Collection Development Policies

Selection Policy
Reconsideration of Materials
Gift Policy
Supporting Document


      A. Selection Philosophy 

•   Materials selected for the Sayre Library should implement, enrich and support the educational program of the school. Materials must serve the breadth of the curriculum as well as the needs and interests of individual students. They should provide for a wide range of abilities and respect a diversity of viewpoints. These principles must be placed above personal opinion in selection of materials of the highest quality and appropriateness.


•   In addition, we support and utilize the policies stipulated under the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights.


•   For further information on the role of school libraries see Access to Resources & Services in the School Library Media Program prepared by the American Library Association.


      B. Responsibility for Selection 

•   The Sayre Library staff will work cooperatively with administration, faculty, students and parents to interpret the Selection Policy but final responsibility for selection of materials for the library lies with the librarians.


       C. Criteria for Selection 

•   The following criteria shall be used to evaluate material considered for selection:




Format and Technical Quality


Treatment and Arrangement

Aesthetic Considerations


Special Features

General Suitability


(A detailed explanation of each criteria is found in Morris, Administering the School Library Media Center, p. 289-90.)


•   The following are additional criteria which may be applied to each type of material selected:

  • Educational significance
  • Contribution the subject matter makes to the curriculum and to the interests of students
  • Favorable reviews found in standard selection sources
  • Favorable recommendations based on preview and examination of materials by professional personnel
  • Reputation and significance of the author, producer or publisher
  • Validity, currency and appropriateness of material
  • Contribution the material makes to breadth of representative viewpoints
  • High degree of potential user appeal
  • High artistic quality and/or literary style
  • Quality and variety of format
  • Timeliness or permanence
  • Integrity

•   The following recognized selection aids are among those employed in the evaluation of materials:


Retrospective Aids:


A to Zoo

Best Books for Children

Best Books for Young Teen Readers

Best Books for Young Adult Readers 

Elementary School Library Collection

Jr. High School Library Catalog

Sr. High School Library Catalog

Recommended Reference Books


Current Aids:




Horn Book and Horn Book Guide

School Library Journal


& additional selection tools chosen by the librarians, including journals which review in specific subject areas.


D. Procedures




•   In selecting learning resources, the librarians will evaluate available resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources. The actual resource will be examined whenever possible.

•   Recommendations for purchase will involve administrators, teachers, students, as appropriate.

•   Gifts will be judged by the criteria outlined and be accepted or rejected by those criteria.

•   Selection is an ongoing process which should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.




The library follows guidelines suggested by Morris, Administering the School Library Media Center,  p. 460-62, for weeding each Dewey class, Reference, Fiction and Easy Books.


E. Policy on Controversial Materials


Sayre School subscribes in principal to the statements of policy on library philosophy as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights.                                    

F. Further Information on Library Selection Procedures  


•  Diversity in Collection Development             

•  Evaluating Library Collections



No duly selected materials whose appropriateness is challenged shall be removed from the school except upon the recommendation of a review committee (as provided for below) with the concurrence of the Headmaster.


Procedures to be followed:


1.  All complaints to staff members will be reported to the Headmaster, whether received by telephone, letter, or in personal conversation.

2.  The Headmaster, or his designated representative, will contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the school library.

3.  If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant will be supplied, by the librarian, with a packet of materials consisting of the school's materials selection policy statement and the procedure for handling objections.

4.  If the formal request for reconsideration has not been received by the Headmaster within two weeks, the issue will be considered closed. If the request is returned, the reasons for selection of the specific work shall be re-established by the appropriate staff.

5.  In accordance with the statement of philosophy, no questioned materials shall be removed from the school pending a final decision. Pending the outcome of the request for reconsideration, however, access to questioned materials can be denied to the child (or children) of the parents making the complaint, if they so desire.

6.  Upon receipt of a completed objection form, the Headmaster will call together a committee of five to consider the complaint. This committee will consist of the Headmaster or his designated representative, the Head of the division involved, the library director, a teacher and a parent representative.

7.  The committee will meet to discuss the material and will prepare a report on the material containing its recommendations on disposition of the matter.

8.  The Headmaster will notify the complainant of the decision. If the committee decides to keep the work that caused the complaint, the Headmaster will explain the book selection system, give the guidelines used for selection, and cite authorities used in reaching decisions. If the complaint is found to be valid, the Headmaster will acknowledge it and make recommended changes.

9.  If the complainant is still not satisfied, he or she may ask the Headmaster to present an appeal to the Board of Trustees which shall make a final determination of the issue. In making its determination, the Board of Trustees may seek assistance from outside organizations such as the American Library Association.



The library welcomes gifts. Gift books will, however, be held to the same standard as books selected for the collection. If books are not suitable for inclusion, the library staff will make them available to other constituencies on campus, to other libraries or otherwise dispose of them.



             American Library Association
             Library Bill of Rights


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.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

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