Library Media Philosophy
Complex issues, ever-expanding quantities of information, and rapidly changing technologies will define the world in which Region 15 students spend their adult lives. To learn and flourish in environments that honor their individuality and commonality, they will need to be information literate. During their public school education, we will equip them with these competencies to be:
• life-long readers and learners, proficient at inquiry, and responsible information users.
The Region 15 library media program will do this by providing direct instruction on information competencies and a wide variety of reading opportunities.
These critical competencies are best taught to students in their current school subject content. The responsibility for realizing this integration resides with the collaborative efforts of the library media staff and technology staff, teachers, support staff, administrators, students, the Board of Education, and the community at large. This shared support insures that all Region 15 students have equal opportunity to learn and master critical information literacy competencies.
The reader should be aware that wherever the term information appears in this document, it refers to both information and the technologies that deliver it. We derived the competencies from the state and national standards for information literacy.
Library Resources and Collection Development
Learning resources selected for the school libraries will be in keeping with the information literacy curriculum philosophy as well as Region 15 Schools - Guidelines for Selection and Reconsideration of Learning Resources, April 2005.
Resources will be available in a variety of formats and represent a wide range of information and diverse interests. The selection and deletion of resources is in keeping with the following processes and criteria:
1. While the selection of library resources may involve many people (library media teachers, administrators, teachers, students, community members, etc.), the responsibility for coordinating the selection of the school library learning resources and for making purchase is primarily the responsibility of the library media teacher.
2. The school libraries provide materials that support curriculum and enable and encourage independent study, personal reading and research. The success of the library program depends on the quantity, depth, breadth and quality of the resources available in the collection.
3. In selecting learning resources, professional personnel will evaluate existing collection and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared review tools, bibliographies and other appropriate resources and recommendations. Requests and suggestions from the staff will also be solicited and considered.
4. The selection of fiction materials has become increasingly important. The treatment of significant historical, social and personal problems in fiction can contribute to the understanding of human problems and relations. Fiction is acquired to support curricular areas as well as to develop the reading interests of students. Complementary to the criteria established for selection of other media, the follow criteria should be considered for works of fiction:
a. Readability and effectiveness in sustaining reader interest;
b. A well-organized plot which is credible within its own framework;
c. Convincing characterization;
d. Skilled use of language;
e. Valid representation of the aspect of life chosen by the author;
f. Honest presentation of emotions, problems, values or ideas;
g. Originality, contribution to literary appreciation or aesthetic values.
5. The inclusion of controversial subject areas in the library will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection which represents various views. Resources on controversial issues may be representative of particular points of view. The work must be judged as a whole, not on the basis of isolated passages. For some topics, biased or slanted resources may be included to meet specific curriculum objectives (e.g. to recognize propaganda and its purpose in a given context). Materials should not be excluded because of origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. For instance, some materials may be included because they reflect the school’s philosophy of encouraging critical thinking in relationship to controversial situations and points of view.
6. Selection is an ongoing process that should include the removal of materials (weeding) no longer meeting the selection criteria and the replacement of lost and worn materials still meeting the selection criteria. Weeding is a necessary aspect of selection, since every library will contain materials which may have answered a need at the time of acquisition, but with the passage of time, have become obsolete, dated, unappealing, or worn out. Conversely, older materials may be considered for retention in the collection if they are a work of historical significance, have historically or artistically significant illustrations, or are works of local significance.
7. Items weeded from the library collection, according to the criteria above, should be clearly marked as discarded.
8. Any objection to a learning resource in the school library must follow the process described in Region 15 Schools - Guidelines for Selection and Reconsideration of Learning Resources, April 2005.
Resources used in developing these guidelines included policies from:
Joint School District No. 2, Meridian, ID
American Library Association
National Council for Teachers of English