WPS Library Media Center Mission & Procedures
Selection/Intellectual Freedom/Request for Reconsideration/Weeding
The media centers of the Wahoo Public Schools will use the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner to guide K-12 information literacy instruction, library collection development and technology/database purchases.
As stated in these standards, the students of Wahoo Public Schools will "use skills, resources, and tools to: 1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge; 2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge; 3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society; 4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth" (AASL, 2007).
The mission of the Wahoo Public Schools' Library Media Centers is to support and enhance the research, informational, reading, viewing, and instructional needs of the staff and students of the district.
The WPS Library Media Centers will provide user-friendly access to personal, academic, and professional information in a variety of formats, and provide active instruction on locating and using this information, with an emphasis on critical thinking to evaluate the validity and reliability of information accessed, especially Internet resources.
The Library Media Centers strive to be the intellectual center of our schools, linking the school community to an ever widening circle of literature, knowledge, and information.
The school library media center exists to implement, to enrich, and to support the educational program of the school district and the personal and academic needs of its students and staff. It is the function of the instructional media program to provide a wide range of materials on all levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and a variety of viewpoints. The school library media center also provides materials to encourage, both academically and personally, reading, listening and viewing.
School library media centers are concerned with generating understanding of American freedoms and the preservation of those freedoms through the development of informed and responsible citizens. To this end the American Association of School Librarians reaffirms the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. This document affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services:
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people in the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
Responsibility for Selection:
The superintendent, representing the Board of Education, is legally responsible for the operation of the school and delegates the responsibility for the selection of media center materials to certificated library personnel.
The responsibility for coordinating and recommending the selection and purchase of materials rests with the district media specialist. He/she is charged with identifying, ordering, organizing and disseminating materials which will implement, enrich, and support the needs, interests, goals, concerns, and abilities of students and teachers.
Criteria for Selection:
The selection of media center materials originates in the building in which the materials are to be used. The library media specialist, in consultation with the building staff, is expected to build a collection to meet the needs of building students and staff. All phases of school life and social and economic conditions of the community should be taken into consideration.
Materials for purchase are considered on the basis of:
• support of the educational philosophy, goals and objectives of the school district.
• consideration to the needs, age, and maturity of students.
• fostering respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and difference of opinion.
• stimulating growth in factual knowledge and literary appreciation.
• encouraging students to become decision-makers, exercising freedom of thought and making independent judgment through the examination and evaluation of relevant information, evidence and differing viewpoints.
• portraying the variety of careers, roles, and lifestyles open to persons of both sexes.
• increasing an awareness of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each member of a multicultural society.
Procedure for Selection:
In selecting materials for purchase, the media specialist evaluates the existing collection and consults:
• Teachers, administrators, and students regarding media materials which are needed to support the curriculum, meet program needs, and support student interests.
• Reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aids. Publications may include: Booklist, School Library Journal, Library Media Connection (LMC), Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), Publisher's Weekly, lists prepared by the American Library Association, the American Association for School Librarians, the Nebraska Library Association, Nebraska Educational Media Association, and other professional organizations.
• Annual Award Lists (Golden Sowers, Newberry, Coretta Scott King, etc.)
INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM/REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION
Intellectual freedom is an essential part of education. It is the professional responsibility of educators to defend the principles of freedom to read and the freedom of inquiry. In the event of a request for reconsideration of a title, a Media Committee (consisting of the media specialist, building principal, at least one teacher, and/or at least one community member) shall be appointed by the superintendent to review the material in question and to make recommendations to the superintendent, who will then render a final decision on the request.
In the event that an individual objects to any library media materials, the following procedure should be used:
The complaint is referred to the media specialist, who:
1. Immediately informs the building administrator of the situation.
2. Listens courteously to the complaint but makes no commitment.
3. Invites the complainant to file his/her objections in writing. The media specialist will provide the complainant with the prepared form (Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Library Media Materials, which can be accessed by clicking HERE.). Completed forms are to be returned to the building principal.
Upon receipt of the written request for reconsideration, the material in question is then referred to the Media Committee. The Media Committee will:
1. convene at the request of the superintendent.
2. Read and examine materials referred to it.
3. Weigh the value of the material and form an opinion based on the material as a whole.
4. Consult reviewing sources regarding the quality of the material (The media specialist will assist in providing reviewing sources.).
5. Review the material
6. Meet to discuss the material and to prepare a committee opinion in the form of a report.
7. File the report in the superintendent’s office.
8. The superintendent will respond to the complainant and communicate the situation to the Board of Education.
Materials in question will be treated objectively and with concern for the importance of such issues. Persons requesting reevaluation of materials will be given every opportunity to present their opinions. If deemed necessary by the school board or the administration, a hearing may be held to discuss the issue. The best interest of the entire school community will be given consideration.
The WPS Media Director will assure that the library collections are kept relevant and up-to-date. To accomplish this, the media director will regularly “weed” the collection of materials that do not help to achieve this goal.
General guidelines for weeding are:
1. Last date of circulation – If the material has not been in general use during the past five years (depending on the type of material)
2. Physical condition – If the condition is badly worn or excessively dirty, the item may be weeded, and a decision concerning replacement will be made.
3. Timeliness – This is one of the most frequent criteria: Reference may be to: (a) out-of-date materials, particularly in the sciences and technology, (b) materials no longer in demand, or that no longer support the curriculum or current community needs, (c) older editions no longer used, and (d) dated textbooks, where they are part of the collection.
4. Reliability – Viewpoints change and must be reflected in the collection.
5. Ephemera – Certain subject areas, from inspirational tones to how to make a million dollars, go out of fashion and use. This type of fad literature should be weeded, particularly when it is found that a title no longer circulates, is no longer timely, or the information seems unreliable.
6. Duplicates – Where there are duplicates and none seem to be circulating or used, a single copy may be all that is needed. At a later date, the single copy may be reconsidered for weeding.
7. Reference works should be given special attention in order that all the above criteria be applicable in all of the special areas. Current information in this area is critical.
All questions regarding these procedures should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.