Tok is the gateway to Alaska. It lies at the crossroads of the Alaska Highway and the Tok Cutoff/Glenn Highway. The Alaska Highway is the only all-season overland route between mainland Alaska and the contiguous 48 states. About 1500 people live in the community. It is the hub of the Upper Tanana Valley region with government, tourism, service, and trade. The district office of the Alaska Gateway School District is located in Tok, as well as a K-12 school with a school library, and there is a rural branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


This policy, developed by the library board and librarian, is to establish criteria for the selection, acquisition, and maintenance of library materials, and to inform the public and the library board members of such policy. It is a tool to help develop a collection which serves the needs and desires of the community. The policy will be reviewed at least every five years by the board and librarian.


The Tok Community library supplies free public library services for the community of Tok to access all types of information. We attempt to meet the recreational, cultural, educational, commercial, and informational reading needs of the community.
1. To assemble, preserve and administer, in organized collections, written, video, audio and electronic educational and recreational media.
2. To serve residents of Tok and the surrounding area and assist them in making effective use of library resources.
3. To seek continually to identify and meet community library needs.
4. To provide local history information about Tok and surrounding communities.

1. Obtain funding for the purchase or rental of library materials for all age groups of the community For all age groups we will attempt to have written, audio, video and electronic media in fiction, non-fiction, and Alaskana. Continue to maintain, preserve, and expand the Alaskana materials.
2. Teach and assist community members in using the library collection, SLED and the Internet for obtaining information and materials. Promote an interest in reading, becoming a patron of the library, and improving reading skills in children K-12 through a young patron reading program. The library participates in and draws upon resources made available through Inter Library Loans to supplement the local library collection.
3. Enlist community support through collection requests, funding, volunteers, and other in-kind donations. The Tok Community Library is entirely volunteer operated and relies upon community members working in and using the library for continued success of the library.
4. To earnestly seek and collect local history material even if the quality is not equal to the standards of the rest of the library's collection, preserving the heritage of our community and its people.


Tok Community Library recognizes that many materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. The library's function is to collect and make available diverse and opposing expressions of ideas and points of view which fairly represent all sides of controversial topics. The librarian selects materials which foster respect and understanding for a wide diversity of races, cultures, philosophies, religions and ideas. The Tok Community Library holds a neutral position, promotes no cause, furthers no movements, and favors no viewpoints. The selection of materials in no way constitutes an endorsement of any viewpoint or any author, publisher, editor, or producer. The Tok Community Library endorses the American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights" and "American Library Association Code of Ethics," which are included in this selection policy by reference. Responsibility for the choice of library materials (including use of the Internet) used by adult patrons rests with the individual. Responsibility for the choice of materials used by children and adolescents rests with their parents and legal guardians. While a person may reject materials for him/herself and for his/her children, he/she cannot exercise censorship or restrict access to the materials by others. Tok Community Library's web browser defaults to SLED. For adult users, access to materials via the Internet is the responsibility of the user; parents with concerns about materials which can be accessed via the Internet should supervise their minor children's Internet activities.


Tok Community Library will try to meet the needs of the community without duplicating resources available elsewhere in the local area. We will attempt to provide supplemental materials to help support other local agencies and organizations such as the Tok School and local branch of UAF. As a small volunteer-operated library with limited space and resources, it is important not to use that space or resources for materials readily available at other points in the community. Tok Community Library participates in the Inter-Library Loan program to supplement locally held materials and would be willing to loan materials to other libraries when our materials are entered into the ILL database.


Collections will be maintained according to the above selection criteria in the following areas. Adult fiction, all genres Adult non-fiction, all genres Children/Easy Readers fiction Children/Easy Readers non-fiction Junior fiction, all genres Junior non-fiction, all genres Alaska and local history materials Periodicals Non-print and media materials Access to Internet Preservation – The Tok Library collection contains some rare and out of print materials, particularly in the Alaskana collection. All reasonable efforts will be made to preserve and retain these materials and protect them from loss. In some cases, this will mean permitting patrons to use them only within the library and these materials may not be available for checkout.


Tok Community Library purchases materials in the following formats:
Hard cover books
Paperback books
Local/Regional newspaper subscriptions
Videos in DVD format
Books on CD or DVD
Adults' and children's Reference materials on CD ROM


Selection responsibility rests with the Librarian, following guidelines set by the Board. Requests for acquisition of collection materials by the community are encouraged. Requests are reviewed by the librarian for compliance with collection development policy and if compliant the item will be ordered.


Criteria for selection of books, media, periodicals, electronic, and Internet Resources:

BOOKS: Wilson's Catalogs will be used as the basis of selection for the core collection The core collection will be supplemented based on community needs and interests. Community interest is demonstrated by requests for material not presently available in the community, requests for Inter-Library Loans for the same materials, and circulation of materials in the collection. The library will also use Reviews available online through SLED and other sources.

AUDIO BOOKS: Selection criteria will be the same as for print.

VIDEOS: Collection will consist of educational, how-to, children’s, and classic entertainment. Selection of specific titles will be based on reviews from professional review sources with consideration paid to public interest. With respect to classic entertainment attention will be paid to the history of film.

PERIODICALS & NEWSPAPERS: All issues of local newspapers will be archived. Other periodical material will be added or removed based on patron or library use. Specific titles chosen will be based on the quality and thoroughness of publication content.

REFERENCE CD'S: Reference material chosen to be carried in the collection as opposed to accessed on line will be purchased in CD format where applicable, available and cost effective.

For all materials high priority will be given to developing the collection of local history materials. Due to lack of space, duplication of materials within the library is avoided.

Price alone will not be a selection criterion, but the Librarian will select the most economical and durable publication when making a purchase.


All library collections need continuous evaluation, upgrading and maintenance. We are continually rotating through the collections to perform maintenance and identify items which need to be removed, repaired, replaced, or upgraded. Evaluation is done using selection criteria, direct examination, circulation statistics, and ILL statistics. Acquisition date will be entered on each book received. Books acquired will be kept a minimum of four years from the date of acquisition or the last checkout. [approved at quarterly meeting 8/4/07] [Change in retention period approved at quarterly meeting 7/30/14.]


The Tok Community Library uses multiple forms of acquisition. These include bookstores which offer reduced prices to libraries, local discount stores, library vendors , and direct purchase from publishers. The Tok Community Library also accepts donated or gifted books which fit the collection criteria. The optimum criteria is to obtain a durable, usable product at an economical price.


Hardback books are selected over paperbacks when feasible. Because of the volunteer nature of the library, only simple repairs are attempted. Materials needing moderate or greater repairs which the library wishes to retain in the collection are replaced. For the very rare occasions when a hardback book has a damaged cover but the pages are in good condition and the book is no longer available for purchase it may be sent for rebinding. Items in the Alaskana collection which are no longer available for purchase are sent for rebinding. Magazines are kept on display for a period of up to two years as space allows. Weeding is the reverse of selection. Material which does not fit the selection criteria will be removed. The responsibility for weeding is the same as for selection of materials.


Tok Community Library actively encourages donations of money, books, library materials, and time. Gifts of collection items will be evaluated using the same collection criteria as other acquisitions. If an item duplicates an existing item and is in better condition, the existing item will be replaced by the gift. Items which are not retained are sold or donated to other agencies or organizations. Gifts of special collections that come with special conditions on how the gifts may be handled are accepted as long as the gift fits the collection criteria and the library is reasonably able, within the limitations of our operations, to accommodate the donor's special conditions. All cash donations go to the general fund unless the donor requests otherwise. Cash gifts designated for specific purposes will be accepted for equipment or collection items that meet the library's needs and selection criteria. Memorial donations or donations in someone's honor are identified by stamping the face of the equipment or on the title page of a book.


Complaints on library materials or programs will be handled in the following manner:

1. The head or assistant librarian will listen to the complaint from the patron in an informal and quiet manner, acknowledge the concern, then calmly explain how the material meets the collection development standards. This may be all that is needed.

2. If the patron is not satisfied with the informal discussion, a "Materials Selection Inquiry" form will be given to the patron to fill out and submit.

3. If the "Materials Selection Inquiry" is submitted, research will be conducted to see (1) if other libraries have the material, (2) if the material has been questioned in other libraries, (3) how other libraries have resolved the issue, and

4. if there is information about the material in library publications, catalogs, or reviews. After researching the material, the librarian will formulate a response to the current complaint/inquiry. Presence of the material in other library collections may be reason enough to retain the material. Failure of other libraries to provide the material is not by itself reason for the Tok library not to make the material available. If the patron is not satisfied with the recommendation from the Librarian, he/she may file a written appeal to the Tok Community Library Board. Utimate responsibility for retention, removal or restriction of the material in question rests with the Board.

5. The Tok Community Library Board of Directors will make determinations on such requests at a posted public meeting.

6. Appealed complaints will receive written notification of the Board decision.

7. If the patron has marked or vandalized the material in question or checked it out and fails to return it, the Library can ask for damage or replacement cost.

As adopted on 2-26-02 and revised on 10-1-03, 8-4-07, 10-20-11, and 7-30-14.