Monday, February 11, 2008


Librarians at every level across the nation consider it a matter of professional policy and pride to establish library collections that contain books of quality representing diverse perspectives and experiences. Informational materials are to be authoritative and current, addressing the wide range of interests of library users. Our goal at Lawrence School is similar if not naturally more limited in scope. We seek to build a collection that supports the curriculum, classroom activities, and the interests and needs of curious young people. We want to maintain a collection that has accurate and appropriate material. We strive to have materials that both reflect the faces and experiences of children in our school and carry them beyond their own experiences to the wider world beyond. All our efforts are dedicated to cultivating thoughtful readers and users of information, setting the stage for a lifetime of learning and enjoyment.

Occasionally libraries have someone question a book or a selection that a child has made. We are glad when the questioner comes to the library and speaks directly with us. Usually we can, through conversation, resolve the concern. If a concern were unresolved, we, along with the principal, would suggest that the questioner submit a request for reconsideration of materials, a formal procedure used by most libraries. In that process, the questioner reads the entire book or body of material under consideration and specifies very clearly, in writing, the nature of their concern. In all my years as a school librarian, I have not had anyone proceed to a reconsideration of materials; we've always been able to compare thoughts and goals for the readers we care about, and reach an understanding about what comes next. Communication usually pays off for all concerned!