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 Policies

​Introduction

In accordance with the Aquinas College Mission Statement, Library Resources Policy and the Australian School Library Association's Bill of Rights, we have a responsibility to provide opportunities and resources reflecting a dynamic, rich and diverse range of learning experiences from multiple perspectives. This will encourage critical thinking and help our students make informed decisions.

Therefore, at times, students may be exposed to materials which present information, ideas or attitudes which some members of the school community may consider to be controversial, inappropriate or offensive.

Objections to these resources are an important part of the democratic process and should be treated as legitimate avenues of communication in education. However, challenges must be considered on the understanding that no parents or carers have the right to determine learning or recreational matter for students other than their own.

To facilitate the hearing of potential objections and to guide appropriate action, the following procedure will enable different points of view to be clearly and openly expressed while preserving the principles of intellectual freedom and the professional responsibility and integrity of the school.

The Procedure

  • Acknowledgement of the concern by recording:
    • complainant's name
    • contact details
    • title of challenged resource
    • specific nature and context of the concern.
  • Referral of the complaint to the Teacher-Librarian who will:
    • Check for previous reconsiderations of the item and, if it has already been reviewed, the complainant will be given a copy of those findings and no further action will be taken unless the grounds for complaint are quite distinct from the original.
    • Inform the Principal.
    • Initiate appropriate proceedings.
  • The complainant will be asked to complete the "Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources" form and return it to the Teacher-Librarian. This form must be signed and dated by the complainant before further action will be taken.
  • On receipt of the completed form, a Review Committee will be established. This committee will comprise two staff members (including a member of the Leadership Team and a representative of the relevant curriculum committee if appropriate), two parent representatives and the Teacher-Librarian. A chairperson will be elected by the committee members.
  • Each member of the Review Committee will receive a copy of the complainant's request and a copy of the Guidelines for Reconsideration of Resources and will review the resource independently, bearing in mind the college's Selection Policy, the principles of the freedom to learn and to read so that a decision is made on these principles rather than on the defence of individual materials.
  • The Review will meet within a fortnight to consider their decision and subsequent course of action. The complainant may be invited to this meeting.
  • The complainant will be notified in writing of the result of the request and the reasons for it.
  • The challenged resource will remain in circulation to all students until the result of the review is known.

Library Request Consideration

Library Bill of Rights

Collection Development

The Role of the Collection

The collection is being developed to:

  • satisfy the educational needs of all the members of our staff and student body;
  • meet the recreational reading needs of our students;
  • provide resources in print, audio-visual and electronic formats to support, enrich and enhance the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied learning needs and styles, recreational and study interests and maturity levels of the students;
  • provide materials which will enable the acquisition of factual knowledge and the development of literary appreciation, aesthetic vales and ethical standards;
  • provide materials offering a breadth and diversity of viewpoints on various issues so that students may develop their critical thinking skills and make informed judgements;
  • provide materials representative of religious, ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to our heritage;
  • place principle and reason above personal prejudice in the selection of the highest quality materials to ensure a comprehensive collection suitable for the needs of its users.

It contains

  • fiction books, including magazines, comics, picture books and novels of all genres to cater for the students from young adolescent to young adult;
  • non-fiction titles to support the curriculum and to extend students' knowledge;
  • a reference collection to provide continuous access to basic knowledge;
  • a teachers' reference collection to support the curriculum and to enhance professional knowledge.

Whilst the bulk of the collection is in print format, audio, visual and electronic resources form an important part of it.

The Selection of the Collection

The selection of quality educational resources that support, extend and enrich the education of students, while providing good value for money, is an important aspect of the collection development process of any library. Acting on authority delegated by the Principal, the Teacher-Librarian has the responsibility for the professional co-ordination of the collection, as it is acknowledged that that person has the best knowledge of existing resources, the overall school curriculum and what is available from the publishers. Staff and students are invited to make suggestions for new purchases but suggested titles must meet selection objectives and criteria.

Selection is based on:

  • curriculum requirements;
  • recommendations from sources such as OZTL_NET; Curriculum Materials; and LM_NET ;
  • lists of recognised children's literary awards;
  • reviews in reputable professional journals and publications;
  • personal appraisal;
  • staff and student requests;

General Criteria for Selection

General selection criteria include

  • selecting resources that will foster growth in factual knowledge, literary, aesthetic and cultural appreciation; moral and ethical values and will aid in present and future decision-making.
  • providing adequate resources at appropriate levels for resource-based and student-centred learning and to meet personal and recreational needs.
  • resourcing new curriculum and interest areas.
  • ensuring that resources provide optimum value in terms of curriculum relevance, accuracy, authority, reliability and accessibility.
  • selecting information resources according to the principles of intellectual freedom; providing students with access to information that represents diverse points of view.
  • ensuring resources encompass a variety of media and information formats to suit varied learning purposes and styles, including:
    • print resources eg. books (reference, fiction non-fiction), periodicals
    • newspapers, pamphlets, ephemera.
    • audio-visual resources eg. video cassettes, audio cassettes, compact discs.
    • electronic resources eg. computer software, multimedia, CD-ROM.
    • online resources eg. Internet sites, databases, indexes.
  • considering students with particular needs, taking into account race, ethnic group, culture, gender, socio-economic group, physical and intellectual capacity.
  • assisting staff in their teaching roles by providing resources and materials for professional development, particularly resources which:
    • model best practice.
    • provide a variety of teaching strategies and teaching aids.
    • reflect current trends in curriculum development and assist in further professional development.
    • ensuring all resources regardless of format demonstrate:

Authority

  • qualified and/or experienced author.
  • Reputable sources of information.
  • recognised publisher/producer.

Physical Format & Technical Quality

  • quality materials.
  • sturdy construction.
  • attractive presentation & clear reproduction.

Arrangement of Material

  • content is easily accessible.
  • instructions and support materials are adequate, clear, comprehensive and effective.

Appropriateness

  • content, language, symbols and concepts are at a suitable level for the intended user.

Cost

  • value for money.
  • may be used across a number of curriculum areas and levels.

Availability

  • currently and readily available to schools.

Format

  • the most suitable medium to present the subject matter.

Specific Selection Criteria

Specific selection criteria for non-fiction including encyclopaedias, yearbooks, almanacs, dictionaries, thesauri, anthologies, atlases, handbooks, pamphlets, periodicals, journals and information books includes consideration of:

Purpose

  • fulfil the purpose of the item (quick reference, browsing or extensive research).
  • support and enrich the curriculum.

Readability

  • text and print size appropriate to the intended reader.
  • style of writing appropriate to the purpose or intention of the author.
  • text is smooth to read, clear and concise, interesting and non- repetitive.
  • language used reflects the intended use of the item.
  • reading level of the item matches the user's experience and capability.

 

Interest Level

  • matches the readability of the text and the interest levels of students.

Accuracy

  • information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • vital facts are not omitted or over-simplified.

Scope

  • topic covered adequately in depth, a detailed account or a general overview, as appropriate.
  • approach/development of concepts suited to intended users.

Curriculum Relevance

  • supports the Qld Curriculum Frameworks and Profiles and the Aquinas curriculum.

Organisation of Information

  • clear and functional.
  • contains index, table of contents, glossary, bibliography, as appropriate.
  • clearly defined chapters/sections.

Page Layout

  • headings/sub-headings clearly defined.
  • text well spaced and organised into paragraphs.
  • background colour/borders/illustrations do not interfere with the readability of the text.
  • adequate use of white space.

Bias

  • avoids stereotypes in text or illustrations.
  • avoids biased opinions/value judgements.
  • reflects gender equity principles of social justice (includes race, sex, physical and intellectual disability, cultural grouping).
  • relevant to Australian conditions, as appropriate.

Illustrations

  • support or extend the information base of the text.
  • may include diagrams, maps, graphs, photographs, drawings, paintings, tables.
  • positioned relevant to the text.
  • clear, attractive and/or interesting.
  • Labelled/captioned effectively/accurately.