SELECTION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS

I. The St. Tammany Parish School Board is legally responsible for all matters relating to the operation of St. Tammany Parish Schools. Librarians shall evaluate, select and requisition library materials in accordance with needs and financial resources available as prescribed in the Board approved job description.

II. In keeping with our philosophy, it should be noted that materials need to meet at least one of the following criteria to be selected.

1. Selection shall be based on the needs of the individual school using knowledge of the curriculum and the existing collection.
2. Selection shall be based upon actual and potential need, upon the financial resources at hand, and upon the materials themselves.
3. Selection shall provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the pupils served.
4. Selection shall provide materials that stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards.
5. Selection shall provide a background of information which will enable pupils to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.
6. Selection shall provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance the practice of critical reading and thinking.
7. Selection shall provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.
8. Selection of materials shall be considered for purchase on the basis of overall purpose, timeliness or permanence, importance of the subject matter, readability and popular appeal, and authoritativeness.
9. Selection of materials shall be based upon careful and skillful personal examination, the intelligent use of reliable selection aides, reviews, and/or reputation and significance of the author, producer and publisher.
10. The principal or a committee appointed by the principal shall serve with the librarian to review library books prior to the order being placed on the shelf.
11. Selection shall be based on high artistic quality, literary style, and/or variety of format.

III. Procedures for Selection  

        A. Selection Aides

   The following recommended lists may be consulted in the selection of materials, but selection is not limited to their    listings.

  1. Professional bibliographies (latest editions available, including supplements).
    Basic Book Collection for Elementary Grades
    Basic Book Collection for Junior High Schools
    The Best in Children’s Books
    ALA Best Books for Young Adults
    Caldecott Medal Award Books
    Children and Books
    Children’s Catalog
    Elementary School Library Collection
    Guide to Reference Books for School Media Centers
    Guide to Sources in Educational Media
    Junior High School Library Catalog
    Newbery Award Books
    Senior High School Library Catalog
    AAAS Science Books and Films
    Subject Guide to Children’s Books in Print
    Subject Index to Books for Intermediate Grades
    Subject Index to Books for Primary Grades

    Other special bibliographies. Many of these have been prepared by educational organizations for particular subject areas.

      1. Periodical reviewing media:
        The Book Report
        Booklist
        Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books
        Horn Book
        Kirkus Reviews
        School Library Journal
        VOYA
        Wilson Library Bulletin
        Library Journal

B. Gifts to the library shall be judged by the criteria used for new books .

IV. Procedures of Handling Challenged Materials

Any resident or employee of the St. Tammany Parish School district may formally challenge learning resources used in the district’s educational program on the basis of appropriateness. The principal should review the selection and objection rules with the teaching staff annually. The staff should be reminded that the right to object to learning resources is one granted by policies enacted by the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

A. Procedures to be observed:

1. All complaints to the St. Tammany Parish School Board shall be reported in writing to the building principal and librarian involved, whether received by telephone, letter, or in personal conversation. It should be noted that no parent has the right to determine reading, viewing or listening matter for students other than his/her own children.
2. The librarian shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the school libraries of St. Tammany Parish. The librarian shall contact the complainant with the knowledge of the principal.
3. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the librarian with the knowledge of the principal shall supply the complainant with a packet of materials consisting of a cover letter, School Library Philosophy and Goals, the selection policy statement, and the procedures for handling objections. This packet will also include a standard printed form which shall be completed and returned before formal consideration will be given to the complainant.
4. If the formal request for reconsideration has not been received by the principal within two calendar weeks of the current school year, it shall be considered void. If the request is returned within the specified time limitation, the library professional staff shall prepare then make available the criteria for selection of the specific work.
5. No challenged materials shall be removed from the school libraries pending a final decision.
6. Upon receipt of the completed form, the principal of the school involved shall call together a committee of five to consider the complaint. This committee shall include the following membership:
 
a. The Principal, or his designee.
b. One member of the school teaching staff chosen by the entire faculty, or two members of the teaching staff when a student representative is not included.
c. One member of the schools’ library professional staff chosen by that staff.
d. One parent from the school’s PTA/PTO (or similar organization) chosen by the executive board of that organization. (If the school does not have a parent organization, the principal may appoint a parent).
e. One student chosen by the student governing body or by the principal (at the junior high or high school level).
7.
Each committee member shall receive a packet containing instructions to the School Committee for reconsideration, a copy of the philosophy and goals, the selection policy, a reconsideration of library materials checklist, and a copy of the complaint.
8. The Committee shall meet within the next 20 days to discuss the material following the guidelines set forth in Instructions to School Committee for Reconsideration and shall prepare a report on the material containing the majority and minority opinions of the Committee. The Committee may recommend that:
a. The materials remain in the collection.
b. The materials are removed from the collection.
9.
The principal shall notify the complainant of the decision and the written report shall be discussed with the complainant if requested. A copy of the written report shall be retained by the school principal, with copies forwarded to the Superintendent and the librarian.
10. Written reports, once filed, are public records.
11. The decision of the Reconsideration Committee is based on professional judgment and binding for the individual school.
12. Notwithstanding any procedure outlined in this policy, the resident or school employee shall have the right to appeal any decision of the Reconsideration Committee to the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

V. Procedure for Appealing the Decision of the Reconsideration Committee for Handling Challenged Materials

Any resident or employee of the St. Tammany Parish School district may formally appeal the decision of the school level    Reconsideration Committee by using the following process:

A. All complaints to the St. Tammany Parish School Board shall be reported in writing to the St. Tammany Parish Superintendent of Public Education. It should be noted that no parent has the right to determine reading, viewing or listening matter for students other than his/her own children.
B. The Superintendent shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the St. Tammany Parish School Board relative to library/media services.
C. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Superintendent with the knowledge of the St. Tammany Parish School Board President, shall supply the complainant with a packet of materials consisting of a cover letter, school library Philosophy and Goals, the selection policy statement, and the procedure for filing an appeal. This packet will also include a standard printed form which shall be completed and returned before consideration will be given to the complaint.
D. If the formal request for appeal has not been received by the Superintendent within two (2) calendar weeks of the current school year, it shall be considered void. If the request is returned within the specified time limitation, the St. Tammany Parish School Board professional Central Office staff shall prepare to make available the criteria for selection of the specific work.
E. No challenged materials shall be removed from the school libraries pending a final decision of the St. Tammany Parish School Board.
F. Upon receipt of the completed form, the Superintendent shall call together an Appeals Committee to consider the complaint. This Committee shall include the following membership:
1.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

2. School Board Member
3. President, St. Tammany Parish Librarians
4.

President, St. Tammany District PTA

5. Three (3) teachers who are currently teaching at the grade level for which the challenged book is designed.

G.
Each committee member shall receive a packet containing Instructions to the School Committee for Reconsideration, a copy of the philosophy and goals, the selection policy, a Reconsideration of Library Materials checklist, a copy of the complaint, and a copy of the recommendation from the School Level Committee for Reconsideration.
H. The Committee shall meet within the next 20 days to discuss the material, following the guidelines set forth in Instructions to School Committee for Reconsideration and shall prepare a report on the material to be presented at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the St. Tammany Parish School Board. The report shall contain the material designated by the Committee. The recommendation may be:
1. Leave the material in the collection.
2. Remove the material from the collection.
I. The St. Tammany Parish School Board shall vote on the recommendation of the Appeals Committee. The decision of the St. Tammany Parish School Board shall be final and is binding for all schools within the St. Tammany Parish Public School district.
J. The Superintendent shall notify the complainant of the decision of the Appeals Committee. A copy of the written report of the Appeals Committee shall be retained by the Superintendent, with copies forwarded to the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

K.

Written reports, once filed, are public records.

LETTER TO COMPLAINANT
(To be reproduced on the stationary of the individual school)

Date: ______________________________

Complainant Name
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear ______________________________:

We appreciate your concern about the use of (Title of Material) in (School). St. Tammany Parish School District has developed procedures for selecting materials, but realizes that not everyone will agree with every selection made.

To help you understand the selection process, we are enclosing copies of the St. Tammany Parish School Board’s Libraries:

          1. Philosophy and Goals
          2. Materials Selection Policy Statement
          3. Procedure for Handling Objections

If you are still concerned after you review this material, please complete the Request for Reconsideration of Material form and return it to the school principal. You may be assured of prompt attention to your request. If we have not heard from your within two calendar weeks, we will assume you no longer wish to file a formal complaint.

         


            Sincerely,

            Librarian


REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF MATERIALS

The use of this form has been authorized by the St. Tammany Parish School Board. Completed forms must be returned to the school principal.

DATE: __________________________________
NAME:___________________________________   TELEPHONE: _______________
ADDRESS: _____________________________________________________________
CITY: _____________________________  STATE-: _____________ ZIP: __________

1. Resource on which you are commenting:


Book  _____            Audiovisual Resource  _____
Magazine  _____         Newspaper  _____

Title:  ____________________________________________________________
Author/Producer  ___________________________________________________


2. What brought this resource to your attention?
  ___________________________________________________________________________________
  ___________________________________________________________________________________
  _____________________________________________________________________________________

3. Please comment on the resources as a whole as well as being specific on those matters which concern you. (Use other   side if needed).
  _____________________________________________________________________________________
  _____________________________________________________________________________________
  _____________________________________________________________________________________

4. Please be specific on those matters within the resource which concern you.

OPTIONAL

5. What resource(s) do you suggest to provide additional information on this topic?
  ________________________________________________________________________

(Revised by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, January 12, 1983)


INSTRUCTIONS TO THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE FOR RECONSIDERATION
1. Preview or read the entire challenged material.
2. Determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the challenged resources.
3. Weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than on passages or sections taken out of context.
4. Discuss the challenged resource in the context of the philosophy and selection policy. (See attached checklist).
5. Prepare a written report.
 
SCHOOL COMMITTEE CHECKLIST FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
DATE: ________________________________

TITLE: _________________________________________________________________
AUTHOR: ______________________________________________________________
A. PURPOSE

1. What is the overall purpose of the material?
_______________________________________________________________________
B. Does material meet the criteria as outlined in the selection policy?
Please check Yes or No to the following questions:
YES ____NO ______ 1. Is the selection based on the needs of the individual school using knowledge of the curriculum and the existing collection?
  2. Is the selection based upon
YES ____NO ______   a. Actual and potential need?
YES ____NO ______   b. The financial resources at hand?
YES ____ NO ______   c. The materials themselves?
YES ____NO ______ 3. Does the selection provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the pupils served?
  4. Does the selection provide materials that:
YES ____NO ______   a. Stimulate growth in factual knowledge?
YES ____NO ______   b. Stimulate growth in literacy appreciation?
YES ______ NO ______   c. Stimulate growth in aesthetic values?
YES ____NO ______   d. Stimulate growth in ethical standards?

YES ____NO ______
5. Does the selection provide a background of information which will enable pupils to make intelligent judgment in their daily life?
YES ___ NO ______ 6. Does the selection provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance the practice of critical reading and thinking?
YES ___ NO ______ 7. Does the selection provide materials representative of the many religions, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage?
  8. Was this selection purchased on the basis of:
YES ____NO ______   a. Overall purpose?
YES ____NO ______   b. Timeliness or permanence?
YES ____NO ______   c. Importance of the subject matter?
YES ___ NO ______   d. Readability and popular appeal?
YES ___NO ______   e. Authoritativeness?
  9. Was the selection of this material based upon:
YES ___NO ______   a. Careful and skillful personal examination?
YES ___ NO ______   b. The intelligent use of reliable selection aides, reviews and/or reputation and significance of the author, producer and publisher?
  10. Was the selection based on:
YES ___NO ______   a. High artistic quality?
YES ___NO ______   b. Literary style?
YES ___ NO ______   c. Variety of format?
  11. Overall rating for school use:
       
Excellent ______  Good ______
Fair ______   Poor ______
     

______________________________________________________________

    Committee Member
   

______________________________________________________________
    Date Previewed
     

REPORT OF EVALUATION OF COMMITTEE
AUTHOR: ______________________
TYPE OF RESOURCE: __________________
TITLE: ________________________________________________________________
The following decision was made on this _____________________ day of __________, 20_____
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
FINDINGS OF FACT:
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
DECISION:
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The following committee members are in agreement with the above decision:
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________

LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be prescribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Ref: Board Minutes, 7/84