4. Library Collection

The School Library Programs: Standards and Guidelines expect (model) libraries to:

  • Offer a balance of print, multimedia, and electronic resources. The library collection should be current and selected according to district and board approved selection policies.
  • Develop and maintain a balanced collection based on curriculum and user needs.
  • Offer access to resources via world-wide networks
  • Have provisions for access to information beyond the campus via inter-library loans, telecommunications and technology.

The standards and guidelines also specify a range for the size of the collection for different categories of materials.

  • Collection of books, software, and electronic resources: 9,000 to 12,000
  • Subscriptions for elementary schools: 20 to 45
  • Subscriptions for middle/junior high schools: 40 to 125
  • Subscriptions for high schools: 45 to 150
  • Access to a periodical database
  • Access to a full-text news database
  • Access to at least one local and one state or national news source

Over 77 percent of elementary school libraries, 93 percent of middle/junior high school libraries, and 74 percent of high school libraries have a collection development policy. In most cases the collection development policies address materials selection, reconsideration of challenged materials and materials weeding. Between 50 and 55 percent of the libraries participate in a district program to evaluate print and non-print resources. The program is likely to be staffed by librarians and teachers who meet periodically to evaluate new materials.

Table III.29 Library Collection Development Policies
Library with Collection Development Policies Elementary Schools(267)


%
Middle/Junior


High Schools(104)


%
High Schools(129)


%
Percent of libraries with a collection development policy 77.5% 93.3% 74.4%
Percent of libraries with materials selection policy 74.9% 70.2% 72.9%
Percent of libraries with weeding policy 69.7% 61.5% 65.1%
Percent of libraries with reconsideration of challenged materials policy 75.6% 70.2% 71.3%
Percent of libraries participating in a system for evaluation of print and non-print resources 52.8% 50.0% 55.0%

In addition to a collection of print materials, most libraries have current subscriptions to magazines (over 90 percent), video materials (90 percent), and encyclopedias and reference titles on CD ROM (80 percent). Most middle/junior high (91 percent) and high school (97 percent) libraries also subscribe to newspapers compared with 61 percent of elementary school libraries. About 60 percent of the libraries have software packages for in-library use. Between 43 percent (middle/junior high school) and 53 percent (high school) of the libraries have electronic, Internet-based, subscriptions.

Table III.30 School Library Collections
Percent of Libraries Having Following Materials in Collection Elementary Schools(267)


%
Middle/Junior High Schools(104)


%
High Schools(129)


%
Current print subscriptions to magazines 95.1% 92.3% 96.9%
Current print subscriptions to newspapers 60.7% 91.4% 96.9%
Electronic subscriptions received via the Internet 45.6% 43.3% 52.9%
Encyclopedias and reference titles on CD ROM or laser disc 86.2% 79.8% 79.1%
Video materials (cassettes and disks) 91.4% 88.5% 89.2%
Computer software packages for use in school library by students 63.7% 55.8% 62.8%

The size of library collections by category of material, mean and maximum is displayed in the following table.

Table III.31 School Library Holdings
Holdings Elementary Schools Middle/Junior High Schools High Schools
Mean Max. Mean Max. Mean Max.
Print volumes 10,494.46 116,034 10,920.01 27,065 14,340.72 50,000
Current print subscriptions to magazines 23.03 115 51.23 2,125 49.07 250
Current print subscriptions to newspapers 0.90 5 2.32 50 3.07 10
Electronic subscriptions received via the Internet 15.95 2,000 16.95 1,450 74.16 3,500
Encyclopedias and reference titles on CD ROM or laser disc 13.29 250 6.65 90 9.80 100
Video materials (cassettes and disks) 424.87 2,378 420.20 2,500 617.27 4,000
Computer software packages for use in school library by students 32.47 537 8.67 150 13.95 500

The use of online databases is still low. About 19 to 39 percent of elementary school libraries, 23 to 35 percent of middle/junior high school libraries, and 33 to 49 percent of high school libraries subscribe to online services.

Table III.32 School Library Electronic Subscriptions
Subscriptions to Online Licensed Services (Exclusive of TLC Services) Elementary Schools(267)


%
Middle/Junior High Schools(104)


%
High Schools(129)


%
Online periodical services (BigChalk, H.W. Wilson) 61


22.8%
29


27.9%
63


48.8%
CD ROM services (SIRS, Newsbank) 51


19.1%
24


23.1%
43


33.3%
Other full text services (encyclopedias) 103


38.6%
36


34.6%
53


41.1%

Continue on to Chapter 3, Section 5

 

Page last modified: March 2, 2011