Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — Criteria for the selection of books that will fill libraries in Davis County’s public schools was outlined in a policy passed by the Davis School Board recently.
Accuracy, timeliness and reliability are all included in the list, as are the books’ ability to support curriculum, match the maturity level of students and present balanced views.
Other criteria are format, recreational needs, linguistic pluralism (for foreign language studies), literary quality and quality of illustrations.
In discussions relating to the policy, two amendments to the proposal were presented by Peter Cannon, a board member.
Cannon wanted to add “character development” to the list and have community councils at each school approve each list.
After lengthy discussion, both amendments failed.
Board members were assured that character development is part of everything done in schools, according to Chris Williams, community relations director.
According to board minutes, Barbara Smith, a board member, said community councils have specific advisory responsibilities as outlined by the Legislature, and approving the hundreds of books that are purchased each year in schools would be overstepping their bounds.
The policy also outlines how libraries can “weed” books that are in poor physical condition or advocate outdated or incorrect information. It also outlines procedures for challenges to books.
Parents concerned about a book should first submit a challenge to the library media professional at their child’s school. The library professional then notifies the district supervisor, who calls a meeting of the school’s Collection Evaluation Committee.
That committee then reviews the book, along with written reviews of it from professional sources.
When the committee meets again, the parent can present his or her views, if desired. Once the committee reaches a decision by majority vote, the same material cannot be challenged for at least three years.
A parent can challenge the decision of the committee through a similar process at the district level.
The complete policy can be read at davis.k12.ut.us/Page/46. It is policy 4I-202.