ETL503 Mod 2 – Selection Criteria

In this part of the module we were asked to compare the approaches to determining selection criteria by Port Lincoln Primary School, South Australia (from Choosing and using teaching and learning materials, 2004) and the alternative approach proposed by Hughes-Hassell and Mancall (2005, pp. 46-47)

Results? Well, both have their faults:

  • H-H & M doesn’t include any cost criteria.
  • PLPS doesn’t include comparison criteria to compare works with others in the genre.
  • H-H & M places aesthetics as secondary but I think when it comes to children, they do judge a book by its cover and page layout and will overlook it if it doesn’t grab their eye! Also for non-print materials (eg. Computer software, CDROMs, kits, charts, posters) aesthetics and physical quality become very important.
  • PLPS has short brief selection criteria for its general selection criteria section, but the SA Dept Ed’s Principles for selection and access are much too wordy.

So what about my local school district? I found out we actually have one! When I asked a few local TLs they had never mentioned that there was such a document, so I guess that means they aren’t using it : School District 57’s District Resources Evaluation Form (see Page 6)

It’s actually quite good! And up-to-date surprisingly. I am very impressed with the scope of the criteria and the dedicated sections for additional specific criteria signifying a focus on multi-formal collections. There is close attention made to local context considerations (First Nations, multicultural), BC curriculum, Instructional design etc, and the criteria is laid out in a very user-friendly way with Yes No N/A check boxes.

I would definitely use it if I end up getting a job in this district.

So what about e-resources – What criteria comes up most when using selection criteria especially for e-resources?

  1.  Technical Requirements/Considerations
  2. User friendliness (including searching function)
  3. Cost
  4. Access/Format
  5. Vendor/Licensing


Hughes-Hassell, S. & Mancall, J.C. (2005). Collection Management for Youth: Responding to the Needs of the Learners. American Library Association: Chicago.

School District 57 (2008). Evaluation, Selection and Acquisiton of District Approved Instructional Learning Resources. Retrieved from

South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services (2004). Choosing and using teaching and learning materials. Retrieved from


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