Any library material selected in accordance with this policy shall be held to be selected by the Board of Library Trustees.

I. Library Objective

The overall objective of the public library is to provide library resources and services necessary to meet the educational, recreational, and informational needs of the public.

This Materials Selection Policy serves as a guide for library staff to grow and manage the library’s collection with respect to purchasing and to withdrawing materials. It assures that our customers will have access to materials which:

  • Enhance individuals’ ability to participate in their community by reflecting on and examining the diverse world in which we live;
  • Support the needs and continuing education of diverse populations including children, youth, older adults, non-English-speaking populations, adults learning to read and those with varying abilities;
  • Illuminate the past, explain the present and anticipate the future;
  • Spark imagination, support creativity and enhance leisure activities.

II. Responsibility for Selection

Final authority for the determination of the policies in this document is vested in the library’s Board of Trustees. The authority for the selection of library materials is delegated by the Board to the Calvert Library Executive Director, and under their direction, to the staff members who are qualified for this activity by reason of education, training, and experience.

Advice of specialists in the community may be requested in fields in which the selector does not have sufficient expertise. Suggestions from the community are welcome and are given serious consideration within the general criteria for selection. The final decision for purchase rests with the library.

III. Criteria for Selection

The evaluation of materials is characterized by flexibility and a responsiveness to the changing needs of the residents of Calvert County. Materials are evaluated as a whole and not on the basis of a particular passage or passages. A work will not be excluded from the library’s collection because it presents an aspect of life honestly or because of frankness of expression. Selection will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may inadvertently come into the possession of children and adolescents. Materials selected primarily for children and adolescents will be marked accordingly.

General Criteria for Selection (materials selected will meet one or more of these criteria):

  • Availability and suitability of the material’s format.
  • Suitability of the subject, style, and reading level for the intended audience.
  • Recommendation by professionally recognized reviewing tools.
  • Recognition for major professional awards.
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, or producer.
  • Quality of design and illustration.
  • Relevance to the present and potential needs of the community.
  • Local interest or community value
  • Demand for the material.
  • Relationship to existing materials in the collection on the same subject.
  • Availability and accessibility of the same material in the State Library Network.

Purchase of those materials that meet one or more of the above criteria may be limited due to budget constraints.

IV. Collection Maintenance


The weeding process is selection in reverse. The systematic withdrawal of materials which are no longer useful in maintaining an active, accurate, current collection is necessary. Library materials are discarded for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Irreparably damaged or worn out
  • Outdated information
  • Insufficient use
  • Lack of space available for housing materials


Lost, damaged and worn-out materials are considered for replacement based on the following factors:

  • Existence of adequate coverage of the subject in the library collection
  • Public demand for the specific title
  • Availability of the specific title


Donations of books and other materials in good condition are accepted with the understanding that they may be used in the collection, sold in a book sale to raise money for the library, re-distributed in the community or disposed of according to the needs of the library. New titles acquired in this manner are subject to the basic standards of selection. Replacements and duplicate copies are added to the collection if needed. The library does not provide evaluations of donations for tax deduction or other purposes.

V. Materials Reconsideration

It is the goal of Calvert Library to provide a diverse, multifaceted collection representing a variety of viewpoints to allow all residents the freedom to read, listen and view as they see fit. Where there are differing opinions or theories, the library will provide materials on all view points if they conform to the general criteria for selection. No material will be excluded because of the race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, language or political views of the creator of the material or the characters therein. The library recognizes the diversity of community needs and interests and that the choice of library materials by a user is an individual matter. While one person may reject materials for themselves, they cannot exercise censorship to restrict access to materials by others. Responsibility for the reading of children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians.

Once an item has been accepted as qualifying under the selection policies and criteria, it will not be removed at the request of those who disagree with it, except through the Material Selection Reconsideration Procedure or under the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

VI. Intellectual Freedom Endorsements

In approving this policy the Board of Library Trustees of Calvert County has taken into favorable consideration the following statements from professional organizations regarding Intellectual Freedom as appended to this policy.

Freedom to Read
Freedom to View
The Library Bill of Rights
Resolution 1981 – 32 of Maryland State Board of Education

Approved by Board of Library Trustees: May 18, 1982
Reaffirmed:  February 15, 1995
Updated: September 12, 2017
Revised October 17, 2023