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Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Policy & Guidelines
Hopkinton School District Libraries

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Hopkinton School District

Selection of Instructional Materials Philosophy



Instructional materials are selected by the school district to implement, enrich, and support the educational program for the student. Materials must serve both the breadth of the curriculum and the needs and interests of individual students. The district is obligated to provide for a wide range of abilities and to respect the diversity of many differing points of view. To this end, principles must be placed above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality and appropriateness.

The Hopkinton School Board delegates the authority and responsibility for the selection of all instructional materials to the superintendent of schools. Materials for school classrooms and school libraries shall be initially selected by the appropriate professional personnel in consultation with administration and faculty. Decisions on purchases will be the responsibility of the building Principal and, if necessary, can be reviewed by the superintendent.  The superintendent's review may be for the purpose of ensuring that an age appropriate balance of materials is selected.

Internet resources are not subject to this policy. The internet is largely unregulated, and not all of the information it carries is suitable for schoolchildren. Although the district subscribes to a filtering service that blocks much inappropriate material, the Technology Use Policy and the Guidelines for Acceptable Use of the Internet represent an understanding on the part of the student and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) that the Hopkinton School District does not control the contents of the internet.

Any resident or employee of the Hopkinton School District may formally challenge library resources on the basis of appropriateness. This shall also be done through administrative procedure.



Hopkinton School District

Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Policy

The School Board affirms the right of parents to restrict their child's access to material they deem inappropriate. The Board further affirms that no parent has the right to make that decision on behalf of other children.

Any resident or employee of the Hopkinton School District may formally challenge instructional materials on the basis of appropriateness. This shall be done through the district's Reconsideration of Instructional Materials procedure, which includes:


Guidelines for the Selection of Library Resources
Hopkinton School District

Revised: June 2012

I. Objectives of Selection
The library provides resources that implement, support and enrich the school curriculum. Library resources are chosen to provide users with a wide range of educational materials, at appropriate levels of difficulty and in a variety of formats, which reflect diversity of appeal and allow for the presentation of differing points of view.
II. Responsibility for Selection of Library Resources
Since the selection of library resources often involves many people (administrators, librarians, teachers, instructional assistants, students, parents, community members), the responsibility for coordinating the selection of library resources and for making recommendation to purchase rests with the certified librarian.
III. Criteria for Selection of Library Resources
A. Library resources will be chosen to support the mission and the academic, social and civic expectations of the Hopkinton Schools; the mission, philosophy, guiding principles and annual goals of the Hopkinton School District; and the standards and frameworks of the State of New Hampshire.
B. Library resources will be chosen to support the existing curriculum, as well as the personal needs and interests of library users.
C. Library resources will meet high standards of quality in factual content and presentation.
D. Library resources will be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning style, and social development of the students for whom the materials are selected.
E. Library resources will be selected to help students gain an awareness of our pluralistic society.
F. The selection of library resources on controversial issues will be directed toward maintaining a diverse collection representing various views.
G. Library resources will be selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.
IV. Procedures for Selection of Library Resources
A. In selecting library resources, the librarian will measure available materials against the above criteria, the emerging needs of the curriculum, and the library's current 2-year Collection Development Plan.
B. The librarian will consult reputable, professionally prepared selection guides and other appropriate review sources. Such sources include-but are not limited to-American Historical Fiction, Booklist, Children's Library Catalog, Junior High School Library Catalog, Kirkus Reviews, Reference Books for School Libraries, School Library Journal, Senior High School Library Catalog, etc.
C. Administrators, teachers, instructional assistants, students, parents and community members will be regularly encouraged to make recommendations for purchase.
D. When feasible, the resource itself will be examined.
E. Gift materials will be measured against the above criteria, and will be accepted or rejected accordingly.
F. Resource selection will include the routine removal of outdated and inaccurate materials, as well as the replacement of lost and worn items still of educational value.


Reconsideration of Library Resources/Instructional Materials Procedure
Hopkinton School District

I. Informal Reconsideration
A. Persons wishing to make a complaint regarding library resources will be asked to bring their complaint to the principal or the librarian.
B. Internet resources are not subject to reconsideration under these guidelines. The internet is largely unregulated, and not all of the information it carries is suitable for schoolchildren. Although the district subscribes to a filtering service that blocks much inappropriate material, the Technology Use Policy and the Guidelines for Acceptable Use of the Internet represent an understanding on the part of the student and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) that the Hopkinton School District does not control the contents of the internet.
C. Upon meeting with the complainant, the principal or librarian will first attempt to resolve the issue informally.
  1. The identity of the complainant shall remain confidential during the informal process (only).
  2. Commitments should not be made until the issue has been thoroughly explored.
  3. The complaint should be treated in a courteous, objective and unemotional manner.
  4. The principal or librarian will listen to all concerns, and try to resolve the issue informally. This might include explaining the library's selection procedures and criteria, the intended audience and educational uses of the item in question, or relevant sections of the American Library Association's Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program.
  5. If the complainant then wishes to proceed with a formal request for reconsideration, the principal will follow up the discussion with a letter. The letter will include:
    • the district's Selection of Instructional Materials and Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Policies
    • the Guidelines for the Selection of Library Resources and Collection Development Plan for the appropriate school library
    • the ALA's Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program
    • the Guidelines for the Reconsideration of Library Materials and the Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form
  6. In the event that the complainant is the principal, the superintendent of schools will perform the role of the principal in the above process.
II. Formal Reconsideration
A. In the event of a formal request for reconsideration, these steps will be taken:
  1. Persons wishing to make a formal request for reconsideration must complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form and submit it to the principal; in the event that more than one item is involved, a separate form must be completed for each item.
  2. The superintendent of schools will be informed of the request for formal reconsideration.
  3. The school's reconsideration committee will convene to reevaluate the material(s) in question.

B. Reconsideration Committee
  1. Upon receipt of a completed Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form, the principal will:

a. Appoint a reconsideration committee, to include the following members:

b. Name a chairperson of the consideration committee.
c. Arrange for a meeting of the reconsideration committee to take place within 10 working days after the complaint is received by the principal.

2. The reconsideration committee is charged with a thorough review of the challenged resource, and will decide whether or not it conforms to the principles of selection as outlined in the Guidelines for the Selection of Library Resources and other applicable policies and guidelines.

3. The reconsideration committee may also consult other district staff and/or community members who have relevant expertise.


C. Guiding principles

2. The chairperson of the Reconsideration Committee will discuss and file the report with the principal, who will forward a copy to the superintendent of schools.

3. The principal will send a copy of the report to the complainant, and will discuss the report further, if requested.

4. The principal will also send copies of the report to members of the Reconsideration Committee.

5. The complainant shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Reconsideration Committee first to the superintendent of schools and then to the School Board.


Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program:
An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

 

The school library media program plays a unique role in promoting intellectual freedom. It serves as a point of voluntary access to information and ideas and as a learning laboratory for students as they acquire critical thinking and problem-solvin skills needed in a pluralistic society. Although the educational level and program of the school necessarily shape the resources and services of a school library media program, the principles of the Library Bill of Rights apply equally to all libraries, including school library media programs.  Under these principles, all students have equitable access to library facilities, resources, and instructional programs.

School library media specialists assume a leadership role in promoting the principles of intellectual freedom within the school by providing resources and services that create and sustain an atmosphere of free inquiry. School library media specialists work closely with teachers to integrate instructional activities in classroom units designed to equip students to locate, evaluate, and use a broad range of ideas effectively.  Intellectual freedom is fostered by educating students in the use of critical thinking skills to empower them to pursue free inquiry responsibly and independently.  Through resources, programming, and educational processes, students and teachers experience the free and robust debate characteristic of a democratic society.

School library media specialists cooperate with other individuals in building collections of resources that meet the needs as well as the developmental and maturity levels of students. These collections provide resources that support the mission of the school district and are consistent with its philosophy, goals, and objectives. Resources in school library media collections are an integral component of the curriculum and represent diverse points of view on both current and historical issues. These resources include materials that support the intellectual growth, personal development, individual interests, and recreational needs of students.

While English is, by history and tradition, the customary language of the United States, the languages in use in any given community may vary. Schools serving communities in which other languages are used make efforts to accommodate the needs of students for whom English is a second language. To support these efforts, and to ensure equitable access to resources and services, the school library media program provides resources that reflect the linguistic pluralism of the community.

Members of the school community involved in the collection development process employ educational criteria to select resources unfettered by their personal, political, social, or religious views. Students and educators served by the school library media program have access to resources and services free of constraints resulting from personal, partisan, or doctrinal disapproval. School library media specialists resist efforts by individuals or groups to define what is appropriate for all students or teachers to read, view, hear, or access via electronic means.

Major barriers between students and resources include but are not limited to imposing age, grade-level, or reading-level restrictions on the use of resources; limiting the use of interlibrary loan and access to electronic information; charging fees for information in specific formats; requiring permission from parents or teachers; establishing restricted shelves or closed collections; and labeling. Policies, procedures, and rules related to the use of resources and services support free and open access to information.

It is the responsibility of the governing board to adopt policies that guarantee students access to a broad range of ideas. These include policies on collection development and procedures for the review of resources about which concerns have been raised. Such policies, developed by persons in the school community, provide for a timely and fair hearing and assure that procedures are applied equitably to all expressions of concern. It is the responsibility of school library media specialists to implement district policies and procedures in the school to ensure equitable access to resources and services for all students.


Adopted July 2, 1986, by the ALA Council; amended January 10, 1990; July 12, 2000; January 19, 2005; July 2, 2008.
[ISBN 8389-7053-2]



Forms

The following forms are available for you to download (as pdf documents). If you prefer, please stop by the Library or the Main Office to pick up a complete packet.