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Selection Criteria

General Guidelines
Librarians apply their professional judgment and experience in selecting material according to the following list of criteria. All criteria do not apply to each item. Materials are judged as a whole rather than on isolated passages.

Examples of criteria:
• Relevance to local interests and needs
• Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
• Historical significance
• Relation to existing collection
• Reputation and/or significance of the author/artist and publisher/producer
• Authority, competence, and purpose of the author/artist
• Attention of critics, reviewers, and the public
• Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
• Objectivity
• Clarity, accuracy, logic of presentation, and/or ease of use
• Artistic presentation
• Vitality, readability, or ability to sustain interest
• Value of resource in relation to its cost

Material legally defined by law as pornography is excluded from the collection. However, works that present an aspect of life honestly are not necessarily excluded because of frankness of expression.

Digital Resources
All of the foregoing criteria relevant to the selection of materials in traditional formats apply to digital resources as well. However, because machine-readable formats require nontraditional means of acquisition, storage, and access, some additional criteria must be considered:
• Ease of access and number of access points
• Hardware and software requirements
• Vendor support and contractual requirements
• Staff training requirements

Adopted 5/22/85 Rev. 4/9/96, 6/5/07, 7/8/14

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