Part 1: Selection of
Statement of Policy: To provide a wide range of learning resources at varying levels of
difficulty, with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points
of view to meet the needs of students and teachers.
Objectives of Selection
- For the purposes
of this statement of policy, the term “learning resources” will refer to
any person(s) or any material (whether acquired or locally produced) with
instructional content or function that is used for formal or informal
teaching/learning purposes. Learning resources books, ebooks,
supplementary reading and informational materials, charts, community
resource people, agencies and organizations, as well as visual and
- The primary
objective of learning resources is to support, enrich, and help implement
the educational program of the school through the interaction of
professional personnel and other members of the school community. It is
the duty of professional staff to provide students with a wide range of
materials at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and
the presentation of different points of view.
- It is the
responsibility of its professional staff:
- To provide
materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into
consideration the varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and
maturity levels of the students served;
- To provide
materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary
appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards;
- To provide
materials on various sides of controversial issues so that young
citizens may have an opportunity to develop under guidance the practice
of critical analysis and to make informed judgments in their daily
- To provide
materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural
groups and that contribute to our national heritage and the world
- To 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 to the school community.
- To provide access to digital
materials to engage learners and help develop necessary 21 Century
- Criteria for
Selection of Learning Resources
- The following
criteria will be used as they apply:
resources shall support and be consistent with the general educational
goals of the state and the district and the aims and objectives of
individual schools and specific courses.
resources shall be chosen to enrich and support the curriculum and the
personal needs of users.
resources shall meet high standards of quality in:
artistic quality and/or literary
resources shall be appropriate for the subject area and for the age,
emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social
development of the students for whom the materials are selected.
resources shall be designed to provide a background of information that
will motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and
behavior; to comprehend their duties, responsibilities, rights and
privileges as participating citizens in our society; and to make
informed judgments in their daily lives.
resources shall provide information on opposing sides of controversial
issues so that users may develop under guidance the practice of critical
- The selection of
learning resources on controversial issues will be directed toward
maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.
Learning resources shall clarify historical and contemporary
forces by presenting and analyzing intergroup tension and conflict objectively,
placing emphasis on recognizing and understanding social and economic problems.
- Procedures for
Selection of Learning Resources
- In selecting
learning resources, professional personnel will evaluate available
resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally
prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources. Among sources
to be consulted are:
(latest edition available, including supplements):
American Film & Video Association
American Historical Fiction
Basic Book Collection for Elementary Grades
Basic Book Collection for Junior High Schools
The Best in Children’s Books
Children and Books
Elementary School Library Collection
European Historical Fiction and Biography
Guide to Sources in Educational Media
Junior High School Catalog
Reference Books for School Libraries
Subject Guide to Children’s Books in Print
Subject Index to Books for Intermediate Grades
Subject Index to Books for Primary Grades
Westinghouse Learning Directory
and as a part of the vertical file index, other special bibliographies, many of
which have been prepared by educational organizations for particular subject
- Current reviewing
AASA Science Books and Films
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
School Library Journal
Other sources will be consulted as appropriate.
Whenever possible, the actual resource will be examined.
for purchase involve administrators, teachers, students, district
personnel and community persons, as appropriate.
- Gift materials
shall be judged by the criteria outlined and shall be accepted or
rejected by those criteria.
- Selection is an
ongoing process that should include the removal of materials no longer
appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of
Procedures for Dealing with Challenged Materials
Statement of Policy
Any resident or employee of the school district may formally
challenge learning resources used in the district’s educational program on the
basis of appropriateness. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the
opinions of those persons in the schools and the community who are not directly
involved in the selection process.
- Request for
- The school
receiving a complaint regarding a learning resource shall try to resolve
the issue informally.
- The library
director, principal, or other appropriate staff shall explain to the
questioner the school’s selection procedure, criteria, and
qualifications of those persons selecting the resource.
- The library
director, principal, or other appropriate staff shall explain the
particular place the questioned resource occupies in the education
program, its intended educational usefulness, and additional information
regarding its use, or refer the party to someone who can identify and
explain the use of the resource.
- If the questioner
wishes to file a formal challenge, a copy of the district Selection of
Learning Resources policy and a Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources
form shall be handed or mailed
to the party concerned by the library director or principal.
- Request for Formal
- Each school will
keep on hand and make available Request for Reconsideration of Learning
Resources forms. All formal objections to learning resources must be
made on these forms.
- The Request for
Reconsideration of Learning Resources form shall be signed by the
questioner and filed with the library director.
- The request for
reconsideration shall be referred to a reconsideration committee at the
school level for reevaluation of the resource.
- Requests for
reconsideration of materials in district collections shall be referred
to a committee for reevaluation of the resource.
- Upon receipt of a
request for formal reconsideration of a learning resource, the library
- Appoint a
reconsideration committee including the following membership as
One member of the district staff chosen by the superintendent;
One member of the school teaching staff chosen by the school staff;
Two students chosen by the student body.
- Name a convener
of the reconsideration committee.
- Arrange for a
reconsideration committee meeting within 10 working days after the
complaint is received.
- The reconsideration
committee may choose to consult district support staff and/or community
persons with related professional knowledge.
reconsideration committee shall review the challenged resource and judge
whether it conforms to the principles of selection outlined in the
district’s Selection of Learning Resources policy.
reconsideration committee shall:
- Examine the
professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the resource;
- Weigh values and
faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than
on passages or sections taken out of context;
- Discuss the
challenged resource in the context of the educational program;
- Discuss the
challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate;
- Prepare a
- The written
report shall be discussed with the individual questioner if requested.
- The written
report shall be retained by the library director, with copies forwarded
to the superintendent and building principal.
- Written reports,
once filed, are confidential and available for examination by trustees
and appropriate officials only.
- The decision of
the reconsideration committee is binding for the individual school.
any procedure outlined in this policy, the questioner shall have the
right to appeal any decision of the reconsideration committee to the
Board of Trustees as the final review panel.
- Guiding Principles
- Any resident or
employee of the school district may raise objection to learning
resources used in a school’s educational program, despite the fact that
the individuals selecting such resources were duly qualified to make the
selection, followed the proper procedure, and observed the criteria for
selecting learning resources.
- No parent has the
right to determine reading, viewing, or listening matter for students
other than his or her own children.
- Knoxville School District supports the Library
Bill of Rights, adopted by the American Library Association. (A copy
of the Library Bill of Rights is attached to this policy.)
When learning resources are challenged, the principles of the freedom to
read/listen/view must be defended as well.
- Access to
challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration
- The major
criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material
for its intended educational use.
- A decision to
sustain a challenge shall not necessarily be interpreted as a judgment
of irresponsibility by the professionals involved in the original
selection and/or use of the material.
Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources
Do you represent self? ____ Organization? ____
on which you are commenting:
____ Book ____ Video ____ Display
____ Magazine ____ Library Program
____ Newspaper ____ Electronic
information/network (please specify)
____ Other ___________________________
brought this resource to your attention?
examined the entire resource?
concerns you about the resource? (use other side or
additional pages if necessary)
resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other
viewpoints on this topic?
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
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
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 that 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.