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IJL - Library-Media Materials Selection

Policy IJL

Adopted: November 5, 2009
Amended: November 16, 2023



  1. The Hopkinton School Committee recognizes that each school’s library plays a vital role in the educational process. Print and online materials in the library should be selected to support the curriculum, encourage informational and recreational reading, and be based on consideration of students’ diverse interests, developmental interests, abilities and backgrounds, as well as costs. The value of any work considered for the collection should be examined as a whole and should take into consideration the overall purpose of the selection.

  2. Materials selection by professional library staff should include consultation with teachers, administrators, and students as appropriate and be guided by the School Library Bill of Rights, as adopted in January 2019  by the American Library Association, which says that the responsibility of the School Library and Technology Center is to:  

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

  • Provide materials in an appropriate and current format to effectively teach the curriculum. 

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

  • Provide a background of information that will enable pupils to make intelligent judgments in their daily life.

  • Provide materials on opposing sides of issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis of all media. 

  • Provide materials reflective of the pluralistic nature of a global society. 

  • Place principle above personal opinion and avoid  prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate to the users of the library and technology center.

  • Anticipate and meet needs through awareness of subjects of current interest. 

  • Provide materials with a recent copyright date as appropriate to the subject. 


Selection Criteria 

  1. In general, all learning resources shall be selected for their strengths, rather than rejected for their weaknesses. In order to achieve the objectives of the library and technology centers, a combination of the following criteria are used as a guide in selection:

● Contribution and relevance to curriculum and goals of the school 

● Factual content is accurate, current, reliable and authoritative 

● Readability and accessibility to intended audience 

● High degree of user appeal 

● Present content in appropriate format and acceptable technical quality 

● Literary style and/or artistic quality 

● Quality and variety of format with efforts to incorporate emerging technologies 

● Timeliness or permanence 

● Reflect current research and meet current standards of excellence 

● Durable and attractive construction 

● The value of each work will be examined as a whole, transcending individual words, phrases, illustrations or incidents 

● Materials should represent various viewpoints on issues 

● Reputation or significance of author, producer, editor or publisher 

● Favorable reviews found in standard selection resources (School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, NetGalley, etc.)

  1. Additionally, the diverse needs of students should be taken into account when materials are being selected with an emphasis on ensuring that materials address student needs with respect to equity, race, religion, poverty, gender communities, mental health, language and technology. Consistent with the recommendations of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “all educational products should be assessed concerning the ability to achieve fairness and sensitivity in content and language by excluding language or content that might disadvantage or offend a student because of gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, cultural, economic, or geographical background and to include content and language that reflects the diversity of the student population.”

  2. Gifts of library books will be accepted in keeping with the above policy on selection and district policy “Gifts to the School or the School District (KCD).

  3. The library media specialist, with principal approval, is responsible for the routine inventory, evaluation, purchasing, and weeding of materials in the school library collection.   Materials to be discarded shall be screened by the same criteria as those outlined for acquisition.  The condition of the material, its historical accuracy and its currency, as well as its circulation status, may make it a candidate for discard.  Damaged or lost books shall be replaced according to the acquisition criteria.  Discarded books shall be disposed of as deemed appropriate by the library staff and the principal.

Reconsideration of Library Materials

Occasionally objections to a selection are made despite the care exercised by all professional staff members involved in the selection process. If a citizen of Hopkinton challenges the appropriateness of an item in a school library collection, school administration will follow procedures developed jointly by school administration and professional library staff. If necessary, the School Committee will be the final arbitrator if a challenge cannot be resolved at a school or district office level. The school library will not restrict access to the challenged materials during the reconsideration process and will adhere to whatever decision is reached through the reconsideration process.


Request for Reconsideration of School Library Media Materials

Legal References:

603 CMR 26.05: Access to Equal Educational Opportunity, Curricula

Cross Reference:

KCD - Gifts to the School or School District


School Committee Policies