Library Materials Selection and Adoption

The School Committee endorses the principles of intellectual freedom described in Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs, the Library Bill of Rights (ALA), Students' Right to Read (NCTE), and other position statements on intellectual freedom from the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians. The programs of the Library Media Centers (LMCs) in each Smithfield school support the mission, goals, objectives and continuous improvement of those schools and of the district. These programs support and enhance the curriculum, ensure that students and staff become effective users of information and ideas from a variety of sources, and stimulate intellectual curiosity and self-discovery.

The LMC staff strives to expand and diversify its services to accommodate new media, innovations in teaching methods, and the multiple online resources available. The media specialist will attempt to provide a collection that is professionally selective and appropriate for the needs and interests of the students.

The responsibility of the LMCs is to:

1. Provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served.

2. Provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards.

3. Provide a background of information that will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.

4. Provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance the practice of critical reading and thinking.

5. Provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.

6. Place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library.

LMC materials shall be

  • Pertinent to the curriculum and the objectives of the instructional program

  • Appropriate for recommended levels and formats, accessible to students of varied abilities, and meet informational and interest needs of all students.

  • Accurate in terms of content

  • Free of bias and stereotype

  • Representative of differing viewpoints on controversial subjects

  • Assessed for currency of the information as it relates to content and purpose

  • Acceptable in literary style and technical quality

  • Cost effective in terms of use, accessibility, and durability

Initial purchase suggestions for library materials may come from all personnel--teachers, coordinators, and administrators. Students will also be encouraged to make suggestions. The school library media specialist will recommend materials to be included in the school library and shall consult with professional review journals and authoritative selection references when developing library media collections. Final approval and authority for distribution of funds will rest with the building Principal subject to the approval of the Superintendent.

Gifts of library books will be accepted in keeping with the above policy on selection. Complaints about library books will be handled in line with Committee policy on complaints about instructional materials.

Selection is an ongoing process that includes the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.

ADOPTED: June 15, 2020