Accessibilty Options

Collection Development

Collection Development

Philosophy | Selection | Gifts | Weeding | Reconsideration of Materials

I. Philosophy

  • The mission of the University Laboratory High School Library is to provide a collection of materials to implement, enrich, and support the curriculum of University Laboratory High School and to meet the individual educational, emotional, and recreational needs of students, faculty, and staff. In addition, as a departmental library of the University of Illinois, the University Laboratory High School Library also provides service and materials to the University community at large.
  • For further information on the role of the school library media center, please see:

II. Selection

  • Responsibility
    • The University Laboratory High School Librarian assumes final responsibility for the selection of materials. Materials shall be chosen by the librarian alone and in cooperation with faculty, staff, and students.

  • Criteria for Selection
    • Materials selected for inclusion in the collection of the University Laboratory High School Library shall satisfy the following:

    • Materials shall be chosen to enrich and support the curriculum and the educational, emotional, and recreational needs of the users.
    • Materials shall meet high standards of quality in:
      • physical or electronic format, as appropriate
      • treatment of subject
      • accuracy and currency of information
      • arrangement and organization
      • literary style
    • Materials shall be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social development of University Laboratory High School students.
    • Materials shall represent differing viewpoints of controversial issues so that users may be motivated to engage in critical analysis of such issues, to explore their own beliefs, attitudes, and behavior, and to make intelligent judgments in their everyday lives.
    • For further information on library selection policies in general, please see the following ALA documents:
  • Selection Tools
    • The following professional resources are available to assist the University Laboratory High School librarian in the selection process; however, selection is not limited to the use of these tools.
    • Reviewing Media:
      • Booklist
      • School Library Journal
      • Voice of Youth Advocates
      • MultiCultural Review
    • Bibliographies:
      • Baumbach, Donna J. & Linda L. Miller. Less Is More: A Practical Guide to Weeding School Library Collections. Chicago: ALA, 2006.
      • Best Books for Young Adults. 3rd ed. Koelling, Holly, ed. Chicago: ALA, 2007.
      • Gillespie, John T. & Barr, Catherine Best Books for High School Readers. Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
      • More Outstanding Books for the College Bound. Young Adult Library Services Association, ed. Chicago: ALA, 2006.
      • Pawuk, Michael. Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
      • Rochman, Hazel. Against Borders: Promoting Books for a Multicultural World. Chicago: ALA, 1993.
      • Barber, Raymond W. & Bartell, Patrice. Senior High School Library Catalog. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 2007.
  • Professional Collection
    • In order to serve the needs of University Laboratory High School faculty and staff and other members of the University community, University Laboratory High School Library maintains a small professional collection of materials relating to the fields of education and library science.

    • The librarian selects titles appropriate for a core journal collection of interest and use to educators, administrators, and librarians, especially those at University Laboratory High School. In addition, key monographs in a few subject areas are acquired through selection or as gifts. These materials shall be subject to the selection criteria described above.

    • Faculty and staff at University High School are invited to participate in the library's current contents service. Through this service, the library periodically provides table-of-contents' of journals that would be of interest to individual faculty or staff members, thus allowing educators to stay abreast of current developments in their field.

    • University Laboratory High School faculty also have access to the much more comprehensive journal and monograph collections of the University Library.

  • College and Career Collection
    • The Library maintains a core reference collection consisting of Peterson's Guide to Four-Year Colleges, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, and a few other reference and circulating titles. The school's Student Services Office provides a larger collection of college and career guides, including standardized test preparation materials.

  • Online Information Policy
    • In keeping with our role as a source of information, the library provides Internet access to information beyond the confines of our collection. The Internet affords us an exciting opportunity to have immediate access to timely and comprehensive information as well as a wide variety of primary sources. Providing connections to global information services and networks outside the library is different from selecting and purchasing materials for the library collection. The Internet changes rapidly, frequently, and unpredictably.

    • As the vast amount of information on the Internet is generated outside the library, the library cannot be responsible for accuracy, authenticity, currency, availability, or completeness of information. We cannot insure that Internet communications are secure or private.

    • Because of the library's limitations, the user is responsible for using discretion when considering the quality of material, questioning the validity of information, and choosing what is individually appropriate.

    • Through our required Computer Literacy curriculum, we provide students with guidelines for evaluating web sites and search strategies for finding the most appropriate information from the web. In addition, as students visit our library to conduct research on the Internet, we informally train them in how to use the Internet in a responsible and discriminating manner.

    • We also provide guidance to web resources through our Class Projects* and our Web Search Tools pages, both found on the University High Library home page*

    • In the University Laboratory High School Library setting, the Internet is a resource which provides timely access to students' information needs. Unfortunately, limited computer resources do not permit the library to support all types of Internet and computer usage. Therefore, in order to best allocate these finite resources, student use of the library's computers will be limited in the following ways:

      • Academic use will always have priority over recreational use.
      • Game playing and other disruptive computer usage as determined by library staff are not permitted.
      • Printing privileges are restricted to academic use. Exceptions to this policy will be made at the discretion of the librarian.
    • The library is also guided by the Electronic Information Policy of the UIUC University Library, the University Laboratory High School Computer Usage Agreement, and the University Laboratory High School Computer Lab Rules
    • For further information on Electronic Information Policy, please see the following ALA policy statements:
  • Non-print Materials Policy
    • The library provides non-print materials and services for the following purposes:
      • to implement, enrich, and support the curriculum of University Laboratory High School
      • to meet the individual, educational, emotional, and recreational needs of students, faculty and staff.
    • Format
      • The library's non-print collection consists primarily of videos and DVDs, but also includes electronic reference sources, e-books, and some audio materials.
      • The library does not collect music CDs or other forms of digital music. The library also does not support an audio book collection.

III. Gifts

The University Laboratory High School Library welcomes gift materials. These materials shall be subject to the same criteria as those obtained through the regular selection process. Materials not chosen for inclusion in the University Laboratory High School Library's collection shall be sent to the University of Illinois Library, where they shall be made available to other departmental libraries or included in the University Library book sale.

IV. Weeding

  • Purpose
    • The University Laboratory High School Library recognizes the importance of maintaining a collection of current, appropriate, and useful materials. Therefore, a periodic evaluation of the collection will be performed in order to remove or replace materials which are no longer useful. The following guidelines have been developed to aid in the weeding process; however, the final decision concerning the removal or replacement of material rests with the University Laboratory High School librarian.

  • Guidelines
    • Weeding by Appearance
      • Worn-out volumes: dirty, brittle, yellow pages; missing pages; tattered covers; etc.
      • Badly bound volumes: soft, pulpy paper and/or shoddy binding
      • Badly printed works
      • Books of antiquated appearance which might discourage use
      • Audio-visual materials with missing or broken pieces
    • Weeding of Superfluous or Duplicate Volumes
      • Unneeded duplicate titles
      • Older editions
      • Highly specialized books (when library holds more general or up-to-date volumes on the same subject)
      • Books on subjects of little interest to the local community
      • Books which no longer relate to the curriculum (if specialized)
    • Weeding Based on Poor Content
      • Information is dated
      • Information is inaccurate
      • Stereotypes are present
      • Book is poorly written
    • Weeding According to Use
      • Nonfiction: Book has not been checked out within last 10 years
      • Fiction: Book has not been checked out within last 5 years (classics excluded) (Fiction Weeding Guidelines)
    • Categories of Books which may be quickly outdated:
      • 000s: computer
      • 100s: psychology (especially popular literature)
      • 300s: college & career materials
      • 400s: grammars with dated examples and/or illustrations
      • 500s: astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology
      • 600s: electronics, engineering, health, technology
      • 900s: popular biographies
      • Mistakes in selection/acquisition
    • Categories of Books which are not quickly outdated:
      • dictionaries
      • biographical sources
      • literary criticism
      • classics of literature
      • foreign language literature
      • art books
      • local history/geography
      • books providing general principles of a subject or discipline

    V. Reconsideration of Materials

    • Statement of Policy
      • The University Laboratory High School Library subscribes in principle to the philosophy expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and its supporting documents, and the American Association of School Librarians' School Library Bill of Rights for School Library Media Programs. Copies of these documents are appended to and made a part of this policy.

      • The University Laboratory High School Library also recognizes that occasionally materials selected may be challenged or questioned, despite the care taken in selecting them. A procedure for processing and responding to criticism of approved material has been established and shall be followed. This procedure shall include a formal signed complaint of standard format and an appointed committee to reevaluate the material in question.

    • Procedure for handling Challenged or Questioned Books and Materials
      • Upon receiving a complaint, the University Laboratory High School Librarian shall hold a conference with the patron making the complaint. The Principal/Director of University Laboratory High School shall be notified and may be present at the conference.

      • If the problem cannot be resolved in the conference, the patron will be given a "Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials" form. (See Appendix A.)

      • The patron will return the completed form to the Librarian, who will forward a copy to the Principal/Director of University Laboratory High School and the University Librarian.

      • The University Librarian and the Principal/Director of University Laboratory High School will appoint a committee to review the complaint. This committee shall be composed of the University Laboratory High School Librarian, the Principal/Director of the University Laboratory High School, the University Librarian (or a designee), two teachers at University Laboratory High School (one from the discipline and/or grade representing the subject matter of the material and one from a different discipline and/or grade), and one other member of the University Laboratory High School community (this person could be a member of the Parent-Faculty Organization or another parent interest group).

      • The committee will review the complaint and make a written report and recommendation to the Principal/Director and the University Librarian.

      • Final disposition authority to keep or remove a book or other material rests with the Principal/Director of University Laboratory High School and the University Librarian.

      • A letter explaining the decision shall be sent to the complainant.

    • For further information on the American Library Association's policy on challenged materials, please see:

Supporting Documents

Partial list of sources consulted in preparing this policy:

  • Adams, Helen R. Ensuring Intellectual Freedom and Access to Information in the School Library Media Program. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008.
  • Barber, Raymond W. & Bartell, Partice. Senior High Core Collection. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson, 2011.
  • Gillespie, John T., and Barr, Catherine. Best Books for High School Readers. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.