Learning Commons Collection Development Guidelines
Overview of the ELAR Classroom Instructional Material & Novel Selection Process

“Collections in school libraries should reflect the unique character and mission of the schools in which these libraries serve. Within a school district, different schools may have different needs. As a result, each school library may have different priorities within its collections or special collections. Materials should support the school’s Mission and Vision Statements and individual needs; support and enrich the curriculum and learning needs; and support students’ interests. Materials should meet high standards in literary, artistic and aesthetic quality. Materials should be durable and lasting when possible.” 

"Selection Criteria", American Library Association, December 19, 2017. http://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/selectionpolicytoolkit/criteria (Accessed May 6, 2021) 

Selection Guidelines

Materials collection should: 

Be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability levels, learning styles, and social, emotional, and intellectual development of the students Incorporate accurate and authentic factual content from authoritative sources Earn favorable reviews from trusted review sources. Preferred review sources include but are not limited to: 


Kirkus Reviews 

Horn Book Guide 

School Library Journal 

Publishers Weekly 

YALSA Best Books for Young Adults 

Award winning books, including but not limited to Newberry Award, Caldecott Award, Pura Belpre Award, Coretta Scott King Award 

From recommended reading lists including but not limited to Bluebonnet List, Lone Star list, Tayshas List, 2x2 List, Maverick list, and Tejas Star 

Continuing books in popular and well-reviewed series, or from well-known and trusted authors 

Represent multiple viewpoints on controversial issues 

Provide a global perspective and promote diversity by including materials by authors and illustrators of all cultures  

Include resources in a variety of physical and digital formats, including but not limited to print books, magazines, ebooks, audiobooks, databases, etc. 

Balance cost with need 

Librarians will seek books with favorable reviews from at least two sources when applicable. Critical reviews can be found on Titlewave. 

Gifts and donated items should meet the criteria and qualifications laid out above if they are to be considered for circulation. Used donated items will be assessed for condition and students interest, and may be used as giveaways. Otherwise, they may be recycled. Selection Guidelines based on ALA Selection Criteria 

Planned Deselection (Weeding)

The school librarian will conduct an inventory of the school library collection and equipment every two years. The inventory can be used to determine losses and remove damaged or worn materials which can then be considered for replacement. The inventory can also be used to deselect and remove materials that are no longer relevant to the curriculum, or of interest to students. 

"Collection Maintenance and Weeding", American Library Association, December 25, 2017. 

http://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/selectionpolicytoolkit/weeding (Accessed May 11, 2021) 

Document ID: f235b4e9-57d0-4ae6-b6ed-03de64cfd54c 

Even when using methods that are recommended by the ALA, the librarian should use discretion in making their weeding decisions, keeping in mind their commitment to the mission and vision of their campus. Suggested methods for weeding include: 


Misleading - the information is inaccurate or out of date 

Ugly - if the materials are worn, tattered or mildewed (in which case they present a danger to the materials surrounding them) 

Superseded - if the title has been replaced by a newer edition, a newer format, or a newer title. Trivial - if the material is not well written. 

Irrelevant - The material does not fit the needs or interests of the learning community Elsewhere obtainable - The same information is available in another format of title (From https://www.tsl.texas.gov/sites/default/files/public/tslac/ld/ld/pubs/crew/crewmethod12.pdf)

CREW (guidelines stated in the simplest form) 





(From https://www.tsl.texas.gov/sites/default/files/public/tslac/ld/ld/pubs/crew/crewmethod12.pdf)

Updated 1/25/2022