Helena School District library media centers provide access to information and resources in a variety of formats and facilitate the development of skills necessary to become lifelong learners in an information rich society. Library media centers in the district are committed to evaluating, selecting, organizing and managing resources to insure that students and teachers will have access to a wide variety of information and ideas. Materials must present the problems and issues of our times in a format suitable to the student’s maturity and interest level. Materials must also represent multiple points of view.
Library/media collection management must address the needs of the school, curriculum, and students. The purpose of this policy is to ensure a quality collection is available for use by all students as set forth in procedures by the district in guiding library media specialists in the selection of materials and equipment.
Selection must provide for a wide range of materials and technology on appropriate levels of difficulty with a diversity of appeal and with a presentation of a variety of viewpoints.
Though final responsibility rests with the Board of Trustees, the collection management process is generally delegated to the building level principals and librarians.
The Board recognizes the right of privacy of all library users as provided by Montana law and the American Library Association. Records maintained in libraries, which identify specific individuals with specific resources, programs or services, are confidential and will not be disclosed.
A library is not prevented from publishing or making available to appropriate sources statistical reports regarding library circulation if those reports are presented so that no individual is identified therein.
Library records may be disclosed to the extent necessary to return overdue or stolen materials or collect fines.
The Board recognizes and supports the following documents governing library/media collection management, operation and standards:
(a) American Library Association: Library Bill of Rights.
(b) American Library Association: Free Access to Libraries for Minors
(c) American Library Association: Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program
(d) National Council of Teachers of English: The Students Right to Read.
(e) The Freedom to Read: A Joint Statement by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers
Copies of these documents are on file in the central administration building, the District Library office, and each library/media center.
Revised On: 12.11.1990, 10.27.1998, 1.12.1999, 9.10.2002
The Board of Trustees, although it is ultimately responsible for all instructional and library material, recognizes the right of students to free access to many different types of books and resources. The Board also recognizes the right of teachers, librarians and administrators to select books and other materials in accordance with the adopted curriculum, current trends in education, and student and staff needs, and to make them available in schools and libraries.
Therefore, books and other resources will be chosen for value of interest and enlightenment of all students in the school community. A book or other resource will not be excluded because of the race, nationality, political, or religious values of the writer or of the material’s style and language. Every effort will be made to provide materials that present all points of view concerning the international, national, and local problems and issues of our times. Books and other resources of sound factual authority will not be proscribed or removed from library shelves or classrooms because of partisan doctrinal approval or disapproval.
Censorship of books and other materials will be challenged in order to maintain the school’s responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. Accordingly, the Board will deal with censorship of books or other materials as follows:
• The final decision on controversial materials rests with the Board after the established process for handling challenged materials has been exhausted/completed.
• The Board recognizes the right of an individual parent or guardian to request that his or her child not have to read a given book, or view a particular media work.
• Any parent or person of legal standing who wishes to request reconsideration of the use of any book or resource in the school must make such request in writing on forms provided through building principals or school librarians.
[Administrative Procedure for the enforcement of this policy may be obtained in the Central Administration building, the District Library/IMC office, and each school office.]Policy History:
Revised On: 9.10.2002