INLS 241: The School Library Media Center



For the Operation of the SLMC

NOTE: Various elements of this manual will be worked on during classes and are to be submitted weekly through class for feedback. The manual as a whole will be evaluated for grading purposes at the end of the class.

Due December 10, 1996

Overview. The school library media specialist will find it helpful to have written policies and procedures in one place. Some of the major areas that should be addressed in policies and/or procedures are outlined below.

Using the same school system and media center you have “adopted” for the community analysis exercise, create a notebook for policies and procedures in the nine sections outlined below. Handouts with sample policies and procedures will be provided for many of the sections. These handouts may be incorporated with or without modifications at your discretion.

Budget Management. Describe the method by which your school district is funded and the approximate proportions from property taxes, state and national governments, and other sources. Procure and include a copy of the major accounting codes and categories used by the school system and indicate which budget categories are relevant for the SLMC. Outline the budget calendar for the school district and describe the purchasing routines used by the system.

Calculate a budget for the media center using the four-factor method described in the Morris et al textbook on pp. 164-5 (A different method may be substituted if it will be more appropriate for you). Include a sample form for budget record-keeping.

This is due in draft form on Oct. 3.

Personnel. Write (or acquire) job descriptions for the director of the media center, other professional staff, clerical workers, student workers, and volunteers. For student workers and volunteers, include a statement describing their selection, training and evaluation.

Also include a statement about the Media Advisory Committee, how members are chosen, what its duties and responsibilities are, and how frequently it meets.

The Personnel section is due in draft form on Oct. 10.

Scheduling. This section should include a copy of the school’s master calendar of events and your own monthly checklist including any special events that will require advance planning on your part, e.g., book fairs, annual classroom projects, holiday activities, other special events, administrative report due dates, conferences and other professional meetings, end of year activities.

Describe the overall scheduling method used in the school and your scheduling policies for the LMC. State your approach to planning with teachers, assisting with class assignments, allowing individuals and small groups to use the LMC.

This section is due in draft form on Oct. 24.

Collection/Selection Policies. Develop a materials selection/deselection policy for your LMC. Provide detail (either by Dewey class number or major curriculum area) on considerations affecting addition of new material and weeding of old. Include print, nonprint, and electronic media as well as necessary equipment for reading, viewing, listening and manipulating. Address ILL and rental materials if applicable. Append to the policy the procedures you will follow when materials are challenged.

This section is due in draft form on Oct. 31.

Use of the Facilities, Material and Equipment. State your policies and procedures for circulating or otherwise arranging for the use of all the various classes of material and equipment that you will control in your media center. Include user classes, loan periods, fines, security, and the like.

This section is due in draft form on Nov. 7.

Selection and Processing Procedures. Procedures for selecting materials and equipment, inventorying, and decisions about purchasing routines, cataloging, and physical processing should also be addressed.

This section is due on Nov. 14.

Public Relations Activities. Describe your strategy for creating an image and marketing the media center and its services throughout the year to the students, teachers, and community. Include both what you will do and how you will do it. For example, you may want to discuss plans for the beginning-of-year orientation programs, bulletin boards and other displays, literature to be distributed about the center (e.g., brochures, newsletters, pathfinders, flyers), selection of an annual theme, appreciation events, advertising, presentations, and the like.

This section is due on Nov. 21.

Evaluation and Reporting. Devise a monthly report format (“brag sheet”) for the media center activities. Describe what statistics and other data you will collect throughout the year to demonstrate achievement (or progress toward) the objectives you set forth.

Create an annual report format to summarize the year’s accomplishments, problems encountered, and objectives for the following year.

This section is due on Dec. 5.

Philosophy, Goals and Three-Year Objectives. This is the culminating activity for this exercise. Write a (1/2 page) statement of your personal philosophy as a school library media specialist – What do you see as the most important aspects of the position? How will you personalize your own media center to fit your particular strengths and values? How do you wish to make a difference to your colleagues and students in your school?

Fashion a mission statement for the school library media center that you have been analyzing. State a half dozen or so measureable objectives you would try to accomplish in your first three years in the center.

Although this is the last section you are assigned to write, it should appear as the first section in your manual. It is due with the rest of the revised manual on Dec. 10.

If you have questions as you work on this assignment, send me an email.

Revised 8/7/96