School library media programs are integral to student achievement. They provide all students and staff members with equitable and timely access to ideas and information. Through an integrated instructional program, school library media specialists ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information.
A unified media program is an integral part of the instructional process of the Somerset County Public School System in helping students achieve the outcomes of the Maryland School Performance Program. Since education is best achieved through a a variety of multi-sensory learning approaches and teaching techniques, the media center through a centralized collection of materials with a common retrieval system is designed to support the educational goals of the school system and serve all students (pre-K thru 12). The collection of materials should be specifically designed to meet the curriculum needs of the school and to enhance the intellectual freedom and personal and social development of the students served.
The Somerset County System and the library media personnel involved in instruction have the responsibility for providing leadership for the Library Media Program. This responsibility includes support for planning, development, analysis, management, and evaluation of library media programs and services and the integration of library media programs into the instructional program.
To establish procedures for selection of both print and non-print media materials.
Instructional materials will be defined as all print and non-print materials, which are utilized as basic materials, supplemental material, and cursory materials., Basic materials include those intended for use by every teacher of the subject or grade, with every student each year. Supplemental materials are used to support, enrich and/or individualize the curriculum or to meet specific needs. Cursory materials are those items which are of interest or value for a short period of time.
The primary objective in the selection of educational media is to provide the best available resources for the enrichment of the teaching-learning situation.
Selection is a cooperative process involving the media specialist, the teaching staff, administrators, parents, and students. Emphasis is placed on providing resources that meet the requirements of the curriculum, providing for the diverse levels of student ability, maturity, and interests. Selection should reflect current trends in education.
Evaluation is an integral part of selection in that standard bibliographical tools are used to aid in selection and materials are re-evaluated from time to time.
POLICIES RELATED TO MEDIA
Selection of Media Materials Policy 500-19
Use of Copyrighted Materials Policy 500-35
A. In selecting instructional materials, the staff will rely on educational research, reason, and professional judgment. Instructional materials selected will include, but are not limited to those which:
1. Enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the various instructional needs, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served.
2. Stimulate growth in conceptual thinking, factual knowledge, physical fitness and the development of ethical and literary standards.
3. Provide for the elimination of gender and protected class bias in all textbooks and instructional materials.
4. Contribute to the development of an understanding of the ethnic, cultural, and occupational diversity of American life.
5. Provide sufficient variety as well as opposing views of controversial issues in order that young citizens may develop the sills of critical analysis and informed decision-making.
6. Present objectively the concerns of racial, ethnic, religious and cultural groups, those that are historic, current and without gender bias, with the understanding that under certain conditions, prejudiced materials may represent appropriate resources in presenting contrasting and differing points of view.
7. Provide models which may be used as a vehicle for the development of self-respect, ethnic pride and appreciation of cultural differences, based on respect for worth, dignity, and the personal values of every individual.
B. Although extreme care is taken in the selection of materials, there may be, on occasion, some objection to certain selections that have been made. If this happens, the following procedures will be followed:
1. Those individuals who wish to make a complaint about material in a school library media center and/or classroom can arrange a conference with the building principal and appropriate school staff.
2. If the concerns are not resolved at the first conference the individual can register his/her specific concerns in writing on the form provided by the Somerset County Public Schools (Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Material) and submit it to the school principal.
3. Appropriate staff personnel, parents, representatives from the review committee and the principal will arrange a second conference with the individual and attempt to resolve the complaint. Each committee member will read, view, or listen to the material in question in its entirety, and read professional evaluations pertaining to the material. The principal will arrange a second conference with the individual and attempt to resolve the complaint.
4. If the complaint cannot be resolved at this level, a copy of the review, along with the actions taken at this level, will be sent to the Superintendent of Schools.
5. At this point, the material in question will be removed from circulation until a ruling can be made on its appropriateness.
6. Upon receipt of the review, the Superintendent will refer the matter to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. The Assistant Superintendent of Instruction will then appoint an Investigating Committee composed of the Supervisor of Instruction for the grade level involved, the Supervisor of Media Services, and a teacher representing the level of the material in question. The committee will then study the item in question and the action taken by the school. The supervisor of Media Services will compile professional evaluations of the material gathered by the committee.
7. The committee will send a report of its recommendations to the Superintendent of Schools for approval. When approved, the Superintendent of Schools will send a copy of the approved recommendations to the school principals involved.
8. The principal of the school involved will inform the individual of the decision of the committee and implement the recommendations in the school. If the material in question is an integral part of the county curriculum, principals of schools serving the same grade level will be informed of the decision.