The objective of this document is to describe the policies and procedures for the evaluation and selection of Learning Resource Center materials. Information in this policy is intended to supplement the district’s Instructional Materials and Resources policy (Series 7000, paragraphs 7201, 7202, and 7203) in the Community High School District 94 Policy Manual.
The Board of Education describes the purpose of the Learning Resource Collection as follows:
The Board of Education of District #94 believes that the availability of a carefully selected and widely varied collection of supplementary materials enhances students' opportunity to acquire knowledge, to learn how to learn, and to learn for self-cultivation. Therefore, the Board shall attempt to provide a well-balanced learning resource center collection for general use… (CHSD #94 Policy manual, Series 7000, Paragraph 7203)
Definition – For the purpose of this policy, supplementary materials shall be defined as any instructional materials other than textbooks…including, but not limited to books, periodicals, newspapers, press cuttings, pictures, diagrams, maps, charts, photocopies and microforms, slides, filmstrips, film loops, films, records, audio tapes, videotapes, and computer programs.
- The school board assumes legal responsibility for the selection of materials in the Learning Resource Center (¶ 7202)
- The selection of materials for the Learning Resource Center is the responsibility of the Learning Resource Center Director…The approval of all such selections is the responsibility of the Principal. (¶ 7203)
- The selection process involves the opportunity for input from administrators, faculty, supervisors, and students. Selection is based upon evaluation
--by the professional library staff
--in professional library tools and other review media
--by other responsible professionals
- In selecting materials library staff, administrators, and faculty are guided by the principles incorporated in the School Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and standards adopted by the American Association of School Librarians
- The collection will be developed systematically, ensuring a well-balanced coverage of subjects, opinions, and formats and a wide range of materials on various levels of difficulty supporting the diverse interests, needs, and viewpoints of the school community.
III. Statement of selection policy and procedures
A. Criteria for selection
The district requires that all supplementary materials purchased for the district should be selected on the basis of their contribution to the attainment of the following goals:
- To provide materials that will enrich and support the district’s curricula, taking into consideration the maturity levels, abilities, and varied interests of the students served
- To provide materials that will stimulate knowledge, growth, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, ethical standards, and leisure-time reading.
- To provide information that can help students make intelligent judgments.
- To provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that students may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical reading and thinking.
- To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups that have contributed to the American heritage.
- In addition, the Learning Resource Center staff employs additional guidelines:
- In addition to the criteria already mentioned, the content will be selected according to the following criteria (adapted from policy series 7000, ¶ 7203).
--Authority – The qualifications, reputation and significance of the author, publisher or creator shall be taken into account.
--Accuracy and Authenticity – The content should be valid, reliable, complete and current.
--Whole vs. part – Each item should be considered from a perspective, looking at the work as a whole and judging controversial elements in context rather than as isolated parts.
--Quality of Writing/Production – Materials should have aesthetics, literary, and social value.
--Technical and Physical Qualities – Each type of material must be considered in terms of quality for its format in such matters as binding, illustrations, quality of paper, size of type, or audio or visual reproduction.
--Cost – Value should be commensurate with cost and/or need.
- Resource sharing will be considered in purchasing decisions. Materials may be purchased or not purchased based on networking and collaborative relationships with other area collections and depending upon extent of need.
- Materials will be purchased in a variety of formats with efforts made to incorporate emerging technology when they meet the criteria outlined above.
- Gift materials will be evaluated by the criteria outlined above and shall be accepted or rejected in accordance with those criteria.
B. Procedures for selection
The LRC professional staff, in conjunction with teachers and administrators will be responsible for the selection of materials. In coordinating this process, the school library media specialists will do the following:
- Arrange, when possible, for firsthand examination of items to be purchased.
- Use reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aids when firsthand examination of materials is not possible. Among the sources to be consulted are ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults; NYPL’s: Books for the Teen Age; The Best High/Low Books for Reluctant Readers; ALA’s Quick Picks for Young Adults; Booklist; Criticas; Knowledge Quest; New York Time Book Review; School Library Journal; Senior High School Library Catalog; Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA); Other sources as appropriate
- Consider recommendations from faculty, students, and parents.
- Judge gift items by standard selection criteria and, upon acceptance of such items, reserve the right to incorporate into the collection only those meeting the above criteria.
- Purchase duplicates of extensively used material.
- Purchase replacements for worn, damaged, or missing materials basic to the collection.
- Determine a procedure for preventative maintenance and repair of material.
The collection of the library information center will be continually reevaluated in relation to evolving curriculum, new formats of materials, new instructional methods, and the current needs of its users. Materials no longer appropriate should be removed. Lost and worn materials of lasting value should be replaced or repaired. Weeding is essential to maintaining a relevant, attractive collection.
Materials considered for weeding should include items
- in poor physical condition
--containing obsolete subject matter
--no longer needed to support the curriculum or student/faculty interests
--superseded by more current information
--containing inaccurate information
--that have not circulated for 5-10 years or another appropriate time span as determined by the professional Learning Resource Center staff.
- The professional staff shall engage in informal and formal weeding procedures during the school year.
--Informal weeding involves evaluating materials on an ongoing basis; for examples as items are checked out or are returned. This type of weeding ensures that items that are, after a cursory inspection, in obvious need of repair or reconsideration are dealt with in a timely manner.
--Formal weeding is a planned process not superseded by informal weeding. The scheduling and process for formal weeding shall be determined as needed during a specific period of time during the school year.
- Formal weeding procedures shall include, but are not limited to, the following guidelines:
--Each section of the Learning Resource Center collection (e.g. call number ranges) will be weeded on a rotating basis in order to ensure that all parts of the collection are updated in a timely manner.
--When appropriate, staff and students will be enlisted to evaluate specific items or parts of the collections for quality and relevance.
--The professional staff shall develop specific schedules and procedures for weeding with final approval by the Learning Resource Center Director.
- Discarding of materials: When it is necessary to remove an item from the collection because it is no longer relevant or in poor physical condition, the professional staff will decide whether to offer the materials to interested staff or students or to dispose the items.
--The decision to offer weeded materials to students and staff will be based on the professional judgement of the Learning Resource Center staff. The staff member shall consider the possible interest and relevance of the item to the possibly interested parties.
--A decision to permanently dispose of the item will also be based on the professional judgement of the professional staff. If the item is no longer considered usable or relevant, the LRC staff will follow the current guidelines set by the district for discarding instructional materials.
IV. Procedure for reconsideration of challenged materials
1. The district allows community residents to inspect materials if there is a concern about the appropriateness of materials for the Learning Resource Center collection.
The Learning Resource Center staff shall keep an accurate catalog of all materials in the Learning Resource Center, and the Superintendent shall maintain an accurate listing of all supplementary materials housed in the various departments of the school. These listings, or a copy of the any supplementary material currently in use, shall be available for inspection by any resident of Community High School District 94; however, any such inspection shall be on an appointment basis. (policy series 7000, ¶ 7203).
Any resident of District 94 shall have the right to file a complaint regarding a textbook to which s/he objects. The complaint shall be filed in writing on a form provided by the District. The procedure for processing such complaints shall be as follows:
- The complaint shall be filed with the Principal who shall review the complaint, meet with the appropriate Department Chair/members, and render a decision regarding the complaint within fifteen (15) calendar days after the date on which the complaint was filed. The Principal, after consultation with the Superintendent shall have the authority to withdraw, temporarily, a textbook from use when, in his/her judgment, such action is in the best interest of the School District.
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the Principal's decision, s/he may request that the complaint be reviewed by a Textbook or Materials Review Committee as provided for in paragraph 4 below. Such a request may also be initiated by the Principal and/or the Superintendent.
- If the Principal, with the concurrence of the Superintendent, temporarily removes a textbook from use, the Principal's action shall automatically be reviewed by a Textbook or Materials Review Committee as provided for in paragraph 4 below.
- A Textbook or Materials Review Committee shall be recommended by the Superintendent and approved by the Board of Education within thirty-one (31) calendar days after the date on which the request for such review is received from a complainant or the date on which the Principal and the Superintendent temporarily removes a textbook from use, whichever the case may be, for the purpose of reviewing the action taken regarding a complaint concerning a textbook. The Textbook or Materials Review Committee shall be composed of two (2) members of the Board of Education; two (2) parents of Community High School District 94 students; the Principal, one (1) chairperson of a department other than the department in which the textbook in question is used; and one (1) teacher from a department other than the department in which the textbook in question is used. The Textbook or Materials Review Committee shall review the action taken and shall make a recommendation, in writing, to the Board of Education regarding said action within thirty-one (31) calendar days after the date on which the Committee is appointed by the Board. During the course of a Textbook or Materials Review Committee's review of the action taken regarding a complaint, the complainant shall have the opportunity to appear in support of the complaint, the chairperson of the department in which the textbook is used and the teachers who use the textbook shall have the opportunity to present their rationale for using the text, and the Committee may solicit and/or accept information, evidence, or testimony from such other persons or sources as the Committee deems advisable.
- The Board of Education shall review and act upon the recommendation from the Textbook Review Committee within thirty-one (31) calendar days after the date on which the recommendation is received in the School District office. (from policy series 7000, ¶ 7202).