Essential documents, prepared by the school, the school division, the board of education, and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, guide the decision-making and activities of the library resource centre. The documents outline a frame of reference for decision making and vitiate potential problems when the community requests action, when students require assistance, and when teachers ask for advice. The documents provide consistency in determining solutions and ideally remove the subjective aspects of maintaining a centre. It is imperative that teacher-librarians are not only familiar with school library policies and procedures, but promote the content of these documents.

Policies and procedures help address the following situations:
  • My principal wants to know how I select books. How should I respond?
  • The mother of a student wants me to remove the book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" from the shelf. She says she will sue the school if the book is not deselected. Should it be removed?
  • I received a box of junky books from an administrator. I do not want to be ungrateful. Can I discard them?

Policies explain why the collection exists and what it consists of. Procedures explain how the policy will be implemented and who will be involved with the implementation. Policies and procedures are separate documents. Policies are usually published, while procedures are used for internal operations.

Selection Policy

A selection policy identifies the criteria by which materials are evaluated for inclusion in the collection and assigns responsibility for selection decisions. This policy may also encompass the de-selection policy and the reconsideration procedures; however, these may be separate policies.

Section 37 of The Education Regulations, 1986 requires that boards of education establish policies and standards governing school libraries. The legislations specifically states that a selection policy and a policy for challenged materials must be established. The policies provide guidance and direction to the school library staff members responsible for collection development and maintenance as well as a very general description of the types of material to be included in the library’s collection.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
Diverse Voices: Selecting Equitable Resources for Aboriginal and Métis Education (1995)
Gender Equity: Policies and Guidelines for Implementation (1991)
Connections: Policy and Guidelines for School Libraries in Saskatchewan (2008)
PreK-12 Curriculum Policy, Curricula & Learning Resources

School Division
Collection Development Policy
Book Challenge Policy and Procedure
De-Selection, Weeding, and Discarding Procedure
Budget Formula Guidelines

Library Programming
Internet Network Policy/ Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
Library Skills Continuum
Cooperative Planning Policy
Statement on Plagiarism

Procedures
Inventory
Year-End Procedure

Library Resource Centre Rules and Regulations
Library Borrowing Procedure
Library Fines
Hours of Operation
Guidelines for Student Behaviour

Planning
Strategic plans clarify and communicate the school library’s long range goal.
Operational Plan
Strategic Plan

Marketing, Reporting, and Advocating
The documents accentuate the positive by promoting on the community contributions of the school library.
Brochures for Parents
Letters to Teachers
Annual Reports
Evidence-Based Practice

Collection Development