Library Materials and Information Policy

Library Materials and Information Policy

Rancho Cotate High School

I. Philosophy

  • The mission of the Rancho Cotate High School Library is to provide a collection of materials to implement, enrich, and support the curriculum of Rancho Cotate High School and to meet the individual educational, emotional, and recreational needs of students.
  • For further information on the role of the school library, please see:
  • Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Center, a document prepared by the American Library Association (ALA)

II. Selection

  • Responsibility
  • The Rancho Cotate High School Librarian assumes final responsibility for the selection of materials.
  • Criteria for Selection
  • Materials selected for inclusion in the collection of the Rancho Cotate High School Library shall satisfy the following:
  • Materials shall be chosen to enrich and support the curriculum and the educational, emotional, and recreational needs of the users.
  • Materials shall meet high standards of quality in:
  • physical or electronic format, as appropriate
  • treatment of subject
  • accuracy and currency of information
  • arrangement and organization
  • literary style
  • Materials shall be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social development of Rancho Cotate High School students.
  • Materials shall represent differing viewpoints of controversial issues so that users may be motivated to engage in critical analysis of such issues, to explore their own beliefs, attitudes, and behavior, and to make intelligent judgments in their everyday lives.
  • For further information on library selection policies in general, please see the following documents:
  • ALA: Diverse Collections: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
  • NCTE: The Students’ Right to Read
  • Selection Tools
  • Materials may be considered for selection based on recommendations from faculty, staff, and other members of the school community; reviews in reputable media; material previews from vendors and publishers; and the subject knowledge and expertise of the librarian. Selection of materials and resources is based on an evaluation of the existing collections, the requirements of the school curriculum, and the diverse needs of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Reviewing media may include, but is not limited to, the following publications:
  • Booklist
  • School Library Journal
  • Voice of Youth Advocates
  • Kirkus Review
  • Online Information Policy
  • In keeping with our role as a source of information, the library provides Internet access to information beyond the confines of our collection. The internet affords us an exciting opportunity to have immediate access to timely and comprehensive information as well as a wide variety of primary sources. Providing connections to global information services and networks outside the library is different from selecting and purchasing materials for the library collection and cannot be easily curated or controlled.
  • As the vast amount of information on the internet is generated outside the library, the library cannot be responsible for accuracy, authenticity, currency, availability, or completeness of information. We cannot ensure that Internet communications are secure or private.
  • In an effort to provide the students, faculty, and staff of Rancho Cotate High School with the most up to date and reliable online information, the library recommends the use of online databases, either subscribed directly by the school and the district or provided by California State Library.
  • Because of the library’s limitations, the user is responsible for using discretion when considering the quality of material, questioning the validity of information, and choosing what is individually appropriate.
  • In the Rancho Cotate High School Library setting, the internet is a resource which provides timely access to students’ information needs. Unfortunately, limited computer resources do not permit the library to support all types of internet and computer usage. Therefore, in order to best allocate these finite resources, student use of the library’s computers will be limited in the following ways:
  • Academic use will always have priority over recreational use.
  • Game playing is permitted when the computer facilities are not being utilized for academic work.
  • Printing privileges for academic purposes is prioritized. Non-academic printing will be available at the discretion of the library staff.
  • For further information on Electronic Information Policy, please see the following ALA policy statements:
  • Access to Digital Resources and Services
  • Access to Digital Resources and Services Q&A

III. Gifts

The Rancho Cotate High School Library welcomes gift materials. These materials shall be subject to the same criteria as those obtained through the regular selection process. All materials not selected for inclusion in the library collection will be made available to the Rancho Cotate High School faculty and staff for their use or disposed of at the discretion of the library staff.

IV. Weeding/De-selection

  • Purpose
  • The Rancho Cotate High School Library recognizes the importance of maintaining a collection of current, appropriate, and useful materials. Therefore, a periodic evaluation of the collection will be performed in order to remove or replace materials that are no longer useful.
  • Guidelines
  • Weeding based on appearance
  • Worn-out volumes: dirty, brittle, yellow pages; missing pages; tattered covers; etc.
  • Badly bound volumes: soft, pulpy paper and/or shoddy binding
  • Badly printed works
  • Books of antiquated appearance that might discourage use
  • Weeding of superfluous or duplicate volumes
  • Unneeded duplicate titles
  • Older editions
  • Highly specialized books (when library holds more general or up-to-date volumes on the same subject)
  • Books on subjects of little interest to the local community
  • Books which no longer relate to the curriculum (if specialized)
  • Weeding based on content:
  • Information or depictions are dated
  • Information is inaccurate
  • Item is regarded by professional associations as lacking in quality.
  • Weeding based on use
  • Nonfiction books not checked out within last 10 years are candidates for weeding
  • Fiction books not been checked out within last 5 years are candidates for weeding
  • Categories of books that may be quickly outdated:

000s: computer

100s: psychology (especially popular literature)

300s: college & career material a s

400s: grammars with dated examples and/or illustrations

500s: astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology

600s: electronics, engineering, health, technology

920s/Biographies: popular biographies

  • Categories of books that are not quickly outdated:


biographical sources

literary criticism

classics of literature

foreign language literature

art books

local history/geography

books providing general principles of a subject or discipline

V. Reconsideration of Materials

  • Statement of Policy

The Rancho Cotate High School Library subscribes in principle to the philosophy expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and its supporting documents, and the American Association of School Librarians’ statement on intellectual freedom. Copies of these documents are appended to and made a part of this policy.

The Rancho Cotate High School Library also recognizes that occasionally materials selected may be challenged or questioned, despite the care taken in selecting them. A procedure for processing and responding to criticism of approved material has been established and shall be followed. This procedure shall include a formal signed complaint of standard format and an appointed committee to reevaluate the material in question.

The committee appointed by the Principal shall be composed of the Rancho Cotate High School Librarian, the Principal of Rancho Cotate High School, the Chair of the English Department, the ASB President, one other teacher from Rancho Cotate High School, and one other member of the Rancho Cotate High School community (this person could be a member of the Music or Athletic Boosters or another parent interest group).

  • Sequential procedure for handling Challenged or Questioned Books and Materials:
  1. Persons with a complaint about library print or digital resources should state their concerns to the Rancho Cotate High School Librarian or Principal.
  2. Upon receiving a complaint, the Rancho Cotate High School Librarian shall hold a conference with the patron making the complaint. The Principal of Rancho Cotate High School shall be notified and may be present at the conference.
  3. As part of the discussion, the school personnel will explain the library’s selection policy, selection criteria, diversity of the collection with resources from many points of view, and the selection process. Additionally, each parent/guardian has the right to determine the appropriateness of library resources for their children and should accord the same right to other families.
  4. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Rancho Cotate High School Librarian or Principal will explain the formal reconsideration process and provide the individual with a “Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. (See Appendix A) If there is concern about multiple items, a separate form must be completed for each item. All complaints to staff members shall be reported to the Rancho Cotate High School Principal. No library resources should be removed or restricted from use as a result of the informal complaint. The form should be returned to the librarian.
  5. The appointed committee will review the complaint and make a written report and recommendation to the Principal.
  6. Final disposition authority to keep or remove a book or other material rests with the Principal of Rancho Cotate High School.
  7. A letter explaining the decision shall be sent to the complainant.
  • For further information on the American Library Association’s policy on challenged materials, please see:

Challenged Resources