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Collection Development Guidelines
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Frisco ISD Library Services: Library Materials Selection Criteria

and Collection Development Guidelines

Guidelines align with board policy EFB (Local)

Table of Contents

Book Selection Criteria

When No Professional Reviews are Available


Collection development involves the identification, selection, acquisition, and evaluation of a collection of library resources to fit the needs of its users and potential users. The following criteria is in alignment with our EFB (Local) policy.

Book Selection Criteria

Materials in the library must meet the criteria below:




Library materials considered for selection must be favorably reviewed in at least two of the following resources: 1 professional publication review and one of either a professional review or informal resource*.

A review must include at least one grade level served by the selecting campus.

  • Elementary - reviewed for grades PK-5; use caution when considering books reviewed for grades 5-8; books coded YA may not be added.
  • Middle School - reviewed for grades 6-8 or below; use caution with reviews for grades 7-12.
  • High School - reviewed for grades 9-12 or below; use caution when reviews state "explicit" or "mature" material. Books coded as AD (craft or other non-fiction) should be carefully considered prior to adding to high school collections.
  • The age of the main character(s) is a good guideline for determining target audience.


Materials take into consideration students' varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and maturity levels. These materials should encourage discussion, critical thinking and curiosity through clear and purposeful storytelling.

Literary Appreciation

Stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards for voluntary inquiry.

Obscene Content

Notwithstanding any other criteria, a title will be deselected if it contains obscene content.


Offer multiple perspectives and viewpoints on societal issues so that students have an opportunity to develop, under guidance, skills in critical analysis and in making informed judgments in their daily lives.


When selecting a material for the campus collection, the resource is appropriate for the social and emotional development of the students at that campus level. The topics explored provide representation that is valuable to the student and community. Literature chosen should serve to transform the human experience and reflect it back in meaningful ways so the reader can see many lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.

When No Professional Reviews are Available

Some but not all types of materials may be selected when professional reviews are not available. If eligible for selection, these items must still meet the selection criteria.  Librarians may use the table below to determine whether they can order an item.

Type of Material

Appropriateness, Literary Value, and Presentation of Information

Items in Other Languages

If a professional review cannot be found for a specific translation, a book may still be selected if the English language version meets all selection criteria.

Items Originally Published before the 1970’s.

Professional reviews for classic books considered part of the “literary canon” and religious or historical texts may not be available.  In these instances, the book may still be selected if research indicates it meets all FISD selection criteria.  Librarians should consider whether or not items are in the public domain and degree of student appeal in their decisions


Manga (secondary)

Librarians must research to determine the intended audience for the content.  

  • Secondary librarians may select Manga based on reviews available on the sites listed on the American Library Association website.
  • Manga that does not have a review available on the sites referenced above must be reviewed, book in hand, by the librarian prior to selection.
  • Items marked “mature” or with the words “explicit content,” or intended for adult audiences should not be selected. See definitions for further vocabulary.
  • Books marked for “older teens”, “16+” may only be considered at high schools.
  • Titles must be reviewed, book in hand, by the librarian prior to selection. 

Biographies, Literary Nonfiction, Memoirs, and Poetry

If no professional reviews can be located, the publisher-designated age range may be used. The following criteria must be met:  

  • The librarian must review the material, book in hand.

The librarian must carefully weigh the following when making a decision:

  • Whether the objective of having the material in the collection could be fulfilled by another work with a positive review
  • Publisher’s reputation
  • Author’s reputation
  • Curricular needs
  • Endorsement by a professional association
  • The need for a balanced and diverse collection
  • Providing balanced viewpoints either within the book or within the library collection.

Other Nonfiction

If no professional reviews can be located, the publisher-designated age range may be used. The following criteria must be met:  

  • A publisher's age range or interest level must be designated.
  • If the publisher designated age range spans multiple levels, the librarian must use both the publisher designated age range, interest level and research on the book to determine the primary target audience.

Formulaic Fiction Series

Elementary/Middle. If one  professional publication review and one informal resource review exists for a book in a formulaic fiction series, it will suffice for the rest of the series.

High Interest Picture Books

Examples include: Peppa Pig, Scooby-Doo, Barbie etc. High interest books that are based on movies, TV shows and games that are age/campus level appropriate as determined by the librarian,  may be added to the library collection.


Adult (AD)

The adult, or AD, audience designation used by publishers is not a reflection of content but of the audience for whom the content is written.  Books that were not specifically written for children or young adults fall into this category. Adult material may only be selected for campuses serving 11th and 12th grade students.

Authentic literature

Authentic literature refers to texts written in the natural language of the authors with an audience beyond schools (ie. the general public).  They are not written with a controlled vocabulary and/or to achieve a particular readability. Sometimes called “trade books,” these works are written to emotionally engage the reader.

Favorably Reviewed

A book is favorably reviewed if a review states that the material takes into consideration students' varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and maturity levels, and the age range provided is appropriate for the school considering selection.


HiLo books are typically written to be of high interest to secondary students while being written at an early elementary level.  Elementary librarians should exercise caution when considering a HiLo novel.

Informal Review Resources

  • American Library Association Reading Lists/Awards: Examples include:
  • The Randolph Caldecott Medal, Pura Belpre Award, Amelia Bloomer Book List, Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Coretta Scott King Book Awards, Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent, William C. Morris Debut YA Award, John Newbery Medal, Notable Children's Books, Michael L. Printz Award, Schneider Family Book Award, Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, Stonewall Book Awards - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award, etc.
  • Texas Library Association Reading Lists: Examples include Bluebonnet, Lone Star, TAYSHAS, Maverick, Little Maverick, Spirit of Texas, Tejas Star, Texas Topaz, and 2X2.
  • Discussion of a resource by a committee of librarians with a collective view on inclusion in the collection for students at that level.
  • Grade reviews from reputable online resources. Examples could include: Common Sense Media, Book review sites that read and critically evaluate current literature for the purpose of school library collection development, blogs from reputable sources, etc. Examples could include but are not limited to:
  • No Flying No Tights
  • Nerdy Book Club
  • John Schu
  • Mrs. Readerpants
  • Pop! Goes the Reader
  • Julie Anna’s Books

Literary Nonfiction

Literary nonfiction utilizes techniques typically reserved for fiction to present informational content in creative and engaging ways.  


Manga refers to a style of Japanese comics/graphic novels.  This type of literature is often not reviewed in professional library review journals. Some vocabulary might include:

  • Ecchi: Content that is erotic in nature. (May not be selected).
  • Harem: Storylines wherein a male character is surrounded by female characters who may become potential love interests. (May not be selected).
  • Hentai: Explicit sexual content. (May not be selected).
  • Josei: Anime and manga targeted to women ages 18-40. (May not be selected).
  • Kodomo: Anime and manga for children.
  • Light Novel: A style of Japanese novel for young and adolescent readers, often including manga-style illustrations throughout.
  • Redikomi: Manga targeted at adult women. (May not be selected). 
  • Seinen: Anime and manga for adult men. (May not be selected). 
  • Shojo: Anime and manga for teen girls.
  • Shonen: Anime and manga for teen boys.
  • Yaoi: Storylines focus on explicit experiences. (May not be selected).
  • BL stands for “Boys’ Love” and GL is “Girls’ Love”: LGBTQ+ friendly titles. Not all are suitable for younger audiences, however there are some materials in this category that are age appropriate.

Main publishers for manga:

  • Viz Media
  • Kodansha
  • Yen Press
  • Seven Seas
  • Dark Horse

* Several companies owned by the bigger companies produce manga that is not appropriate for younger audiences. It is safe to say anything from the company's Ghost Ship or Sublime would not be acceptable for any age of student.

Middle Grade

Books written for grades 3-6 (ages 8-12) may be selected at campuses serving 3rd-5th grade students.


Material that includes patently offensive representations or descriptions of sexual acts including:

  • sexual intercourse,
  • sodomy,
  • sexual bestiality,

Material that includes patently offensive representations or descriptions of:

  • masturbation,
  • excretory functions,
  • sadism,
  • masochism,
  • lewd exhibition of genitals,
  • the male or female genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal,
  • covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, or
  • a device designed and marketed as useful primarily for stimulation of the human genital organs.

Professional Library Publications

These journals are recognized as reputable selection tools within the field of librarianship.  Acceptable professional library review journals include

  • Booklist
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • Horn Book
  • School Library Journal
  • Although out-of-print, VOYA may be used for older items.

Public Domain

Creative works that are not protected by intellectual property laws.  In the case of library books, these are books with expired copyright dates.  Books in the public domain are generally accessible online.

Young Adult (YA)

Books written for grades 6-12 are designated as Young Adult (YA). Common themes in YA realistic fiction include friendship, getting into trouble, self-identity, coming of age, romantic interest, and family life. Young adult materials should only be selected for secondary campuses. The text of a YA review is used to determine whether the title is suitable for intermediate school, middle school, and high school.