The objective of the Library in providing collections especially selected for children is to make available materials that will serve children's informational, recreational and cultural needs for an age range from infant through eleven years, and for all levels of ability.
New materials are examined by staff and/or evaluated from professional sources before being added.
Criteria for selection include:
- Appeal for children
- Contribution to the formal and informal goals of education
- Subject matter of current and/or traditional interest
- Acceptable literary and artistic quality
- Suitability of subject style, and format for intended audience
- Relevance to present and potential informational, educational, and recreational needs
- Reputation and/or significance of author or illustrator
- Attention of critics and reviewers
- Relation to existing collections and other materials on the subject
- Availability of material elsewhere in the community
- Volume and nature of requests by the public
Materials may be judged unacceptable for certain general or specific deficiencies:
- Lack of lasting quality in subject, format or style
- Lack of sufficient usefulness and appeal
- Presentation of obsolete or inaccurate information
- Inadequacy in comparison with other similar materials already in the collection
Materials to be duplicated, replaced, or retired from the collection are evaluated by these same standards. Reasonable duplication will be based on funds and space available as well as current demand for specific materials.
As a rule, the Library does not add to its children's collections display items (dolls, toys, etc.) that are not suitable for lending and use in the libraries.
Books in series are purchased singly, with each title being carefully evaluated. Titles in publishers' non-fiction series may be omitted for the same reasons that would disqualify other single titles. Books in fiction series may be excluded, as other fiction titles would be, if they do not meet selection criteria.
Materials on the theory and philosophy of teaching reading are not purchased for juvenile collections, nor are workbooks designed for classroom practice and drill.
Textbooks are purchased when they provide the best or only coverage available. Basal readers are not purchased if they are in current use in the local public school system.
Denominational teaching materials are not added.
The Library selects and maintains collections of children's audiobooks, sound recordings, and movies on DVD as well as downloadable audiobooks and ebooks for children, subject to the usual standards of selection in regard to content.
The criteria and guidelines listed above are applied to the selection of audio and audiovisual material.
Other Special Forms
Some large print editions of children's books are purchased, subject to the usual standards of selection in regard to content.
Periodicals for children are selected primarily for recreational use. Exceptions are those periodicals that evaluate children's literature. Back issues of these periodicals are housed in the central Children's Room. These are provided for use primarily by staff, parents, students, and other interested adults.
The Library's Teen collection is intended for young people ages 12–17. Its focus is on the recreational preferences and informational interests appropriate to teens.
Teen materials are examined by staff and/or evaluated from professional reviews.
The Teen collection is current and attractive to teen readers, and includes fiction that:
- Has believable characters, dialogue and plot
- Is in demand and of high interest
- Helps young adults understand themselves and others
- Broadens the reader's viewpoint of the world
- Expands reading ability and enjoyment
Nonfiction selected for teens has appealing format and is of current and unique interest to the age group. Nonfiction Teen materials are not generally selected for curriculum support, as the majority of these nonfiction items are available in the general adult and juvenile collections.