Determining which references are going to be suitable additions to the library can be a daunting task. You want to select resources that are going to provide to both teachers and students the knowledge they need to succeed.
References should be selected according to the following criteria: • They are selected collaboratively with the school’s teaching staff, administrators, parents, and students • They speak to the experiences and interests of a varied demographic, and keep the needs of the school community in mind • They meet the needs of the curriculum • They align with the school work that is being assigned by teachers • They align with the school’s media selection policies • They are selected based on knowledge of the school’s existing media collection • They may be selected with the help of existing reputable organizations and committees who curate reference collections • The content of the reference is current and contains adequate details • The source of information is academically reputable, reliable, and free of bias • They are user-friendly for their demographic • They tie-into and compliment existing works in your collection • They align with accessibility standards and are available to all students regardless of their needs and abilities • They are purchased with budget considerations in mind
Reference collection maintenance should take into account the following considerations: • Out of date, damaged, irrelevant, or unused materials should be weeded from the library reference collection to keep it fresh and relevant • Many resources are out of date within 5-10 years, so keep an eye on what needs to be removed • An ongoing inventory of the collection should be kept so you know what needs to be renewed, removed, or updated (both print and online) • The librarian should keep track of all reference materials so that they can be readily available for use • Keep up-to-date with the latest technology and developments so that information is easily accessed by the learner through a variety of mediums both in the learning commons and remotely • Listen to the students and teachers! Keep track of what their interests are, what they are teaching/learning, and what they want to teach/learn, so that your decisions reflect the needs of the community