A guiding statement is a policy document. It guides all those involved in leading and managing the library‘s development. This document will ensure your library collection supports the school’s educational goals, curriculum programmes, and student needs.
Purpose for having a guiding statement
Writing and consulting on your guiding statement
Background information to collect before writing your guiding statement
Content of the guiding statement
Challenged resources complaint form
A guiding statement helps all those involved in leading and managing your school library‘s development, to ensure that your library collection supports the school's educational goals, curriculum programmes, and student interests and needs.
Your school library team drafts the guiding statement in consultation with your teachers and principal to ensure that you achieve a clear statement that has school-wide support.
You will need to review this statement regularly, to take into account trends and changes in ICT and collection management, the New Zealand curriculum and your school’s curriculum, teaching methods, student interests and reading ability profile, and Ministry of Education developments.
The guiding statement for developing your school library collection is specific to your school, and has to reflect the needs of your students and teachers.
To identify these needs, use our School Community profile template to gather background data on:
- particular characteristics of your school and community, including its gender mix, age profile, ethnic and religious identification, languages spoken
- the range of reading needs of students (from analysis of testing data)
- students with special abilities or learning needs
- student interests
- attitudes to education, literacy and learning within your school community
- whether your school library is your students’ main source of books, information and access to digital technology
- the types of digital technologies/ social media that your students and teachers use
- ease of student access to your local public library
- emerging trends in curriculum development, teaching and learning
- current use of the library by teachers
- teachers’ use of National Library resources and community library resources.
A copy of your School Community profile and your School Library Collection guiding statement should be kept in your School library handbook.
Your statement should include:
A brief statement outlining why the school needs a collection of resources (digital, audio-visual and print) and the role this collection plays in supporting teaching and learning in your school.
Six to eight bullet points covering the purposes behind building your school library collection.
Guidelines for developing and managing your collection
This is the main body of your guiding statement, and will include your school’s policy on:
- responsibility for selection
- criteria for selection of resources, in all formats
- dealing with donated items
- collection maintenance – processing, mending and weeding
- challenged resources and the procedures to follow if a complaint is received
A statement that reiterates the benefits of having a library collection within your school.
An example and template to help you
We've attached a worked example of a guiding statement to help when writing your own, and a copy of the Challenged resources form to help when your principal or the library is faced with complaints about content.