The selection of materials for the media center, including classroom libraries, is a continuous and cooperative process among administrators, staff, media specialists, students, and parents. Each school’s collection is specifically curated for the needs of the school and community, providing a wide range of materials, in print and digital formats, on all levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and representation of different points of view.
Materials available to students through school media centers are selected by media specialists who hold a valid educational media specialist certificate and have completed the Florida Department of Education’s online training program, created pursuant to s.1006.29, F.S., to assist reviewers in complying with the requirements of s.1006.31, F.S., before reviewing and selecting age-appropriate materials and library resources. Principals are responsible for overseeing compliance with school district procedures for selecting materials at the school to which they are assigned.
Library and media center collections support academic standards and curriculum, support the academic needs of students and faculty, and are based on the interests of readers.
Library collections shall consist of following:
- Materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served;
- Materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards;
- A background of information enabling students to make intelligent judgements in their daily life;
- Materials representative of the broad racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural diversity of the students of this district; and
- A comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the Media Center which places principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality.
Note: The district does not maintain a list of approved books for media specialists to select from as a part of collection development. Rather, the objectives and criteria for selection should guide the certified library media specialist in collection development.
As part of selection procedures, media specialists should check the list of materials that were removed or discontinued as a result of an objection across the state of Florida. Additionally, all book selections must meet the criteria in s.1006.40(3)(c),F.S., specifically, that the material is:
- Free of pornography and material prohibited under 847.012, F.S.
- Suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented; and
- Appropriate for the grade level and age group for which the materials are used or made available.
Areas that require special consideration include:
- Religion – factual media that represents all major religions
- Ideologies – factual information or philosophy that exerts a strong force in society.
- Sex Education – factual information appropriate for the age group or related to the school curriculum.
- Science – current and correct information about medical and scientific knowledge.
- Profanity – use of profanity does not automatically disqualify a selection. Effort is made to exclude media using profanity in a lewd or detrimental manner.
- Sex – pornographic, sensational, or titillating material is not included, but the evidence of sexual incidents appearing in the media does not automatically disqualify its use. (See 847.012, F.S., 847.001, F.S.)
Titles received as a gift or donation are subject to Lake County School’s media selection criteria.
Per 1006.28, F.S., Media Specialists and all personnel involved in book selection will consult reputable, professionally recognized reviewing periodicals throughout the book selection process. Such sources include, but are not limited to:
- Booklist and Book Links
- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
- Horn Book
- Kirkus Reviews
- Library Journal
- Publisher’s Weekly
- School Library Journal
- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Note: Many of the journals listed above issue “starred” reviews. This indicates that the title is highly recommended by the reviewers. Conversely, not all reviewed titles are recommended. It is advised that every effort be made to read the full text of the review before a decision is made regarding selection of the title.
Stakeholders are encouraged to request or recommend selections that reflect the reading ability, maturity level, interests, curricular, and individual needs of the students and staff members. Teachers and Students may request that materials be added to the school library media collection via written request, discussion with the Media Specialist or staff member assigned to the Media Center, or by completing the online request for Elementary, Middle, or High school. Parents, Guardians, and Community members may request that materials be added to the school library media collection via written request, discussion with the Media Specialist or staff member assigned to the Media Center, or by completing the online request for Elementary, Middle, or High school.
Note: The submission of a request does not guarantee that a title will be added to the collection. Effort will be made to fulfill requests as allowed by the selection criteria and budgetary constraints.
Maintenance and Collection Evaluation
The process of removing materials from the collection (weeding) improves the quality of the library collection, makes the collection more appealing to the patron, and improves the value of the collection. Media specialists are encouraged to weed continuously throughout the school year with an emphasis on the selection of materials target area, to make room for updated titles (See Selection Criteria).
At minimum, materials shall be considered for removal based on the following criteria:
- Physical condition;
- Rate of recent circulation;
- Lack of alignment to state academic standards and relevancy to curriculum;
- Factually inaccurate and/or out-of-date content;
- Alignment with Florida Department of Education training; or
- Removed as a result of a formal challenge (See 1006.28, F.S.).
Library books that have been identified for removal based on weeding criteria will be deleted from the school's collection in the Destiny catalog and tracked as weeded. The title will remain in Destiny even if the last copy is removed due to classroom library records. Conceal barcodes, school name and other site identifying information from weeded library books. These books, along with any classroom library discard books will be collected in a Gaylord to be requested from the Manager of Media Services.
Resources for weeding include:
- Destiny reports - Shelf List, Title and Copy List, etc.
- Titlewise Analysis
- CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries
- Weeding to Let My Collection Grow (from AASL)
- How to Weed by Numbers and Clean Up Your Collection