LACOE eLibrary Services Collection Policy  

eLibrary Services 

Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) eLibrary Services provides fully curated digital and print collections to support and enhance the curriculum and meet the needs of LACOE’s teaching and learning community. The eLS collections offer a broad range of educational, informational, and recreational materials, in multiple formats, for students, teachers, and LACOE staff.  

This 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.  

The Library also abides 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. 

We also support the assertions of the American Association of School Librarians that the responsibility of the school library media center is:  

  • To provide a comprehensive collection of instructional materials selected in compliance with basic written selection principles and to provide maximum accessibility to these materials.  

  • To provide materials that will support the curriculum, taking into consideration the individual’s needs, varied interests, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, and maturity levels of the students served. 

  • To provide materials for teachers and students that will encourage growth in knowledge and that will develop literary, cultural and aesthetic appreciation and ethical standards.  

  • To provide materials which reflect the ideas and beliefs of religious, social, political, historical, and ethnic groups and their contribution to the American and world heritage and culture, thereby enabling students to develop intellectual integrity in forming judgments. 

  • To provide qualified professional personnel to serve teachers and students.  

Selection Criteria 

To help students and educators to be effective users of ideas and information, eLibrary Services will provide access to 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, academic needs, and varied viewpoints of LACOE’s vibrant high school and professional communities. 

To provide robust collections, eLibrary Services’ librarian(s) and other experienced library staff will carefully review materials, selecting those that support the curriculum, stimulate growth in students' critical thinking skills, represent diverse points of view, promote literacy and a love of reading, enhance professional development, and aid teachers in the classroom. 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 librarian(s), 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. 

No digital materials are excluded or removed from the collection on the basis of the author's race or nationality, sex or sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, 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. 

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. 

  • Authority 

  • Timeliness 

  • 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’s educational goals for student achievement in LACOE schools, professional development of staff, and the advancement of lifelong learning 

  • Materials should be selected to support, enrich and extend school curriculum and to encourage informational, educational and recreational reading and/or listening by students 

  • Materials should be relevant to the enhancement of 21st century learning 

  • Materials should provide appropriate reference, research and instructional applications for K-12 educators 

  • Materials should promote and reflect diversity and different points of view 

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 

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 and ongoing part of maintaining relevant, accurate and up-to-date collections. 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 

  • Physical appearance 

  • Availability of other materials on the subject 

  • Subscription expenses 

  • Changing platforms 

  • Content licensing expiration 


The Library predominantly purchases materials in these formats: 

  • Ebooks 

  • Downloadable audiobooks 

  • Books 

  • Databases (online) 


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 

  • Circulation 

  • Cost and availability 

Gifts and Donations 

LACOE eLS only accepts gifts for the Library’s collection that fall within needed subject categories, as determined by the librarian(s) and library staff and according to LACOE board policy. Donated materials must meet the same selection criteria as purchased materials and are subject to the following limitations:  

  • The Library retains unconditional ownership of donated materials.  

  • The Library makes the final decision on the use, distribution or other disposition of the items. 

  • The Library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing and access to the materials. 

  • Digital materials must be in a format that is compatible with the library’s current platforms. 

  • Digital submissions must include signed waiver to donor’s right to distribute the material. 

Please also see Board Policy 6161.11: Supplementary Instructional Materials and Board Policy 3290: Gifts, Grants and Bequests.  

Content Questions 

All questions regarding the suitability or appropriateness of the content of library materials or resources are directed to LACOE eLibrary Services at 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 1) complainant to read entire work being challenged 2) complainant to submit a formal written challenge using the supplied form and 3) professional review of the content in question and potential forwarding to selected reconsideration committee. 


revised October 2021