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Alameda County Library Collection Development Policy

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Alameda County Library Write to Read Juvenile Hall Literacy

Book Selection Policy

Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center

The Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, Butler Academic Center and Alameda County Library Reading Material Selection Policy ensures that literary rights are protected according to Institutions and Camps Section 6625 and the American Library Association.

The guidelines include both materials purchased by and donated to the library or the facility. All materials provide support for the educational and recreational needs of students. The materials are diverse and cover many topics.

Materials are in housed in a main library, living units and classroom libraries.

Mission: The Alameda County Library, Juvenile Justice Center provides a wide and diverse range of books that motivate students to pursue independent and recreational reading.

Vision Statement: The Alameda County Library, Juvenile Justice Center provides books that cover a wide and diverse range of topics. The collection strives to provides materials that cover a wide range of interests and reading levels, that will widen boundaries of thinking, enrich lives, stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, tolerance and ethical standards.

Goal: To fulfill students informational and recreational needs.


Responsibility for Selection:

Materials are selected for purchase based on continuous assessment by the on-site librarian with the aid of professional tools.

Materials shall be selected on the basis of:

  • popularity, appeal, and estimated use by the resident population;

  • readability level and quality of writing;

  • value in enriching programs provided in the institution;

  • factual accuracy;

  • reviews in professional literature and the recommendations of professionals;

  • input and recommendations are sought from administrators, teachers, specialists, teaching assistants, students, probation staff and others affiliated with Juvenile Justice Center.


Selection Criteria

As public institutions, libraries cannot discriminate based on age, sex, race or any other characteristic.

The following criteria are used as a guide in selection. Not all criteria must apply to each work, although we strive to purchase material that fulfill as many as possible :

• relevance to the interests and lives of individual students;

• contribution to multicultural and pluralistic awareness;

• high degree of potential user appeal;

• reputation and significance of the author, producer and publisher;

• currency or timeliness of material;

• literary and artistic excellence;

• contribution to the curriculum and the educational goals of the school;

• contribution to the breadth and diversity of representative viewpoints on controversial issues;

• favorable recommendations based on preview and examination of materials by professional personnel, adults with special expertise;

• favorable reviews found in standard selection sources;

• value commensurate with cost and/or need.


Gift materials are evaluated by the same criteria as purchased materials.

Certain material is not selected:

• pictures depicting explicit sexual activity.

• material which is not legal for minors.

• material which cannot be legally sold and sent through the US mail.

• material that threatens or jeopardizes the security of the institution i.e. which give step by step instructions for brewing alcohol, lighting fires, etc.


Removal from Collection

All books will be in good condition. Worn, torn or damaged materials are given to the librarian to assess whether the book can be fixed or needs to be replaced. Out-of-date materials or those no longer useful are withdrawn from the collection.


Intellectual Freedom

Recognizing that an atmosphere of free inquiry is essential to the education of youth in order for them to participate fully in a democratic society, the Juvenile Justice Center subscribes to the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights guides librarians in serving their communities or schools and is based on the First Amendment. It protects the rights of all library users to choose for themselves what they wish to read, listen to or view.

Under the First Amendment, children and teens have the same rights as adults to select the materials they wish to read, listen to or view. The Library Bill of Rights simply reminds libraries of their responsibilities to serve all the public, regardless of age or circumstances.


Challenged Materials

“There is no such thing as a non-controversial book, periodical or website.” All media has received criticism — from the Bible to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

Materials in the collection will cover a wide range of interests and topics. Some materials may be considered counterproductive to individual student treatment goals.

Cooperation will be given to any counselor or JIO wishing to restrict materials which, in their opinion, do not support the treatment plan for the individual. This does not support removal of the material from the collection. Other students have a right to free access to the material in question.

If staff feel a book should not be in the institution, staff are encouraged to complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form. This form will begin a review of material by the library committee and removal from the collection if warranted.

If staff wishes to have materials prohibited for all residents, they should fill out the form below and send to Amy Cheney. She will convene a meeting of a representative from the school  and correctional facility.  This group will decide if the material should be retained or removed from the facility. Materials will only be restricted upon completion of the Request for Reconsideration form process.



Alameda County Library Juvenile Justice Center

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials








Request Initiated By: ______________________Date__________________


Work Location___________________________Phone__________________


Do you represent: yourself? ____________ others?_____________


1. To what in the work do you object? How does this item present a threat to the security of the institution and/or the advancement of treatment program? Please be specific, citing pages or passages if possible.


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