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District Selection Policies

District selection policies to be used in conjunction with Recommended Reading: Pre-K-12.

The California Department of Education recommends that each district have literature selection policies that are approved by the local governing board. Such policies should address both school library collections and literature that is used in the classroom, and these policies should be used in conjunction with Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve.

Careful and considered selection of literature and nonfiction for school libraries and classrooms should be made according to established policies and procedures. (See “Resources” for more information.) Many organizations offer sample selection policies, and whole courses on the selection of school library materials are taught to teacher librarians. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians, and administrators should anticipate that good literature and nonfiction, which is often based on real-life issues, will draw requests to reconsider the use of a book. In fact, any piece of literature or nonfiction is potentially objectionable to someone for some reason. Therefore, ideal selection policies that are designed by the district establish procedures for reconsidering the use of a particular title and reflect the school’s philosophy of education and the curriculum, community values, and students’ ages.

School library selection policies, which are approved by the local governing board, are usually based upon the principles of the “Library Bill of Rights.” It is critical to determine whether the library selection policy applies to literature and nonfiction taught in the classroom as well, or if curriculum requires its own policy. Most selection policies cover six basic elements:

Whether the district’s literature and nonfiction selection policy is developed by a local committee or is adapted from another source, addressing the following checklist will assist in the selection and confident use of quality literature and nonfiction in the classroom and library:

Resources

American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom

California Department of Education

Instructional Resource Policies and Examples

National Council of Teachers of English

Questions: Roxane Fidler | rfidler@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-4861 
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