Policies and Procedures




Documentation of policies and procedures explains why and how things are done in the library and ensure that there is consistency of application regardless of changes of personnel and other circumstances.

Library policy and procedures

    • provide an important reference for library staff, administrators and teachers
    • provide a ratified document that can be used to defend a decision which is challenged
    • guide decisions about the necessary staffing, funding and facilities to implement the policy
    • offer assistance to new staff about what is done and how it is done

A policy provides a concise formal statement of principles which underpin how the library will act in a particular area of its operation.  It needs to be developed within the parameters of system and school requirements and philosophies. A policy should identify

    • a definition of its focus
    • its purpose
    • the goals to be achieved during the life of the policy
    • the broad principles which are to be followed to achieve these
    • key personnel responsible for authorship and implementation
    • its review cycle

A policy is a public document available to the school community and often written in consultation with them. It should be brief and broad stating what happens and why.

Procedures are specific and detailed instructions used to implement the policy. They should be in a logical and systematic sequence and where practical, supplemented with a flowchart. They are intended for those who implement the policy, are practical and often situation-specific so are much longer than the policy they support because they explain how. A change of procedure should not require a change of policy.

The key policies of a school library are 

However there is a number of information policies that should be developed as part of an information literate school community and for which the teacher librarian should have a leadership role.


  • General statement about intellectual property and the ethical use of information
  • Copyright compliance including
    • Fair Use
    • allowances under school licences including CAL, Screenrights, AMCOS, ARIA , AMCOS/ARIA and digital publishing
    • material published by the school
    • categories of material for which copyright has been waived such as Creative Commons and Open Education Resources
    • downloading online resources
    • standard citation or referencing style e.g. APa or MLA
    • plagiarism and the consequences of academic dishonesty
    • the purchase and use of illegal copies of materials
    • Crown Copyright
    • the use of students’ work in public places

  • General statement about access to the Internet
  • Instructional use of Internet
  • Non-instructional use of the Internet
  • Internet acceptable use policy
  • Access to and use of Web  2.0 tools
  • Internet filtering and blocking
  • Web Page Publishing policy

  • Information literacy definition
  • Information literacy standards
  • Information literacy as an across-curriculum perspective
  • Professional learning for staff to improve and implement information literacy across the curriculum

  • Inquiry Learning across the Australian Curriculum
  • Inquiry learning definition and scaffold
  • Professional learning for staff to design and deliver inquiry-based units

  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Educational jurisdiction requirements
  • Development and maintenace of school’s online presence
  • Curricular and instructional needs
  • Information infrastructure, provision, storage and accessibility
  • Access to online resources
  • Computer literacy standards for students
  • Computer literacy standards for teachers
  • Technical support
  • Hardware and software needs, maintenance and update
  • Provision of hardware – this may require a separate Bring your Own device policy
  • Use of subscription services such as video streaming
  • Licensing agreements for software
  • Knowledge management
  • School intranet
  • Evaluation of technology planning

  • General statement about data privacy
  • Data security on networks
  • Authorized disclosure of personal information
  • Access to personal information by students and parents e.g. attendance, performance, etc.
  • Complaint procedure for parents and students
  • Privacy Coordinator
  • Students’ records
  • Destruction of records/files of deceased students or those no longer at the school
  • Referral procedures, forms
  • Photos of students – taking and using
  • Enrolment data
  • Library borrowing records
  • Creating materials
  • Teachers’ Professional growth plans
  •  Teachers’ Promotional information
  • Teacher Technology Standards
  • Teaching plans
  • Assessment procedures, forms
  • Competency statements

  • Electronic mail (Staff use)
  • Electronic mail (Student use)
  • Electronic mail (Parents access)
  • Access to and use of social networking tools
  • Acceptable Use policies for students and staff including consequences for breaches
  • Access to computer resources outside of regular school instructional hours

  • Storage of and access to files for staff and students
  • Use of school/departmental information management systems
  • Description of and access to shared files/folders on school network
  • Authority and levels of access
  • Document (print and electronic) management
  • Security
  • Networking computers
  • Use of CCTV systems
  • Staff technology training program
  • IT coordinator role
  • Backup procedures for data

In 2018 ALIA  released A Manual for Developing Policies and Procedures in Australian School Library Resource Centres (2nd edition). It can also be downloaded from ASLA.

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