District‎ > ‎Board of Directors‎ > ‎Policy Handbook‎ > ‎I—INSTRUCTION‎ > ‎

Instructional and Library Materials Selection

CODE: IJJ

Maine School Administrative District No. 31

INSTRUCTIONAL AND LIBRARY MATERIALS SELECTION

Objectives of Selection

Instructional material shall include all items, both print and non-print, of an instructional or recreational nature acquired for use by M.S.A.D. #31.

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 Centers 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 which 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 material 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 the 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.  The board is responsible for approving the district's system of textbooks.

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, timelines, 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.

Whenever possible, purchase of materials shall be done only after personal evaluation by the librarian/media specialist and/or other appropriate staff.  Reviewing aids may be used in lieu of personal evaluation.

The Superintendent shall select textbooks, supplies, and apparatus with the approval of the Board and shall make all these purchases under rules adopted by the Board.

Challenged Materials


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 complaint shall be heard first by the person providing the materials in question.  If the complain is not resolved at this level,
             it shall be referred to the building principal.
        B. The building principal shall arrange a conference with him/herself, the complainant, and the person providing the material(s).
             The purpose of the conference shall be to discuss the objections to the material(s) being used and to see if the dispute can be
            resolved.  If not resolved, the building principal shall provide to the complainant a "Request for Reconsideration of Instructional
            and Library Materials" to fill out.  A copy of the complete form shall be forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools
        C. The Superintendent shall appoint a committee composed of the following persons to review the complaint:  one Principal at the
            appropriate grade level; one librarian; two classroom teachers, not from the same grade level; the department head in the
            subject area of the challenged materials; one community member.  A Chairperson shall be chosen by the committee to coordinate
             and keep the various parties informed of progress.
        D. The review committee shall:  read and examine the materials referred to them; check general acceptance of materials by
             reading reviews:  weigh values and faults against each other and form opinions based on the material as a whole and not on
             passages or portions pulled out of context; meet to discuss the material and to prepare a written report on it.
        E. The report of the committee shall be forwarded to the Superintendent who will inform the complainant of the results.
        F.  No materials shall be removed form use until the review committee has made a final decision.
        G. The review committee's decision may be appealed to the Board.  The Board may set aside a portion of a regular meeting or call
            a special meeting for the purpose of receiving testimony from representatives of the various points of view.  The material in
            question shall be:

            1. Reviewed objectively and in its full content;
            2. Evaluated in terms of the needs and interest of students, school, curriculum, and community;
            3. Considered in the light of differing opinions; and
            4. Reviewed in light of the criteria for initial selection and purpose as provided herein.

The Board will announce its decision in writing no later than the conclusion of the next regular meeting of the Board following its receipt of said testimony.


Legal Reference:                   20-A MRSA §§ 1001 (10-a), 1055 (4), 4002 CH. 125.22 (Maine Dept. of Ed. Rule)

   
First Reading:                      12/19/2001
Second Reading/Adoption:    01/16/2002