Part 1: Selection of Learning Resources

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.

         I.            Objectives of Selection

    1. 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 digital resources.
    2. 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.
    3. It is the responsibility of its professional staff:
      1. 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;
      2. To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards;
      3. 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 lives;
      4. To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and that contribute to our national heritage and the world community;
      5. 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.
      6. To provide access to digital materials to engage learners and help develop necessary 21 Century skills.



  1. Criteria for Selection of Learning Resources
    1. The following criteria will be used as they apply:
      1. Learning 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.
      2. Learning resources shall be chosen to enrich and support the curriculum and the personal needs of users.
      3. Learning resources shall meet high standards of quality in:

artistic quality and/or literary style
educational significance
factual content
physical format
technical quality

      1. Learning 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.
      2. Learning 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.
      3. Learning resources shall provide information on opposing sides of controversial issues so that users may develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis.


    1. 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.


  1. Procedures for Selection of Learning Resources
    1. 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:
      1. Bibliographies (latest edition available, including supplements):

American Film & Video Association Evaluations
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
Children’s Catalog
Elementary School Library Collection
European Historical Fiction and Biography
Guide to Sources in Educational Media
Junior High School Catalog
Library Journal
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 matter areas.

      1. Current reviewing media:

AASA Science Books and Films
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Library Journal
AFVA Evaluations
Library Journal
Other sources will be consulted as appropriate. Whenever possible, the actual resource will be examined.

    1. Recommendations for purchase involve administrators, teachers, students, district personnel and community persons, as appropriate.
    2. Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria outlined and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
    3. 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 educational value.


Part 2: 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.

  1. Request for Informal Reconsideration
    1. The school receiving a complaint regarding a learning resource shall try to resolve the issue informally.
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.


  1. Request for Formal Reconsideration
    1. Preliminary Procedures
      1. 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.
      2. The Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources form shall be signed by the questioner and filed with the library director.
      3. The request for reconsideration shall be referred to a reconsideration committee at the school level for reevaluation of the resource.
      4. Requests for reconsideration of materials in district collections shall be referred to a committee for reevaluation of the resource.
    2. The Reconsideration Committee
      1. Upon receipt of a request for formal reconsideration of a learning resource, the library director shall:
        1. Appoint a reconsideration committee including the following membership as appropriate:

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.

        1. Name a convener of the reconsideration committee.
        2. Arrange for a reconsideration committee meeting within 10 working days after the complaint is received.
      1. The reconsideration committee may choose to consult district support staff and/or community persons with related professional knowledge.
      2. The 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.
    1. Resolution
      1. The reconsideration committee shall:
        1. Examine the challenged resource;
        2. Determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the resource;
        3. Weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than on passages or sections taken out of context;
        4. Discuss the challenged resource in the context of the educational program;
        5. Discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate;
        6. Prepare a written report.
      2. The written report shall be discussed with the individual questioner if requested.
      3. The written report shall be retained by the library director, with copies forwarded to the superintendent and building principal.
      4. Written reports, once filed, are confidential and available for examination by trustees and appropriate officials only.
      5. The decision of the reconsideration committee is binding for the individual school.
      6. Notwithstanding 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.
    2. Guiding Principles
      1. 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.
      2. No parent has the right to determine reading, viewing, or listening matter for students other than his or her own children.
      3. 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.
      4. Access to challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process.
      5. The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.
      6. 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


Name ____________________________________ 

Date ________________

Address __________________________________

City _________________

State ________________

Zip __________________

Phone _______________

Do you represent self? ____   Organization? ____


Resource on which you are commenting:

____ Book ____ Video ____ Display

____ Magazine ____ Library Program

____ Newspaper ____ Electronic information/network (please specify)

____ Other ___________________________

Title ___________________________

Author/Producer ___________________________


What brought this resource to your attention?



Have you examined the entire resource?



What concerns you about the resource? (use other side or additional pages if necessary)



Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic?


Library Bill of Rights

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 creation.

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 and enlightenment.

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.