Collection development and management
- Library resources selection guidelines for schools
- Developing a school library resource selection plan
- Suggested procedures for handling challenges
- Resource selection advisory group
Learning resources are an integral part of learning and teaching in a supportive school environment and it is vital for all schools to develop an inclusive approach to selecting resources. Responsibility for the quality and relevance of the school library collection rests with the school principal. A well-developed school library collection is achieved if selection is a collaborative operation involving the teacher-librarian, key staff members and where appropriate, students and parents.
The purpose of the selection plan is to develop a well-balanced collection that supports the curriculum and teaching needs as well as the needs and abilities of students. Schools should move towards developing a Library Resources Selection Plan that includes effective selection procedures. An effective plan:
- supports the stated philosophy and values of Education Queensland
- takes into account the department's policy statements, guidelines and programs
- accords with the socially-just, inclusive educational philosophy of the school as stated in the School Plan
- states the learning objectives of the school library
- supports the subjects/programs/activities offered as part of a total and inclusive school curriculum, including both the curricular and extra-curricular learning needs and interests of all students
- supports the emphases and strategies for effective learning and teaching within the total curriculum
- caters for a wide range of literacy and learning needs, abilities, interests and experiences of individuals from the full range of social and cultural and gender groupings represented in the school community
- caters for age/maturity levels of learners
- lists appropriate criteria for the selection of material
- makes provision for the handling of objections to specific items
- makes provision for dealing with donations and unsolicited items
- makes provision for dealing with free materials that have been sponsored by a commercial group.
An effective plan incorporates selection procedures that:
- ensure all available items are assessed prior to purchase - materials should only be considered for purchase if they fulfil standards of quality and identified priority areas of curriculum or the extra-curricular interest and needs of learners
- take into account system priorities
- ensure that materials are included to represent a balance of differing viewpoints on controversial subjects.
- Clarify the challenge and resolve, if possible, through discussion.
- Advise the principal or member of the administration team.
- If considered necessary, request that the Request for reconsideration of resources form be completed. Assistance should be given for its completion.
- Submit the matter to the Collection Development Advisory Group to develop a recommended action for approval by the principal.
- The principal communicates the decision and an official administration record is kept of the matter.
The Group would typically comprise a member of the school management team, key teachers from various school departments, sections and year levels and the teacher-librarian. Schools may also wish to include parent and student representatives.
Responsibilities of the Group might include:
- consulting with the principal and other staff on the development and implementation of the school's Library Resources Selection Plan; identifying specific areas of need in relation to the curriculum programs in the school
- identifying and establishing directions for future resource growth
- identifying emerging technologies and making recommendations for the integration of these with learning resource selection
- ensuring that resource selection strategies support student learning outcomes
- providing advice on sensitive or potentially controversial materials
- ensuring consultation with the school community as appropriate
- assisting the teacher-librarian to establish and maintain an effective process for URL blocking requests through the Managed Internet Service(MIS)
- ensuring that Education Queensland recommendations concerning staff and student access to the Internet are reviewed and incorporated into the Library Resources Selection Plan.