Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries


"The library is a growing organism"
S.R. Ranganathan (1931)


Home | Introduction
Why Do I Need a Policy? | Politics and Timing of Policy Creation | Selection Policies for Non-Public Institutions

Basic Components of a Selection Policy
Library Mission | Support for Intellectual Freedom | Objectives | Responsibility for Selection | Selection Criteria | Acquisitions Procedures | Special Collections | Selecting Controversial Materials | Gifts and Donations | Collection Maintenance and Weeding | Policy Revision | Reconsideration

Reconsideration Procedure
Guiding Principles | Statement of Policy | Informal Complaints | Request for Formal Reconsideration | Sample Reconsideration Form | Sample Letter to Complainant | Reconsideration Committees

Intellectual Freedom Core Documents | Challenge Support and Reporting Censorship | Bibliography of Additional Selection and Reconsideration Policy Resources


Thank you

Creation of this toolkit would have not been possible without the expertise and dedication of the numerous individuals who took the time to share their passion for intellectual freedom.
Thank you for your contributions to the development of the Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries

Helen R. Adams, Online Senior Lecturer, Antioch University-Seattle, Fremont, WI
Dr. April Dawkins, Assistant Professor, Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, NC
Jean Duncan McFarren, Deputy Director, Stark County District Library, Canton, OH
Lisa Errico, Associate Professor, Library Department, Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
Valerie Nye, Library Director, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, Chicago, IL
Kristin Whitehair, Director of Library Services, Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, MO

Endorsed by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee | January 2018


Assistance and Consultation

The staff of the Office for Intellectual Freedom is available to answer questions or provide assistance to librarians, trustees, educators and the public about selection and reconsideration policies. Areas of assistance include policy development, state laws, and professional ethics. Inquiries can be directed via email to or via phone at (312) 280-4226.

Updated January 2018 by ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom