Policies and Procedures
My concept of virtual is paperless. Virtual manuals can be maintained without the challenge of adding pages and adjusting page numbers. Virtual manuals can include hyperlinks to information located on the Web. Before starting the development of my manual, I thought about who might access the manual besides the school library media specialist. Library assistants, volunteers, and, occasionally, substitutes should all be able to access this manual. Also, the library media specialist should be able to access the manual when working at home. The best way to achieve that flexibility is to post the manual on the library media center’s website or on the school’s network, assuming the network is Internet accessible. If a library media center website or network is not available, the concept is still feasible, but a little more challenging, because new versions would need to be loaded on separate computers. Once this decision has been made, the next step is to scan and/or key-in the existing information related to the specific library media center. Following are sections and weblinks to include.
Some policies need to be written to fit the unique needs of a specific library media center, for example, circulation policies that establish the time periods books circulate and the cost for replacing lost books. Other policies, like copyright, are based on federal legislation. Links to Web-based copyright information will be useful to supplement local policies.
- Copyright Information Center – Cornell University
- http://www.copyrightinformation.org/ – Comprehensive overview of current copyright information
- Copyright Guidelines from the Omaha Public School District.
- School Owned Laptop/Tablet guidelines – Jonesport Elementary School’s policies for school laptop use or loan.
- Computer Use Guidelines– Computer use guidelines from Forsyth Country School District.
- Lost and Overdue Materials – Broward County School District
- School Library Policies and Procedures – Northside Independent School District, San Antonio, TX.
The school library media specialist’s job description should be posted, but it also would be useful to link to job descriptions for student and parent volunteers. The Web provides examples of job descriptions for this section.
Examples of job descriptions:
- Job Description: Library Media Specialist – Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro, Georgia
- Job Description: Library Media Specialist – Alaska School Library Handbook
- Job Description: Library Clerk. Norman Public School District, Norman, Oklahoma.
Collection Development and Acquisitions
The purchase of resources and technology for the library requires access to information about producers and jobbers.
- Acquisitions – Norwood School
- AcqWEB. Publisher and vendor directory.
- ExpoCentral – Book Jobber Directory
- Development and Selection Criteria – Baltimore County Public Schools
Examples can help school library media specialists develop the forms for use in the library media center. This is a section that can be developed over time.
Examples of forms:
- Permission to Borrow Books – Liberty School District, California
- Audio Visual Use Form – Darien Public School District, Connecticut
- Teacher/Librarian Collaboration Request – West Johnston High, Benson, South Carolina.
- Full Length Movie Permission Slip – Classbrain.com
- Faculty Request Form – Woodholme Elementary School
- School Library Survey– National Center for Education Statistics – U.S. Department of Education
- Literature Lesson Plan Resources and Forms – Resources for School Librarians
- Checklist for Library Media Programs
- Disaster Response Plans – Marin County School District
District Portal as Manuals
School library media services in larger school districts have developed excellent portal pages. These portals provide school library media specialists with both instructional and management resources and tools.
Examples of portals:
- The Library Portal – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Library Media Centers – Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Library Resources – Regina Public School District
These virtual manuals and portals enable parents, community members, and other school library professionals to view how school library media specialists manage media centers and teach students to gather and use information. Now all we need is a portal page to the portals.