LACOE eLibrary Services Collection Policy 

Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) eLibrary Services provides two fully curated collections: the Educator Collection and the eLS Young Adult Collection; both are one-of-a-kind digital libraries of quality resources supporting 21st century teaching and learning in Los Angeles County’s K-12 schools. The eLS collections offer a broad range of educational materials, including downloadable eBooks and audiobooks on professional development, state standards, educational technology, information texts aligned to the curriculum, core K-12 literature, and selected adult fiction. 

The eLibrary Services policy reflects the philosophy of LACOE eLibrary Services, which supports the freedom to read, and endorses the right of eLibrary Services to provide a comprehensive collection of materials which extend and deepen development consistent with 21st-century learning, and which give access to ideas essential to freedom of thought and inquiry.

We abide by the Policy Statement on Intellectual Freedom by the California School Library Association:  

We support the principles of intellectual freedom, which are inherent in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and believe these principles must be protected and preserved to assist the growth of informed and responsible citizens.

We support free access to ideas in a free society and freedom of choice.

We support selection policies that provide for a wide range of materials appropriate for the user, placing principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice.

Selection Criteria

To help educators coach students to be effective users of ideas and information, eLibrary Services will provide a broad range of educational, informational, and recreational reading resources through the eLS collections. Quality materials will be made available in a variety of formats and reading levels, offering a well-balanced coverage of subjects that meets the diverse interests, needs and viewpoints of Los Angeles’s vibrant K-12 school communities.

To provide robust collections, eLibrary Services’ Information Resources Coordinator and other experienced library staff will carefully review materials, selecting those that enhance professional development, aid teachers in the classroom, represent diverse points of view, stimulate growth in students' critical thinking skills, and promote literacy and a love of reading. Working cooperatively with teacher librarians, educators, administrators, curriculum experts and other LACOE staff, eLibrary Services will also ensure the collection includes quality information texts and relevant primary and secondary sources that are an integral part of state standards across all content areas.

Selection of material is based on the subject knowledge and collection development expertise of the Information Resources Coordinator, along with recommendations from other library staff, LACOE consultants, teachers and administrators. Review sources include School Library Journal, Booklist, Children’s Literature Reviews, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews among others.

Budget and space limitations require a broad focus on educational materials in the following areas: professional development, curriculum & instruction, special education, literature and literacy, English language learning, and technology in education, as well as California Department of Education state resources.

No materials are excluded or removed from the Library on the basis of the author's race or nationality, or political, social or religious beliefs. Materials dealing with controversial views are judged as entire works, not on isolated passages or sections.

All materials, whether purchased or donated, are subject to the criteria listed below. An item need not meet all of these standards to be included in the Library’s collection.

  • Timeliness: current general interest on national and local levels pertaining to education
  • Relevance to educational community needs and interests
  • Diversity
  • Contemporary significance
  • Enduring value
  • Readability and style
  • Treatment of subject for intended audience
  • Content availability in different formats  
  • Creative, literary or technical quality
  • Cost and availability
  • Reviews in the professional media
  • Professional or literary reputation of the author, publisher or producer
  • Circulation of similar materials
  • Relation to existing collection and other materials on the subject

Purpose of the Resource

  • Materials should support LACOE and Los Angeles County schools’ educational goals, including professional development and the advancement of lifelong learning for educators.
  • Materials should be selected to support, enrich and extend school curriculum and to encourage informational, educational and recreational reading and/or listening.  
  • Materials should be relevant to the enhancement of 21st century learning.
  • Materials should provide appropriate reference, research and instructional applications for K-12 educators.

Quality of Content

  • Educational significance and/or contribution to the curriculum.
  • Specialized professional development materials unavailable from public libraries or other public agencies.
  • Reflective of the pluralistic nature of a global society. Consideration should be given to diverse user interests, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, languages, and maturity levels.
  • Materials should represent various viewpoints on controversial issues to enhance learning, exploration, and analysis.
  • Professional or literary reputation and significance of the author, editor, publisher, illustrator, or producer.
  • Creative, literary or technical quality of the work, the value of which should be examined as a whole and given greater weight than individual words, phrases or passages contained in that work.
  • Treatment of subject for intended audience.
  • Recent publication date, as appropriate to subject. 
  • Informational or recreational interest.

Functionality and Presentation Style

  • Readable text, attractive graphics, and appealing layout.
  • User-friendly organization, searching capabilities, and navigation tools to enhance information retrieval.
  • Content availability in different formats and interoperability across multiple platforms and mobile devices.
  • Considerate of the special needs of disabled or disadvantaged users.
  • Easy-to-understand documentation and online help.
  • Web accessible; Z39.50 compliant.
  • Cost effective in terms of use, or value for cost.
  • Evidence of good vendor maintenance record and reliable service.

No digital materials are excluded or removed from the collection on the basis of the author's race or nationality, or political, social or religious beliefs. Materials dealing with controversial views are judged as entire works, not on isolated passages or sections. Any and all challenges to content should be made following the process detailed in the Content Questions section of this policy.

Selection Tools

The following are resources that may be used to assist in the selection process:

  • Professional reviews from reputable sources such as Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and Publishers Weekly.
  • Recommendations by the California Department of Education, Instructional Technology Outreach consultants, Curriculum and Instruction Services, ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association, California School Library Association and children’s literature experts with published bibliographies and recommendations.
  • National and state awards such as Newbery, Coretta Scott King, National Book Award, California Young Readers Medal, and the Michael Printz, Pura Belpre, Stonewall, and Lambda Literacy Awards.
  • Professional selection bibliographies.
  • Online collection development tools, review sites, and vendor catalogs.
  • Recommendations by teacher librarians, educators, administrators, colleagues, students and parents.

Weeding or Withdrawing of Materials

Weeding materials no longer needed is an integral part of maintaining a relevant and up-to-date collection. Factors governing selection of materials are the same ones taken into account in determining when to remove an item from the collection. These include:

  • Currency and relevance of information
  • Usage
  • Availability of other materials on the subject
  • Subscription expenses
  • Changing platforms
  • Content licensing expiration

Formats

The Library predominantly purchases materials in these formats:

  • eBooks
  • Downloadable audiobooks
  • Books

Replacements

Materials withdrawn from the collection are not automatically replaced. The decision to replace items is based on the following criteria:

  • Availability of other copies or editions in the collection
  • Adequacy of coverage in the subject area
  • Cost and availability

Opt in/Opt out

The eLS Young Adult Collection contains a blend of educational materials for mixed audience levels, including downloadable eBooks and audiobooks on numerous subjects, quality literature and information texts aligned to California state standards, core literature for grades 6-12, and selected teen and juvenile fiction. While LACOE eLibrary Services upholds the right of any eLibrary Services user to access information from anywhere, even if the content may be controversial, we also support the right of parents or guardians to have their child “opt out” at any time.

It is the school’s responsibility to provide eLibrary Services with accurate and updated lists of only “opt in” students upon requesting student library IDs. Names of “opt out” students, whose parents or guardians have opted out of their child using telecommunications and internet or web-based services should not be submitted to eLibrary Services for IDs or access.

Content Questions

All questions regarding the suitability or appropriateness of the content of library materials or resources are directed to LACOE eLibrary Services at els[at]lacoe[dot]edu. Initial complaints will first be informally addressed by qualified eLibrary Services staff, who shall:

  • Explain the library's selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those selecting the material
  • Conduct follow-up, as required; further complaint will require a formal written challenge and professional review of the content in question

revised January 2016

LACOE eLibrary Services, Instructional Technology Outreach, a Division of LACOE Technology Services

  • Recommendations by teacher librarians, educators, administrators, colleagues, students and parents.