topleft >  Services >  Governance Technology > 

Aromas-San Juan USD |  BP  6161.11  Instruction

Library Material Selection   

arrow Previous bar Next arrow


The purpose of the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Library Material Selection Policy is to present a vision for the school libraries, the methods and criteria of library collection development, the responsibility for selection, and procedure for challenges to any library material.

Vision Statement

The resource centers for learning in the District are its libraries. Centrally located on each campus, the library provides an environment for students and adults where rich collections of both traditional and technology-driven information sources are available for enjoyment, study, learning, and communication. The library is the core of the school's reading and literacy efforts, and fosters a life-long love of reading and an appreciation and respect for the cultural and linguistic richness of the community.

We live in an age in which everyone will need to master the use of information technologies and resources that are rapidly advancing and changing. A primary goal of education, therefore, is to help students learn how to locate, evaluate, organize and present needed information in a clear, concise and persuasive manner.

Mission Statement

The mission of the school library program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information enabling them to be literate life-long learners. This mission is accomplished, with sufficient funding and resources, by the school library staff, in collaboration with the school community:

1. By providing instruction to foster competence in acquiring and using information and ideas, and in evaluating information resources

2. By stimulating interest in reading and appreciation of literature through group instruction and individual guidance

3. By providing intellectual and physical access to materials in multiple formats

4.By working with other educators to design and carry out learning experiences to meet the needs of individual students

Responsibility for the Selection of Material

The Board of Trustees of the district has delegated the day-to-day operation of school libraries in the district to the principal and/or librarian/teacher specialist(s) who coordinate, select and purchase all materials. While extensive help and advice is sought from teachers,

specialists, staff, students, trustees, parents and others affiliated with the district, the final responsibility for the selection of all materials for the library lies with the principals and/or librarian/teacher specialist(s). The needs of the school, which are based on knowledge of the curriculum and of the existing collection, are given first consideration.

Criteria for Selection

Materials for purchase are considered on the basis of:

1.Overall purpose

2. Breadth and diversity of representative viewpoints on controversial issues

3.Timeliness or permanence

4.Importance of the subject matter

5.Quality of the writing/production

6.Readability and popular appeal


8.Favorable reviews

9.Reputation of the publisher/producer

10.Reputation and significance of the author/artist/producer

11.Contribution to multicultural and pluralistic awareness

12.Format and price

Requests from faculty and students are given high priority. The Internet is not subject to the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Library Material Selection Policy. The district does not allow inappropriate material to be viewed or listened to on the Internet, or from any other source. The Network Acceptable Use Contract is appended.

Selection Tools

The following lists and tools shall be consulted in the selection of materials, but resources are not limited to these listings:

1. Bibliographies, using the latest editions and supplements:

a.American historical fiction

b.Reference books for school libraries

c.School catalogs

d.Special bibliographies, prepared by educational organizations for specific subject matter areas

2. Examples of current reviewing media:

a.AAAS Science Books


c.Book Links


e.Horn Book


g.Library Journal

h.Reading Teacher

i.Knowledge Quest

j.Wilson Library Bulletin


Gift materials are judged by basic selection standards and are accepted or rejected on the basis of these standards. Careful attention is paid to local historical, cultural, and other relevant material.

Intellectual Freedom

Recognizing that an atmosphere of free inquiry is essential to the education of children in a democratic society, the district and the library/teacher specialist(s) subscribe to the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations, which are appended to and made a part of the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Library Material Selection Policy.

Challenges to Materials

Despite the care taken to select materials for student and teacher use, and the qualifications of the persons who select the materials, it is recognized that occasional objections may be raised by community members, students, or school staff.

In the event a complaint is made the following procedures will apply:

1. All complaints to staff members or administrators shall be reported to the librarian/teacher specialist(s) or the principal, whether received by telephone, letter, E-mail, or in personal conversation.

2. The librarian/teacher specialist(s) or principal shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the district and the school library, as well as the materials selection criteria and process.

3. If the matter is not resolved, the complainant will be given a "Statement of Concern About Library Resources" form to fill out as well as a packet of materials consisting of the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Library Material Selection Policy, which includes the procedure for handling objections.

4. If the "Statement of Concern About Library Resources" has not been received by the library/information specialist or principal within two weeks of the date indicated on the letter to the complainant, it shall be considered closed. If the request is returned, the form will be forwarded to the school principal and the superintendent of schools.

5. The principal shall appoint a committee composed of the following people to review the complaint: the principal; one librarian/teacher specialist; one classroom teacher in the subject area of the challenged materials; one community member; and one student.

6.The Evaluation Committee shall:

a.Read and examine the materials referred to them

b. Determine if the material conforms to the Principles of Selection outlined in the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Library Material Selection Policy

c.Check general acceptance of the materials by reading reviews

d. Weigh benefits and concerns against each other and form opinions based on the material as a whole and not on passages or portions pulled out of the material

e.Meet to discuss the material

f. Reach a decision to retain or remove the challenged material from the library's collection

7. The decision of the reviewing committee shall be forwarded in writing to the complainant and the superintendent.

8. If the complainant is not satisfied by the decision of the Evaluation Committee and desires to carry the request further, the form may then be submitted to the Board of the district. The Board shall review the findings of the Evaluation Committee for evidence that the committee's decision is capricious or arbitrary. Only in cases where clear and convincing proof exists that the Committee's actions were capricious or arbitrary shall the findings of the Evaluation Committee be overturned. The Board's adoption of the Committee's findings shall be administratively final, binding and conclusive.

9. No materials shall be removed from use until the committee or the board has made a final decision.

10. Cooperation will be given to any parent wishing to restrict his or her own child from using materials that are objectionable to the parent. The librarian, library clerk, and principal, with the parent, will attempt to work out a solution that will prevent that family's child or children from checking out the materials that the parent finds objectionable, while still allowing free access to other children.

The forms that are to be used in the challenge process are appended.

The Board of the district has approved the above policy. The policy presented here is intended to uphold the right of all members of the school community to have access to quality information. This will ensure that students and staff will be effective users of ideas and information.

It is the purpose of the Library Material Selection Policy to support the district in the: selection of materials, use of the Internet, sharing of resources, processing of gifts, and settling of challenge disputes, while providing for intellectual freedom and resource access.

Forms for the Challenge Review







Legal Reference:


233.5 Duty re instruction in morals, manners and citizenship

18111 Exclusion of books by governing board

51510 Prohibited study or supplemental materials

51511 Religious matters properly included

51933 Sex education materials

60010 Definitions


McCarthy v. Fletcher, (1989) 207 Cal. App. 3d 130


adopted: March 7, 2001 San Juan Bautista, California