St Dympna's School Library
Collection Development and Management Policy

Purpose of Collection
Goals of Collection
Profile of Patrons
Collection Evaluation
Challenges to Materials

1. Introduction
1.1. This document details the policy the St Dympna’s school library bases all collection management decisions upon. It sets out the purpose and goals of the collection and of collection management, the patrons the collection is designed to serve, the formats the collection holds, and the policies for selection, acquisition and deselection of resources. It also provides an outline of how the collection will be maintained through evaluation, and how challenges to items from the collection will be resolved.

2. Purpose of the Collection
2.1. The collection and all services of the library aim to meet the Mission of St Dympna’s School, which is ‘Learning, Faith, Community.’
2.2. To provide “a well balanced collection, which caters not only for the academic needs of students but also their spiritual, personal, cultural and recreational needs.” (Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia, School Library Resource Centres, 1992 p.1)
3. Goals of the Collection
3.1. To provide a collection that reflects the statements in the Australian School Library Bill of Rights (Appendix 1) and the ALIA statement on Free Access to Information (Appendix 2).
3.2. To offer resources that will allow students to develop as mature readers and viewers who are able to critically discern the most appropriate material to meet their informational and recreational needs.(South Australian Department of Education and Children’, 2004 p.8)
3.3. To offer all staff of the school access to the most appropriate resources to support their implementation of the curriculum, and to extend and enrich their own development as professionals.

4. Profile of Patrons
4.1. Students are encouraged to borrow at least once a week during scheduled borrowing times, although they are also able to borrow during the lunch hour, before and after school. The number of titles they are able to borrow is dependent upon their year level.
4.2. Students are generally from a high socio-economic background. Commercially popular titles are often already owned by the students. Therefore students are encouraged to seek from the library titles that not only extend and challenge but also offer a variety of perspectives and writing styles.
4.3. Staff are able to borrow an unlimited number of resources for the period of one term. Staff have three major focii of borrowing; professional development and curriculum materials for their own use, recreational reading titles to support reading in the classroom and bulk loans that enrich the connected curriculum unit being taught each term.
4.4. Parents are welcome to borrow from the library either under their own name or their child’s name. Parents have a borrowing period of one month, and can borrow up to four resources at one time.
4.5. Parents can select from the general library or from the Parent reading library that provides non-fiction titles in a variety of areas.

5. Formats
5.1. Formats in the collection are to be chosen in order to reflect the wide range of needs and learning styles of the patrons, and can include (but not be limited to)
5.1.1. Print resources: books (hard and soft cover), picture books, big books, magazines,
5.1.2. Non-print resources: games, videos and DVDs, kits, posters,
5.1.3. Electronic resources: software, multimedia, internet sites, cd-roms
5.2. Decisions regarding format of material will reflect the age group of the users with considerations including durability, ease of use, user appeal and shelving options.

6. Selection
6.1. The School Principal has final responsibility for the Library, and delegates selection responsibility to the Teacher Librarian. Recommendations made by staff, students and parents will be considered within the context of the selection policy as outlined below.

6.2. Resources are selected to support the school’s mission statement and educational goals. Selection will be guided by the purposes and goals of the collection and thus will reflect the statements in the Australian School Library Bill of Rights (Appendix 1) and the ALIA Statement on Freedom to Read (Appendix 2).

6.3. Selection is based upon
6.3.1. Requirements of the curriculum; derived directly from syllabi and as interpreted through connected curriculum units of work
6.3.2. Recreational reading requirements of the students
6.3.3. Recommendations from BCE peer networks (TL North Cluster group), Teacher Librarian communities such as OZTL_NET and Edna Groups
6.3.4. Reviews in reputable professional journals including Magpies and Reading Time
6.3.5. Lists of recognized children’s literary awards
6.3.6. Personal appraisal
6.3.7. Staff and student requests
6.3.8. Priority will be given to Australian resources. This includes Australian content, authors and publishers.
(Braxton, B.

6.3.9. Entire series may not always be collected – students are often motivated to purchase their own copies of such series. Instead emphasis will be placed upon selecting a wide range of titles that will expose students to many different authors and perspectives.

6.4. Criteria for Selection of library materials:
6.4.1. Appropriateness – evaluated according to Relevance to current or future curriculum Capacity to meet needs of students as recreational readers Match between content, language, symbols and concepts of the resource and the intended audience Provision of a range of text structures reflecting balance of genre Ability of the library to suitably house the material Cost, value and suitability for library use
6.4.2. Quality – evaluated according to Authority and reputation of the authors, producers or publishers Accuracy and currency of content, Depth of coverage and level of detail appropriate to the needs of the audience Layout and organization of the resource, ensuring content is easily accessible and has tools such as contents, index and glossary where required Durability of the resource and physical format of the item and materials used in its construction
Braxton, B.2004, Mitchell, P.1997

7. Acquisitions
7.1. The Teacher Librarian is responsible for all acquisitions of stock specifically for the library. Teachers and other staff members are responsible for acquiring resources for the fulfillment of their roles through their own budget, however all resources must be passed through the library for processing.
7.2. Acquisition of ICT resources is the responsibility of the ICT Co-Ordinator although all purchases must be processed by the library.
7.3. A number of sources are considered when acquiring resources for the school library. Titles are selected from Australian Standing Orders (to which the library subscribes for picture books and fiction titles), a small number of booksellers, purchases made from local bookstores and through an annual bookfair.
7.4. Gifts and donations will be accepted and evaluated according to the collection selection criteria. Inclusion in the collection is at the discretion of the teacher librarian. Items not suitable for the collection will be donated to charity.
8. Weeding
8.1. Weeding or deselection of titles is considered to be a vital aspect of maintaining the collection, and is done in accordance with the school mission, ‘Learning, Faith, Community.’
8.2. Final decisions as to the weeding of titles rests with the Teacher Librarian, however weeding is undertaken in consultation with appropriate staff members.
8.3. Weeding is undertaken at a rate where at least ten percent of resources are replaced annually. The goal of weeding is to maintain a collection where the average age of resources is less than ten years. The relevance of materials will be considered at varying speeds, with an average of after six years in the collection. (Learning for the Future, 2002, p.30)
8.4. Weeding is considered an ongoing process that occurs as items are handled as well as at regular intervals (Klopfer, K. 2007, )
8.5. Criteria for weeding will be as follows:
8.5.1. Appearance and physical condition
8.5.2. Accuracy and currency of information
8.5.3. Relevance to the curriculum
8.5.4. Availability of another item or format that better serves the purpose of the item or the existence of updated or revised materials
8.5.5. Amount of use as assessed through observation and borrowing statistics
(Philip, Barbara, 2002,
(Hirsch, Sandra, 2003,
8.6. Items that are weeded shall be removed from the catalogue immediately to ensure the catalogue remains accurate and up to date.
8.7. Lost and destroyed items: approximate replacement cost will be sought from the borrower in the case of lost or destroyed items at the discretion of the teacher librarian, who will make a case by case decision dependent upon the patron’s borrowing history and the value of the item lost or destroyed.

9. Collection Evaluation
9.1. Collection Evaluation is an ongoing tool to ensure that the collection continues to meet the needs of its patrons. Evaluation should be drawn from formal and informal methods of data collection and a record of these evaluations stored in the library file on the school server.
9.2. Evaluation tools used will include reports run through the Library Automation system, and surveys of patrons, as well as discussions with staff upon the completion of integrated units as to the value of resources supplied and suggestions as to what might be effectively used in future implementation of the unit.
9.3. An additional tool in collection evaluation is the yearly stocktake, which informs the teacher librarian of items lost or missing and provides an excellent opportunity to assess the condition of the resources with a view to weeding those in poor condition.
9.4. It is recognized that accurate cataloguing of resources is essential so that reports run through the library automation system are correct. Time is regularly allocated to audit the catalogue and update records as needed.
9.5. The current collection does not include electronic resources other than cd-roms. Future exploration into the recording of learning objects, pathfinders and websites into the catalogue will be undertaken in response to the need to include these in the collection evaluation.

10. Challenges to materials
10.1. It is recognized that despite the care taken to select materials appropriate for use in the school library, there may at some time be challenges or objections to materials included in the collection. Therefore the following procedure outlines the steps that will be taken should such a challenge or objection occur at St Dympna’s.
10.2. At all times, the school mission statement, and the principles outlined in the ALIA Statement on Free Access to Information (Appendix 2) as well as the professional responsibility of the library staff will be defended.
10.3. Procedure for handling challenges to resources:
10.3.1. Challenge to be clarified, and resolved if possible through discussion
10.3.2. Principal and leadership team to be notified regardless of outcome of discussion
10.3.3. If unresolved the ‘Request for Reconsideration of Resources Form’ (Appendix 3) should be completed by the person raising the objection. Every assistance will be given in its completion.
10.3.4. The information supplied is considered by a committee that consists of the Teacher Librarian, library staff, the School Principal and the School Leadership team. A decision should be made based upon this discussion. This should occur within two weeks of the objection being raised.
10.3.5. The decision is communicated by the School Principal, and an official record is kept of the matter in the Library file on the school server.

Australian Library and Information Association (2001) Statement on free access to information,, last accessed 13 May 2007.

Australian School Library Association (2000), Policy Statement - School Library Bill of Rights,, last accessed 13 May 2007.

Braxton, Barbara, (2004) Collection Development, last accessed 13 May 2007.

Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (1992), School Library Resource Centres, Catholic Education Commission of W.A., Perth, W.A.

Curriculum Materials Information Services, (2007) CMIS Selection Policy, , last accessed 13 May 2007.

Education Queensland, (2006) Suggested procedure for handling challenges, last accessed 13 May 2007.

Hirsch, Sandra, (2003), Collection Development Policies, last accessed 13 May 2007.
Klopfer, K. (2007), Weed It! For an attractive and useful collection! Western Massachusetts Regional Library System, last accessed 13 May 2007.

Mitchel, P. (1997) Resourcing the Curriculum, last accessed 13 May 2007.

Philip, Barbara. (2002) Collection Development Policy, last accessed 13 May 2007.

South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services (2004) Choosing and using teaching and learning materials : guidelines for preschools and schools, edited by Gunta Groves, DECS Publishing, Hindmarsh, S. Aust.