Major Concepts in Resources and Services

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Major Concepts in Resources and Services

  1. 1. Developing and Maintaining a Collection Development Policy<br /> One of the basic rules of creating or updating a selection policy is to gain support from the people it will affect and you do this by involving others in the process –teachers, students, members of the community, and administrators. The first element of a selection policy, ‘statement of philosophy’ is a basic statement of the district and school’s belief system in helping students become critical thinkers and lifelong learners. The second element, selection objectives, explains how the media center can and will help students in meeting the school’s goals. In the ‘responsibility of selection’ section it needs to be clearly stated the person who is ultimately responsible for selection building. You are also need to include your selection criteria and gifting guidelines. You must include your statement on how you handle challenged materials and in this statement you need to express what ‘intellectual freedom’ is and why it is important to support this freedom. Your policy should also include your selection tools and your sources for selection. After your write your policy you want to accompany it with your procedures which explain the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘when’ the policy is practiced. When I become a librarian one of my goals will be to include the Intellectual Freedom statement that is located on the ALA website. The Intellectual Freedom statement is one of the most important laws that guide the philosophy and collection practice of a librarian especially in these times with the issue of political and ideological polarization in our nation. I will along with the Intellection Freedom statement also include the library’s interpretation of this law and how we not only uphold this virtue but also promote it. <br />Collection Management Program, including Collection Objectives, Specific Evaluative Criteria & Weeding Criteria<br /> In considering materials for selection you need to consider two basic objectives, whether the format is appropriate for the content and whether the student or teacher’s needs are met via the presentation of the item. There are many aspects of the selection process you must consider prior to purchasing an item. Other than the appropriateness of the content or effectiveness and maturity level, you need to consider content’s purpose and depth of coverage. Also you need to check the credibility of the author and content and whether or not the style of presentation is effective –is it free of bias and does it reflect our multicultural society? Ask yourself, ‘Is the content arranged in a logical or intelligent sequence?’ A significant aspect to research is whether other materials within your collection already contain the same information, which is an aspect of your consideration of whether or not this certain item will add value to your collection or the school’s program and curriculum. Other factors to consider that are just as important in this selection process are the physical characteristics and the cost of the item. With library budgets shrinking one needs to sometimes unfortunately weigh the need against the cost. If a school library is experiencing more than two percent of their collection is lost or damaged annually than they need to write this in as a budget item –usually five percent of the budget is the average amount allotted. For equipment you must write into the policy how, when, or under what conditions, and by whom will certain maintenance procedures be taken. ‘Weeding’ must be written into the policy as well and factors like the accuracy or relevancy of information, as well as condition of material and various other factors must be taken in account during this process. Some librarians do not like to take an annual inventory of their entire stock, however, it is very necessary for many reasons, -one reason, is to avoid wasting time taking care of outdated and obsolete materials. It is best to do weeding during the summer months as not to disturb the students and teacher’s use of the library and materials. There are certain or specific maintenance procedures that should be written into the overall policy and procedures. Each type of material has certain maintenance procedures that are regularly performed in order to extend the life and budget of the library. At the library I interned at this past year I was in charge of weeding the entire video collection. I first went through the collection to do an item count –physically checking the presence of each item. Next I used the Alexandria automation system to print out a report on the video collection and I used the criteria of ‘age of the material’ and ‘the circulation rate’ to create the report. I then just selected the items from the report that matched my age and circulation rate limits to weed from the collection. The experience was quite simple and rewarding as I knew I would be keeping the collection more up-to-date and relevant for the teachers and students. <br />Intellectual Freedom<br /><ul><li> Intellectual Freedom is the right that student’s have to pursue their learning via the resources and services in the school library. The Library Bill of Rights expressly lays out the details of Intellectual Freedom. Basically the Library Bill of Rights states that the library being a designated place for students to pursue learning and enlightenment needs to protect and promote this right of Intellectual Freedom. To accomplish this no material or resource should be censored due to the background, views or beliefs of the author or creator. The librarian also has the duty to select and make available materials of varied perspectives on current and historical issues. The Library Bill of Rights also expressly states that all students no matter their ethnicity or beliefs have the right to access the library and its materials. The Library Bill of Rights goes on to state that a librarian is charged with the duty to not only fight censorship but to also side with those in the fight against censorship. I believe the act of siding with those who fight censorship is important for every librarian to do their part. In these times of ideological and political standoffs in congress and the blue and red state phenomenon creating barriers in our nation it is easier for people to find excuses or be become reactive to controversial items in a library’s collection. I believe we as librarians need to stand together by giving our voice of support either through blogs, letters-to-the –editor, etc., to help those librarians that are facing censorship and certain challenges to their collection.</li></ul>The Reference Process, including the Reference Interview<br /> For the reference process to take place or be initiated the librarian must be approachable. It is important to be friendly and to take the time to respond to each student’s question or inquiry. The first step in the reference interview is to clarify the question of the student. The librarian needs to make sure she/he hears the request correctly as well as the student themselves knowing the subject or task they are assigned. The next step is for the librarian to clarify the question or subjects requiring research or reference. Upon knowing what the question or subject the student needs to research the librarian then questions the student as to which resources they have already used. The next step is to guide the student to the information or resource needed –to allow the student to be involved in the process and to learn how to locate and utilize resources and information. As the saying goes feed a person and they eat for a day, teach him/her to fish and they eat forever. One way of accomplishing this is to make sure the student can view the computer screen during an internet or OPAC search. Or the librarian can offer pathways or bookmarks for the student to use to accomplish their task. Again the idea is to involve or to facilitate the student in their learning of information literacy. As an English teacher I have interviewed several of my students who ask me the questions during a research project such as, ‘What do I do in the next step of my research?’. I have used these steps I have mentioned in this paragraph with great success. I have to admit that it is very rewarding when you help a student teach a student so that they may help themselves in the future. <br />Ethics of Information Access<br /><ul><li>Ethical Issues may arise in various aspects of collection development rather than in just the selecting of materials. Librarians supporting the right of students to have both physical and intellectual access can open up many opportunities for students such as: titles of cultural diversity; development of critical thinking skills, and skills and information literacy that are in many instances the bases and resources for thinking for oneself. Children have many rights and intellectual freedoms as adults have, based on the three major sections of the First Amendment, freedom of: religion, expression, and association. One of the manifestations of this is the act of a librarian developing a collection that contains various subjects with varied perspectives in each subject. One author, Moshman, argues and I concur, that not supporting a student’s access to information and materials negatively effects the intellectual or moral development of the child and not just the practice of those accessing that information. There are many barriers to access and therefore a media specialist needs to actively be aware of the rights of students. Some of the possible ways a student can be denied their full access rights are: inequality of funds or access; a poorly designed information retrieval system; not being informed of fair use policies; and poorly designed internet filtering systems. In 2001, there were two Acts passed by Congress addressing concerns of internet use in schools and they basically told the schools that if they receive Gov. Funds then they are required to have a proper method of filtering inappropriate materials. Another violation of the ethics of information access is when a student’s check out record is made accessible to the viewing of others –parents, teachers, etc. Once I become a librarian in a school I will send the material overdue notices folded over and stapled to ensure that the teachers do not view the titles of the items that the students have checked out.
  2. 2. National Standards for K-12 Catalogs</li></ul>The three principles in cataloging are to show the patron the materials, help the patron choose the materials, and to help the patron locate the materials. To keep cataloging uniform throughout the U.S. the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules 2nd edition (AACR2) was created. It is also a standard practice to use the Abridged Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index and the Library of Congress Subject Headings with children’s headings for the nonfiction materials. MARC bibliographic records are the digital version of the bibliographic record of each item and there is a catalog of Marc records for items located and accessible via the Library of Congress Website. When cataloging books the librarian may and probably will use a combination of the resources I mentioned earlier in this paragraph. One good resource for cataloging is the LOC authority records that keep the authority of author’s name and title of materials/books. This past year working as an intern at our middle school library and I re-cataloged all the 920’s in the library’s collection. The intention behind this re-cataloging and classifying is that the 920’s were being underutilized and if they were shelved in other areas in non-fiction then they would be accessible to students and teachers. I used the Dewy Decimal Classification book to find and the proper call number for each book. I then used the cataloging module of the Alexandria automation system to change the call number in the record and of each book. <br /> Description, Classification, and Access to Library Materials<br /> Librarians can use the tasks of describing and classifying library materials to allow for greater access by both teachers and students. Many titles may fit several subjects and therefore a librarian who knows the students and their searching habits at the school can describe or classify titles so that they will be more readily accessible and seen. A good idea is to create a Series sections for students do not always know the authors but they know the titles. For example the 39 Clues are written by different authors but need to be shelved together because they are so popular with the students. I know of several librarians who have created a graphic novel section in their library. Graphic novels and Manga have been becoming increasingly popular and in libraries with high circulation rates of materials of these genres or libraries who want to promote these genres is would a good practice to classify these items in their own separate sections. I have read on the TLA listserv that several librarians have classified and shelved there fiction novels by genre. The librarians who commented on this method of classifying stated that they were able to better promote the books by using eye-catching photos and graphics for each genre and placing the graphics right above the shelves. They also commented that they were able to promote the reading of certain genres by also placing above the shelves along with the graphic of each genre a catchy title such as ‘blood and gore’ for the ‘horror’ section and ‘laugh till you cry’ for the ‘humor’ genre. <br />

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