The following article by Marjorie L. Pappas highlights the importance of manuals an d virtual policies for libraries. Having these policies and forms on-line can help librarian’s share information and continually update their information as trends and technology change. Here is Pappas’ article with new links included to replace those that were not working.
VOLUME XXI, NUMBER 5/JANUARY 2005
Virtual School Library Media Center Management Manual
by Marjorie L. Pappas
School library media specialists often post messages on LM_NET and other state listservs I monitor, requesting examples of information that I used to maintain in a management manual when I was a school library media specialist. I started my manual when I was a student in the organization and administration course we all take in library science programs and I kept it current with information gleaned from conferences, workshops, and networking with other school library media specialists. Manuals are easier to maintain today because of networking through listservs and the Internet. In thinking about the requests for information related to policies, job descriptions, cataloging, resource acquisition, etc., I decided a virtual version of this traditional paper manual might be an interesting and useful concept.
Setting Up My Virtual Manual
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. ALA. A collection of documents related to copyright issues and libraries on the American Library Association website.
- Acceptable Use Policy U.S. Department of Justice example.
- Copyright Basics and the Internet.
- Margaret Lincoln. Lakeview High School Library. A concise chart of copyright guidelines for schools.
- Lost/Overdue Policy Visalia Unified School District Policy.
- Washington Middle School in Mobile, AL. Policies and Procedures.
- Mesa County Valley School District 51; Grand Junction, Colorado. A comprehensive collection of policies for school library media centers.
- Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Social Media Governance. Chris Boudreaux. 176 Policies
- Plagiarism Policy. North Hunterdon High School.
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:
- Certified School Librarians: Duties and Responsibilities.School District of Philadelphia, 1991. Includes administrative and educational functions.
- Job Description: Library Clerk. Marshall Public School District.
- Job Description: Media Specialist . Greenwood High School Media Specialist. Arkansas
- Librarian and Media Staff Job Descriptions. Chris Smith. Shambles. A collection of job descriptions for school library media center positions.
- Media Assistant Interview Rubric. Mindy Doler. Lawrence High School; Lawrence, Kansas.
Collection Development and Acquisitions
The purchase of resources and technology for the library requires access to information about producers and jobbers.
- Acquisitions, Collection Maintenance and Electronic Access . Della Curtis. Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland. Includes sample policies, procedures, and resources.
- Publisher and vendor information.
- The Librarian’s Yellow Pages. Publisher, periodical, jobber, and vendor links.
- School Library Collection Development. Media Services @ your library. Department of Educational and Administrative Technology. Fayette County Public Schools; Lexington, Kentucky. Includes guidelines for selection and purchasing of resources, hardware, and technology.
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:
- Book and Audio Visual Selection Policy. Portage La Prarie School Division. Manitoba, Canada.
- Collaborative Planning. Indiana Learns. Office of Learning Resources, Indiana Department of Education. A collection of forms to enable collaboration between classroom teachers and school library media specialists.
- Elementary Library Services. Charlotte Lesser. Monadnack Regional School District, 2004. A collection of forms including supply order list, teacher request form, end-of-year library media center closing checklist, etc.
- Full-length Feature Films to be Used for Classroom Instruction. Jean E. Brown column. The Alan Review
- Faculty Recommendation for Library Materials. Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland.
- Library Monthly Update. PDF. Kevin Finkle. Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland. Form to gather information from teachers about future units and lessons.
- Teacher/Librarian Collaborative Unit: Planning. PDF. School District of Philadelphia, 1999.
- Disaster Preparedness Baltimore Academic Libraries Consortium.
- Annual Report. Creeview High School. Librarian Buffy Hamilton.
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:
- Indiana Learns. Office of Learning Resources, Indiana Department of Education. This website was developed as a companion to the book Indiana Learns by David Loertscher with Connie Champlin (Stenhouse Publishers, 2002).
- Library Media Center Procedure Handbook Longfellow Elementary School. Matthew Winner 2008.
- 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.