Materials Selection Policy & Request for Reconsideration of Materials

12519 State Route 38 – P. O. Box 151, Berkshire, NY 13736
Phone 607-657-4418 Email


Objectives of the Library
The Berkshire Free Library strives to provide, free of charge, carefully selected books, other materials, and services to aid individuals of the Towns of Berkshire and Richford in their educational, recreational and informational needs regardless of the individual’s race, creed, color, occupation, financial status, or physical handicap.

Responsibility for Materials Selection
Materials selection policies are the responsibility of the Board of Trustees of the Berkshire Free Library. Materials selections are made by the Director in accordance with the policies adopted by the Board of Trustees. The Director may ask for suggestions from patrons. In all cases, final authority remains with the Board of Trustees.

Criteria for Materials Selection
General principles for selection of material shall include:

  • Compliance with the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the Council of the American Library Association.
  • Relevance to community interests and needs.
  • Broadness of appeal within the community.
  • Quality of content and literary merit.
  • Relation of Existing collection.
  • Timeliness and popularity of subject and/or value to the collection.
  • Budgetary considerations.
  • Physical limitations of the building.
  • Physical nature of the materials (binding, format, etc.)
  • Reviews of media, relevant selections aids, and opinions of experts.
  • Availability of materials or information assistance through Finger Lakes Library System on a particular subject area or through online resources.
  • Significance to local history or authorship by local person, keeping in mind other principles above

Controversial materials

Should any selection of library material be challenged, the individual challenging or organization shall present their concern to the Board of Trustees.
Challenged material will then be reviewed objectively with regard to the Criteria for Material Selection above. Emphasis is placed on the fact that material will be judged in its entirety, rather than in any piecemeal fashion, with regard to its verisimilitude and its literary merit, and the degree to which it fulfills community needs and interest rather than the interest and needs of individuals and special interest groups.

The library welcomes gifts of books and other materials with understanding that it will evaluate them in accordance with the Criteria for Materials Selection.
When the library receives a cash gift for the purchase of memorial books of collection, the selection will be made by the Director in consultation with the donor. The name of the donor or person memorialized or honored will be entered on the bookplate.

Maintaining the Collection
The same criteria will be used by the Director in removing materials from the collection as are used in their acquisition. In order to maintain the collection in its most attractive and useful condition, the Director will use his/her judgment in removing from the collection materials that are no longer useful or are not in a condition suitable for circulation. He/she will refurbish, by repair or rebinding books that are deteriorating, whenever appropriate. Materials no longer useful to the library may be given to other libraries, sold for the benefit of the library, or discarded.

Approved November 16, 2021
President John Stoughton


12519 State Route 38 – P. O. Box 151, Berkshire, NY 13736
Phone 607-657-4418 Email


Author: ________________________ Title: ______________________________________________

Publisher or Distributor: _____________________________________________________________

Request Initiated by: ________________________________________________________________

Street Address: _________________________________________Telephone:__________________

City: __________________________________________________ Zip code: ___________________

Request represents:
_____ Individual
_____ Organization: _____________________________________________________
_____ Other: ___________________________________________________________

Have you read or viewed the entire work? _____Yes _____ No
If not, what parts?

To what in the material do you object? Please be specific: cite pages or sections.


What do you feel might be the result of reading or viewing this material?

Have you read any reviews of this material> _____ Yes _____ No
If yes, specify


Do you think this material would be more appropriate for a different age group? _____Yes _____No
Please explain:


What would you like the library to do about this material?


Can you recommend other material that would convey as valuable a picture and/or perspective of the subject treated? _____ Yes _____ N o If yes, please specify:


Completion of this form does not suggest the item will be withdrawn.
Date: _________________________ Signature: _____________________________________________
Please return this form to the Library.

Approved November 16, 2021
President John Stoughton