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Back to Index | Relevant Policy - 9.23 Library Materials Selection and Adoption
9.23.P.1 Library Materials Selection and Adoption
The following standards shall be used in the selection of library books and materials:
  • Materials that widen the boundaries of the students' thinking, that enrich their lives and help them fulfill their recreational and emotional needs.
  • Materials that have imaginative appeal and a style that is interesting and free from monotony.
  • Materials that stimulate the imagination, provide for mental growth, develop a taste for good writing, and draw attention to the beautiful and artistic.
  • Books that provide pleasurable reading for the reader's sake.
  • Books that are illustrated in a manner that complements the text, have quality art, and are suitable for the intended readers.
  • Materials that adequately cover a wide range of reading ability.

Responsibility for Selection of Materials
Responsibility for the selection of instructional materials is delegated to the professionally trained personnel employed by the school system.

Selection of materials involves many staff members, such as principals, teachers, supervisors, and library media specialists.  The responsibility for coordinating the selection of instructional materials and making the recommendation for purchase rests with the professionally trained personnel.

Criteria for Selection of Instructional Materials
Needs of the individual school should be based on knowledge of the curriculum and of the existing collection of materials.

Materials for purchase are considered on the basis of:
  • Overall purpose.
  • Timeliness or performance.
  • Importance of the subject matter.
  • Quality of the writing/production.
  • Readability and popular appeal.
  • Authoritativeness.
  • Reputation of the publisher/producer.
  • Reputation and significance of the author/artist/composer/producer, etc.
  • Format and price.

Requests from faculty members and students are given high priority by librarians/media specialists, with final selection by the administration.

Procedures  for  Selection
In selecting materials for purchase, the librarian/media specialist evaluates the existing collection and consults reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aides and specialists from all departments and/or all grade levels, as applicable.  In specific areas the librarian/media specialist follows these procedures:
  • Gift materials are judged by basic selection standards and are accepted or rejected by these standards.
  • Multiple items of high-usage media are purchased as needed.
  • Out-of-date of no-longer-useful materials are withdrawn from the collection.
  • Materials acquired by subscription are examined carefully and purchased only to fill a definite need.

Removal  of  Materials
Review of school library collections and proper culling of collections can keep collections aligned to standards, accurate in information and can give the library a reputation for reliability.

Responsibility for the culling and removal of library materials is delegated to the professionally trained personnel employed by the school system. The individuals who conduct the culling of the collection are those who have a thorough understanding of the school's curriculum and of existing collections. Other qualities needed are an adequate background in literature, knowledge about the characteristics of a good book, an understanding of the interests, needs, and abilities of the age group served, and a background of information about the community and other resources available. The responsibility for coordinating the culling of instructional materials and making the recommendation for removal rests with the professionally trained personnel. 

Criteria for removal of library materials:
  • Needs of the individual school should be based on knowledge of the curriculum and of the existing collection of materials. 
  • Materials for removal are considered on the basis of:  
    • Worn out physically
    • Yellowed and brittle with age
    • No longer aligned to District curriculum or support the goals of the District
    • Containing factually inaccurate information
    • Seldom circulated
    • Outdated
    • Replaced by newer or better materials

Books that support the curriculum but are worn out are not discarded until the title can be replaced with current or better material. A complete culling should occur every three (3) or four (4) years.
The District is required by law to maximize use of all assets and, when it has no further use for them, maximize returns on the sale of the materials. The District is not allowed to give surplus property away. The Fixed Assets Department is the only department which is authorized to dispose of surplus property upon completion of the following steps:
  • Required information is entered on Surplus Form: School/Unit, Department, Name, Building, Room, Date, Tag or Serial Number, Total, Description and Reason for Disposal.
  • Signatures are required from authorized personnel (Principal or Department Head) to release surplus from a campus. 
  • A completed Surplus Form is submitted to the Fixed Assets Department. 
  • Items are gathered into one area. Large amounts of items need to be palletized and shrink wrapped.
  • Once a Surplus Form is approved, the school will be authorized to arrange pickup of the items.

When the suitability of library materials is questioned, the following procedure(s) shall be followed:  During the review, materials in question may remain in use.  Parents/guardians who have lodged a complaint shall be granted the option of having their children excused from using the challenged materials.

Level 1 – Administrator/Complainant Meeting
The administrator shall solicit background information about the questioned materials from the teacher and/or library media specialist.

The administrator shall meet with the complainant and shall endeavor to resolve the problem.  If the administrator and the complainant reach agreement the material is appropriate and shall remain in use, no other action is necessary.  

If the matter remains unresolved and no agreement can be reached, or if the school administrator agrees with the complainant the material may be inappropriate and may need to be removed, the complainant shall complete the Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Library Material and the matter moves to Level 2.  

Level 2 – Library Advisory Committee
Upon receipt of the completed form, the principal shall forward the review to the Director of Curriculum and request a review of the challenged material by the District’s library advisory committee within fifteen (15) working days and notify the Assistant Superintendent for Education Services that such review is being conducted.  This committee shall consist of a District administrator, a representative of District library personnel, and representatives of a classroom teacher and a parent.  One (1) or more students may also be included, at the discretion of the administrator.
  • The committee shall take the following steps:
    • Read, view, or listen to the material in its entirety.
    • Check general acceptance of the material by reading reviews and consulting recommended lists.
    • Determine the extent to which the material supports the District’s learning goals.
    • Judge the material for its strength and value as a whole, and not in part.
    • Present a written recommendation of the committee to the Assistant Superintendent of Education Services.

The Assistant Superintendent shall review the committee’s recommendation and render a written decision.  The complainant may appeal this decision to the Superintendent.

Level 3 – Superintendent Review
The Superintendent shall review the appeal and the decision of the Assistant Superintendent, along with all relevant background material.  The Superintendent shall make the final decision and inform the Governing Board of the decision that has been rendered.  

Challenged materials will be retained or withdrawn from the collection of the library, at the decision of the Superintendent.  During the period of review, the challenged material will remain in the collection.