Considerations for Selection of Print Materials

There are general selection criteria which apply to all library media materials. The following media formats require additional considerations.


Due to the high cost of materials, it is important to examine books with the following additional criteria in mind before purchasing:

  • Durability of bindings
  • Illustrations and layout
  • Readability and interest levels


Paperbacks are an inexpensive way to supplement the library media collection for duplication of titles, in-depth studies, special projects, and leisure reading. It is recommended that first copies of picture books be hardbacks.

When deciding whether to purchase paperback books the following must be considered:

  • Curricular demand placed on these books in the individual school
  • Cost and use of paperback books as compared to the cost of hardback books
  • Use of these materials for research, independent reading, duplication of classics, and popular fiction

Periodicals and Newspapers

Periodicals support the curriculum and provide leisure reading for students. Professional review journals and library periodicals for instruction may be considered for purchase. Consideration may be given to providing access to full text online periodical databases to further supplement the library’s collection.  Newspapers may be ordered as needed e.g., The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun Times.


Reference materials in both print and electronic formats provide comprehensive information in both general and subject-specific areas. The following points need to be considered when selecting print or electronic resources:
  • Arrangement and indexing
  • Authority
  • Cost effectiveness in terms of projected use
  • User-friendliness

Consideration for Selection of Nonprint Materials

The criteria for selection of nonprint materials are essentially the same as for print materials. The quality of auditory and visual presentation should be considered as well as accuracy of information and the appropriateness of format. Nonprint materials include, but are not limited to: videos, audiobooks, manipulatives, and realia.  Nonprint materials should:

  1. Promote instructional goals and support the curriculum
  2. Provide a variety of media formats to meet the needs of the curriculum
  3. Present content in appropriate format and acceptable technical quality

Consideration for Selection of Electronic Resources

The criteria for selection of electronic resources are essentially the same as for print materials. Electronic resources such as CD-ROM, computer software, and online services provide greater access to information. Availability of network versions and site license agreements are also factors in selection. The District 105 Acceptable Use Policy is included in the appendix of this document.

Electronic resources should:

  • Be user and student friendly
  • Be designed with search capabilities and navigation tools that enhance information retrieval
  • Supply easy-to-understand, comprehensive documentation
  • Provide information that is accurate and reliably maintained
  • Ideally offer 24-hours a day access with remote connection from home
  • Differentiate learner control through flexible pacing and variable difficulty
  • Present readable text, attractive graphics, and an appealing layout
  • Include record keeping and management options, if applicable

Return to Library Collection Development Procedures.