for re-evaluation of any library materials shall be submitted in writing to the Library Director on a “Patron’s Request Form for Re-evaluation of Specific Library Materials” (Appendix C). The Director will provide the petitioner with a written response within ten working days on the “Library Materials Re-evaluation Form” (Appendix D). A copy of the petition and the Director’s response will be provided to the President of the Library Board.

Any Appeal of the Director’s decision may be made to the Library Board. The petitioner should be informed that they are entitled to appear at the next regularly scheduled Library Board meeting. Their appeal will be placed on the agenda for consideration by the full Board. The decision(s) of the Board will be final. The material in question cannot be submitted for re-evaluation in the future.


(Revised May 10, 2022)