Collection Development Policy

IST Library Collection Development and Selection Policy

IST Library Collection Development and Selection Policy

I. Statement of Guidelines

The aim of the International School of Tianjin (IST) is to provide a wide range of learning resources at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view to meet the needs of students and teachers.

II. Objectives of Selection

A. For the purposes of these guidelines, the term “learning resources” will refer to any person(s) or any material (whether acquired or locally produced) with instructional content or function that is used for formal or informal teaching/learning purposes. Learning resources may include textbooks, other books, supplementary reading and informational materials, charts, community resource people, agencies and organizations, DVD’s, flash cards, games, globes, kits, digital files, maps, models, motion pictures, periodicals, pictures, realia, slides, audio recordings, transparencies, DVD’s, ebooks, online databases.

B. The primary objective of learning resources is to support, enrich, and help implement the educational program of the school through the interaction of professional personnel and other members of the school community. It is the duty of professional staff to provide students with a wide range of materials at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and the presentation of different points of view.

C. To this end, it is the responsibility of the IST professional staff:

1. To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum and the curriculum review cycle by taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and maturity levels of the students served;

2. To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards;

3. To provide materials on various sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may have an opportunity to develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis and to make informed judgments in their daily lives;

4. To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and that contribute to our multicultural heritage and the global community; 

5. To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate to the school community.

III. Responsibility for Selection of Learning Resources

A. The selection of learning resources is the responsibility of the professional staff employed by the school.
B. While selection of learning resources involves many people (administrators, teachers, students, community persons) the responsibility for coordinating the selection of school learning resources and making the recommendation for purchase rests with the director and professional personnel.

IV. Criteria for Selection of Learning Resources

The following criteria will be used as they apply:

1. Learning resources shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals, the aims and objectives, and specific courses.

2. Learning resources shall be chosen to enrich and support the curriculum and the personal needs of users.

3. Learning resources shall meet the following high standards of quality:

§ artistic quality and/or literary style

§ authenticity

§ educational significance

§ factual content

§ high degree of potential user appeal

§ physical format

§ presentation

§ readability

§ technical quality

§ timeliness or permanence

4. Learning resources shall be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social development of the students for whom the materials are selected.

5. Learning resources shall be designed to provide a background of information that will motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behavior; to comprehend their duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges as participating citizens in our society; and to make informed judgments in their daily lives. 

6. Learning resources shall provide information on opposing sides of controversial issues so that users may develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis. 

B. The selection of learning resources on controversial issues will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.

1. Learning resources shall clarify historical and contemporary forces by presenting and analyzing intergroup tension and conflict objectively, placing emphasis on recognizing and understanding social and economic problems.

V. Procedures for Selection of Learning Resources

A. In selecting learning resources, professional personnel will evaluate available resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources. Among sources to be consulted are:

1. Bibliographies (latest edition available, including supplements):

§ Basic Book Collection for Elementary Grades

§ Basic Book Collection for Junior/Senior High Schools

§ The Best in Children’s Books

§ Booklist

§ Book News

§ Children and Books

§ Children’s Catalog

§ Elementary School Library Collection

§ Guide to Sources in Educational Media

§ Junior High School Catalog

§ Library Journal

§ Readers Catalog

§ Reference Books for School Libraries

§ School Library Journal

§ Subject Guide to Children’s Books in Print

§ Subject Index to Books for Intermediate Grades

§ Subject Index to Books for Primary Grades

§ Follett’s Titlewave

§ other special bibliographies, many of which have been prepared by educational organizations for particular subject matter areas.

2. Current reviewing media:

§ Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

§ Horn Book

§ Booklist

§ Follett’s Titlewave

§ Library Journal

§ School Library Journal


Other sources will be consulted as appropriate. Whenever possible, the actual resource will be examined.

B. Recommendations for purchase involve administrators, teachers, students, and community persons, as appropriate.

C. Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria outlined and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.

D. Selection is an ongoing process that should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value. The CREW method is recommended for weeding.

Part 2: Procedures for Dealing with Challenged Materials

I. Guidelines (to be reviewed by Board of Governors at a later date)

A. Any patron or employee of the school may formally challenge learning resources used in the school’s educational program on the basis of appropriateness. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the schools and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

II. Request for Informal Reconsideration

A. After receiving a complaint regarding a learning resource, the school shall try to resolve the issue informally.

1. The director or other appropriate staff shall explain to the questioner the school’s selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those persons selecting the resource.

2. The director or other appropriate staff shall explain the particular place the questioned resource occupies in the education program, its intended educational usefulness, and additional information regarding its use, or refer the party to someone who can identify and explain the use of the resource.

3. If the questioner wishes to file a formal challenge, a copy of the Selection of Learning Resources policyand a Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources form shall be handed or mailed to the party concerned by the director.

III. Request for Formal Reconsideration

A. Preliminary Procedures

1. The school will keep on hand and make available Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources forms. All formal objections to learning resources must be made on these forms.

2. The Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources form shall be signed by the questioner and filed with the director or someone so designated by the director.

3. The director or the assistant director shall be informed of the formal complaint received.

4. The request for reconsideration shall be referred to a reconsideration committee at the school level for reevaluation of the resource.

B. The Reconsideration Committee

1. Upon receipt of a request for formal reconsideration of a learning resource, the director shall:

a. Appoint a reconsideration committee including the following membership as appropriate:

§ Assistant director;

§ Two members of teaching staff;

§ Librarian;

b. Name a convenor of the reconsideration committee.

c. Arrange for a reconsideration committee meeting within 10 working days after the complaint is received.

2. The reconsideration committee may choose to consult with staff and/or community persons with related professional knowledge.

3. The reconsideration committee shall review the challenged resource and judge whether it conforms to the principles of selection outlined in the school’s Selection of Learning Resources policy.

C. Resolution

1. The reconsideration committee shall:

a. Examine the challenged resource;

b. Determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the resource;

c. Weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than on passages or sections taken out of context;

d. Discuss the challenged resource in the context of the educational program;

e. Discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate;

f. Prepare a written report.

2. The written report shall be discussed with the individual questioner if requested.

3. The school director shall retain the written report.

4. Written reports, once filed, are confidential and available for examination by trustees and appropriate officials only.

5. The decision of the reconsideration committee is binding.

6. Notwithstanding any procedure outlined in this policy, the questioner shall have the right to appeal any decision of the reconsideration committee to The Board of Governors as the final review panel.

D. Guiding Principles

1. Any patron or employee of the school may raise an objection to learning resources used in the school’s educational program, despite the fact that the individuals selecting such resources were duly qualified to make the selection, followed the proper procedure, and observed the criteria for selecting learning resources.

2. No parent has the right to determine reading, viewing, or listening matter for students other than his or her own children.

3. International School of Tianjin supports the Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the American Library Association. When learning resources are challenged, the principles of the freedom to read/listen/view must be defended as well. 

4. Access to challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process.

5. The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.

6. A decision to sustain a challenge shall not necessarily be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility by the professionals involved in the original selection and/or use of the material

Request for Reconsideration of Library/Educational Resources

The Board of Governors of the International School of Tianjin, has delegated the responsibility for selection and evaluation of library/educational resources to the school library teacher/ information specialist/ curriculum committee, and has established reconsideration procedures to address concerns about those resources. Completion of this form is the first step in those procedures. If you wish to request reconsideration of school or library resources, please return the completed form to the librarian.

Download Reconsideration Form.

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