Materials Policy

The Garland Smith Public Library places major emphasis on informational, recreational and educational objectives. It recognizes the importance of basic materials of permanent value and timely materials on current issues. Materials shall be purchased in the formats that best suit patron needs.

The Garland Smith Public Library Board of Trustee, which was created by article 3 Section 3-1 of the Charter of the City of Marlow, Oklahoma, grants the library director the authority in purchasing, retention, and withdrawal of library materials.  As such, the library director shall be held responsible and answerable to the Library Board of Trustee for any selections made.


The Trustees of the Garland Smith Public Library support the Library Bill of Rights promulgated by the American Library Association, and it serves the basis for this policy and other lending policies of this library.  Choice of materials will result from a variety of professional activities on the part of the library director.

Reviews of new books from both professional journals and popular reviewing media form an important tool in the selection process.  Recommendations from the staff and the public are also welcome and evaluated within the framework of the acquisition process.

The library director has the final responsibility for the selection of all materials to be incorporated into the library’s collection, regardless of the mode of acquisition.  It is the director’s responsibility to provide materials that are of both current interest and permanent value, that are up-to-date, that are responsive to the interests and needs of every segment of the community and that do not discriminate against any political, religious, economic, or social view or group through deliberate exclusion of their views.  The director shall try to provide for a diversity of materials without exercising either direct or implied censorship.  The director shall be responsible for expending available funds in an equitable manner so that all divisions of the collection receive a just proportion of said funds.

Selection Criteria

All acquisitions, whether purchased or donated, are considered in terms of the standards listed below.  However, an item need not meet all the criteria in order to be acceptable. Materials are evaluated on the significance of the entire work rather than individual parts. When judging the quality of materials several standards and combinations of standards may be used.

The Garland Smith Public Library subscribes to the general principles stated in The Freedom to Read and the Library Bill of Rights statements endorsed by The American Library Association.

Because the Garland Smith Public Library recognizes its responsibility to provide access to all aspects of the human record, the widest possible variety of subjects and views are included in the collection. Cost, space, usefulness, demand, and interest of the community are considered.

The Garland Smith Public Library encourages suggestions and comments about the collection. They are important in helping decide what to acquire. Because the library follows accepted principles of freedom, it will not remove specific titles solely because individuals or groups may find them objectionable.

Children’s materials are to be selected based upon their literary and artistic merit, contribution to the balance of the total collection, and the suitability of their content and vocabulary to the age of the reader. Materials shall be sought which present an accurate, fair, and wholesome picture of the subject.

Textbooks are purchased only when information is not available in any other form. The goal of the public library is to supplement textbooks by providing materials that will help broaden interests stemming from the use of the textbook rather than the textbook itself.

Periodicals are purchased to supplement the book collection, provide recreational and professional reading, and/or provide material not yet available in book form.  Selection of periodicals shall be based upon their consideration as authoritative, objective, of local interest and demand, and indexed in standard periodical indexes.

All materials are shelved in age-appropriate sections and call numbers reflect each section. Material for children ages birth through early readers is in the section of the library marked “Easy” and each spine label begins with E. Material for middle grades through high school is located in    a section marked “Juvenile” and each spine label begins with a J.  Adult materials are shelved in specific adult areas.  The library is responsible for displaying material in the appropriate section.  Parents are encouraged to take an active role in the selection of materials for their children.  The library is not responsible for what children select.


Gifts to the library are appreciated. Gifts of money and materials are accepted with the understanding that the director shall evaluate the materials using the criteria set forth in the library policies and that said items become the property of the library. The library is under no obligation to replace these gifts if they become lost, damaged or worn, or to keep them after they have become obsolete or of no further value to the library.

Monetary gifts for books and/or equipment shall be accepted.  The director shall consult with the donor to insure, so far as possible, that the selections are mutually satisfactory and whenever possible compatible with the life interests of the donor or person being honored.  Gifts not designated for specific materials or equipment may be invested or retained for future use, depending upon the wishes of the donor.

Memorial books shall carry a special bookplate identifying the donor and the person in whose memory the gift is made. An acknowledgement shall be sent to the family of the person in whose name the book or item is given. Bookplates, identification plaques, or other appropriate recognition identifying the donor or person being honored may be displayed on items acquired through donations or grants.

Material gifts are accepted with the understanding that they shall be evaluated according to the material selection policy and may be added to the library’s collection, given to the Friends of the Library for sale, or discarded. Gifts of mass-market paperback books may be added to the collection of adult paperbacks. Because of their great popularity these books may be made available despite the fact that they may not meet the usual standards of literary quality used in buying materials for the library. These materials shall be shelved in the adult area of the library. Juvenile paperbacks shall be shelved in the juvenile area of the library.

The library prefers not to appraise gifts; however, the general estimated value of books is based on 1/3 of the original price if the book is in good condition and copyrighted within the last five (5) years.

Persons wishing to receive federal income tax deduction credit for gifts that are donated to the library must be responsible for counting or listing the items. The library staff shall not list or count or evaluate such gifts. However, the director shall sign a statement indicating the gift was received.

Collection Maintenance

To maintain the effectiveness of the library's total collection, the library shall attempt to systematically remove materials no longer useful. The library does not automatically replace all materials withdrawn because of loss, damage or wear. Need for replacement is weighed with regard to several factors: number of duplicate copies, existence of adequate coverage of a field, similar material in the collection, later or more authoritative material as well as current demand for the particular subject or title.


Patrons requesting that material in the collection be reconsidered must complete a "request for reconsider of material" form. The inquiry shall be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Garland Smith Public Library Board of Trustees. The board shall not act upon any inquiry unless the request form is completed and signed. Their decision shall be based upon this selection policy after due consideration of the report of the library director and the patron's inquiry.

The library recognizes that some materials may be controversial and that any given item may offend some patron. Selection or retention of materials shall not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval of any group of patrons, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy. Library materials shall not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their content, and no library material shall be sequestered, except to protect it from theft. Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians.