Selection Policy Evaluation
This paper is an evaluation of the selection policy for school library materials of the school district of Philadelphia. The policy which I will use in this analysis was adopted by the board of education of Philadelphia on 15th November, 1996. It is a comprehensive policy which entails, the philology of the library, selection objectives, selection responsibilities, selection criteria, unsolicited materials and gifts criteria, Challenged material policy and the library bill of rights.
We are living at the information age hence there is need for easy location, identification, organization and presentation of the information which is needed by ensuring it is concise, clear and in a persuasive manner. This is being enhanced by the changing technology which is enabling easy management of complex information. The policy states that the school library materials are selected by the School district to be able to enrich and support educational programs which are being offered.
According to Philadelphia Board of Education, (1996) the library materials which are being selected and organized for use by the District’s educational programs are print and non-print materials, electronic, collections of reference materials, collection of balanced books and periodicals audio visual and recorded materials. Selection of such materials are done by the certified school librarian which is in order because they select the appropriate materials and work with other staff members to guide and interpret the policy in their daily selections.
The policy has a general selection criterion which applies to all materials print, non-print or electronic resource. The policy ensures that the materials selected are up to date and current, consistent with general educational goals, materials which are appropriate for subject area and meets the interest and needs of the faculty and students. It also ensures that the materials are suitable for their intended use and are meant to make the student aware of the diverse society. The selections ensures that the materials are selected based on their strengths and are not rejected because they are weak.
However it would have been important if the policy includes factors which should be considered in term of the software’s and hardware’s which should be used for the selection because currently and in the near future most of the library materials will be digitized. It should also be able to evaluate the compatibility of the materials with the computerized systems which is in existence or will be upgraded in future to ensure that they would be computerized for easy access and management (School District Of Iola-Scandinavia, 2001).
The policy also sets the criteria which the unsorted materials must adhere to. It states that, the materials and gifts must be consistence with the general educational goals. They must be up to date and of high quality, appropriate to the subject area and be able to assist the students in understanding the diversity of the society and be suitable for the intended use. In case of complainant due to objection to library materials it has a policy of handling challenged materials which solves such issues.
All complaints either oral or written are reported to the building principal for action. The complaint is then provided with the policy statement, procedure for handling objections and a form to fill in details of complain. Upon receipt of the form a meeting is convened which discusses the issue and writes its recommendations on the way forward which is handed to the director of instruction, who decide on the appropriate action regarding the materials based on he recommendations provided. Then finally the principal notifies the complainant the decision made.
However, if the complainant is not contented with the decision made they appeal to the Board of Education through the Chief Academic Officer or Superintendent of schools. If the complainant does not return the form within two weeks is it is assumed the objection was solved. The policy discussed is of essence in good management and administration of the library materials which makes accessibility of the materials being easy and the appropriate ones are selected to address the needs of the institutions, faculty’s and students.
However, there is need to update such policies often to capture new technology which would be incorporated in librarianship and information management and improve on areas which would have been realized needs improvement. Such continuous and frequent evaluations of the policy will make it current and more effective in its operations as it will be optimized.