Garces Memorial High School
SELECTION CRITERIA FOR SCHOOL LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER COLLECTION
The school library media teacher (LMT) is responsible for the review, evaluation, and selection of the school library media collection. She/he is guided by the Standards for Instruction of the State of California, the policies of the Diocese of Fresno, and the selection policies and procedures set forth in national, state, and county documents. The library media teacher works cooperatively with administrators and teachers to provide resources which represent diverse points of view, stimulate growth in thinking skills, and promote the overall educational program and mission of Garces Memorial High School. Library media collections are developed to meet both curricular and personal needs. To ensure that these needs are met, the library media teacher applies specific selection criteria and uses recommended selection tools. All purchases, including gifts, must meet the same selection standards. Furthermore, the collection is evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that all materials meet its criteria.
This selection policy reflects the philosophy and goals of Garces Memorial High School and supports the principles of intellectual freedom described in Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs, the Library Bill of Rights (ALA), Students' Right to Read (NCTE), and other position statements on intellectual freedom from the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians. The school, furthermore, complies with federal laws regarding Internet safety and protection by requiring a filtering proxy server on its school wide network.
Selection Criteria for Library Media Materials
- Appropriate for recommended levels
Library media materials should be accessible to students of varied abilities, and meet informational and interest needs of all students.
- Pertinent to the curriculum and the objectives of the instructional program
Library media materials should be selected on the basis of assessed curricular needs. Materials should reflect the identified learning outcomes of the instructional program.
- Accurate in terms of content
Library media materials should present facts in an objective manner. Authority of the author, organization, and publisher/producer should be a consideration in selection. Materials concerning human development and family life should contain facts which are presented in a manner appropriate to the level of the students.
- Reflective of the pluralistic nature of a global society
Library media materials should provide a global perspective and promote diversity as a positive attribute of our society. It is important to include materials by authors and illustrators of all cultures.
- Free of bias and stereotype
Materials should reflect the basic humanity of all people and be free of stereotypes, caricatures, distorted dialect, sexual bias, and other offensive characteristics. Library materials concerning religious, social, and political content should inform rather than indoctrinate.
- Representative of differing viewpoints on controversial subjects
Students have the right to information on both sides of a controversial issue. By having access to a variety of resources students will have the knowledge base to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. The school library media center provides free and equitable access to all its information.
- Appropriate format to effectively teach the curriculum
Library media materials should be available in variety of formats, e.g., print, non-print, electronic, multimedia, to meet the needs and learning styles of a diverse student population.
- Recent copyright date as appropriate to the subject
Library media materials should be assessed for currency of the information as it relates to the content and purpose of the item.
- Acceptable in literary style and technical quality
Literary quality, technical merit, physical arrangement, and aesthetic characteristics should be considered as integral components in the evaluation of all media formats.
Library media materials should be evaluated for cost effectiveness in terms of accessibility, projected use, and durability.
- Appropriate for students with special needs
Library media materials should be provided to meet curricular needs and the individual needs, interests, and learning styles of all students at all levels.
- Reflect the Catholic values of the school
Library media materials will support the school’s mission of “developing students spiritually, intellectually, and socially.” Materials that glorify or encourage immoral or illegal acts or instruct students in destructive activity will not be considered.
Implementing the Selection Policy
Library media specialists take leadership in communicating to the educational community the purpose and scope of the selection policy. The responsibility for coordinating the selection of library materials rests with the library media specialist who seeks faculty, student, and parent recommendations for purchase of library media materials. Favorable reviews from professional review journals and authoritative selection references should be used when developing library media collections. Wherever possible, direct examination of materials is advisable to ensure that they meet selection criteria. Library media materials listed in the Instructional Materials Catalog, the Periodicals Catalog, and the H.W. Wilson Catalog have been evaluated by school library media specialists and approved for purchase.
Essential Curriculum and Collection Development
The major emphasis of collection development should be to provide materials which meet curricular needs. To assess these needs, knowledge of the Essential Curriculum and access to these guides is important. It is recommended that a copy of each curriculum guide be housed in the library media center. The library media specialist needs to be familiar with changes and additions to the curriculum and how they affect collection development.
Communication with teachers to assess curriculum needs and recommendations for purchase is an important part of the selection process. Since the library media collection is an integral part of the instructional and learning process, the strength and value of the collection are ensured when teachers are actively involved in the selection process. A form for teacher recommendation of materials is available in the library media center.
Student and Parent Recommendations
Suggestions from students and parents is also an important part of the selection process. As students seek information for curricular purposes or use the library media center for personal interests, students and parents are encouraged to make recommendations of specific resources or subject areas where information is needed. A form for student/parent recommendations of materials is available in the library media center.
Professional Review Journals
The following online sources are recommended as tools to locate reviews. Most are considered professional review journals, e.g. Booklist, Booklinks, Multicultural Book Reviews, and School Library Journal; however, some are considered general popular review sources. Keep this in mind when using these sources. Many of the sources listed below are available for purchase on the Periodicals Catalog.