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605.1R1 Selection of Instructional Materials

  1. Responsibility for Selection of Instructional Materials
    1. The Board is responsible for matters relating to the operation of the Lewis Central Community School District.
    2. The responsibility for the selection of the instructional materials is delegated to the professionally trained and certified employees of the school system. For the purpose of this rule the term “instructional materials” includes printed and audiovisual materials (not equipment), whether considered text materials or media center materials. The Board retains the final authority for the approval of textbooks.
    3. While selection of materials may involve many people including principals, teachers, students, parents, community members and teacher librarian, the responsibility for coordinating the selection of most instructional materials and making the recommendation for purchase rests with certified employees.
    4. Responsibility for coordinating the selection of text materials for distribution to classes will rest with the certified employees, principal and superintendent. For the purpose of this rule the term “text materials” includes textbooks and other print and nonprinted material for universal instruction or programmatic use (such as Title I or ELL instruction).
    5. If the Board appoints an ad hoc committee to make recommendations on the selection of instructional materials, the ad hoc committee shall be formed and appointed in compliance with the board policy on Ad Hoc Committees.
      1. The superintendent will inform the committee as to their role and responsibility in the process.
      2. The following statement shall be given to the ad hoc committee members:

Bear in mind the principles of the freedom to learn and to read and base your decision on these broad principles rather than on defense of individual materials. Freedom of inquiry is vital to education in a democracy.

Study thoroughly all materials referred to you and read available reviews. The general acceptance of the materials should be checked by consulting standard evaluation aids and local holdings in other schools.

Passages or parts should not be pulled out of context. The values and faults should be weighted against each other and the recommendations based on the material as a whole.

  1. The following principles, guidelines, and criteria for instructional materials selected for use in the libraries and classrooms shall be used:
    1. Principles

The selection decision should be made on the basis of whether the material presents an accurate representation of society and culture, whether the circumstances depicted are realistically portrayed, or whether the material has literary or social value when the material is viewed as a whole.
These guidelines shall not be construed in such a manner as to preclude materials which accurately represent the customs, morals, manners, culture, or society of a different time or a different place.

  1. Religion - Material shall represent the major religions in a factual, unbiased manner. The primary source material of the major religions shall be considered appropriate, but material which advocates rather than informs, or is designed to sway reader judgment regarding religion, shall not be included in the school libraries or classrooms.
  2. Racism - Material shall present a diversity of race, custom, culture, and belief as a positive aspect of the nation’s heritage and give candid treatment to unresolved intercultural problems, including those which involve prejudice, discrimination, and the undesirable consequences of withholding rights, freedom, or respect for an individual.
  3. Sexism - Material shall reflect a sensitivity to the needs, rights, traits and aspirations of men and women without preference or bias.
  4. Age - Material shall recognize the diverse contributions of various age groups and portray the continuing contributions of maturing members of society.
  5. Ideology - Material shall present basic primary and factual information on an ideology or philosophy of government which exerts or has exerted a strong force, either favorably or unfavorably, over civilization or society, past or present. This material shall not be selected with the intention to sway reader judgment and shall be related to the maturity level of the intended audience.
  6. Profanity and Sex - Material shall be subjected to a test of literary merit and reality by the teacher librarian and certified staff, who will take into consideration their reading of public and community standards of morality.
  7. Controversial Issues - The instructional materials on controversial issues will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.
  1. Guidelines
    1. The materials selected shall support stated objectives and goals of the school district. Specifically, the goals are:
      1. To acquire materials and provide service consistent with the demands of the curriculum;
      2. To develop students’ skills and resourcefulness in the use of libraries and learning resources;
      3. To effectively guide and counsel students in the selection and use of materials and libraries;
      4. To foster in students a wide range of significant interests;
      5. To provide materials to motivate students to examine their own attitudes and behaviors and to comprehend their own duties and responsibilities as citizens in a pluralistic democracy;
      6. To encourage lifelong education through the use of the library;
      7. To consider the educational characteristics of the community in the selection of materials within a given category;
      8. To present the sexual, racial, religious and ethnic groups in the community by:
        1. Portraying people, both men and women, adults and children, whatever their ethnic, religious or social class identity, as human and recognizable, displaying a familiar range of emotions, both negative and positive.
        2. Placing no constraints on individual aspirations and opportunity.
        3. Giving comprehensive, accurate, and balanced representation to minority groups and women - in art and science, history and literature, and in all other fields of life and culture.
        4. Providing abundant recognition of minority groups and women by showing them frequently in positions of leadership and authority.
  2. Criteria for selection:
    1. Authority - Author’s qualifications - education, experience, and previously published works.
    2. Reliability:
      1. Accuracy - meaningful organization and emphasis on content, meets the materials goals and objectives, and presents authoritative and realist factual material.
      2. Current - presentation of content which is consistent with the finding of recent and authoritative research.
    3. Treatment of subject - shows an objective reflection for the multi-ethnic character and cultural diversity of society.
    4. Language:
      1. Vocabulary: Does not indicate bias by the use of words which may result in negative value judgments about groups of people;
        1. Does not use “man” or similar limiting word usage in generalization or ambiguities which may cause women to feel excluded or dehumanized.
      2. Compatible to the reading level of the student for whom it is intended.
    5. Format:
      1. Book
        1. Adequate and accurate index;
        2. Paper of good quality and color
        3. Print adequate and well spaced;
        4. Firmly bound; and,
        5. Cost.
      2. Non-book
        1. Flexibility, adaptability;
        2. Curricular orientation of significant interest to students;
        3. Appropriate for audience;
        4. Accurate authoritative presentation;
        5. Good production qualities (fidelity, aesthetically adequate);
        6. Durability; and,
        7. Cost.
      3. Illustrations of book and non-book materials should:
        1. Depict instances of fully integrated grouping and settings to indicate equal status and non-segregated social relationships.
        2. Make clearly apparent the identity of minority individuals;
        3. Contain pertinent and effective illustrations;
      4. Flexible to enable the teacher to use parts at a time and not follow a comprehensive instructional program on a rigid frame of reference.
    6. Special Features: 
      1. Bibliographies.
      2. Glossary.
      3. Current charts, maps, etc.
      4. Visual aids.
      5. Index.
      6. Special activities to stimulate and challenge students.
      7. Provide a variety of learning skills.
    7. Potential use:
      1. Will it meet the requirements of reference work?
      2. Will it help students with personal problems and adjustments?
      3. Will it serve as a source of information for teachers and teacher librarians?
      4. Does it offer an understanding of cultures other than the student’s own and is it free of racial, religious, age, disability, ethnic, and sexual stereotypes?
      5. Will it expand students’ sphere of understanding and help them to understand the ideas and beliefs of others?
      6. Will it help students and teachers keep abreast of and understand current events?
      7. Will it foster and develop hobbies and special interest?
      8. Will it help develop aesthetic tasks and appreciation?
      9. Will it serve the needs of students with special problems?
      10. Does it have inspirational value?
      11. Is it relevant to the subject?
      12. Will it stimulate a student’s interest?
    8. Criteria specific to school library include:
      1. Materials integral to the instructional program;
      2. Materials appropriate for the reading level and understanding of students in the school;
      3. Materials reflecting the interests and needs of the students and faculty served by the library;
      4. Materials warranting inclusion in the collection because of their literary and/or artistic value and merit;
      5. Materials presenting information with the greatest degree of accuracy and clarity possible;
      6. Materials representing a fair and unbiased presentation of information.

III. Procedures for Selection

  1. Material purchased for libraries and classrooms shall be recommended for purchase by the certified personnel, in consultation with administrative staff, library staff, and students or an ad hoc committee as appointed by the Board. The material recommended for purchase shall be approved by the appropriate building administrator.

Selecting resources occurs at many levels, from resources used in universal instruction to resources used in highly individualized situations. Whenever the selection of resources is for universal instruction or programmatic use (such as Title I or ELL instruction) district involvement and approval is required. Along this continuum of levels in selecting resources, the following statements also guide the selection process:

  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. The actual resource will be examined whenever possible.
  2. Recommendations for purchase may involve administrators, teachers, students, district personnel, or community persons, as appropriate.
  3. Selection is an ongoing process that should include how to remove materials no longer appropriate and how to replace lost and worn materials still of educational value.
  4. Requests, suggestions, and reactions for the purchase of instructional materials shall be gathered from staff to the greatest extent possible.
  5. Reviews of proposed acquisitions will be sought in the literature of reputable professional organizations and other reviewing sources recognized for their objectivity and wide experience.
  6. Materials will be examined by professional staff to the extent necessary or practicable to apply criteria.
  7. Text resources will be selected after examination by a representative committee of teachers, principals, curriculum specialists, directors of instruction, and others who have professional expertise in objective evaluation of materials.
  8. Materials for libraries are selected by the professional media staff with due regard to suggestions from the faculty, parents, and students. Final selection is made by the teacher librarians of the school in which the center is housed. Professionally recognized reviewing periodicals, standard catalogs, and other selection aids are used by the media specialists and the faculty to guide them in their selection.
  1. Gifts of library or instructional materials may be accepted if the gift meets existing criteria for instructional resources. The acceptance and placement of such gifts shall be within the discretion of the Board.
  2. In order to provide a current, highly usable collection of materials, teacher librarians shall provide for constant and continuing renewal of the collection, not only the addition of up-to-date materials, but by the judicious elimination of materials which no longer meet school district needs or find use. The process of weeding instructional materials will be done according to established and accepted standards for determining the relevance and value of materials in a given context.

Adopted:  Unknown
Modified:  08/16/21
Reviewed:  08/02/21

  • Series 600 Educational Program