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Materials Selection Policy

The Champaign Public Library provides a broad range of printed and digital popular materials that support the recreational, educational, and cultural needs of the community. The Library's selection of materials sustains the principles embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View statements, as enunciated by the American Library Association.

In selecting and acquiring materials, the Library recognizes the following general principles:

  1. The existence of the Illinois Library and Information Network, the ability of the Library to borrow from libraries throughout the United States, and the rich library resources in the Champaign area permits the citizens of this City to have access to a wealth of information and materials. The Library will seek to address the citizen's needs for popular, current materials.
  2. The Library‘s collection is one that is intended to be current, useful, and circulating. The criteria for the periodic discarding of Library materials also referred to colloquially as "weeding," are continuing accuracy, frequency of use, physical condition, space considerations, superseded editions or formats, outdated or inaccurate information, and relevance. Replacements and updated editions are purchased when warranted.
  3. The Library provides users of all ages with access to a wide range of materials in an array of formats.The Library's goal of serving the community drives the selection. The collection includes materials to support our diverse population.
  4. The Library staff will use all reasonable efforts to select materials that represent a wide range of viewpoints and make a good faith effort to exercise impartiality in all selection activities. The addition of an item to the collection does not represent an endorsement by the Library of its content. All sides of controversial issues will be represented in the Library's collection as far as budget, space, and availability of materials allow. The age, color, creed, family responsibilities, marital status, matriculation, national origin, personal appearance, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, prior arrest or conviction record, source of income or political views of an author, the frankness or coarseness of language, the controversial content of an item, or the endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group in the community will not cause an item to automatically be included or excluded. Processing and shelving of materials does not reflect a value judgment of the materials.
  5. Children are not limited to materials in the juvenile collection, although juvenile collections are kept together to facilitate use. The Library assures free access to its holdings to all customers who are free to select or reject for themselves any item in the collection. Responsibility for materials selected for a child must rest exclusively with the child's parent or guardian, not with the library.
  6. In addition to the requirements of the general public served, materials will be selected to meet the needs of such groups as, but not limited to: businesses; the professions; government; community organizations; individuals receiving homebound delivery service; the visually, physically, and mentally disabled; individuals with learning disabilities, adult beginning readers, and of people for whom English is not the principal language. Adult, teen, and children's collections will serve as supplementary sources for student use, but materials selected for students must also be useful to the general reader.
  7. Criteria which are used, where applicable, in materials selection are as follows:
    1. Appropriate format
    2. Broad appeal to or high demand from the community
    3. Customer suggestions as well as attention from critics, reviewers, and media outlets
    4. Suitability for circulation by a public library
    5. Accuracy of information and relationships to the existing collection
    6. Availability from a reputable vendor at a fiscally responsible cost per usage
    7. Supporting Library programs, initiatives, and staff training
    8. Literacy significance
    9. Ability to obtain the material from other libraries via consortia or shared use agreements
    10. Ease of accessibility, ease of usage, and quality of presentation
    11. Specific local interest, including local history and works by local creators
    12. Intended age and reading/listening/viewing level
    13. Promoting and increasing diversity in all measures, including viewpoint, language, and racial and ethnic representation in the collection
    14. Scarcity of materials on a subject, author, or performer
    15. Subject area and collection-development value
    16. Technical value
    17. Value as a source or reference material
    18. Award-winning titles or artistic excellence
    19. Curricular enrichment
    20. Contemporary or historical significance
    21. Current interest in the community

      All criteria are measured by the professional judgment, knowledge, and experience of Champaign Public Library staff. Librarians select materials based on their knowledge of the community's needs.

  8.  Materials currently provided for Library customers include books, audiobooks, devices, magazines, newspapers, music and films in physical, digital and/or streaming formats.
  9.  The Library will encourage and accept gifts with the understanding that gifts of materials will be added to the collection only when they meet the same standards required of purchased materials. Gift materials, which do not meet those standards, are out-of-date, are unneeded duplicates, or are in a format unsuitable for Library use, may be given to the Friends of the Library for book sales, exchanged, or recycled. Gift items may be marked with an appropriate bookplate. A letter for tax purposes will be sent to the donor if requested at the time the donation is made. Whenever a gift is no longer needed or useful, it will be disposed of in the same manner as materials purchased.
  10.  The Library welcomes customer opinions regarding materials in the collection. The Library will review the selection of a specific item upon request of a member of the City of Champaign community. The Library will only respond to material concerns raised by Champaign residents. If you are not a City of Champaign resident, the Library encourages you to speak with the public library in your community about your concerns.
    If you have a concern about Library materials, you can speak to any member of staff in the Adult Services Department, Children's Services Department, or Douglass Branch about your concerns. If you feel your concerns have not been addressed, please follow the following steps:
    1.  Contact the Collections and Technical Services Manager to share your concerns.
    2.  If you feel your concerns have not been addressed by the Collection and Technical Services Manager, you should contact the Library Director to share your concerns.
    3.  If you are not satisfied with the Library Director's response, you should fill out the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form. Submit the completed form to the Library Director, who will review the reconsideration. You will receive a response to your request for reconsideration upon Library Director review.
  11.  The final responsibility for the selection of materials and requests for reconsideration rests with the Library Director.
  12. The Champaign Public Library supports the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Intellectual Freedom Statement. The Library attempts to purchase materials that represent differing opinions on many topics. The Library has the responsibility to provide materials representing a wide range of ideas and opinions, including controversial, unpopular, and unorthodox viewpoints and expression. Selection is made without partisanship and in accordance with this material selection policy. Including an item in the collection does not constitute endorsement of its content by the Library. While customers are free to reject titles of which they do not approve for themselves or their own children, customers cannot restrict the freedom of others to choose what to read, hear, or view.  
    Items are not withdrawn from the collection due to their controversial nature; merely because individuals or groups object to the material; or the unpopular portrayal of events, institutions or people.
  13.  Also adopted by the Library Board as part of the Materials Selection Policy, are the following American Library Association statements:
    1. Library Bill of Rights
    2. Freedom to Read Statement
    3. Freedom to View Statement
    4. Labeling and Rating Systems

Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees on May 17, 2023

Questions? Ask us.


Questions? Ask Us.