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Library Policies: Collection Development

Collection Development Policy

The Weston High School Library maintains a collection of materials that meet the needs of students and teachers in the area of curriculum and personal growth. We are built on the principals of intellectual freedom described in the American Library Association Bill of Library Rights.

To maintain this collection, we purchase a variety of items in different formats (print, ebooks, databases, videos, hardware). We decide  what to buy based on requests from teachers and students, the courses taught at Weston High School and knowledge of new publications. We use reviews from sources like Library Journal, Booklist, School Library Journal, The New York Times Book Review, and other book review sources.

Because we have limited space, when we buy new materials we have to remove older, less frequently used materials from our collection. When we remove materials ("weed") we check to see how many times it was checked out, the last time it was used, the accuracy of the content, and if it relates to our current curriculum. We use Crew: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries to guide weeding. When we weed materials we offer them first to our community on a free book cart. We donate anything left over to More Than Words, a charitable organization in Waltham that has a bookstore cafe run by teenagers.

Sometimes a community member may disapprove of an item in our collection ("challenge"), and wish to see it removed. We collect and offer a wide range of materials on a wide range of topics, offering many different viewpoints. We support the ideals of intellectual freedom as described by the American Librarian Association. Our first action is to encourage people, when they encounter materials that make them uncomfortable, to use another item instead. Sometimes this is not enough to satisfy a community member who disapproves of an item. In this case, our second action is examining the item to determine if it fits the curriculum or is applicable to personal aesthetic development,  and has reviews that suggest it is an appropriate addition to a high school library. If the item doesn't meet these criteria, the librarian will weed the item.