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Collection Development Policy
This policy describes the principles and process which guide the selection of materials for the Prairie Hill Waldorf School Library (the Library).
The Library of the Prairie Hill Waldorf School exists to support the mission of the school to awaken the capacity for dynamic thinking, creativity and compassion, inspiring children to contribute their unique gifts to the world.
Those using the Library include the students of the grade school (first through eighth grade), the entire faculty and staff, parents of students in the entire school, and younger siblings of students enrolled in the school.
The materials held in the Library will support the curriculum, stimulate the student’s enthusiasm for learning, encourage literacy, support healthy and respectful relationships, provide research materials for the faculty, and aid the community as a whole in learning about Waldorf education, Rudolf Steiner, parenting, and the holistic lifestyle promoted by a Waldorf education. Due to the limited nature of the Library’s budget not all areas of the collection will be weighted equally.
Responsibility for selection shall be the province of the Library Coordinator. Help and support in this process will be sought and welcomed from the community with special emphasis on the needs of the faculty and grade school students. The Library Coordinator will make final selections based on the criteria stated in this policy.
Criteria for selection of library materials shall include a consideration of the following:
- Relevance to Waldorf education specifically the enrichment and enhancement of the curriculum
- Excellence of presentation including artistic and literary merit, accuracy of information, and usefulness of physical format
- Appropriateness for subject, developmental and intellectual level, and the social development of students
- Relevance to the overall collection
Access to materials in the general collection shall not be limited by the Library Coordinator, except for books specifically designated for the middle school as described below. Students will be directed to materials most appropriate to their grade and reading level. Parents are encouraged to communicate directly with their children and their children’s teacher about any limitations they wish to place on his/her reading and to ask their child’s teacher or the librarian about alternatives to books they consider unsuitable for their child.
This collection is used by the Grade School students at Prairie Hill Waldorf School. It consists of reference books and periodicals, and books of fiction and non-fiction at the grade school level including picture books, easy readers, and chapter books for new readers. The fiction collection will focus on recreational reading with an emphasis on works of quality. Works of fiction appropriate for sixth through eighth graders, including some adult titles, will be housed in a special middle school collection and will not generally be available to younger students. The non-fiction collection focuses heavily on subject areas found within the Waldorf curriculum. The major “blocks” within the lower, upper, and middle school grades are to receive special attention.
Materials specifically for the faculty include a wide variety of materials which will enable faculty to do research for teaching particularly within the grade school curriculum “blocks”.
The Library will house and maintain a collection for the community which includes materials on child development, education with an emphasis on Waldorf education, activities for children, Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy, and healthy living. Picture Books and board books for young children will be added occasionally for the use of community families, but will not be purchased with library funds.
Donations of materials in good condition and that meet selection criteria will occasionally be accepted for addition to the library collection. The Library Coordinator reserves the right to dispose of all unsolicited donations in the way she/he deems most appropriate.
Materials that are no longer useful because of their physical condition, currency of information, lack of use, or because they have been superseded by a new edition or better work on the same subject may be withdrawn after careful consideration. Withdrawn materials may be sold at a community used book sale or disposed of by other means.
Any community member may express their concern about the appropriateness of library materials in the General Collection or the Community Collection. Informal expressions will be considered and responded to by the Library Coordinator. A formal statement of concern must be submitted in writing and must include the following information: the name, address, phone number, and signature of the concerned individual; the author and title of the work, whether or not the individual has read the entire work, and specific objections including scenes, language, theme, age appropriateness, or any other concerns and the page number on which these objections are found; a statement of what the individual would like to see done with the material. The Library Consultant, the Academic Chairperson, and a classroom teacher will form a committee to re-evaluate the material. The item in question will remain in circulation during the process. The concerned individual will be responded to in writing within a month of receipt of the formal statement.