Collection Development Plan


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Once the decision has been made to write a policy, the governing board or some other appropriate official will appoint someone to chair a policy development committee comprised of a variety of individuals representing the many constituencies with an interest in the development of the collection: librarians, teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and, when appropriate, students. The committee is then charged with drafting a basic policy statement for submission to a review board or to an officially appointed individual. After the reviewing board or individual has read the document and made revisions and recommendations, the policy may then be submitted for comment to selected groups within the community, perhaps committees of teachers, parents, and students. Once these groups have commented on the draft, it goes back to the policy development committee for final review and revision.

The committee then has the discretion of sending it back to those who have suggested revisions for their comments. After all reviews and revisions have been made, the document is sent to the official governing body for review and final adoption. It is customary to have a public hearing on the document to inform the community about what the official board is considering. Usually the official board will invite comments and reactions to the policy before it votes, and an informed constituency is important. Another benefit of an open hearing is that it offers an opportunity to gather support for the policy, which can be voiced to the board. It also is a good way to find out if anyone opposes the policy and to determine the nature of the opposition. If opposition is voiced, the policy development committee may need to explain the policy better or perhaps develop a strategy to counter the arguments voiced by those who disagree with the policy.

Once finally approved, the policy then can be printed and distributed widely. All library staff members should be instructed on its use, and others in the school community should be informed of its content. To reach as many interested groups of people as possible, a condensed version might be developed and given out as a public information item. A number of useful resources have been developed to help in the construction of a policy statement.

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