Evaluating Reference Sources
The following checklist has been adapted from the CRAAP Test created by the librarians at California State University, Chico.
All libraries contain print and digital reference sources, and our job as Teacher-Librarians is to ensure the information in our learning spaces is suited to our school population. This checklist can be used to evaluate a reference resource to determine its usefulness in your library program and overall reference collection.
Name of Resource: _______________________________________________
CURRENCY: The timeliness of the information.
- Is the date of publication visible (print and digital)?
- Can you find information about revisions or updates?
- Has the bibliography been recently updated?
RELEVANCY: The importance of the information for your needs.
- Is this resource appropriate for the age of your school population?
- Is the resource at a reading level suited to your students?
- Does this resource provide general information, or is it subject specific and limited in scope?
- Are there other sources that might be more useful for your library program or more cost effective?
EFFICIENT USE OF LIBRARY SPACE
- Does your space allow for the storage of this resource?
- Is there an alternative resource that conserves space, and would open up this area for another library use?
- Is the author of the information reliable, and/or published other works?
- Can information be verified by comparing with other sources?
PURPOSE: The reason the information exists.
- Is the purpose of the information to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
- Is the intention or purpose of the information clear?
- Does the resource include facts, opinion or propaganda?
- Does the information include biases of any kind - political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal?
Inform, Teach,Sell, Entertain, Persuade
- Does this resource link directly to the current curriculum?
- Can this resource be incorporated into lessons in the library/classroom?
- Has this resource been evaluated by ERAC (Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium)?
COST OF THE RESOURCE
- What is the current cost of the resource?
- Is there an alternative, but less expensive resource available?
Yes No Don’t Know