Library Policies

Mission, Vision and Values of 

Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School Library

The mission of the Ortho Library is to create a welcoming, inclusive environment that empowers students in their growth as lifelong learners who are enthusiastic readers and provides them with curricular opportunities to access, evaluate, use, create and share information in an effective, ethical and competent manner.

The vision of the Ortho Library is to provide all students with the ability to access relevant and diverse texts and empowers them to critically analyze information and use it to make improvements in their lives and to promote a more just society. We seek to build an innovative, anti-racist, and culturally relevant Library program driven by input from all stakeholders. We recognize that our students and families come with valuable assets and thrive when our schools, families, and community partners collaborate to meet individual and collective needs. 

Selection Criteria (Choosing, Evaluating and Selecting the Print Collection) 

The Teacher Librarian follows District policies to evaluate and select all instructional materials.  We consider relevancy in a broad definition including popular culture references and aspects of culture.  We consistently speak with and obtain ideas from all stakeholders (students, teachers, staff, families) when deciding what books to purchase. When selecting and evaluating materials we also consider technical factors such as visuals, size of fonts, binding and covers, and languages. We look for award-winning titles and books of high literary merit, as well as those known to be popular with our students. We seek to have a collection both appealing and relevant to youth, while providing a well rounded overview to concepts and ideas young people need to access and analyze in order to improve their communities, learn about the world around them and be civically engaged citizens. 


Ortho Library Weeding Policy


As part of the library’s collection policy, the school librarian will perform continuous and systematic inventories to identify outdated, damaged, or irrelevant materials that meet the criteria for de-selection (weeding). This process will ensure that the library collection meets the needs of our school community by keeping it relevant, dynamic, useful, and up-to-date. We carefully review materials for misleading and inaccurate information.  While we follow District protocols, we make local decisions on site regarding the selection and evaluation of materials.  We take guidance using CREW weeding methods as well as District recommendations to make decisions regarding weeding items.  We host periodic Book Giveaways with weeded books deemed appropriate for students and send the rest to salvage at the District.  We make efforts to honor green weeding and seek DIY upcycling projects to find new uses for discarded books with art teachers, art clubs and others.

 De-selection Guidelines

  • The criteria for retaining, repairing, or de-selecting materials will be based on the following: 
    • Physical condition
    • Obsolete, inaccurate, or superseded information
    • Obsolete formats 
    • Space considerations 
    • Unnecessary duplication or extra copies 
    • Poorly used or under-circulated materials
    • In-library usage
    • Potential historic value
    • Availability of item in alternative formats
  • Final decisions regarding deselection will be made at the discretion of the Teacher Librarian in accordance with this criteria.
  • Materials considered for de-selection in fair condition will be offered to classroom teachers or placed on the free book cart for students and families. Once on the cart for an extended period of time, weeded materials will be disposed of at the discretion of the school district.


Including deselection parameters as part of the library’s overall collection policy allows for school librarians to view the collection as part of a long-term strategic plan for how to best meet the needs of the student body. Regular, systematic weeding should be built into a school library’s policy in order to maintain a collection which reflects the school community’s mission, priorities, and needs. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, and more resources become available, school librarians are faced with the challenge of choosing materials wisely, and creating a collection that is user-friendly and useful for their students. This also includes choosing which materials should be de-selected and removed from the library catalog. Through structured de-selection, a school library can continue to provide high-quality, relevant resources for their students. Materials that are damaged, worn, irrelevant, outdated, or no longer of interest to students should be deselected on a regular basis to make room for a more current collection. The school library’s collection needs to reflect the diversity of the student body and anticipate their academic and personal reading needs, as well as support the instructional goals of the school. This is achieved by a weeding policy that is working in tandem with a school’s mission and a strong collection development plan. 

The deselection guidelines above are based on facts and data, rather than subjective criteria. Historical data available from other libraries demonstrates an increase in circulation post-weeding, meaning that students are able to find what they are looking for more easily and quickly (avoiding time lost/lost interest) and the collection looks and feels fresh and appealing. After weeding the fiction section of the Baltimore Public Library, circulation immediately went up by 10% (Roy, 1988).  In a 2015 article from the Library Journal, Ian Chant writes that, “because in a library, just as in a garden, taking out unwanted items makes those left behind stand out.” Patrons have an easier time finding books that meet their needs, when not crowded or hidden amongst irrelevant, outdated material. 

Deselection parameters also allow for school librarians to make necessary changes to the library space itself. Space in school libraries (and how it is used and prioritized) is an ongoing issue. Ensuring that collections are adequately weeded and updated will ensure there is a balance between shelf space for books and space needed for other resources or projects/equipment/displays. It is also important to note that, while not part of the physical space, this should also include digital weeding; evaluating electronic resources and subscription databases on usefulness and cost efficiency are all part of maintaining a library’s collection. As the physical collection is weeded for space, school library staff should also reevaluate the digital catalog to make necessary changes and weed accordingly in response to space issues, use and relevancy. Finally, weeding can also help identify gaps in the collection. This information can be used when applying for grants or soliciting donations for the library.



Intellectual Freedom Policy

Consistent with the Los Angeles Unified School District, we stand for equitable access to information and intellectual freedom.  We seek to provide factual and accessible information to oppressed communities and to reflect their voices and experiences in the information we present.  The American Library Association says, “A commitment to intellectual freedom and social justice requires that libraries not only protect the truth from suppression, but also prevent its distortion.”  Our Library seeks to empower and liberate our community’s voices around racism, anti Black violence, critical race theory, immigration, queer and trans rights, disability justice, and ethnic studies. 

Additionally, we respect the privacy of our students in as they access the information they seek, in accordance with the standards of the information profession.


Policy for Patron Requests

Teachers, students, and parents are encouraged to request new materials. Suggestion forms indicating title, author, and explanation, are available on the school website and in person in the library. These suggestions are compiled monthly and added to orders when deemed in line with the mission and vision of the school and District policies.  When funds are not available to meet student, teacher, and parent requests, the Teacher Librarian uses the requests to seek additional funds from the Principal, the School Site Council, School Board Members and outside organizations like Donors Choose.  Suggestions that are not deemed relevant by the Teacher Librarian are not fulfilled and patrons are redirected to the local public library system.  When multiple stakeholders make a request, the item receives priority in both consideration and ordering, in alignment with our commitment to be member driven.  It is also understood that the Teacher Librarian will select additional materials beyond patron requests.


Complaints/ Reconsideration Policy

Concerns or complaints regarding Library books must be written and follow the district procedure.  District policy mandates, “materials to which individuals or groups object must not be removed from use without a formal process of review and evaluation”.  When a formal complaint is received, a committee will review the materials and determine via ballot whether or not to remove the item. The child of a parent disputing an item may be denied access to the material until the Committee makes a determination, and reviews for the same item will not be entertained within the same calendar year.


Gifts and Donations Policy

Donations must be deemed acceptable in order to maintain the highest quality books and materials available.  Not all books donated are appropriate for inclusion in our school’s library collection. The cost and time associated with distributing books in a large geographical area, processing of library books, or preparing books for circulation, must be taken into account when accepting donations. Teacher Librarians solely decide whether or not to accept donations.  Cash donations shall be allocated toward books and the Teacher Librarian will select books. We accept things like new books and some furniture but do not accept encyclopedias, dvds, audio recordings, video games, magazines, textbooks, or damaged items.  Historical documents related to local history of the site will be accepted if given wholly to the school.