Material Selection Guidelines

  • School libraries exist to support and enhance the curriculum and to meet the interests and needs of students and staff. A balanced library collection provides materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues; reflects the diversity of people and ideas in American society and includes materials and resources in different formats that come from multiple publishers and producers.

    Librarians have a number of tools to use when considering acquisitions for their collections. These tools include professional magazines and journals, lists of award winners, curricular bibliographies, and vendor (print and online) catalogues. Requests from staff and students must also be taken into account. Using the criteria below will aid in developing balanced collections that satisfy the needs and wants of patrons.

    1. Relevance – Does the selection support both current and future curricular needs? Will it appeal to students?

    2. Scope and Content -- Does the selection provide the kind and the amount of information needed by students and staff members? Is it rigorous enough or too rigorous for students? What is the reading or Lexile level of the selection?

    3. Depth of Existing Collection – Does the selection simply duplicate what is already available? Would interlibrary loan sufficiently satisfy the need or desire for this item?

    4. Quality – What is known about the author, publisher, and producer? What is the lasting value of the item? Has it been favorably reviewed? Which awards has it won?

    5. Currency and Timeliness – Does the selection provide up-to-date information, particularly in the area of technology? Will it still be pertinent and useful next year?

    6. Price – Are there less expensive materials that will meet the same need or want? Will the selection’s projected use warrant its cost? Is it a “must-have” regardless of price?

    Selection criteria should be applied to any materials donated to the library. (See guidelines for donations, still in progress) If the materials came from a specific group or sponsor, the librarian will also want to consider the group or sponsor’s mission or point of view when determining which items to add to the collection. The same is true for materials offered at no charge or at drastically reduced costs.

    June 21, 2012

    Any member of the community may object to any instructional materials used in the schools.:
    Complaints from the community will be handled according to the Community Relations Guidelines in the Policy Manual of the Board of Education.