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Materials Selection Policy


OC Public Libraries’ fundamental responsibility is to provide materials that satisfy the information needs and interests of the clientele it serves. The library selects materials to reflect the wide diversity that exists within the County, including government documents and world languages.


OC Public Libraries has an obligation to create an environment in which all individuals have the freedom to explore ideas without judgment or censure. This includes providing materials that represent diverse points of view, including political, social and religious opinions that some may consider controversial or objectionable. Each library user has the right to determine what they and their children will read, view, and listen to. 


The Library selects a wide variety of materials in various formats to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the public.  Qualitative selection standards have been developed to ensure that the best and most useful materials are selected. Materials evaluators read professional review sources and selection guides to select material. Selection criteria also include whether the information is appropriately handled for the age of the intended audience, availability of the material elsewhere, reputation of the author and popular demand. Recommendations from library users must meet selection guidelines.

Materials selected for inclusion in OC Public Libraries collection are considered constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. OC Public Libraries supports the Library Bill of Rights as adopted by the American Library Association.


The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services. 

1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.  Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.  Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

6. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

7.  All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.


Adopted June 18, 1948.

Amended February 2, 1961; June 28, 1967; and January 23, 1980,

inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.