Selection Policy


The purpose of the ASIJ Harris Library is to serve the needs of the school. Materials are therefore selected to support the curriculum and the mission of the school, to help each student develop his/her potential as a human being, and to help each teacher to achieve his/her professional goals at the American School in Japan.

The ASIJ Harris Library endorses the American Library Association's Bill of Rights as interpreted for school library programs and the Association. for Educational Communications and Technology's Statement on Intellectual Freedom.


Materials will be selected by qualified personnel, relying heavily on reviews found in standard reviewing media. Library media specialists will try to provide a balanced collection of the highest quality in which students can find a variety of points of view on curriculum-related topics, along with standard works in fields covered in the curriculum and quality works on subjects of current interest.

Librarians will select on the basis of principle and reason rather than personal opinion and prejudice. Recommendations from the school community are welcomed and encouraged.

Staff members involved in selection of resource materials will use the following criteria as a guide:

  • educational significance
  • contribution the subject matter makes to the curriculum and to the interests of the students
  • favorable reviews found in standard selection sources
  • favorable recommendations based on preview and examination of materials by professional personnel
  • reputation and significance of the author, producer, and publisher
  • validity, currency, and appropriateness of material
  • contribution the material makes to breadth of representative viewpoints on controversial issues
  • high degree of potential user appeal
  • high artistic quality and/or literary style
  • quality and variety of format
  • value commensurate with cost and/or need
  • timeliness or permanence
  • integrity


The major areas of controversial materials for this school are sex, politics, and religion. A sincere effort is made to find materials covering contrasting points of view, especially in the area of politics and public issues. Materials on religion are chosen to explain rather than convince, and are selected to represent the field as widely as possible for school purposes. In a literary work the use of profanity or treatment of sex is not an adequate reason for eliminating the material from the school library. In general, materials should be selected for their strengths rather than eliminated for their weaknesses.


Responsibilities for selection will rest with appropriate professionally trained personnel who will discharge this obligation consistent with the ASIJ Harris Library's adopted selection criteria and procedures. Selection procedures will involve representatives of the professional staff directly affected by the selections, and persons qualified by preparation to aid in wise selection


In selecting learning resources, professional personnel will evaluate available resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources. Among sources to be consulted are:

  • bibliographies (latest edition available, including supplements)
  • current reviewing media
  • other sources will be consulted as appropriate. Whenever possible, the actual resource will be examined.

Selection is an ongoing process that should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.


Selection for the Middle School Library differs from the general policy only in the following ways:

Considerable emphasis in selection is on finding alternative and mufti-media materials to meet the diversity of leaning styles and maturity levels of pre- and beginning teen-age students.


Selection for the Elementary School Library differs from the general policy only in the following ways:

Items that are likely to be used exclusively by the Elementary students and/or faculty are stored in the Elementary School Library.

The Elementary School Library will provide guidance in terms of age- appropriate materials from other sources on the campus as the need arises.