Limestone Community School

Library Collection Development Policy

Library Mission Statement

The Limestone Community School Library [hereinafter “the Library”] endeavors to support the vision and goals of Limestone Community School [hereinafter “the School”] in its mission of “reimagining elementary education to cultivate equity and inspire the next generation of innovators through project-based learning.” The Library seeks to empower students by enriching their knowledge of the wider world and its cultures, encouraging critical thinking, and engendering a love of reading and literature. 

Support for Intellectual Freedom

The Library aligns itself with the values of intellectual freedom as set forth in the core documents of the American Library Association.  These principles are specifically delineated in the “Library Bill of Rights,” the “Freedom to Read Statement,” and the “Code of Ethics” of the American Library Association; each of these documents is included in its entirety in the appendices of this policy.


  • The Library’s main objective is to provide educators and learners with materials that enrich and support the curriculum, and to supply resources for project-based learning.
  • The Library aims to expose learners to a broad range of resources on all levels of difficulty and in a variety of formats. Diversity of appeal and viewpoints is especially important. Every child deserves to see themselves in books, but equality of representation is not enough. In an effort to counteract historical biases, the Library strives to amplify the voices of historically marginalized groups in an attempt to reach true representational equity. 
  • The Library seeks to aid in the cultivation of analytical skills of learners. We will not shy away from controversial issues, but instead offer materials that will help learners to become informed decision-makers and empowered citizens of our community and wider world.
  • The Library will provide resources in a variety of formats. Books and other resources should be current and of high quality. A large variety of literature will help to kindle a love of reading in our learners.

Responsibility for Selection

The board of Limestone Community School [hereinafter “the Board”] delegates the authority and responsibility for the selection of school library materials and resources to a collaborative effort between educators, staff, library volunteer(s), students, and when deemed necessary, the larger community. As the number of students, educators, and financial resources of the School continue to grow, the ultimate responsibility and authority for material selection will eventually fall to a professional librarian who will collaborate with educators, and seek input from other School community members.

Selection Criteria

  • ​​Support and enrich the curriculum and/or students’ personal interests and learning
  • Meet high standards in literary, artistic, and aesthetic quality; technical aspects; and physical format
  • Be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social, emotional, and intellectual development of the students for whom the materials are selected
  • Incorporate accurate and authentic factual content from authoritative sources
  • Earn favorable reviews in standard reviewing sources and/or favorable recommendations based on preview and examination of materials by educators and staff
  • Exhibit a high degree of potential user appeal and interest
  • Represent differing viewpoints on controversial issues
  • Provide a global perspective and promote diversity by including materials by authors and illustrators of all cultures
  • Demonstrate physical format, appearance, and durability suitable to their intended use
  • Balance cost with need

Selection Tools

The following lists, bibliographies, and review sources should be consulted to evaluate the acquisition and retention of materials. The list is not exhaustive, and additional professional resources and expert advice should be sought in specific instances.

  • Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) Notable Children’s Books
  • Booklist
  • School Library Journal
  • Horn Book Review
  • National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
  • We Need Diverse Books
  • Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Best Books for Young Adults
  • H.W. Wilson Core Collections

Gifts and Donations

Gifts and donations of books are welcome, and will be added to the Library’s collection if they are in good condition and align with the selection criteria as outlined above. The Library will also maintain a “registry” of vetted titles at, where learners’ families and other community members can purchase materials to be directly gifted to the collection. These books will be marked with a donation label on the interior front cover to indicate the name of the donor and the date of the gift.

Collection Maintenance and Weeding

Library collections go through a continuous four-part cycle: selection and acquisition; cataloging and processing; circulation and reference; and continuous review, evaluation, and weeding. The last step (CREW) is a vital and systematic process that helps collection managers to save space and time, and to stay abreast of the collection’s strengths, weaknesses, and repair or replacement needs. CREW guidelines specify when items should be removed from the collection based on the age of the item, how often it is used or circulated, and a set of factors referred to as MUSTIE:

Misleading or inaccurate
Ugly, worn, beyond repair
Superseded by a newer edition or different work
Trivial, or little merit
Irrelevant to community needs
Easily available elsewhere 

Policy Revision

In 1931, librarian S.R. Ranganathan proposed the “Five Laws of Library Science.” Although modifications and updates have been suggested for most of these dictums to help librarians grapple with emerging technologies and ever-increasing sources of information, the fifth law is never modified: “The Library is a growing organism.” As such, the need to review and amend policies pertaining to selection and acquisition of new resources and material formats is continual. This document and the policies within should be reevaluated on a yearly basis by library and teaching staff, and re-submitted to the Board for approval when changes are made.

Reconsideration Policy

Learners and their families, educators, and staff have the right to express concern about specific items in the Library’s collection. Ideally, these requests should be handled informally, and be directed to the school director or librarian. In general, responses to these concerns should stress the tenets of the collection development policy and the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom, and not the merits of the item in question. If an informal meeting does not resolve the concern, a full copy of this policy and its appendices should be provided, and the included “Request for Reconsideration of Materials” form should be filled out and returned to the school director within ten (10) calendar days. A committee consisting of educators and board members should make a final decision about the item in question in a timely fashion and inform the complainant.

Appendix A

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

  1. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  2. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  3. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Appendix B

The Freedom to Read Statement

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  1. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  1. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  1. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  1. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association
Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:
American Booksellers for Free Expression
The Association of American University Presses
The Children’s Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

Appendix C

American Library Association Code of Ethics

As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
  9. We affirm the inherent dignity and rights of every person. We work to recognize and dismantle systemic and individual biases; to confront inequity and oppression; to enhance diversity and inclusion; and to advance racial and social justice in our libraries, communities, profession, and associations through awareness, advocacy, education, collaboration, services, and allocation of resources and spaces.

Adopted at the 1939 Midwinter Meeting by the ALA Council; amended June 30, 1981; June 28, 1995; January 22, 2008; and June 29, 2021.

Appendix D

Request for Reconsideration of Material Form

The board of Limestone Community School has delegated the responsibility for selection and evaluation of library and educational resources to the library and teaching staff, and has established reconsideration procedures to address concerns about those resources. Completion of this form is the first step in those procedures. If you wish to request reconsideration of school or library resources, please return the completed form to the school director.

Limestone Community School
2141 Maple Lane
Lawrence, KS 66046


American Library Association. “Answering Questions about Youth and Access to Library Resources.” May 7, 2017.

American Library Association. “Intellectual Freedom Core Documents.” December 26, 2017.

American Library Association. “Professional Tools for Librarians Serving Youth.” February 28, 2017.

American Library Association. “Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries.” December 8, 2016.

Hughes-Hassell, Sandra. Collection Management for Youth: Equity, Inclusion, and Learning. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2020.

Kerby, Monica. An Introduction to Collection Development for School Librarians. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2019.

Larson, Jeanette. CREW : A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries. Austin: Texas State Library and Archives Commission, 2012.

Limestone Community School. “About Limestone Community School.” Accessed August 26, 2022.

Ranganathan, S.R. Five Laws of Library Science. London: Edward Goldston, Ltd., 1931.


Limestone Community School is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization based in Lawrence, KS.

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