Materials Selection

The Shorewood Public Library is a community supported facility dedicated to serving the needs of Village residents. Its principal roles are to be a popular materials library, a preschooler's door to learning and a personal reference resource. It has limited roles as a community information center, an education support center and a community activities support center.

The library is a member of the Milwaukee County Federated System (MCFLS) and through it has access to the collections of all public libraries in Milwaukee County and to the reference and research facilities of the Milwaukee Public Library.

The library is professionally directed and staffed. It is committed to a standard of excellence in serving the residents of Shorewood.

The Shorewood Public Library does not discriminate in the selection and evaluation of library materials on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability or handicap. It strives to maintain a collection presenting a wide variety of materials expressing the spectrum of tastes and viewpoints of interest to its' public. The Shorewood Public Library endorses the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights.

The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for children's use of library materials rests with their parents or legal guardians.



A. The Shorewood Library Board is legally responsible for all matters relating to the operation of the library. It delegates the responsibility for selection of library materials to the appropriate librarian* as assigned by the Library Director. This responsibility may be further delegated under direct supervision to other members of the library staff who shall have professional training in library science and at least two years experience in a public library setting.

B. The librarians welcome recommendations from users and staff members. The final responsibility for the selection decision will rest with the librarians.


A. Library users shall be provided access to a current and balanced collection of books, basic reference materials, periodicals and audiovisual materials which depict in an accurate and unbiased way the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of American society.

B. These general criteria are to be taken into account for all materials selected for the Shorewood Public Library. All items selected will meet the majority of  criteria.

  • Complementary value to existing collection.
  • Social significance and timeliness of subject matter.
  • Quality of writing, readability or popular appeal.
  • Special consideration may be given to works with a regional Connection e.g., local author, composer, artist or setting.   
  • Physical format, appearance and durability.
  • Authoritativeness - acceptable technical quality with adequate documentation.
  • Reputation and significance of author, artist, composer or producer.
  • Reputation of publisher/producer.
  • Availability of work through other library source (e.g., MCFLS).
  • Cost, space, and budget considerations.

* "Librarian includes the Adult Services Librarian and the Children's Services Librarian but not the Library Director."

C.  While a particular item may offend some patrons, selection of materials will not be based upon any anticipated approval or disapproval, but rather on the merits of the material and its value to the collection and to the diverse interests of patrons.         

D. The Shorewood Public Library will not acquire textbooks available elsewhere and/or other curricular-related materials unless such materials also serve the general public or unless the information in such materials is not otherwise available.


A. During the selection process, the librarians will evaluate the existing collection and assess community informational and recreational needs. Reputable, professionally prepared selection tools and other appropriate sources will be consulted.

B. The library accepts gifts with the understanding that only those which meet regular selection criteria will be added to the collection (See Gift Policy).

C. Selection is an on-going process which includes the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials.


A. When objections to selection are made, the complainant is asked to contact librarian responsible for selection.

If after the librarian has discussed the matter with the complainant informally, no resolution to the problem of the challenged material has been made, the librarian will ask the complainant to fill out the Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Library Material. The librarian shall provide the form and a copy of the Materials Selection Policy. Completed forms should be returned to the Library Director.

During this challenge process the material shall remain in its usual location.

B. Following receipt of the written complaint the Library Review Committee will be convened within fourteen days and will consist of:

  • A librarian not responsible for selection.

  • Library Director

  • By designation of the Library Director, a member of the library staff under direct supervision of a librarian who shall have professional training in library science and have at least two years experience in a public library setting.

C. Within a period of forty-five (45) days following the filing of the written objections the Library Review Committee using the Materials Selection Policy will:

  • Read and examine the materials to which objection has been made.

  • Check the general acceptance of the materials by reading reviews.

  • Hear the original selector.

  • Meet to discuss the material. Evaluate the material objected to, and form an opinion based on the material as a whole. The Library Review Committee will decide that either the material should remain or be removed from the collection.      

  • Report the action of the committee to the complainant and the Library Board.

  • Any appeal of the Library Review Committee's decision should be in writing and forwarded to the Library Board through the Director. 

E. Within 45 days of receiving the Notice of Appeal, the Library Board shall review the complaint, the action taken by the Library Review Committee and determine by motion whether to proceed further or place the matter on file. The complainant shall be notified of the review date and any action taken.

Download the Materials Selection & Reconsideration Policy

Download a Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Library Material Form