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EEEA - Instructional Resources: Evaluation and Selection of Library Materials

Created: 8 June 2022

Modified: 

Approved: 10 Aug 2022

Source: USBA

Instructional Resources:
Evaluation and Selection of Library Materials

Definitions—

In addition to the definitions in Policy EEE, the following definitions apply in this policy:

  1. “Library material” means any digital media (including audio or visual media) or physical text contained within a school library’s collection.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-628-1(1) (May 24, 2022)

  1. “School library” means the location, both physical and virtual, where library materials are housed and administered by professional staff hired to oversee the selection, maintenance, and access to school library materials.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-628-1(2) (May 24, 2022)

  1. “Self-selection” means the right and responsibility of individual students and the student’s parent or legal guardian to select materials from a school library.
  2. “School library material review committee” means a committee formed at the school level, appointed as needed and consisting of a school administrator or administrators, at least one educator with a master’s degree or endorsement in library science, at least one other educator from the school, and at least two parents with students enrolled in and attending the school. An administrator member of the committee shall serve as the committee chair. Parents appointed to a library material review committee shall be reflective of the members of the relevant school community. The school library material review committee considering a particular request may not include either an individual who originally selected the material for inclusion in the library or the individual who has made the request or a family member of the individual making the request.

Utah Code § 53G-10-103(3) (2022)

  1. “District library material review committee” means a committee formed at the District level, appointed as needed and consisting of a District administrator or administrators, at least two educators with a master’s degree or endorsement in library science, educators from at least two other schools of the same level (high school, middle or junior high, or elementary) as the school where the request arises, and at least three parents with students enrolled in and attending other District schools of the same level. An administrator member of the committee shall serve as the committee chair. Parents appointed to a District library material review committee shall be reflective of the members of the District community. The District library material review committee considering a particular request may not include a member of the school library material review committee who considered the original request, nor may it include either an individual who originally selected the material for inclusion in the library or the individual who has made the request or a family member of the individual making the request.

Utah Code § 53G-10-103(3) (2022)

Policy regarding selection of library materials—

            The Board of Education recognizes that it has broad discretion in managing and operating the schools of the District, including in selecting library materials, and that it has delegated authority to District and school administration in this matter. The Board of Education also recognizes the importance of freedom of inquiry and study, the constitutional and First Amendment restrictions on the suppression of ideas, and that school libraries offer a place and opportunity for the exercise of intellectual freedom and the right to read, inquire, study, and evaluate outside of the setting of formal instruction. The Board of Education further recognizes that school libraries are different from public libraries in that they are not open to the public, primarily serve the school’s students (who are minors), and are part of the instructional resources of the school. The Board has adopted this policy to serve and balance these interests while taking into account the values of the community.

Selection and deselection of library materials—

The school librarian, subject to the oversight of the principal and working in cooperation with school staff, shall select new library materials taking into consideration the following criteria and subject to the overall requirements that the material is age appropriate and does not include pornographic or indecent material as defined in Policy EEE:

  1. Overall purpose and educational significance
  2. Contribution and relevance to core standards
  3. Teacher, parent, or student request
  4. Validity, currency and appropriateness
  5. Accuracy, timeliness and permanence
  6. Favorable reviews, recommendations and/or award nominees found in standard selection sources or from professional personnel
  7. Contributes to a balanced perspective
  8. Potential appeal and interest
  9. Recreational reading needs of students
  10. Artistic quality and literary style
  11. Reputation and significance of author, producer, or publisher
  12. Value commensurate with cost and/or need
  13. Uniqueness, diversity, and/or heritage of the state, region, or group
  14. Support of second language learners
  15. Support of special needs students
  16. Merit of the work as a whole

The school librarian shall periodically review the library collection to determine which materials should be removed or replaced (deselected). Criteria may include any of the considerations relating to initial section stated above and may also include:

  1. Poor physical condition
  2. Superseded by more current information or contains subject matter no longer needed to support the core standards
  3. Encourages stereotypes or biases
  4. Receiving little use
  5. Provides wrong, inaccurate, or dated information

Access to library materials—

            Student access to library materials is based primarily on self-selection. Library staff are available to consult with students and with the parent or guardian of students to find appropriate materials but are not responsible for final selections of the student. If a student’s parent or guardian wishes to restrict that student’s access to any particular library item (a specific work or title), the parent or guardian may make a written request to the library staff and the student will then not be allowed to check out that item.

Review of library materials in response to request—

Requests for review of library materials are limited as follows:

  1. Personal interest requirement
    1. A student may request review of a particular library item in the library of the school where the student is currently enrolled and attending.
    2. A parent or guardian may request review of a particular library item in the library of any school where a child of the parent or guardian is currently enrolled and attending.
    3. A District employee may request review of a particular library item in the library of a school where the employee has professional responsibilities.
    4. A member of the Board of Education may request review of a particular library item in the library of a school within the local school board district the Board member represents.
  2. Limits on frequency
    1. Each individual is limited to three requests to review library materials per school year.
    2. Any item which has been subject to review, reviewed under this policy, and retained may not be subject to another request for review for at least three years within the scope of the review conducted (school or District)
  3. Preconditions to request for review
    1. Any adult who wishes to file a request for review must first read or review the library item as a whole before filing the request (students are not to be required, requested, or encouraged to complete reading or reviewing library material in which they have discovered content they believe is sensitive material).
    2. Before filing a request for review regarding a library item, the individual shall first meet with the school librarian, who shall if able explain the intended purpose and use of the item in question.
    3. If the librarian is unable to provide this information or the individual is not satisfied with the information provided, the individual shall then meet with the principal (or a school administrator designated by the principal) regarding the concern.

If after meeting with the administrator the individual wishes to request review of the item, the individual shall complete the Request for School Review of Library Materials form and provide it to the principal of the school where the library with the item is located. The principal or principal’s designee shall make an initial determination whether the form has been fully completed and the requirements for requesting review have been met. If so, the principal or designee shall establish a school library materials review committee to conduct the review.

An item may not be removed from the library while the review process is pending, though a parent or guardian may restrict his or her child’s access to the item by written request to the library.

The sole purpose of the school library materials review committee shall be to determine whether the item contains pornographic or indecent material as defined in Policy EEE. An item may not be removed because of disagreement with the item’s content relating to politics, religion, nationalism, or other matters of opinion. The committee’s determinations shall be made by majority vote of the members of the committee. Prior to engaging in any discussions with other committee members or participating in any decision making, each committee member shall read the item in its entirety (for written items) or review the item as a whole (for non-written items).

After the chair of the library materials review committee has confirmed that all members of the committee have reviewed the item, the chair shall schedule such meetings as are necessary for the committee to discuss the item and determine whether it contains pornographic or indecent material.

In determining whether the item contains pornographic or indecent material, the committee shall determine whether the material meets any of the four tests for pornographic or indecent material set out in the definition in Policy EEE.

After the committee has made its determination, it shall prepare a written report which explains its findings and the grounds for its findings. A copy of the report shall be provided to the person who requested the review.

If the committee determines that the item contains pornographic or indecent material, then the item shall be removed from the library permanently or pending the outcome of an appeal from the school library materials review committee to a District library materials review committee. If the committee determines that the item does not contain pornographic or indecent material, then the item shall be retained. A reviewed item which is retained after review for pornographic or indecent material may nevertheless be deselected by the school librarian if the librarian determines that it meets other criteria for deselection.

Utah Code § 53G-10-103(2) (2022)

            If no District review is requested as described below, the chair of the school library material review committee shall report the results of the review to the Utah State Board of Education using the reporting tool provided by the State Board at this website.

Utah Code § 53G-10-103(4)(b)(iii) (2022)

Review by District library materials review committee—

            An individual who obtained review of an item by a school library materials review committee and who is dissatisfied with the school committee’s determination or wishes to have a determination that the item contains pornographic or indecent material applied to all schools in the District may request review by a District library materials review committee. The chair of a school library materials review committee may also, upon a determination that it would be beneficial to have a District-wide determination about whether the item contains pornographic or indecent material, request review by a District library materials review committee.

The individual seeking review by a District library materials review committee shall complete the Request for District Review of Library Materials form and provide it to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee. The form must be submitted within 30 days of the report from the school library materials review committee. The superintendent or superintendent’s designee shall make an initial determination whether the form has been fully completed and the requirements for requesting review have been met. If so, the superintendent or designee shall establish a District library materials review committee to conduct the review.

The status of the item as determined by the school library materials review committee (retained or removed) shall remain in place during review by the District library materials review committee.

The sole purpose of the District library materials review committee shall be to determine whether the item contains pornographic or indecent material. However, where the item being reviewed is located in a school serving younger students (an elementary school or a middle school or junior high school) and the concern relates to nudity, the District library review committee may consider whether the item constitutes pornographic or indecent material for older students (students in middle school or junior high or high school as applicable). An item may not be removed because of disagreement with the item’s content relating to politics, religion, nationalism, or other matters of opinion. The committee’s determinations shall be made by majority vote of the members of the committee. Prior to engaging in any discussions with other committee members or participating in any decision making, each committee member shall read the item in its entirety (for written items) or review the item as a whole (for non-written items).

After the chair of the District library materials review committee has confirmed that all members of the committee have reviewed the item in question, the chair shall  schedule such meetings as are necessary for the committee to discuss the item and determine whether it contains pornographic or indecent material.

In determining whether the item contains pornographic or indecent material, the committee shall determine whether the material meets any of the four tests for pornographic or indecent material set out in the definition in Policy EEE (including as appropriate standards relating to nudity with respect to older students). The committee may consider the report of the school library materials review committee but is not bound by that report and is to conduct an independent review and assessment of the item.

After the committee has made its determination, it shall prepare a written report which explains its findings and the grounds for its findings. A copy of the report shall be provided to the person who requested the review.

If the committee determines that the item contains pornographic or indecent material, then the committee shall either direct that the item be removed from all school libraries within the District or, if the committee determines that an item with nudity is not pornographic or indecent material with regard to older students, may limit the removal to school libraries serving elementary and/or middle or junior high schools, according to the committee’s determination. If the committee determines that the item does not contain pornographic or indecent material, then the item shall be retained and that determination shall apply to all school libraries within the District. A reviewed item which is retained after review for pornographic or indecent material may nevertheless be deselected by a school librarian if the librarian determines that it meets other criteria for deselection.

Utah Code § 53G-10-103(2) (2022)

After the District library materials review committee issues its report, the chair of the committee shall report the results of the review to the Utah State Board of Education using the reporting tool provided by the State Board at this website.

Utah Code § 53G-10-103(4)(b)(iii) (2022)

The determination of the District library materials review committee is final and may not be further appealed.

 


Request for School Review of Library Materials

  1. Requester: ___________________________________ School: ________________________________

           Address: ___________________________________  City: ________________________  Zip: ________

           Email: _____________________________________  Phone: ______________

  1. Qualifying personal interest category or categories: __________________________________________
  1. Brief statement explaining the request: _____________________________________________________

           ____________________________________________________________________________________

           ____________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Type of material: __ Book (Print) __ E-Book (Digital)    __ Audio Book   __ Movie    __ Magazine

           __ Other Audio Recording    __ Library Digital Resource   __ Game    __ Newspaper    __ Other

  1. Title: ________________________________________________________________________________
  1. Author or Producer: _____________________________________________________________________
  1. Are you a student? __ Yes __ No (If yes, do not finish reviewing the material)
  1. Have you read or reviewed the entire material? __ Yes __ No (Not required of students)
  1. Library materials may only be removed because they contain pornographic or indecent material as defined in District Policy EEE and governing law. Library materials may not be removed because they contain ideas that individuals disagree with based upon politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion. I acknowledge and understand that the scope of review will be limited to whether the materials contain pornographic or indecent material. Initial: _____________
  1. The pornographic or indecent material can be found at the following location or locations (page, chapter, link, timestamp, etc.) ____________________________________________________________________
  1. I understand that I must meet the personal interest requirement set out in Policy EEEA in order to obtain review. Initial: _____________
  1. I have met with the school librarian to discuss the item as required by Policy EEEA. Initial: _____________
  1. I have made ____ other requests for review of library materials during the current school year.

 

I declare under criminal penalty under the law of Utah that the foregoing is true and correct.

Signed on the ____ day of _________________, ________ at ____________________________

                       (Day)                     (Month)                  (Year)        (City or other location and state/country)

Printed Name_________________________________

Signature________________________   

 

Request for District Review of Library Materials

  1. Requester: ___________________________________ School: ________________________________

           Address: ___________________________________  City: ________________________  Zip: ________

           Email: _____________________________________  Phone: ______________

  1. Qualifying personal interest category or categories: __________________________________________
  1. Purpose of review: ___ Challenge school review result ___ Extend school review result to all schools
  2. Date of school library materials review committee report: ___________________
  3. Type of material: __ Book (Print) __ E-Book (Digital) __ Audio Book   __ Movie    __ Magazine

            __ Other Audio Recording    __ Library Digital Resource   __ Game    __ Newspaper    __ Other

  1. Title: ________________________________________________________________________________
  1. Author or Producer: _____________________________________________________________________
  1. Are you a student? __ Yes __ No (If yes, do not finish reviewing the material)
  1. Have you read or reviewed the entire material? __ Yes __ No (Not required of students)
  1. Library materials may only be removed because they contain pornographic or indecent material as defined in District Policy EEE and governing law. Library materials may not be removed because they contain ideas that individuals disagree with based upon politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion. I acknowledge and understand that the scope of review will be limited to whether the materials contain pornographic or indecent material. Initial: _____________
  1. The pornographic or indecent material can be found at the following location or locations (page, chapter, link, timestamp, etc.) ___________________________________________________________________
  1. I understand that I must meet the personal interest requirement set out in Policy EEEA in order to obtain review. Initial: _____________
  1. I have made ____ other requests for review of library materials during the current school year.

 

I declare under criminal penalty under the law of Utah that the foregoing is true and correct.

Signed on the ____ day of _________________, ________ at ____________________________

                       (Day)                     (Month)                  (Year)        (City or other location and state/country)

Printed Name_________________________________

Signature________________________

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