The Library Mission

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

Each type of library — public, school, and academic — should have a central, guiding mission statement that defines the library’s purpose and describes who the library serves. Additionally, the mission statement may be expanded to include a vision statement that clearly identifies what the library would be if the mission statement was achieved and a list of values, commitments, or goals that would help the library achieve its mission statement. At the minimum, a mission statement is needed to provide guidance for all efforts of the library.


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

Updated January 2018 by ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom