Collection Development in an Alternative High School Library: A Handbook

Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Education, Reading



Major Advisor

Stan Steiner


The purpose of this graduate project was to develop a guidebook, or manual, which explains how to build a library collection for an alternative high school library. The library collection information contained here is for Central Academy, a new alternative high school in Joint School District No.2 in Meridian, Idaho. A school library is an essential component in promoting literacy in the school. As both a librarian and a reading teacher I see the connection between literacy and libraries; there are many components of library collection development that reading professionals should consider such as interest level, reading level, lexile score, and content. This project entailed surveying staff and students at the school to determine areas of need and interest for the new library. It also included consulting with district personnel to determine a budget and time frame for the project. Library materials were gathered based on thorough searching of the collection databases of three vendors: Delaney, Follett, and Perma-Bound. After a list was created, the director of district library services edited the lists and provided suggestions for improvement. The books were then ordered over the summer, added to the catalog, and shelved prior to the beginning of the school year.

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