Madrid School Library Policies
Mission Statement, Selection Policy, Inventory Procedures,
and Controversial Procedures
Madrid Community School Mission Statement:
The community of Madrid will work together to maximize the ability of all students to succeed in society.
Madrid School Library Mission:
The mission of the school library program is to provide an inviting, dynamic learning environment and services that support and enhance teaching, literacy and learning.
To support this mission, the school library:
- Provides all members of the learning community access to a supportive, welcoming and learner-centered environment
- Works in collaboration with teachers, administrators, support staff and parents to provide learning experiences that promote student achievement
- Fosters the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and provides experiences that expand and reinforce classroom reading instruction
- Promotes lifelong learning through information literacy, ensuring that students access, evaluate, and make sense of information and ideas to make informed decisions
- Promotes critical thinking, engagement with information in all of its forms, and use of technology to enhance learning
- Contains rich and abundant collections of materials in many formats to meet the teaching and learning needs of the school curriculum and reflect diversity and principles of intellectual freedom
- Fosters connections with the larger learning community to provide students with access to learning resources and activities beyond the school walls
- Communicates library program plans, needs and accomplishments to stakeholders on a regular basis
The main objective of the selection procedure is to provide students and teachers with a wide range of educational materials on all levels of difficulty and in a variety of formats, with diversity of appeal, that will enrich and support the curriculum and meet the needs of the students and faculty served.
To this end, it is the responsibility of the professional library staff:
- To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and maturity levels of the students served;
- To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards;
- To provide materials on various sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may have an opportunity to develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis and to make informed judgments in their daily lives;
- To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and that contribute to our national heritage and the world community;
- To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate to the school community.
While selection of learning resources involves many people (administrators, teachers, students, community persons, resource center personnel), the responsibility for coordinating the selection of school learning resources and making the recommendation for purchase rests with library personnel and the building principal.
Staff members involved in selection of resource materials shall use the following criteria as a guide:
- educational significance
- contribution the subject matter makes to the curriculum and to the interests of the students
- favorable reviews found in standard selection sources
- favorable recommendations based on preview and examination of materials by professional personnel
- reputation and significance of the author, producer, and publisher
- validity, currency, and appropriates of material
- contribution the material makes to breadth of representative viewpoints on controversial issues
- high degree of potential user appeal
- high artistic quality and/or literary style
- quality and variety of format
- value commensurate with cost and/or need
- timeliness or permanence
These are general selection criteria which apply to all library media materials. The following media formats require additional considerations.
Due to the high cost of materials, it is important to examine books with the following additional criteria in mind before purchasing:
- Illustrations and layout
- Type style and text density
- Paper quality
- Durability of bindings
- Readability and interests levels
Paperbacks are an inexpensive way to supplement the library media collection for duplication of titles, in-depth studies, special projects, and leisure reading. When deciding whether to purchase paperback books or hardbound books, consider the following:
- Curricular demand placed on these books
- Use of these materials for research independent reading, duplication of classics, and popular fiction
- Cost and use of paperback books as compared to the cost of hardback books
Periodicals, including magazines and newspapers, support the curriculum and provide leisure reading for students. Access to full text online periodical databases, such as EBSCO, Gale, and SIRS (provided by the AEA), also support student research efforts.
The criteria for selection of nonprint materials are essentially the same as for print materials. The quality of auditory and visual presentation should be considered as well as accuracy of information and the appropriateness of format.
Nonprint materials should:
- Promote instructional goals and support the curriculum
- Provide a variety of media forms to meet the needs of the curriculum
- Present content in appropriate format and acceptable technical quality
- Avoid dense text and graphics
Electronic resources provide greater access to information. Access from home and availability of network versions and site license agreements are factors in selection.
Electronic resources should:
- Provide learner control through flexible pacing, variable difficulty, and optimal branching and linking
- Information is accurate and reliability maintained
- Organization, searching capabilities, and navigation tools enhance information retrieval
- Provide record keeping and management options, if applicable
- Provide readable text, attractive graphics, and an appealing layout
- Have easy-to-understand, comprehensive documentation
- User friendly
- 24-hour access with remote connection from home
- In selecting materials the teacher librarian will evaluate the existing collection and the curricular needs, and will consult reputable, professionally prepared selection aids and other appropriate sources.
- Recommendations for purchase will be solicited from faculty and students.
- Gift materials shall be judged by the same criteria as purchased materials and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
- Selection is an ongoing process which shall include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.
- The same thought and care given to selection of materials will be exercised in the ongoing review of materials so that the collection will remain useful to its clientele.
The process of weeding is a key part of assessing the collection. It helps keep collections relevant, accurate, and useful, and it facilitates more effective use of space in the library.
Library media materials should be weeded if they:
- Are in poor physical condition
- Have not been circulated in the last five years
- Are outdated in content, use, or accuracy
- Are mediocre or poor in quality
- Are biased or portray stereotypes
- Are inappropriate in reading level
- Duplicate information which is no longer in heavy demand
- Are superseded by new or revised information
- Are outdated and unattractive format, design, graphics, and illustrations
- Contain information which is inaccessible because they lack a table of contents, adequate indexing, and searching capabilities
- Are not selected in accordance with general selection criteria
Withdrawing Library Materials
Although the final decision to withdraw materials from the library media collection is one which is made by the teacher librarian, teachers and other faculty members may be invited to review the items marked for withdrawal.
Policies on Controversial Materials
The school library subscribes in principle to the statements of policy on library philosophy as expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.
Any resident or employee of the school district may raise an objection to library materials on the basis of its educational appropriateness. The procedure is outlined as follows:
- The library staff member receiving a complaint regarding library materials shall try to resolve the issue informally. The materials shall remain in use. The library staff member initially receiving the complaint shall:
- explain to the complainant the school's selection policy, procedure, and criteria.
- explain the particular place the material occupies in the educational program or its use in the school library program.
- If the complainant desires to file a formal complaint, the person will be given a Reconsideration Request Form.
- The individual receiving the initial complaint shall advise the school principal of the initial contact no later than the end of the following school day, whether or not the complainant has apparently been satisfied by the initial contact.
- If the formal request for reconsideration has not been received by the principal within two weeks, it shall be considered closed.
- In accordance with statement of philosophy, no questioned materials shall be removed from the school pending a final decision.
- Upon receipt of a request for formal reconsideration of a learning resource, the principal shall:
- One member of the district administrative staff
- One member of the school teaching staff
- One member of the library professional staff
- One member of the school consultative committee chosen by the school consultative committee;
- Two students chosen by the student body.
- Appoint a reconsideration committee including the following membership as appropriate:
- Arrange for a reconsideration committee meeting within 10 working days after the complaint is received.
- The reconsideration committee shall:
- Examine the challenged resource
- Determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the resource
- Weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than on passages or sections taken out of context
- Discuss the challenged resource in the context of the educational program
- Discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate
- The complainant will receive written notification of the results of the reconsideration committee meeting.