SELECTION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
I. Selection of Library Materials
It is the goal and the responsibility of the school library media center to provide information access for the school community, to promote literacy and the enjoyment of reading at all levels of development, and to provide leadership in the use of informational skills and instructional design. The environment is conducive to self-discovery and inquiry with a focus on facilitating the learning process. The activities and resources included in the library media program shall be in keeping with the mission and goals of the Mountain Brook City Schools.
The mission of the Mountain Brook City Schools is to provide an educational environment which enables each individual to reach his or her full potential.
1. Develop and implement an effective, challenging, and engaging curriculum which promotes the highest level of academic excellence and personal growth for each student.
2. Ensure that each individual is prepared to become an independent, lifelong learner.
3. Effectively integrate the use of technology into all instructional and support programs.
4. Encourage colleges and universities to consider our students favorably.
5. Assist our students in gaining admission into the college of their choice.
6. Promote an environment free of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
7. Provide a climate that recognizes diversity and encourages respect for all persons.
8. Recruit, hire and retain the most effective personnel.
9. Design, implement, and support an exemplary professional development program for all staff.
10. Empower all staff as leaders, enhancing site-based and shared decision-making to ensure that all decisions are student-centered.
11. Communicate effectively and efficiently with parents, students, community, and school personnel.
12. Effectively interface with governments at all levels.
13. Secure financial resources necessary to achieve our goals and use the best management information practices to ensure fiscal responsibility.
14. Build, operate, and maintain facilities which will enhance all programs and curricula of the system.D. Mission of the School Library Program
The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. This mission is accomplished:
(1) By providing intellectual and physical access to materials and information in all formats.
(2) By providing instruction to foster competence and stimulate interest in reading, viewing, and using information and ideas.
(3) By working with other educators to design learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students.
E. State of Responsibility
The Mountain Brook Board of Education serves as the governing body for the Mountain Brook City Schools. As such this body is ultimately responsible legally for the selection of materials placed in the school’s library media centers. While selection of materials for use in the library media centers involves many people, including library media specialists, teachers, students, supervisors, technology coordinators, administrators, and community persons, the responsibility for coordinating and recommending the selection and purchase of all materials used in the library media centers rests with the certified library media personnel.
The selection process should provide for the consideration of requests from students, teachers, administrators, and the community. Selection of instructional materials should be based primarily upon review and evaluation reviews found in professionally prepared selection aids, such at The Children’s Catalog, The Elementary School Library Collection, Subject Index to Books for Intermediate Grades and other appropriate sources.
F. Criteria For Selection
In order to meet the education goals of the school, the needs of individual students, and to enhance the teaching styles of the staff, materials should:
1. Be relevant to today’s world
2. Contribute to literary appreciation
3. Reflect artistic, historic, and/or literary qualities
4. Address problems, aspirations, attitudes, and ideals of a society
5. Contribute to the objectives of the instructional program
6. Be appropriate to the level of the users
7. Be accurate, authoritative, and up-to-date, if factual material
8. Represent differing viewpoints on controversial subjects
9. Provide a stimulus to creativity
10. Be readable and visually well-balanced
11. Be of acceptable technical quality, e.g. clear narration and sound, synchronized picture/sound
G. Collection Development
The continuous review of library materials is necessary as a means of maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users. The collection of the library media center will be continuously evaluated. Material that for any reason no longer meets the evaluative criteria or the needs of the school and its curriculum will be withdrawn from the collection. In addition, materials which are outdated, unused, or worn beyond usage will be withdrawn from the collection.
H. Gifts and Memorials
Gift materials added to the collections of the library media centers must meet the same criteria as the materials selected for purchase. They are accepted with the understanding that, if they do not meet the criteria, they may be disposed of at the discretion of the library medial specialists. All donations become the property of the school. The selection of materials for memorial gifts should be made by the library media specialists. However, if the individual or group would prefer a list of materials for their selection, such a list will be provided.
II. Reconsideration of Library Materials
Occasional objections to instructional materials in a library media center may occur despite the quality of the selection process. The Mountain Brook Board of Education endorses the principles of intellectual freedom inherent in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Objections to materials may be expressed through the process outlined below by a member of the school’s faculty or the parent or guardian of a child in the schools.
1.The library media specialist will explain the selection process and reconsideration procedure to the person expressing concern.
2. The library media specialist will give the person expressing the concern a copy of the system Selection Policy and request that the person submit the form, “Request for Formal Review of Library Materials.”
3. The library media specialist will inform the principal, superintendent, and other appropriate personnel of the concern.
4. Upon receipt of the completed form, the principal will acknowledge the concern with a letter and will request review of the challenged material by an ad hoc Materials Review Committee within twenty working days. The review committee will be appointed as needed by the Superintendent. The committee will consist of three parents, two teachers, one library media specialist, and one principal or assistant principal. The Director of Instruction will serve as the nonvoting Chair of the Committee.
5. The challenged material will continue to be available during the reconsideration process.
6. The committee will take the following steps to review the challenged material:
a. read, view, or listen to the material in its entirety
b. check general acceptance of the material by reading reviews and consulting lists
c. determine the extent to which the material supports the curriculum
d. complete the appropriate form, “Checklist for Materials Review Committee” judging the material for its strength and value as a whole and not in part
7. The recommendation of the review committee will be determined by a majority of the committee voting by secret ballot. If the committee recommends removal of the material, the decision should include the levels from which the material is to be removed (elementary, middle, high).
8. The review committee will present a written recommendation to the principal who will communicate the committee’s decision to the person expressing the concern, the library media specialists, and to the superintendent.
9. If the person expressing the concern wishes to appeal the decision of the Materials Review Committee, a written request should be submitted to the superintendent within 10 working days of notification of the decision by the review committee.
10. The Mountain Brook Board of Education will convene to address the appeal. The Board will review the material, the “Request for Formal Review”, and the recommendation of the review committee. The decision will be determined by a majority of the Board.
11. The superintendent will communicate the Board’s final decision in writing to the person expressing the concern, the library media specialist, the principal, and the review committee.
12. The library media specialist will retain or withdraw the challenged material as recommended by the review committee or, in the case of an appeal, as decided by the Board of Education.
Adopted: March 11, 1996
Revised: August 8, 2005