Collection Development Policy
For the TeachingBooks and Book Connections services
I. Mission Statement
TeachingBooks.net'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.
II. Collection Definition
Sometimes referred to as a digital library, the web-based database compiled and maintained by TeachingBooks.net is a collection of reliable, online resources about authors/illustrators and books. This collection definition includes all of TeachingBooks.net's originally produced materials, as well as online resources created by others that have been professionally vetted and are authoritative.
III. Community Profile
TeachingBooks.net 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. TeachingBooks.net believes educators should share resources that they deem appropriate with their students.
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 TeachingBooks.net 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
TeachingBooks.net 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, TeachingBooks.net also includes resources about books that are read independently by students.
V. Selection Responsibility
The selecting of online resources for the collection is managed by the TeachingBooks.net 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.
VI. Selection Criteria
A. Scope of the Collection
The TeachingBooks.net collection houses a broad range of materials whose usefulness is ultimately determined by TeachingBooks.net 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
TeachingBooks.net creates and/or collects online resources that fall into two broad categories: resources about authors/illustrators and resources about books.
Author/Illustrator resources include:
- interviews, essays, and speeches (in video, audio, or written formats)
- personal websites and blogs
- name pronunciations
- award metadata
Book resources include:
- lesson plans, discussion questions, and activities
- Reader's Theater scripts
- audio and video recordings of books (either excerpts or full-length)
- video book trailers
- websites about books or series
- websites for movies and television shows based on books or series
- apps for books
- vocabulary lists
- qualitative text complexity rubrics (crowd-sourced)
- book annotations
- award metadata
TeachingBooks.net 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
TeachingBooks.net'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 TeachingBooks.net 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, TeachingBooks.net 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 TeachingBooks.net Content Department learns of new resources to be considered for inclusion via many avenues, including:
- customer requests
- authoritative experts in the book, library, and education fields
- editorial boards of professional journals
- award and booklist committee members
- TeachingBooks.net-initiated searching for resources about authors/illustrators and books referenced by any of the above
Members of the TeachingBooks.net 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 TeachingBooks.net links must be automatically available for anyone using the TeachingBooks.net website—not requiring additional registrations or fees. For resources on TeachingBooks.net that are not in the public domain, TeachingBooks.net has arranged for open access for our subscribers.
VII. Entering Resources into the TeachingBooks.net Database
Members of the TeachingBooks.net Content Department follow procedures outlined in a company Classification Manual in order to consistently categorize and classify the collection's resources.
Resources are weeded under the following circumstances:
- Dead links: TeachingBooks.net 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, TeachingBooks.net may keep multiple resources about the same book that are similar—but not identical—to one another.
- No Longer Relevant: If TeachingBooks.net becomes aware of a resource that has changed significantly or is no longer as potentially useful as initially deemed, TeachingBooks.net reserves the right to remove the resource.
Additionally, if TeachingBooks.net becomes aware of a resource that has changed significantly or is no longer as potentially useful as initially deemed, TeachingBooks.net reserves the right to remove the resource.
IX. Intellectual Freedom
This Collection Development Policy reflects the philosophy and goals of TeachingBooks.net 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. TeachingBooks.net 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 TeachingBooks.net's primary audience, it is hoped that educators will share TeachingBooks.net resources they deem useful with children and teens. To that end, software Internet filters contradict TeachingBooks.net'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 TeachingBooks.net consults include:
- Cooperative Children's Book Center webpage on Intellectual Freedom (accessed 2/19/2016): http://www.education.wisc.edu/ccbc/freedom/default.asp
- American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (accessed 2/19/2016): http://www.ala.org/offices/oif
X. Reconsideration Procedure
TeachingBooks.net users have the right to request that TeachingBooks.net reconsider the inclusion of a resource (or resources by a single creator/resource producer). To do this, the following steps should be taken:
- Customer reviews the resource—both content and environment/context.
- Customer contacts TeachingBooks Founder & Executive Director with inquiry: info@TeachingBooks.net
- In consultation with TeachingBooks.net Director of Online Content & Collections, TeachingBooks.net Founder & Executive Director begins discussion (via email or phone) with customer, to open up the dialogue about the concern.
- If the concern remains, customer requests and completes the TeachingBooks.net Reconsideration Form, which is available upon request.
- The TeachingBooks.net Founder & Executive Director reviews the completed Reconsideration Form, the electronic resource, and the Collection Development Policy.
- The creators of the resource might be contacted if appropriate.
- Other relevant professionals—such the TeachingBooks.net Professional Development Team members or outside educators—might be consulted to provide another perspective.
- The TeachingBooks Founder & Executive Director makes a decision, weighing all information from items 5, 6, and 7 above.
- Decision is communicated to the customer within four weeks of the submittal of the Reconsideration Form.
- 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 TeachingBooks.net. The purpose of the email is to let the License Coordinator know that TeachingBooks.net addressed concerns that were raised from a user accessing the TeachingBooks.net database under their license.
XI. Policy Review and Revision
This Collection Development Policy and its associated procedures are reviewed, revised, and approved by TeachingBooks.net’s professional educators and librarians on a biennial basis whenever possible—most recently in the spring of 2016.