Material selection shall be a continuing process in which curricular requests from administrators, teachers and students are taken into consideration. The library media specialist, as a trained professional, will evaluate the existing collection and the curriculum needs of the school and will be responsible for the final selection of materials.
The library media specialist shall consult, but not be restricted to, the following recommended list of reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared print and non-print selection aids when choosing materials for the school library.
- Bibliographies (latest edition available, including supplements):
- Children’s Catalog
- Guide to Reference Books for School Media Centers
- Elementary/Junior High/Senior High School Library Catalog
- Magazines for Young People
- Other special bibliographies, many of which have been prepared by educational organizations for particular subject matters.
- Current Reviewing Media:
- The Book Report
- Booklist and Subscription Books Bulletin
- Horn Book
- Library Journal
- Media and Methods
- School Library Journal
- Science Books & Films
- Wilson Library Bulletin
- Other professional magazines and current periodicals
Material selection is an ongoing process that includes the removal of materials that no longer meet the selection criteria and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value. Thus, books and other materials will be retained or withdrawn with the same care with which they are added. Materials no longer factually accurate or useful, works in little demand, and books in poor condition that do not warrant reordering will make space for new titles.
The process of de-selection (weeding) is an integral part of assessing the collection and therefore should be conducted only by a certified library media specialist. It helps keep collections relevant, accurate, and useful; and it facilitates more effective use of space in the library media center.
Library media materials may be de-selected if they:
- Are in poor physical condition;
- Have not been circulated in the last five years;
- Are outdated in content, use, or accuracy (Copyright date should be considered. Some older material may be considered classic or may be of great historical value to the collection.)
- Are mediocre or poor in quality;
- Are inappropriate in reading level;
- Duplicate information that is no longer in heavy demand;
- Are superseded by new or revised information;
- Are outdated and unattractive format, design, graphics, and illustrations;
- Contain information that is inaccessible due to lack of table of contents, adequate indexing, and searching capabilities
- Were not selected in accordance with approved selection criteria
Although the final decision to withdraw materials from the library media collection is one which is made by the library media specialist, school faculty, the building principal and the Director of Libraries may be invited to review the items marked for withdrawal. Withdrawn materials will be transferred to another school if needed, donated where appropriate or discarded when necessary.
Procedure for Re-consideration
Occasionally objections to a selection are made by someone in the school or larger community in spite of the care exercised by all professional staff members involved in the selection process. No material in question shall be removed from circulation until a final decision has been made. Once a complaint is made the procedures are as follows:
- Anyone wishing to challenge the placement of material in the school library forwards to the school principal a completed WPS Request for Reconsideration of School Library Media Materials form available upon request to the Director of Libraries.
- The building principal will notify the superintendent, the Director of Libraries and the library media specialist;
- Within five school days of the receipt of a completed WPS Request for Reconsideration of School Library Media Materials form the school principal appoints a committee to reevaluate the material in question.
- The Committee will:
- Include, but not be limited to, at least one teacher from the school, at least one parent/legal guardian of a student in the school and a certified school library professional from the school system, the school principal, the Director of Curriculum and the Director of Libraries.
- Have read, listened to, or viewed the material in its entirety prior to discussion.
- Evaluate the material in the light of the WPS Library Media Selection Policy.
- Reach a decision as to the appropriateness of the material for the library collection.
- Within 30 days of appointment, make a written recommendation to retain the material in question or to remove it from the collection.
- The school principal informs the Superintendent and all involved parties of the committee’s recommendation.
- The Superintendent will review the report, discuss same with the committee and Complainant, if deemed necessary, before reaching a decision. The Superintendent will inform all involved parties of the decision.
- If the complainant wishes to appeal the Superintendent’s decision, the Superintendent will submit the committee’s report, with the WPS Request for Reconsideration of School Library Media Materials form and his/her recommendation for action of the School Committee.