In this subject I have learned that establishing balance in a collection requires consideration of the school context. It also entails balancing content considerations, such as the distribution between fiction and non-fiction, the representation of various subject areas, topics, and diverse backgrounds. Finally, it involves balancing technical matters such as format types (considering student preferences, as well as convenience and price, as discussed on Forum 1.1 (Simon, 2018a)), methods of supply and acquisition, and accessibility by people with various disabilities.
My developing understanding of the selection process highlighted the importance of having clear, documented selection criteria and informative and reliable selection aids to guide that process. For example, to ensure that local and national curriculum requirements are considered, selection criteria should be based on existing recommendations, such as those from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Schools and Victorian Catholic Teacher Librarians (2018). These should be modified to take into account specific school context and priorities, perhaps via a library committee with representation including executive, faculty, students and even parents (NSW Department of Education, 2015, p. 5). Electronic resources raise additional selection issues, most notably: acceptable licensing terms, preferences for access vs ownership, accessibility preferences and steps to ensure compliance with applicable copyright restrictions (Gregory, 2011). Continue reading