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Board Policy
Descriptor Code: IFBC
Media Programs  
Print Policy
 

I.    Philosophy

Library medial resources are integral to and supportive of the total educational program in the Muscogee County School District.  The selection of these resources is an educational function designed to implement the curriculum and to further the intellectual, social and cultural development of the students in an information rich environment.  Therefore, a flexibly scheduled, cooperatively planned, unified media program is implemented in each school, is staffed by a certified media specialist whose role is based upon role definitions found in Roles in Media Program Development: School and Community, and is fully integrated into the educational program.  This integration strengthens the teaching/learning process so that students can develop the vital skills necessary to locate, analyze, evaluate, interpret, and communicate information and ideas.

The Muscogee County School District encourages extensive use of media resources in classrooms in all subject areas.  These various media resources should be selected to meet existing program objectives and specific subject area needs to accommodate the multiple intelligences and learning styles of students.

The goals of an individual school library media center are the same as those of the school whose curriculum it supports and enriches.

Specific objectives of the library media centers are: to provide print and nonprint instructional resources which are basic to the instructional program; to provide an up-to-date, print and electronic, general reference collection; to provide a selected collection of books and periodicals for general reading, not specific to any one curricular field, which will create a desire to continue reading with discrimination; to maintain a basic collection of professional resources to assist instructors in their teaching.

The library media centers also are dedicated to providing materials to attract students to reading as a source of pleasure and recreation in addition to materials relating to subject content.

II.   Identification and Definitions of Types of Media

All instructional materials, whatever their physical makeup, fall within the scope of this selection policy.  It is the function of the school library media center to provide materials which undergird the school curriculum as it is no longer realistic to think of teaching and learning materials only in terms of the printed word.  All materials selected for school media centers, in whatever format, should meet high standards of excellence.

Essential to providing a variety of nonprint media to meet instructional needs is the availability of cassette players, videocassette recorders, televisions, various projectors, computer hardware, and other equipment necessary for media utilization.  These should be available in sufficient number to meet user demand.

Instructional materials refer to all materials in a school which are intended to be used by students and teachers to enrich the teaching/learning process.

A.    Textbooks – those materials that serve as the basis of the instructional program and are purchased by the school in sufficient number to supply the needs of a major portion of an instructional group.

B.    Consumable Materials – those materials which are consumed in one use and provide appropriate support to the instruction of individuals or groups.  Consumable instructional materials do not include basic supplies.

C.    Library Media Resources – all other materials in the school are library media resources regardless of format.  No more than five copies of one title will count toward SACS requirements for accreditation.

III.  Media Committees – District and School

It shall be the direct responsibility of the media committees on the district and individual school levels, operating under the School Board, to oversee and carry out the goals, policies and procedures stated herein.  Additionally, the media committee shall make recommendations for program priorities and the expansion and deletion of services in keeping with these priorities.  Membership of these committees shall be composed of at least one representative each of administrative, instructional and medial personnel; student, community, and parent groups.

IV.   Policy Development, Review, and Legal Adherence

The committee for the development of this policy shall be composed of the system level media committee.  This policy shall be reviewed annually and revised as necessary, and shall adhere to GBOE rules and state and federal laws.

V.    Legal Responsibility and Its Delegation

The ultimate legal responsibility for all materials selection and implementation in schools within the Muscogee County School District rests with the Board of Education.  The Board exercises this responsibility by establishing policies and delegating authority for them to be carried out.

The responsibility for final materials selection shall be delegated to professionally trained personnel who know the requisites of a well-balanced collection, the courses of study, the methods of teaching, and the individual differences, abilities and needs of the students in the schools for which the materials are provided.  Such selection will be in accordance with the specific criteria given in the selection policy.

The implementation of instructional media is the cooperative responsibility of administrators, faculty and media personnel.  Determination of its immediate purposes and selection should be in keeping with the objectives herein stated.  The professional staff of the individual school with the media specialist, principal and media committee will assume primary responsibility.

VI.   Selection of School Library Media Center Materials

The following policies apply to the selection of materials:

  1. The professional library media specialist with specialized training must utilize the “selectivity” process.  This process, of necessity, is judgmental within the bounds of broadly established criteria.  The purpose of this process is to select the best and most significant examples on a subject from the wealth of materials available.

  2. A book or other media that contributes to the positive growth of a person by broadening horizons, stimulating imagination or reflection or by enlarging experience has educational value.

  3. Each media center should contain ample materials presenting the democratic principles upon which the United States is founded.

  4. Intelligent selection requires: (a) both professional competence and the ability to profit by the professional competence of others; (b) depth of knowledge of the curriculum; (c) knowledge of the needs, interests and abilities of the users; (d) the amount of appropriation for the individual media center and (e) knowledge of materials available to users from other sources.

A.    Evaluative Criteria

The following will be considered acceptable sources when ordering:

  1. Direct personal evaluation.

  2. Requests from other professional personnel.

  3. Replacement copies for lost or damaged books previously contained in the collection.

  4. Materials recommended for supplementary use by District approved courses of study and textbooks.

  5. Regional materials, particularly those on Georgia.

  6. Materials other than the above should receive favorable reviews in critical review journals (i.e., Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist) and materials appearing in standard medial selection tools such as Children’s Catalog, Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog and the Senior High School Library Catalog.

  7. A critical review may be defined as an objective review appearing in a standard media review magazine or digest which presents both the favorable and unfavorable aspects of the material under consideration. Blurbs in publishers’ catalogs do not constitute critical reviews.

The following criteria taken from The School Library Media Center  (Prostano, 1990) are particularly appropriate to the selection and utilization of nonprint media.

  1. Authenticity: Is the medium accurate and up-to-date?  What are the qualifications of the author or producer?

  2. Appropriateness: Is the medium appropriate to the subject matter?  Are the vocabulary, content, concepts, and theme, suited for the intended audience?

  3. Content:  Does it have an organized, well-balanced presentation?  Does it relate to the needs of the students?  Does it provide outlines, teacher’s guides, charts, graph, etc., which would be helpful to the user?

  4. Interest:  Will the message contained in this medium hold the attention of the user?  Is it stimulating?   Imaginative?

  5. Technical Quality: Is the quality of production adequate- format, audio and visual qualities, ease of handling, and use of color?

B.    Specific Procedures

  1. Direct personal evaluation of all media before purchase is the most intelligent means of selection and is preferred whenever possible (book exhibits, displays, previews, etc.).

  2. Know the selection tools that give fair, objective evaluations since personal review is not always possible.

  3. Selection of materials will be greatly assisted by the reading examination and checking of standard evaluation tools i.e., standard catalogs and book review digests (not publishers’ catalogs), but these should not be considered the final authority.  Lists are only as reliable as the person or organization who prepared them.  Use the most current list.

  4. It is the responsibility of the media center staff to consult teachers, as the subject area specialists in education, about the selection of materials, and to secure their assistance in the evaluation of materials.  Each school must have a media committee to assist in this task.

  5. Students are encouraged to make recommendations of materials in which they are interested or which they need.

  6. A file should be kept recording the basis for decisions for titles likely to be questioned or inclined to be considered controversial.

  7. Titles selected from a series should be requested as individual titles and not as the entire set.  Each title in a series should be evaluated carefully and only those titles which will make a contribution to the school program should be purchased.

  8. Magazines and other periodicals used in school library media centers will be selected from the latest edition of Magazines for Libraries and/or from other reputable resources.

  9. Representatives must have permission from the Superintendent’s office before going into any of the schools.

The aim of materials selection is to temper freedom with responsibility and professionalism.

Selection is a cooperative process which should involve faculty and students, although the final selection and purchase responsibility may rest with the library media specialist and the media committee.

Since there is within a school heterogeneity of ability and interest, the collection must contain both easy and difficult materials on specific subjects.

Materials should be selected for specific purposes such as to stimulate discussion, assist in making judgments, present purely factual information, encourage creativity, show humor, honesty, love, hate or an awareness of social problems.  Media should be evaluated in terms of the purposes they are to serve.

The Muscogee County School District is more concerned with HOW a material is to be used and WHAT the anticipated result of its use will be than with the source from which it was selected.  Nevertheless, selection criteria should be both practical and desirable.

VII.  Supplementary Materials Selection and Usage

A.    Consumable Materials

These materials will be chosen on the basis of the purposes for their use and evaluated as to whether or not they achieve that purpose.  Consumable materials are teaching materials which are designed to be used by students only once, and are, for example, workbooks in the different subject areas.

B.    Non-School Owned Supplementary Resources

Privately owned or unauthorized media, whatever the source, used in a classroom situation must meet the same guidelines for excellence and appropriateness set forth in this policy as school purchased materials.  Before use in a classroom, these media must be approved by the principal or designee, such as the media specialist or individual school media committee.  Examples of these types of instructional resources are videotapes, electronic media, periodicals, books, pamphlets, or other print or nonprint materials.

VIII. Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program

As affirmed and adopted July, 1986 and amended January, 1990, by the American Library Association Council, the position statement of the American Association of School Librarians in its interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights states that the school library media program plays a unique role in promoting intellectual freedom.  It serves, as a point of voluntary access to information and ideas and as a learning laboratory for students as they acquire critical thinking and problem solving skills needed in a pluralistic society.

 

The following principles of the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS apply to the school library media programs of the Muscogee County School District:

School library media professionals assume a leadership role in promoting the principles of intellectual freedom within the school by providing resources and services that create and sustain an atmosphere of free inquiry.  Through resources, programming, and educational processes, students and teachers experience the free and robust debate characteristic of a democratic society.

School library media professionals cooperate with other individuals in building collections of resources appropriate to the development and maturity levels of students.  Resources in school library media collections represent diverse points of view and current as well as historical issues.

Members of the school community involved in the collection development process employ educational criteria to select resources unfettered by their personal, political, social, or religious views.

Students and educators served by the school library media program have access to resources and services free of constraints resulting from personal, partisan, or doctrinal disapproval.

Policies, procedures, and rules related to the use of resources and services support free and open access to information.

The School Board adopts policies that guarantee access to a broad range of ideas.  These include policies on collection development and procedures for the review of resources about which concerns have been raised.  Such policies, developed by the persons in the school community, provide for a timely and fair hearing and assure that procedures are applied equitably to all expressions of concern.  School library media professionals implement district policies and procedures in the school.

The following statement adopted by the Children’s and Young People’s Section of the Georgia Association of Education also applies:

“Books relating to controversial issues should be carefully selected.  We are living in a time of conflicting beliefs, diverse ideas and changing attitudes.  The purpose of the school library media center is to provide background information which will enable pupils to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.  The media center shall provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance, the practice of critical reading and thinking.”

IX.   Reconsideration for Challenged Materials

Despite both the care taken to select valuable materials for student use and the qualifications of persons who evaluate and recommend books, occasional objections as to the appropriateness of a selection will perhaps be made.

Continuous evaluation of the media center collection by both teaching and media faculties is strongly recommended.  Any materials not meeting the criteria set forth in this selection policy and added through errors in judgment in the process of selection should be removed from the collection.

The review of challenged materials should be treated objectively, unemotionally, as an important but routine action.  Since differences of opinion may be expected, the following procedures shall be observed to recognize those differences in an impartial and factual manner.

Challenged material will not be removed automatically from a collection, but will be reviewed in the light of the objections raised.

Criticisms must be submitted in writing on the form provided and include specific information as to author, title, publisher and specific objections.  The statement must be signed and identification given which will allow a proper reply.  The complainant should state what action he/she wants taken.

It is the delegated responsibility of the library media specialists and principal from the school involved to participate on the reviewing committee with other members including the school media committee, which should be composed of faculty with parent representation.  The materials shall be reviewed according to the established selection criteria stated herein.

Although the Board of Education recognizes and supports the parent’s right to guide his/her child’s reading, the best interests of all the students, the curriculum, the school and the community shall be the final consideration.

The committee will read and examine the materials referred to it and general acceptance of the materials will be checked by reading evaluative reviews.  Values and perceived faults will be weighed against each other and opinions formed based on the materials as a whole and not on passages pulled out of context.

The committee will be free to call upon representatives from administration and supervisory personnel.  An opportunity for the complainant to express his/her opinions before this committee should be provided if he/she so desires.

A letter summarizing the committee’s recommendation (i.e., removal from the media center, restricted use or retention on the open shelves) shall be sent to the complainant, the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and other parties concerned.

This decision may be appealed in writing to the District Board of Education through the Superintendent.  The State Board of Education will rule on challenged materials (only) after the appeal has gone through normal appeal procedures.

X.    Gifts

All materials offered as gifts are accepted with the understanding that they will be evaluated on the basis of the criteria set forth for selection and only those meeting these standards are added to the individual school media center collections.

XI.   Weeding and Reassignment of Instructional Materials

In order to keep the media center collections organized and updated, materials that are out-of-date, severely worn or damaged or no longer useful in the school curriculum program should be continuously and responsibly pulled from the shelves and consequently withdrawn from the resource collection.  In the event specific kinds of materials are no longer needed as support for an individual school curriculum or there is a surplus of certain materials in a school library media center due to decreased enrollment, or if a school is closed, the instructional materials made available for whatever reason and from whatever source will be reassigned to schools where they can be used by the same selection process used for new materials.

XII.  Reimbursing for Lost and Damaged Instructional Resources

The Muscogee County School District Board of Education retains the right to charge students a reasonable fee for restitution of lost, damaged, or abused school system property, including textbooks, library books or media materials.

XIII. Reproduction and Utilization of Copyrighted and Licensed Materials

  1. Employees of the Muscogee County School District may reproduce copyrighted materials under the provision of the copyright laws currently in force under Title 17 of the United States Code.

  2. Any reproduction of copyrighted materials will be done either with the written permission of the copyright holder or within the bounds of “Fair Use” guidelines provided in the Copyright Act; otherwise, the individual responsible for reproduction may be liable for infringing the copyright under existing laws.

  3. The copyright law does not attempt to address each form of hardware/software with specific guidelines for appropriate use.  However, using “parallel or analogical reasoning, drawing concepts and principles from decisions that have been rendered in related areas or domain” (McKenzie, 1997), schools can draw guidelines for new information technologies such as cable and satellite-delivered television programming, computer/CD-ROM software, laserdiscs, Internet and other online materials.  With the lack of specific guidelines, schools must refer to the rights of the author combined with the Fair Use guidelines.

  4. The Board of Education of the Muscogee County School District in recognizing the importance of the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) hereby notifies all employees that a willful infringement of the law may result in disciplinary action.  In the case of a court action for damages, a finding of willful infringement would preclude the School Board’s paying any judgment rendered against the employee and paying any attorney’s fees or costs which the employee would incur in conjunction with a lawsuit and render the employee liable to the School Board for any damages which the School Board is liable to pay.

  5. Questions on copyright either for clarification or additional information should be directed to the person designated on an annual basis by the Superintendent.

XIV. Purchasing Procedures

The established purchasing policies and procedures of the Muscogee County School District will be followed in securing instructional media and equipment.

XV.  Identification of Education Specifications for Constructing and Renovating Media Centers

The School Board sets as minimum for new construction and renovation the requirements for functional areas, square footage, electronic distribution system as specified in A Guide for Planning and Construction of Public School Facilities in Georgia: Media Center Facilities.  Having a media specialist involved in the planning stages of the construction and/or renovation of media centers in the school district is both practical and desirable.

XVI. Procedures for Implementation of Policy

The school principal, in collaboration with the school media committee, will develop procedures to be included in a handbook or other document relative to the media policy contained herein.

 

Muscogee County Schools
Date Adopted:  3/18/2002

Policy Reference Disclaimer: These references are not intended to be part of the policy itself, nor do they indicate the basis or authority for the board to enact this policy. Instead, they are provided as additional resources for those interested in the subject matter of the policy.

Note: The State of Georgia has moved the Georgia Code. This new environment no longer allows us to link directly to the Georgia Code. For example enter 20-02-0211 in the search window and the Georgia Code will appear.
State Code Description
O.C.G.A. 20-02-0167 Funding for direct instructional, media center and staff development costs; submission of budget
O.C.G.A. 20-02-0168 Distribution of federal funds; summer school programs; year-round operation
O.C.G.A. 20-02-0184 Program weights to reflect funds for media specialists
O.C.G.A. 20-02-0305 County and regional libraries
Rule 160-4-4-.01 Media Programs
Rule 160-5-1-.22 Personnel Required