Selection Process for Library Materials:
I. Statement of Support for Intellectual Freedom:
- The school libraries of this district are guided by the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights and its interpretative statements, including “Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Program.”
- To provide students with a wide range of materials at varying levels of difficulty and in a variety of formats, with diversity of appeal, allowing for the presentation of many different points of view.
- To meet the library needs of students and faculty served.
- To select materials that present various sides of controversial issues, giving students an opportunity to develop analytical skills resulting in informed decisions.
- To select materials in all formats, including up-to-date, high quality, varied literature to develop and strengthen a love of reading.
III. Responsibility for Selection:
- Responsibility for selection rests with professionally trained library personnel using the established Selection Criteria (see below).
- Educators, students, administrators, and others may participate by making recommendations or requests. However, final responsibility for the selection decisions rests with school library professionals.
IV. Selection Criteria:
Items selected will:
- Represent differing viewpoints on controversial issues.
- Provide a global perspective and promote diversity by including materials by authors and illustrators of all cultures.
- Include a variety of resources in physical and virtual formats including print and non-print such as electronic and multimedia (including subscription academic databases, eBooks, and other forms of emerging technology).
- Incorporate accurate and factual information from authoritative sources.
- Promote diversity in items offered in: subject area, age, emotional development, ability level, access, learning styles, social, emotional, and intellectual development.
- Researched for favorable reviews from diverse perspectives, favorable recommendations, award winners and nominees, and titles popular for school population.
- Reflect students’ personal interests and learning.
- Evolve as the student population changes in needs and trends.
Note: Selection is an ongoing process that includes the removing of materials that are no longer used or needed, adding materials and new releases, and replacing lost and worn materials that still have library or educational value.
V. Selecting Materials on Controversial Topics:
- It is the responsibility of all libraries to serve every member of their designated communities. It is not the responsibility of a library to promote one point of view over another. Materials collected will represent majority as well as minority beliefs.
- School library professional staff will provide materials on opposing viewpoints on controversial issues to enable students to develop necessary critical thinking skills to be discriminate users of information and productive members of society.
- District libraries subscribe to the principles expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.
Reconsideration Process for Library Materials
I. Principles of Reconsideration Procedures:
- Libraries have diverse materials reflecting differing points of view, and a library’s mission is to provide access to information to all users.
- All patrons have a First Amendment right to read, view, and listen to library resources.
- The Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association shall be used as guiding documents.
- Any person has the right to express concerns about library resources and expect to have the objection taken seriously.
- When library resources are reconsidered, the principles of the freedom to read, listen, and view are defended rather than specific materials.
- A questioned item will be considered in its entirety, not judged solely on portions taken out of context.
- Parents or guardians have the right to guide the reading, viewing, and listening of their children but must give the same right to other parents/guardians. Parents must use the Formal Request for Parental Restrictions Placed on Library Accounts and deliver to the school office or library.
- Questioned items will remain in circulation during the reconsideration process.
II. Informal Complaints:
- Each parent has the right to determine the appropriateness of library resources for their children and should accord the same right to other families.
- Civil discussion is encouraged; verbal abuse or threats will not be tolerated and may be grounds for censure.
- Parents and guardians may place restrictions on their student’s library accounts, unique to their situation. Parents/guardians may not place restrictions on the accounts of other students. Parents must use the Formal Request for Parental Restrictions Placed on Library Accounts and deliver to the school office or library.
- No library resources will be removed or restricted from use as a result of a complaint.
- If resolution does not occur with the placement of parental restrictions, or as a result of discussion, formal complaints can be made.
III. Formal Complaints:
- The complaint should be referred to the principal or district librarian.
- Individuals who issue complaints will be given a packet including: the Selection Process, the Reconsideration Process, the Formal Request for Parental Restrictions Placed on Library Accounts, the Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association.
- Individuals are required to complete and submit a reconsideration form to the principal within ten business days of receipt of materials.
- Complainants must have read (or viewed, in the case of visual media) the entire work to which they object.
- Lists of books will not be considered for review.
- If a completed reconsideration form is not submitted within ten business days, the matter is considered closed.
- Upon receipt of the form, the principal will notify and provide a copy of the reconsideration form to the following individuals:
- A school librarian
- The district librarian
- The Assistant Superintendent
- The Superintendent
- The School Advisory Committee/Reconsideration Committee
- The work in question will remain on library shelves and in circulation until a decision is made.
- Only one Formal Reconsideration Form will suffice for review. Multiples, or those issued as part of an organized campaign or group, are not necessary. The first Formal Reconsideration Form filed by date will be considered the Primary Complainant.
IV. The School Advisory Committee/Reconsideration Committee:
- The Reconsideration Committee will remain anonymous and include teachers, administrators, school specialists, a parent, and, at the high school level, a student aged 17 or older.
- The school librarian will provide all members of the committee with the resource to review.
- The librarian will provide the reviewing committee with a short Intellectual Freedom training that explains the packet of materials and its contents. The training will also include a list of awards or accolades the material has received, a selection of reviews, and/or any applicable matter to assist in research.
- The Reconsideration Committee will meet within ten business days after the principal receives the formal request for reconsideration, unless the questioned item cannot be acquired, or reviewed, during this timeline. If a material delay is effective, the Reconsideration Committee will agree upon a manageable timeline and alert the Primary Complainant.
- All committee members must read the questioned resource in its entirety.
- The committee reserves the right to use outside expertise if necessary to help in its decision-making process.
- The complainant may not participate or observe the committee’s deliberations, unless invited to do so by the committee.
- The committee will make its decision determined by a simple majority of whether the item be retained or removed entirely. If retention is selected, a second vote will be held to determine if the item will be retained with restrictions. Such restrictions will be determined by the committee.
- The committee’s written decision shall be final and presented to the Primary Complainant and the superintendent within five days after a decision has been made by a site administrator.
- The committee will annually review any item selected for removal to determine if the original directive for removal continues to be warranted.