Selection Policy

MAHS Selection Policy

Ultimate responsibility for material selection rests with the media specialist who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Board of Education. All staff members and students may participate in the selection of Library material. Teachers ensure that their choices will help the media center support the curriculum.

This selection policy reflects the philosophy and goals of the school system and supports the principles of intellectual freedom described in Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs, The Library Bill of Rights, and other position statements on intellectual freedom from the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians. The collection development policy should be formulated through the efforts of many who provide leadership and active participation in the media program including school library media specialists, teachers, administrators, students, and community members. Materials should reflect a variety of formats as well as cultural diversity and the pluralistic nature of contemporary American society.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services. 
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. 
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. 
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. 
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas. 
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views. 
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019. Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices. See the documents designated by the Intellectual Freedom Committee as Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.

Selection is a discerning and interpretive process, involving a general knowledge of the subject and recognition of the needs of the school. Material is judged on the basis of the content and style of the work as a whole, not by selected portions or passages. The Library strives to collect and make available differing points of view. Among standard criteria applied are: literary merit, enduring value, accuracy, authoritativeness, social significance, importance of the subject matter to the collection, cost, scarcity of material on the subject and availability elsewhere. Quality and suitability of the format are also considered. At all times the media specialists should select material that will build a well-rounded collection, which includes varying viewpoints and opinions that will meet supplementary study needs.
Materials should be:
  • Appropriate for recommended levels: Library media materials should be accessible to students of varied abilities and should 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 that 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 should 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.
  • In an appropriate format to effectively teach the curriculum: Library media materials should be available in a variety of formats, including print, nonprint, electronic, and multimedia, to meet the needs and learning styles of a diverse student population.
  • Of recent copyright date as appropriate to the subject: Library media materials should be assessed for currency of 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.
  • Cost effective in terms of use: 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.

There are general selection criteria which apply to all library media materials. The following media formats require additional considerations:
Books:  Due to the high cost of materials, it is important to examine books with the following additional criteria in mind before purchasing:
  • Illustrations and layout
  • Type style and text density
  • Paper quality
  • Durability of bindings
  • Readability and interest levels
  • Indexing
Paperbacks:  Paperbacks are an inexpensive way to supplement the library media collection for duplication of titles, in-depth studies, special projects, and leisure reading. It is recommended that first copies of picture books be hardbacks.
When deciding whether to purchase paperback books or hardbound books consider the following:
  • Curricular demand placed on these books in the individual school
  • Use of these materials for research, independent reading, duplication of classics, and popular fiction
  • Cost and use of paperback books as compared to the cost of hardback books
Periodicals:  Periodicals support the curriculum and provide leisure reading for students. Professional review journals and library periodicals for instruction may be considered for purchase. Consider access to full text online periodical databases.
Newspapers:   Newspapers may be ordered as needed. Consider access to full text online newspaper databases.
Pamphlets: Pamphlets that support the curriculum may be added to the collection. It is recommended that they be organized in an information file by subject rather than fully cataloged.
Reference: Reference materials in both print and electronic formats provide comprehensive information in both general and subject-specific areas. They also serve as access tools to information from other sources including school, public, academic, and electronic collections. The following points need to be considered:
  • Cost effectiveness in terms of projected use
  • Authority
  • Arrangement and indexing
  • User-friendliness

The criteria for selection of nonprint materials are essentially the same as for print materials. The quality of auditory and visual presentation should be considered, as well as accuracy of information and appropriateness of format. Nonprint materials should:
  • Promote instructional goals and support the curriculum
  • Provide a variety of media formats to meet the needs of the curriculum
  • Present content in appropriate format and acceptable technical quality.
  • Avoid dense text and graphics
Considerations for Selection of Electronic Resources Electronic resources should:
  • Provide learner control through flexible pacing, variable difficulty, and optimal linking
  • Contain information that is accurate and reliably maintained
  • Have organization, searching capabilities, and navigation tools that enhance information retrieval
  • Provide record keeping and management options, if applicable • Provide readable text, attractive graphics, and an appealing layout
  • Have easy-to-understand, comprehensive documentation.
  • Be user friendly

Tools used in selection include professional journals, trade journals, subject bibliographies, publishers' promotional material and reviews from reputable sources. Purchase suggestions from patrons are welcome and provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the collection. Patron suggestions will be governed by this Material Selection Policy in making additions or deleting items from the collection.

If at any time the rules, policies, and procedures found in this selection policy differ from or are in conflict with those found in the Walton County Public School or Monroe Area High School Student Handbooks, the latter will be used as the final authority.
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