1.A.70 Selection of Learning and Library Material

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School Administration







Administrative Procedure: Selection of Learning and Library Materials




January 12, 2005
















Policy Reference



Legal Reference






Border Land School Division will approve, for use in its schools, a wide range of acceptable learning resources at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal and representing different points of view to meet the needs of students and teachers.


Border Land School Division has adopted the following framework whereby the method of selection of learning materials is explicitly outlined and where, if there is conflict, the complainant has a clear recourse.


Rationale for the Selection of Learning Resources


  • Statement of Philosophy


Learning resources are selected by teaching and professional staff to implement, enrich and support the educational programs of schools.  As these resources will contribute to the mental, physical, moral, emotional and social development of students, a wide range of learning resources at varying levels of difficulty, in various formats, with diversity of appeal and presenting different points of view is necessary.  Learning resources will be selected within the policy frameworks of Manitoba Education, the Division, and the schools.


  • Definition of Learning Resources


The term learning resource refers to any person, material, or experience with instructional content or function that is used in a formal or informal teaching/learning context.  Learning resources include such materials as approved and recommended textbooks, fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, audio and video recordings, film material, computer software, and other material.


Responsibility for Selection


Responsibility for the selection of learning resources for use in the Border Land schools rests at four different levels:


  • Manitoba Education

          Manitoba Education approves textbooks and other primary materials for use with all programs and provincial curricula.

  • Division

                In accordance with the Public Schools Act, the responsibility of the selection of learning resources within a school division is vested in the Board.   This authority is to be exercised by the principals in the schools.

  • School

          Although the authority for selection is to be exercised by the principal of the school, the responsibility may be delegated to the teachers/librarian or other designated instructional personnel.  

  • School Library

          The responsibility for the selection of learning resources for the school library may be delegated to the teachers/librarians or other designated instructional personnel of the school.


    Approved Learning Resources


    Approved textbooks, materials, and learning resources are those listed in the Manitoba Textbook Bureau catalogue, as well as in the annotated bibliographies provided by Manitoba Education for each curriculum.


    Classroom instruction may utilize additional materials at the discretion of the teacher and the principal.  Policy and procedures for selection follow:


    Criteria for Selecting Learning Resources


    Learning resources shall meet these criteria:


  • Support and be consistent with the general educational goals of Manitoba Education and the Division.
  • Be respectful of community values, and the aims and objectives of individual schools.
  • Meet high standards of quality in factual content and presentation.
  • Be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, cognitive level, learning styles, and social development of the students for whom the materials are selected.
  • Have aesthetic, literary, and/or social value.
  • Have suitable physical format and appearance to be appropriate for the intended use.
  • Be designed to help students gain an awareness of our pluralistic society and an understanding of the many important contributions made to our civilization by a variety of groups.
  • Be designed to motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behaviours and to comprehend their own duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges as participating citizens in our society.
  • Be considered for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.
  • Reflect Canadian content where appropriate.


    Controversial Learning Resources


    The selection of learning resources on controversial issues will attempt to reflect a balanced representation of various views.


  • When choosing potentially controversial learning resources, teachers are required to seek administrative approval before proceeding.
  • When doing so, teachers will submit the learning resource with a concise rationale for their choice.
  • Principals must indicate their approval for the use of the learning resource



Reconsideration of Learning Materials


Any resident or employee of the Border Land School Division may formally challenge any material used in the educational program on the basis of appropriateness.   The Board deems that an appropriate procedure shall be used in considering the opinions of those persons in the schools and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process of learning materials. The accompanying procedure outlines the reconsideration process.


Informal Reconsideration


The school receiving a concern regarding a learning resource shall attempt to resolve the issue informally. 



  • In all cases, the teachers/librarian or appropriate staff shall be advised and given opportunity to resolve the issue.
  • The principal and/or other appropriate staff shall explain to the questioner the selection procedure of the school, criteria and the qualifications of those persons selecting the resource.
  • The principal and/or other appropriate staff shall explain the particular place the questioned resource occupies in the education program, its intended educational usefulness, and any additional information regarding its use, or refer the party to someone who can identify and explain the use of the resource.
  • Upon agreement between school and the questioner, an alternative learning resource may be selected for the participating student involved.
  • If the questioner wishes to file a formal challenge, a copy of the Selection of Learning Resources procedure and a Public Request for Re-evaluation of Learning Resources form shall be given by the principal to the questioner.


Request for Formal Reconsideration


Preliminary Procedures


  • Each school shall keep on hand and make available Public Request for Re-evaluation of Learning Resources forms (see appendix).
  • Formal objections to learning resources may be made on these forms.
  • The Public Request for Re-evaluation of Learning Resources form shall be signed by the questioner and filed with the principal or someone so designated by the principal. This constitutes a formal request for reconsideration of the use of the controversial resource.
  • The Superintendent shall be informed in writing by the principal of the formal complaint received.
  • The Superintendent shall inform the Board.
  • Requests for reconsideration of learning resources shall be referred to a Reconsideration Committee of the Division. The Board shall appoint two trustees to this committee.



The Reconsideration Committee


Upon receipt of a formal request for reconsideration, the Superintendent will establish a Reconsideration Committee.  This committee shall consist of the following representatives excluding the questioner and teacher involved:


  • The Superintendent acting as the non‑voting chair
  • Two teachers conversant with the resource in question
  • The principal of the school involved
  • Two trustees
  • Two parents from the community SELECTION OF LEARNING RESOURCES APPROVAL

Border Land School Division

Border Land School Division acknowledges that the communities and schools located within Border Land School Division sit on Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 land, the original lands of the Anishinaabe peoples and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Border Land School Division respects the treaties that were made on these treaty areas and we dedicate ourselves to moving forward in partnership with our Indigenous communities in a spirit of truth, reconciliation and collaboration.