Collection Development Policy

For the TeachingBooks and Book Connections services


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I. Mission Statement's mission is to generate enthusiasm for books and reading by providing immediate access to online, multimedia materials about authors/illustrators and books for children and teens to readers in every school, library, and home.


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II. Collection Definition

Sometimes referred to as a digital library, the web-based database compiled and maintained by is a collection of reliable, online resources about authors/illustrators and books. This collection definition includes all of's originally produced materials, as well as online resources created by others that have been professionally vetted and are authoritative.


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III. Community Profile is designed primarily for educators in all sizes of public school districts, single private schools, teacher education institutions/universities, public libraries, and homeschooling environments — anyone who uses books for/with children and teens in classrooms, libraries, and homes. believes educators should share resources that they deem appropriate with their students.


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IV. Collection Goals

The primary goal of the collection of materials is to help readers think in new ways about the authors/illustrators and books that they are reading.

Taken as a whole, the collection strives to offer relevant and engaging materials that

  • encourage informed discussions about trade books in virtually all facets of PreK–12 school life
  • support the teaching of specific books that are used in PreK–12 schools
  • help integrate books across the curriculum, throughout the PreK–12 school environment
  • enliven the reading of books on reading lists
  • appeal to educators working with students representing a wide range of interests and reading levels held by PreK-12th grade students works to be of relevance to teachers in all subjects that use books across the curricula, including but not limited to language arts, literacy, visual arts, multicultural studies, history, Spanish, French, and technology. In addition to including resources about books used for instructional purposes, also includes resources about books that are read independently by students.


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V. Selection Responsibility

The selecting of online resources for the collection is managed by the Director of Online Content & Collections. The Director of Online Content & Collections is an MLS-certified librarian charged with applying collection development theory and practice—including the principles of Intellectual Freedom—to developing a well-rounded, multimedia collection.


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VI. Selection Criteria

A. Scope of the Collection

The collection houses a broad range of materials whose usefulness is ultimately determined by users.

The collection is developed to provide materials relevant to all curricular areas and age/grade levels across the PreK–12 continuum. The collection includes materials about authors/illustrators, and trade books for children and young adults that are used—or are of potential use—in classrooms and libraries. This includes everything from recently published books to classics; picture book stories, novels, informational books, poetry, plays, and graphic novels.

Resources are included in the collection based on their interest to and potential use by PreK–12 educators, university instructors, and public librarians for their own research, planning, and/or use with their students/readers.

Resources selected for the collection are either or both of the following:

  • about literary and informational trade books (or their authors/illustrators) that are often used in classrooms, or are relevant to educational settings—including cross-over books used in high school settings
  • about literary and informational trade books (or their authors/illustrators) that are geared toward or relevant to the PreK–12 audience—including books used for recreational reading

Most of the resources are written and/or spoken in the English language. Based on availability, the collection also includes some resources that are in Spanish, French, or other non-English languages.

B. Categories of Resources creates and/or collects online resources that fall into two broad categories: resources about authors/illustrators and resources about books.

Author/Illustrator resources include:

Book resources include: does not provide access to online books or e-books—only to resources about authors/illustrators and books.

Examples of resources that do not fit into the above categories and thus are not included in the collection are e-books, book reviews, and short promotional blurbs about authors/illustrators.

C. Originally Produced Resources's original productions include Meet-the-Author Movies, Meet-the-Author Slideshows, In-depth Written Interviews, Guest Blog Posts, Meet-the-Author Book Readings, and Author Name Pronunciations. These productions are often centered around award-winning books for children and teens.

The authors/illustrators who chooses to interview, record, and/or collaborate with are carefully selected with the goal of representing a wide cross-section of books and book creators. To choose the authors/illustrators, the following criteria are considered:

  • potential or actual use of creator's books in classrooms, library activities, literacy programs, or educational courses
  • demographic diversity (such as race, gender, age, geographic location, and sexual orientation)
  • subject area expertise
  • grade level ranges
  • award recognitions
  • customer requests

As a service to the larger book community, produces audio recordings of authors/illustrators pronouncing their names and briefly introducing themselves. This collection of audio recordings—referred to as the Author Name Pronunciation Guide—is open to all authors and illustrators who have published one or more trade books geared toward or relevant to the PreK–12 audience.

D. Selection Process for non-Originally Produced Materials

The Content Department learns of new resources to be considered for inclusion via many avenues, including:

  • publishers
  • publicists
  • agents
  • authors/illustrators
  • customer requests
  • authoritative experts in the book, library, and education fields
  • editorial boards of professional journals
  • award and booklist committee members
  • searching for resources about authors/illustrators and books referenced by any of the above

Members of the Content Department, under the direction of the Director of Online Content & Collections, ensure that each resource fits within the scope of the collection as outlined in the criteria of VI.A. above. They also ensure that the electronic resource meets other criteria (format/technical integrity, authority/reliability, and unfettered access) as outlined below in the remainder of this section VI. on Selection Criteria.

E. Format and Technical Integrity

As with any library, the quality of the available resources varies.

Ideally, resources are well-designed for the online environment and have minimal commercial distractions. If the content of a resource is deemed potentially useful to an educator, any potential negative aspects of that resource (e.g. advertising, quality of the webdesign) will be weighed against its potential usefulness in determining whether to include it in the database.

F. Creators' Authority and Reliability

The creators of the resources are evaluated for their authority and reliability. Creators of the resources in the database can include:

  • the publisher, author, or illustrator of a specific book
  • educational and library-centered entities and organizations
  • individuals/entities with a background in children's literature, young adult literature, education, librarianship, and/or reading/literacy
  • media outlets

G. Unfettered Access

All resources to which links must be automatically available for anyone using the website—not requiring additional registrations or fees. For resources on that are not in the public domain, has arranged for open access for our subscribers.


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VII. Entering Resources into the Database

Members of the Content Department follow procedures outlined in a company Classification Manual in order to consistently categorize and classify the collection's resources.

See Definitions of TeachingBooks Classifications to have insights into grade levels, cultural and curricular areas, genres, formats, and subject headings.


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VIII. Weeding

Resources are weeded under the following circumstances:

  • Dead links: is committed to the technical reliability of the resources in the collection. Links that are "dead" are removed as soon as possible, either manually or via an automated link-checking program. The automated link-checking process involves links being continually checked for reliability; if a link fails three consecutive times, it is removed from the website.
  • Duplication: If a resource that is identical to another one is unintentionally added, one of them will be removed. In order to give each customer the option of choosing for themselves the resource that works best for them, may keep multiple resources about the same book that are similar—but not identical—to one another.
  • No Longer Relevant: If becomes aware of a resource that has changed significantly or is no longer as potentially useful as initially deemed, reserves the right to remove the resource.

Additionally, if becomes aware of a resource that has changed significantly or is no longer as potentially useful as initially deemed, reserves the right to remove the resource.


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IX. Intellectual Freedom

This Collection Development Policy reflects the philosophy and goals of and supports the principles of intellectual freedom described in the Library Bill of Rights and other position statements on intellectual freedom from the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

Every resource in the database has been selected based on its potential educational value. includes a wide variety of resources varying in format and in educational quality, knowing that what might be the right resource for one person is not necessarily the right resource for another. Individuals are encouraged to decide for themselves which item will be most useful for their purposes. There is something here for everyone, even if not everything is for everyone.

Although PreK–12 students are not's primary audience, it is hoped that educators will share resources they deem useful with children and teens. To that end, software Internet filters contradict's perspective that life-long learning and information literacy are best served by educating students to think critically so that they can be their own filters.

Useful intellectual freedom resources that consults include:


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X. Reconsideration Procedure users have the right to request that reconsider the inclusion of a resource (or resources by a single creator/resource producer). To do this, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Customer reviews the resource—both content and environment/context.
  2. Customer contacts TeachingBooks Founder & Executive Director with inquiry:
  3. In consultation with Director of Online Content & Collections, Founder & Executive Director begins discussion (via email or phone) with customer, to open up the dialogue about the concern.
  4. If the concern remains, customer requests and completes the Reconsideration Form, which is available upon request.
  5. The Founder & Executive Director reviews the completed Reconsideration Form, the electronic resource, and the Collection Development Policy.
  6. The creators of the resource might be contacted if appropriate.
  7. Other relevant professionals—such the Professional Development Team members or outside educators—might be consulted to provide another perspective.
  8. The TeachingBooks Founder & Executive Director makes a decision, weighing all information from items 5, 6, and 7 above.
  9. Decision is communicated to the customer within four weeks of the submittal of the Reconsideration Form.
  10. An email (without personally identifiable information about the requestor, book, or online resource) is sent to the License Coordinator in charge of the license through which the requestor accessed The purpose of the email is to let the License Coordinator know that addressed concerns that were raised from a user accessing the database under their license.

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XI. Policy Review and Revision

This Collection Development Policy and its associated procedures are reviewed, revised, and approved by’s professional educators and librarians on a biennial basis whenever possible—most recently in the spring of 2016.