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Materials Selection Policy


                The Bangor Public Library provides materials and services to help all community residents obtain information to meet their personal, educational and professional needs and materials for recreational and leisure reading; material to support students at all academic levels; materials to stimulate young children’s interests and appreciation for reading and learning; material to preserve the history and culture peculiar to the City of Bangor and the State of Maine; and material to be a resource center for Bangor City Departments; and for agencies, organizations and schools in Bangor; and for all libraries in the Northeastern Maine Library District and their patrons.

                Library materials shall include all items in any format including print, non-print and online or electronically transmitted resources used by or for patrons of the Bangor Public Library.

                The Bangor Public Library recognizes its duty to provide a wide range of materials on all levels of difficulty in various formats, diversity of appeal and points of view. To this end, the Bangor Public Library affirms the Library Bill of Rights (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill) and the Freedom to Read (http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/statementspols/ftrstatement/freedomreadstatement).

                It is the responsibility of the professionally trained personnel employed by the library to select library materials for inclusion in the collection.


                Materials for purchase are considered on the following basis: timeliness, demand in the subject area, quality of the writing/production, popular appeal, authoritativeness, reputation of the publisher/producer, reputation and significance of the author/artist, composer/producer, etc., and the format and price of the material.

                Government Documents and gift materials shall be judged by the same standards and be accepted or rejected by those standards.

                Multiple copies of outstanding and/or much in demand materials are purchased as needed. Worn or missing items are replaced periodically. Out-of-date material or material no longer useful is withdrawn from the collection.


                In selecting materials for purchase, library staff will place principle above personal opinion, and reason above prejudice, to select materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection. Library staff will evaluate the existing collection, and using reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection tools, select library material to meet the demands and/or needs of the population the library serves.


                Despite the care given to the selection of materials, occasional objections may be raised by a library patron.

                In the event, a complaint about material in the library collection is made, the following procedure will be followed:

                1. The complaint will be heard by the Head of the Department responsible for selecting the material in question, i.e., the Children’s Department Head for children’s or young adult material; the Circulation Department Head for popular fiction; and the Reference Department Head for popular non-fiction, reference works, government documents, periodicals and other material in the general library. If the Head of the Department is not on duty at the time of the complaint, the complainant will be heard by the senior Reference staff member on duty. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response given, s/he may meet with the Department Head at the earliest time convenient to the complainant and the Department Head.

                2. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response given at the department level, s/he may fill out a “Request for Review of Library Materials" form. This will be given to the Director of the Library. The Director will respond to this request within 4 weeks of receiving it.

                3. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response from the Director, s/he may appeal, in writing, to the Board of Managers and the Trustees of the Bangor Public Library at its regularly scheduled meeting. The Board will have 3 months to respond. The decision of the Board of Managers and the Trustees of the Bangor Public Library is final.

                4. No materials shall be removed from public use during the complaint process.


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145 Harlow Street | Bangor, Maine 04401 | 207-947-8336 | info@bangorpubliclibrary.org