Updated: Feb 7, 2020
NEPN/NSBA Code: IJJ
INSTRUCTIONAL AND LIBRARY MATERIALS SELECTION
Objectives of Selection
The Board recognizes that it is the primary objective of the library media centers and the instructional program in our schools to implement, enrich and support the education programs of the schools. It is the duty of the library media centers and the instructional program to provide a wide range of materials on all levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view.
To this end, the Board asserts that the responsibility of the School Library Media Center and the instructional program is:
A. To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served;
B. To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards;
C. To provide a background of information that will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives;
D. To provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis of all media;
E. To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage; and
F. To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library media center and a variety of resources to be used in the instructional program.
In addition, the Board recognizes that the final authority as to what materials an individual student will be exposed rests with that student’s parents or guardians. However, at no time will the wishes of one child’s parents to restrict his/her reading or viewing of a particular item infringe on other parents’ rights to permit their children to read or view the same material.
Responsibility for Selection of Instructional and Library Materials
The Board is legally responsible for all matters relating to the operation of the schools. The responsibility for the selection of instructional materials is delegated to the professionally trained personnel employed by the Board.
Selection of materials for the library media centers and the instructional program involves many people: principals, teachers, department heads, students and community members. The responsibility for the coordination of the selection of library and instructional materials and the recommendation for purchase rests with professionally trained personnel.
Criteria for Selection
The needs of the individual school, based on knowledge of the curriculum and of the existing collection, are given first consideration.
Materials for purchase are considered on the following bases: overall purpose, timeliness or permanence, importance of the subject matter, quality of the writing/production, readability and popular appeal, authoritativeness, reputation of the publisher/producer, reputation and significance of the author/artist/composer/producer, etc., and format and price.
Gift materials are judged by the same standards and are accepted or rejected by those standards. Multiple copies of outstanding and much-in-demand materials are purchased as needed. Worn or missing standard items are replaced periodically. Out- of-date or no-longer-useful materials are withdrawn from the collection/circulation.
Procedures for Selection
In selecting the materials for purchase, the professional personnel evaluate the existing collection, consulting reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aids and specialists from all departments and/or all grade levels.
Despite the care taken to select materials for student and teacher use and the qualifications of the persons who select the materials, it is recognized that occasional objections may be raised by community members, students, or school staff.
In the event a complaint is made, the following procedures will apply:
A. The complainant shall be asked to complete a “Request for Reconsideration of Materials” form.
B. A meeting shall be held with the complainant, the person who provided the material in question and the building principal. If the complaint is not resolved at this meeting, the parties shall meet with the Superintendent.
C. If the issue is not resolved at the meeting with the Superintendent, the Superintendent and Board Chairperson shall appoint an Educational Materials Review Committee composed of the following persons to review the complaint: two administrators, two members of the Board of Directors, two teachers, two parents, two students and the school librarian.
D. The Educational Materials Review Committee shall: read and examine the materials referred to them; check general acceptance of materials by reading reviews (if available); weigh merits and faults of the material, and form opinions based on the material as a whole and not on passages or portions pulled out of context; and meet to discuss the material and to prepare written recommendations for action of the Board of Directors.
E. The Committee recommendations shall be forwarded to the Superintendent who will place the issue on the next regular Board of Directors meeting agenda or call a special meeting if deemed appropriate by the Superintendent and Board Chairperson.
The Board shall review the material and the Committee’s recommendation in terms of the best interests of students, the educational program, and the community.
F. No materials shall be removed from use until a final decision has been made.
G. The Board will announce its decision in writing not later than the conclusion of the next regular meeting of the Board.
Legal Reference: 20-A MRSA §§ 1001 (10-A), 1055 (4), 4002
Ch. 125 (9.03) (B) (Maine Dept. of Ed. Rule)
Cross Reference: IMBB – Exemption from Required Instruction
Adopted: January 6, 1994
Revised: February 1, 2001
Revised: November 10, 2016