Appendix B: Sample Wording for Material Selection Policies

While recognizing that some materials are controversial and may offend some patrons, the Library supports the freedom of individuals to develop and interpret their own codes of conduct. In the case of controversial issues an effort is made to represent all points of view. The presence of a book, periodical or other material in the Library does not indicate an endorsement of its contents by the Library. Materials are selected on the basis of the contents as a whole, evaluation of literary merit, authenticity of material, honesty of presentation and use to the community.

Excerpted from Nepean Public Library policy as revised January 18, 1995. Reproduced by permission.


No item is automatically included or excluded from the library collection only because it contains frank or coarse language or deals with controversial topics. Selection of material cannot be influenced by any anticipated approval or disapproval of its intellectual content by sectors of the community. Responsibility for borrowing by children rests with their parents or legal guardians. No item will be excluded from the library collection only because it may come into the possession of children.

Excerpted from the Burlington Public Library Board Materials Selection Policy, 1/87. Amended 5/27/93. Reproduced by permission.


While materials should be free of stereotyping and prejudice, learning resources containing a particular bias may be provided to meet specific curriculum objectives. The selection of learning resources regarding controversial issues shall be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various points of view. For example, learning resources may depict historical and contemporary forces in order to aid the understanding of social, economic and political problems. Learning resources should be selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.

Excerpted from the Manitoba Education and Training Instructional Resources Branch policy, 1990. Reproduced by permission.


The North York Public Library does not purchase or acquire material that has been adjudged obscene or pornographic by the courts.

Excerpted from North York Public Library Materials Selection Policy, 10/17/94.