AP 270 - School Libraries

The school library is an integral part of the school program—a learning resource centre where students gain access to a wide variety of learning resources which complement and enrich the curriculum, broaden individual outlooks and support lifelong learning.


  1. An integrated school library program should be directed by trained personnel and should endeavour to provide a range of learning resources in a variety of formats at all appropriate levels for the students in the jurisdiction.
  2. Adequate facilities, an extensive range of materials and equipment, and media services for the use of teachers and students should be provided.
  3. The school staff, under the leadership of the principal, shall:
    1. Identify the resources available to meet stated goals and outcomes and any additional resources which will have to be acquired to meet program and student needs.
    2. Plan teaching/learning strategies for the utilization of identified learning resources.
    3. Provide orientation and library skills, to meet student needs or curriculum goals and outcomes.
    4. Provide meaningful opportunities for students to develop the ability to gain information from a variety of information sources and communicate to others through a variety of technology sources.
    5. Promote student interest in reading, viewing and listening.
  4. Selection of Resources
    1. Learning resources are sources of information regardless of format. Careful evaluation and selection of these learning resources is necessary to meet student and curricular needs.
    2. The intent of the division is to provide a wide range of learning resources at varying levels of difficulty and in several different formats. These materials, through their diversity of appeal and their presentation of different points of view to meet the needs of students, teachers and the experiences encompassed in the curriculum, will promote the intellectual, cultural, social and ethical development of students.
    3. Learning resources are to be selected carefully. The criteria for selection of learning resources shall be established by the teaching staff in conjunction with the librarian and administration. The criteria shall include resources that:
      1. Support and enrich the curriculum;
      2. Promote reading for enjoyment and increase appreciation for aesthetic values and commonly accepted societal standards;
      3. Provide materials which present both sides of controversial issues so that students may make critical analyses and thereby make wise and well-informed decisions;
      4. Stimulate intellectual growth and increase factual knowledge and application; and
      5. Provide a wide collection of materials representing religious, ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups and their contributions to our national heritage.
    4. In addition, the school staff should endeavour to evaluate and select learning resources according to the following criteria:
      1. Copyright date, especially in the fields of science, social science and useful arts;
      2. Timeliness and permanence of the material;
      3. Relationship of the item to the curriculum;
      4. Relationship of the item to extracurricular activities including reading or enjoyment;
      5. Relationship of the items to community interests;
      6. Guidelines for tolerance and understanding; and Canadian content priorities.
    5. Specific criteria for the evaluation and selection of fiction include all of the above. In addition, fiction should:
      1. Avoid stereotyping, sadism and sensationalism in reference to ethnic groups, work roles and sex roles;
      2. Present an unbiased view of contemporary social problems;
      3. Extend imagery appropriate to the developmental level of children; and
      4. Present life and fantasy in a reasonable fashion.
    6. Periodicals shall be examined to determine if they:
      1. Present factual information;
      2. Discuss matters of timely interest;
      3. Express divergent points of view;
      4. Have value as a reference;
      5. Are indexed in the Abridged Reader's Guide, Canadian Periodical Index, the Children's Magazine, or by an index prepared specifically for the magazine (see Basic Canadian Index); and
      6. Are good value for the price (that is, contain a reasonable proportion of information to advertising).
    7. Specific criteria for the evaluation and selection of gifts, free materials and duplicates include the following:
      1. Gifts must meet the same standards as all other library materials;
      2. Gifts must be disposed of when warranted;
      3. Free materials must be free of excessive amounts of advertising and distortion; and
      4. Duplicates should be purchased only when the need is definitely demonstrated.
    8. Specific criteria regarding controversial issues include:
      1. Materials on religion are chosen to explain rather than convince and are selected to represent the field as widely as necessary for school purposes;
      2. Selection of materials on political theories or ideologies or on public issues is directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views;
      3. The fact of sexual incidents or profanity appearing should not automatically disqualify any material; and
      4. Sexual material of a factual and instruction nature and various reading levels is recommended in conjunction with Board and school policies.
  5. Discarding Materials
    1. Materials that have been badly damaged should be discarded as the need arises. Appropriate records should be kept to allow purchase of a new copy or a suitable substitute if the material is judged to be of sufficient value, interest and/or quality to warrant the cost.
    2. Weeding should usually take place yearly during the inventory in June or on a continual basis. Out-of-date material should be removed from the shelves in favour of more current information so that students and teachers will be able to locate relevant data in their subject area.
    3. Specific weeding procedures are available in several publications including one entitled Library Program Handbook (Peace River School Division).


School Act, Section 39, 60
Cross-Reference: Administrative Procedure 271 – Learning Resources Challenges