The Falls City Library

& Arts Center

1400 Stone Street              

Falls City, NE 68355                    Hours: Monday-Thursday:   10 AM-8 PM

402-245-2913                                          Friday:                     10 AM-5.30 PM

402-245-3031 fax                                  Saturday:               9 AM-Noon

Our Policy





The Library is supported by and recognizes as its primary clientele the residents of Falls City, Nebraska, and the surrounding area.  In order to most effectively meet the needs and interests of its patrons, the library gathers and analyzes information about the community on an ongoing basis.  The results of this research provide the library with information about the various and diverse groups within the area so that their needs and interests may be considered when selecting material.  In addition, knowledge of other readily available sources of information within the community enables the library to most effectively use its limited resources by avoiding unnecessary duplication.


The library welcomes suggestions from the public regarding the collection.




The Library is a dynamic resource that provides free access to information, materials, and services which anticipate and respond to the interests and concerns of all individuals within its community.  The Library Board and staff believe that this commitment translates into an active role in the community’s intellectual life: an opportunity to stimulate ideas, advance knowledge and enhance the quality of life in the area.


Material is selected in  various formats organized for easy access.  The staff provides reference and reader’s advisory services, programs, and exhibits, as well as displays and publications to assist people in the location and use of needed resources.


The final responsibility for material selected resides with the Library Director who operates within the framework of policies adopted by the Library Board.


Library materials are selected:


  • to ensure the right of the patrons to evaluate for themselves a broad range of ideas and concepts in appropriate formats and reading levels;


  • to provide the information needed by the residents to enhance personal and professional lives and to facilitate participation in the democratic process; to facilitate self-education of people in the community;


  • to enrich and extend interests which individuals have developed or may develop in the future;


  • to encourage reading, listening, and viewing as leisure activities.




Library materials are selected to meet the popular reading/recreational, educational, informational, and cultural needs of the community.  Each area in the library is developed on knowledge of the needs and interests of the community and its residents.  Selection of library material is a complex process which takes into consideration a number of factors.  These include the role of each area in the library and the availability of major information resources within the community and through information networks.


The following criteria provide a general framework within which selection takes place:


Material should contribute to the balance and variety of the Library’s collection as a whole in order to provide the greatest number of options to the library patrons.


Material should receive acceptable reviews in recognized review media or be favorably reviewed by the Library Director.  When reviews and/or review copies are unavailable, the decision to acquire materials is based upon other information sources such as interviews, author interest and reputation, media coverage, and/or the judgment of the director.


Material is evaluated with regard to artistic worth, originality of work, suitability of format, comprehension by the intended age level, and contribution to the total collection.


Non-fiction material is also evaluated with regard to authority, authenticity, accuracy and timeliness, logical and clear presentation of ideas, and local historical importance.


Material is selected to meet the needs and interest of the general public.  The library does not seek to duplicate research or special collections which are readily available, nor does it attempt to meet the textbook needs of students.


Material is selected in various formats to meet the needs of library patrons.  Magazines, newspapers, paperback books, pamphlets, maps, audiovisual materials, and computer software are examples of materials which present information in ways other than the traditional book format.  Materials other than books must also meet technical and quality standards based on the current state of the art.


Material is selected within the constraints imposed by availability, space, budget, and format limitations.


Material representing a single view of an issue will be considered for inclusion in the collection if it contributes to an understanding of the issue as a whole.


Materials which contain controversial passages are examined as a whole because the significance of an entire work often transcends isolated words, phrases, or incidents.  Many current works deal graphically with all aspects of life.


Complaints may be submitted in writing  to the Library Director who will respond in writing in ten (10) business days.  Further action may be presented at the next regular meeting of the Library Board on the first Wednesday of the month.




Material selected for young people meets the same selection criteria as other library materials.


The  Library Board endorses the belief that the parent or guardian is the only person who may restrict his/her child’s access to library material.  What may be acceptable to one parent may not be acceptable to another.  Therefore, a parent may not impose his/her restrictions on others. *


The Library staff follows the motion picture rating guide and check out “R” rated materials to those over the age of seventeen. 


* Please, refer to Children’s Internet Protection Act: Page 6, E. item 9. 11/05/20




Freedom of communication is vital to preserving a free society.  Accordingly, the Falls City Library & Arts Center Materials Selection Policy mandates choosing of books and other library materials based on values of interest, information, and enlightenment for all people of the community; no materials shall be excluded because of the race or nationality or the social, political, or religious views of its authors.  The library will consider patron objections to materials in its collection only when the objections are submitted in writing on the approved form (Appendix).  However, the Falls City  Library & Arts Center declares as a matter of policy that no challenged material which conforms to this Materials Selection Policy shall be removed from the library, except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.


To ensure the right of the patrons of the library to have access to a broad range of ideas and concepts, the Library Board endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement except where superceded by specific library policies and procedures. (Appendix)




A Joint Statement by: American Library Association & Association of American Publishers.

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy.  It is continuously under attack.  Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove books from sale, to censor textbooks, to label “controversial” books, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries.  These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals.  We, as citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.


We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression.  Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgement, will accept the good and reject the bad.  The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow-citizens.


We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject it.  We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task.  We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them.  We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.


We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression.  We are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, films, radio and television.  The problem is not only one of actual censorship.  The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.


Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of uneasy change and pervading fear.  Especially when so many of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against it as a hostile deed, with suppression.


And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension.  Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain.  Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with stress.


Now as always in our history, books are among our greatest instruments of freedom.  They are almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience.  They are the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth.  They are essential to the extended discussion which serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.


We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture.  We believe that these pressures towards conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend.  We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read.  We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.


The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution.  Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.


We therefore affirm these propositions:


 1.  It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expression, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.


Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different.  The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested.  Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept which challenges the established orthodoxy.  The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. 


To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process.  Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these.  We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.


2.  Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available.  It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views  as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.


Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning.  They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought.  The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church.  It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.


3.  It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.


A book should be judged as a book.  No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators.  No society of free people can flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.


4.  There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.


To some, such modern literature is shocking.  But is not much of life itself shocking?  We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life.  Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn  to think critically for themselves.  These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.


5.  It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgement of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.


The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen.  It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine.  But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.


6.  It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.


It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group.  In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members.  But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society.  Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.


7.  It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression.  By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.


The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the trivial; it is frustrated when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose.  What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said.  Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth.  The defense of their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their service to society, requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.


We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations.  We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of books.  We do so because we believe that they are good, possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free.  We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons.  We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant.  We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society.  Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.


This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.


Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.




The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment, to the Constitution of the United States.  In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression.  Therefore these principles are affirmed:


1.  To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas.  Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.


2.  To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.


3.  To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views of expression.  Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of content.


4.  To provide a diversity of viewpoints without constraints of labeling or prejudging film, video or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or film maker or on the basis of controversial content.


5.  To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.


This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979.  This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.




The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.


I.  Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of  the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.


II.  Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.  Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.


III.  Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.


IV.  Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.


V.  A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.


VI.  Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.


Adopted June 18, 1948.

Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,

inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council



Federal, state, and local law sources:

American Library Association:, see section 11 as it pertains to public libraries.

Falls City Municipal Code


“The staff is always so friendly, and the size of collection for such a small town is unbelievable.”

Jordie, Falls City, NE

“I feel like the library is consistently sponsoring events and programs for our youth. They surpass all expectations for a small town library."

Matt, Falls City, NE

"Falls City got pretty lucky to get such a beautiful library.”

Theresa, Auburn, NE