Policy #3.5.13-Secondary Schools - Library Books

Millis Public Schools Selection Policy                                                           3.5.13


I. Responsibility for Selecting Library Materials


The School Committee is legally responsible for the policy of the schools. The responsibility for the selection of instructional materials is delegated to the professionally trained employees of the school system. Selection of materials involves many people: administrators, teachers, supervisors, school library teachers. The responsibility for coordinating the selection of the instructional materials and making recommendations for purchase rests with professionally trained school library personnel.


II. Objectives for Selecting Media


The primary objective of each school's library program is to enrich and support the instructional program of the school. The school library program makes available, through the school library collection, a wide range of materials on varying levels of difficulty with a diversity of appeal compatible with the different needs, interests, and viewpoints of students and teachers.


To this end, the School Committee, in keeping with the ideas expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, asserts that the responsibility of the school library program is as follows:


  • To provide school library materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration individual needs and the varied interests, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and maturity levels of the students served.
  • To provide school library materials that stimulate the growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards.
  • To provide a background of information enabling students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.
  • To provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that students may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical thinking and critical analysis of all media.
  • To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups in our nation and the contribution of these groups to our American heritage.
  • To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in selecting school library media of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the school library media center.


III. Criteria for Selecting School Library Materials


Individual learning styles, the curriculum, and the existing collection are given consideration in determining the needs for library media in individual schools.


Materials considered for purchase are judged on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Purpose - Overall purpose and its direct relationship to instructional objectives and/or the curriculum
  • Reliability - Accurate, authentic
  • Quality - Writing and/or production of merit
  • Treatment - Clear, comprehensible, skillful, convincing, well-organized, unbiased
  • Technical production - Audio and/or visual clear and well-crafted
  • Construction - Durable, manageable, attractive
  • Special features - Useful illustrations, photographs, maps, charts, graphs, etc.
  • Possible uses - Individual, small group, large group instruction, in-depth study


IV. Procedures for Selecting and Maintaining the School Library Collection


The school library teacher, in conjunction with subject teachers, administrators, and the School Library Advisory Committee, will be responsible for the selection of materials. In coordinating this process, the school library teacher will:

  • Arrange for firsthand examination of items to be purchased.
  • Use reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aids when firsthand examination of materials is not possible.
  • Judge gift items by standard selection criteria and, upon acceptance of such items, reserve the right to incorporate into the collection only those meeting these specified criteria.
  • Purchase duplicates of extensively used materials.
  • Weed continuously from the collection worn, obsolete, and inoperable items.
  • Purchase replacements for worn, damaged, or missing materials basic to the collection.
  • Evaluate carefully and purchase only to fill a specified need expensive sets of materials and items procured by subscription.
  • Determine a procedure for preventive maintenance and repair of equipment.


V. Procedures for Reconsideration of Materials


Occasional objections to some materials may be voiced by the public despite the care taken in the selection process and despite the qualifications of persons selecting materials.


If a complaint is made, the following procedures should be observed:


1. Inform the complainant of the selection procedures and make no commitments.


2. Invite the complainant to file his or her objections in writing and send him or her a copy of the form, Request for Reconsideration of School Library Material, for submitting a formal complaint to the School Library Advisory Committee.


3. The School Library Advisory Committee will:


  • Re-examine the challenged material.
  • Survey appraisals of the material in professional reviewing sources.
  • Weigh merits against alleged faults to form opinions based on the materials as a whole and not on passages isolated from context.
  • Discuss the material and prepare a written recommendation to the superintendent and school committee.


4. The final decision of the school committee shall be delivered to the complainant and staff members in writing.





Name of person making request:







Complainant represents:

            himself/herself __

            organization __ (if yes, please name:)

            other group __ (if yes, please identify:)


Name of school owning challenged material:


Do you have a child in this school? __           Grade:


Title of item:


Type of media: book, film, DVD, CD, audiobook, computer, etc.:




Publisher/producer, if known:


How did you acquire this item?



Is this item part of a series or set?


If yes, did you examine other items in the series or set?



What do you believe are the theme and purpose of this item?



To what in the item do you object?

Please be specific, cite pages, frames, etc.



Does this item have any redeeming feature or value? If yes, please list them:



For what age or grade level would you recommend this item?


What do you think might be the result of a student's reading, viewing, or listening to this item?



Are you aware of any evaluations of this item by authoritative sources?


If yes, did those sources agree with your opinion? (Please list the sources)



What would you like your school to do about this item?

__ Not assign it to your child.

__ Not assign it to any child.

__ Make it available only to those who wish to use it.

__ Refer it to the School Library Advisory Committee for re-evaluation.

__ Withdraw it from the school library collection.

__ Other; please specify:



What would you suggest that the school purchase in lieu of this item?



Why is your recommendation a better choice?



Other comments:




Signature of Complainant:






First Reading: 12/20/05


Second Reading: 1/17/06


Approved School Committee: 1/17/06




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