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National School Library of the Year Application 2021: Curate

This is the electronic portfolio for the National School Library of the Year application for 2021 for Calvert County Public Schools.




CURATE: Make meaning for oneself and others by collecting, organizing, and sharing resources of personal relevance. 

Collection Development Policies

Calvert County Public Schools has a robust collection development policy that can be found on the district website.  Our collection development policy addresses:

  • Policy
  • Procedure
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Copyright, Creative Commons, and Public Domain materials
  • Includes a robust weeding/deselection policy

Link to:  CCPS Collection Development Policy and Selection of Media Materials

Collection Challenges

We have Request for Reconsideration of Library Media Center Materials. However, we have not removed any materials in recent years.  Our policy states that the school librarian should talk about the complaint with the person making it.  The school librarian should inform the administration and the school library coordinator at the district level.  If the complain escalates, the person filing the complaint is invited to fill out the reconsideration form.  School librarians in the district are invited to be a part of the team to address the request.  They are also invited to send letters or statements to the committee.  The committee also includes a public librarian.  In recent years, we have not removed any books from circulation after a request for reconsideration.  Our selection policy upholds our collection well. 


School librarians are encouraged to weed and remove materials that are:

  • In poor physical condition
  • Have not circulated in several years
  • Are outdated in content, use, or accuracy
  • Are poor in quality
  • Are bias or portray stereotypes 
  • Duplicate information that is not heavily in demand
  • Is superseded by newer information
  • Has outdated graphics, designs, or illustrations (is no longer appealing)
  • Are obsolete

Librarians are encourage to invite Jen Sturge (district coordinator) into the library to assist with weeding.  It is affectionately known as "Purge with Sturge."  Together, we are ruthless!  As one librarian put it, "After Jen leaves, you are left with a library that is more accessible to students.  Gone are the dust gathering books that no one checks out. Students can see titles again and the library has a newer feel!"  

Our past three year focus has been to weed:

  • Fiction
  • Biography
  • Sciences

Our philosophy is that quality is over quantity in the school library.  Our libraries and not a collection of books but a book collection that students will want to explore and engage with for academic purposes and for fun!

VCRS and Cassette tapes bookspile of weeded books

Image: Weeded books (L) some hidden golden oldies (R) completed pile of picture books weeded


students researching animals of choice in library

Image: Students at St. Leonard elementary school researching animals of choice.

student self selecting after weeding

Image: Student selecting books after area of library has been weeded.

bulletin bord

Image: Luring students in with the laser beams from an UFO.

Mr. Embrey reading

Image: Even out with an injured foot, Mr. Embrey finds time to read the pile of books he's curating for his collection.

new books

Image: New book arrivals are curated for students.

Image: PHS students research background information to begin writing "Where I'm From" poems

stacks of new books

Image: Advertising new books on Twitter.


Image: "Red" Box

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