Material Evaluation Policy


Intellectual freedom is a core value of King County Library System (KCLS). While we support the inclusion of a wide selection of materials to meet the diverse and varied interests of our communities, we recognize the individual’s right to express concerns about materials in our system. This policy and procedure affirm that right and outlines the process.

Statement of Policy

KCLS fully endorses the principles documented in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement:

“As members of a profession committed to free and equitable access to information and the pursuit of truth, we stand firm in opposing any effort to suppress knowledge, to label ‘controversial’ views, or dictate what is orthodox in history, politics, or belief."

The Board delegates authority of operations to the Executive Director including the selection of materials. The Executive Director may in turn delegate this function to qualified library staff members.

Materials available in KCLS libraries present a diversity of viewpoints. Diverse viewpoints enable our communitiesto make the informed choices necessary in a democracy. Our communities have diverse and varied interests. KCLS selects a wide variety of materials to meet those interests. Individuals have the right to access lawful resources even if the resources are controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some. The presence of materials in the KCLS collection does not indicate endorsement of the contents. Parents or guardians have the right to guide the reading, viewing, and listening of their children.

A patron has the right to express their concerns about library materials. The Material Evaluation Process is a means by which those concerns can be heard.

Patrons who have a concern about a library material may bring that concern to their local community library staff. If the concern can’t be fully resolved through that conversation, the library manager will provide the patron with a Material Evaluation Packet. The patron’s completed Material Evaluation form will be submitted to the Regional Manager for review. If the patron chooses to elevate their concern further, the Regional Manager will send the evaluation form to the Material Evaluation Committee.

The Material Evaluation Committee is a subcommittee of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. Membership is outlined in the Material Evaluation Procedure. The Material Evaluation Committee will review the title to verify if it meets Selection Philosophy, Selection Criteria, and is in the appropriate shelf location. The results will be communicated to the patron. If the patron wishes to appeal the Material Evaluation Committee decision, the appeal will be reviewed by the Executive Director to whom the Board of Trustees has delegated operations authority.

Items will remain in circulation during the material evaluation process.


Material Evaluation Committee: A subcommittee of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. Hears patrons concerns regarding titles currently in the KCLS collection.

Materials: Books, DVDs, audiobooks and other formats of titles in the KCLS collection.


Policy Owner(s): Director of Collection Management Services, Intellectual Freedom Committee

Last revised: January 2023

See Also

Policy Owner(s): Director of Collection Management Services, Intellectual Freedom Committee

Last revised: January 2023

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