OAES Media Center Handbook

Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School Library Handbook


Greetings! Please keep reading for important information about how to get the most out of your school library media experience. I am looking forward to a great school year with all of you!


Library Media Center Hours

Resources and spaces available for use inside the library

Resources available for checkout from the library media center


Selection of Materials

 Selection Criteria

 Reconsideration of Materials

 Library Media Committee



Lost or damaged books

Library Media Center Hours

For teachers

The library is available to teachers and staff anytime the building is open.

If the circulation computer is turned off, follow these instructions to get to the checkout screen:

  • Turn the computer on and log in to Windows:
    • Username: oglcircdesk
    • Password: oglcircdesk
  • Double-click the Internet Explorer icon labeled “OGL Destiny” and log in to Destiny:
    • Username: oglcircdesk
    • Password: spectrum
  • Click the tab labeled “Circulation,” then follow instructions on the desk to check items in or out.

For students

Students may visit the library with a teacher’s permission between 7:10 am and 2:35pm, following these guidelines:

  • Grades 3-5: These students are trained to check their own books in and out of the library and may visit any time during the day. If I am teaching when they come in, they will have to choose and check out independently. If I’m not teaching, I’ll be glad to help them find what they need.
  • Grade 2: These students will learn how to check books in and out of the library this year. Until they are proficient at this, please send them only when I am not teaching and can help them!
  • Grades PreK-1: These students should only visit the library with an adult or during a time when I am not teaching to ensure they have the help they need finding and checking out their books.


When you send students to the library with a pass, smaller groups of 1-2 students are preferable.

After dismissal, students are only allowed in the library with an adult. I often have meetings after school, so I am not always there to supervise students after school. ASP students should not come to the library without an adult.


Resources and Spaces Available for Use Inside our Library Media Center

Students may use reference materials (encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases, almanacs) while they are in the library. These items cannot be checked out by students, but teachers may check out reference materials for classroom use.

All instructional and table spaces are open for classes to use as needed anytime the library is available.

There is an independent reading areas that may be used by students

Finally, students are welcome to visit the library during the school day with mentors, tutors, and Book Buddies.

Resources available for checkout from the library media center

Resources for teachers

Teachers and staff may check out all of the following items:

  • Books (picture books, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, reference materials, graphic novels)
  • Professional learning resources
  • A/V equipment (card readers, tripods, listening stations, etc.)
  • iPads


There is no limit to the number of items a teacher checks out or to the amount of time an item is kept. However, please return materials when you are finished so that others may use them!

Resources for students

Students may check out items according to their grade level:

PreK -1: one book at a time; no books taken home

  • Grades 2-5: two items at a time (one book + one book/magazine), may take items home

All students’ books are checked out for one week at a time, but students may renew their library books for an additional week if they need more time to finish.

Teachers may have additional guidelines for students to follow when choosing items to check out. Teachers may also give students permission to check out extra books or other items not listed here.


Volunteers are critical in keeping the media center organized and running smoothly.  There are 2 kinds of volunteers:

  • Regular volunteers who come at the same time on a weekly basis to shelve books, assist students in finding materials, and completing various projects
  • “As-needed” volunteers who lend their talents to specific projects that come up during the year.  For example, book fair, designing library signs, creating special displays, etc.
  • Email sugiuchid@clarke.k12.ga.us to start the short process of becoming a volunteer.


Selection of Materials

It is the goal of the media center to select print, non-print, and electronic materials based on the following principles.  Each selection principle, along with the selection criteria, aids in the evaluation of materials being considered for inclusion in the collection.  The selection principles of the Oglethorpe Avenue Media Center are:

  • To develop a collection that supports, supplements, and enriches the curriculum of the school
  • To provide a wide range of quality materials on various ability levels
  • To provide materials that represent the religions, ethnicities, and cultures both within the school community and beyond
  • To select material that represents differing viewpoints on various topics in order to support students in learning critical analysis of information and in making informed decisions
  • To put aside personal opinions and biases and develop a comprehensive collection that serves the school community
  • To provide materials in a variety of formats
  • To select materials that encourage growth in factual knowledge, leisure reading, literary appreciation, and societal standards (Bishop, 2007)

Selection Criteria

Selection of materials and equipment will be based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness to the curriculum and its users (Bishop, 2007)
  • High technical and aesthetic quality that catches and holds the user’s attention (Bishop, 2007)
  • Relevance to users, school mission goals, and district goals in today’s world (Bishop, 2007)
  • Value to the collection as a whole; does not promote any stereotypes; encourages understanding, problem solving, and creativity (Bishop, 2007)
  • Fills its purpose and meets a need in the collection (Bishop, 2007)
  • Presents information that is timely, accurate, valid, and reliable (Bishop, 2007)
  • Highly qualified and credible creators (Bishop, 2007)
  • Durability; ease of operation, maintenance, and serviceability
  • Cost effectiveness within media budget parameters
  • Replacements for lost, stolen, or ill used items  


Selection of materials may additionally be influenced by recommended reading lists, book reviews, journal articles, and other selection tools; however, materials may be selected without the aid of these sources, and the media specialist’s professional judgment will take precedence over the opinions and recommendations of others (Bishop, 2007).  The media specialist may also find it valuable to select materials that violate one or more of the criteria above if they support the overall needs of the collection.

Reconsideration of Materials


It is possible that there may be an objection to a selection, despite the care taken to select valuable materials for student and teacher use and the qualifications of the persons who select materials.  When an individual raises a question concerning the content of any material, the person and the question should be treated with respect for the rights of the questioning individual and the rights of others who may view the material differently.  Thus, a process is in place that is designed to keep the material at the center of discussion. Adhering to these procedures exactly as outlined is tantamount to respecting the rights of all involved. Without exception, the following steps will be taken in handling all complaints:

  • The complainant is asked to file his/her objections in writing on a copy of the attached form (“Request for Reconsideration of Materials”).  This form may be obtained from the principal’s office of each school. One report must be filed per title, and the report must specify exact pages and content, as well as detailed reason(s) why material is found objectionable. Series and/or entire genres will not be reviewed as a whole.
  • The district Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, and Coordinator of Media Services are immediately informed of the complaint, along with the principal and media specialist affected by the complaint.
  • All challenged materials will remain in circulation until the complaint is processed and a final decision reached.  However, if applicable the student involved will be offered an appropriate alternate selection.
  • When the completed “Request for Reconsideration of Material” form is returned to the principal, the school media committee shall reevaluate the questioned material in light of accepted selection policies and educational objectives of the school.  The committee will:
  • Read and examine the material in light of its educational purpose as outlined in the district’s statement of philosophy for the selection of materials.
  • Check the general acceptance of the materials by reading reviews and consulting standard selection aids.
  • Request more information from the complainant(s) if further clarification of the questionnaire is deemed expedient.
  • Weigh the value and fault against each other and form opinions based on the material as a whole and not on passages pulled out of context.
  • Discuss the material and prepare a report of the proceedings. It is vital that the focus of the committee’s work be the material under reconsideration, and as the goal is to discuss the merits and appropriateness of the work, a consensus for action is not required.  The report serves to recommend action, if consensus is reached, or to reflect committee discussions, if unable to be in complete agreement on action. The material will remain on the shelf unless consensus to remove it is reached by the committee.
  • File a copy of the report in the school and administrative offices.
  • The committee shall submit a copy of the report to the concerned individual.
  • If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision, a written appeal shall be submitted prior to and by the end of the 15th working day after the complainant has received the committee’s report.  The appeal shall be submitted to the system-wide media committee, which shall reevaluate the material and submit its written decision to the individual and the Superintendent.
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision, he/she may meet with the Superintendent and discuss the matter, and be provided with a written response regarding the Superintendent’s decision. The Superintendent will act in any one of the following ways: 1) support the response of the District Media Advisory Committee; 2) request that the District Media Advisory Committee revisit the complaint and modify their response; or 3) overturn the response of the District Media Advisory Committee. The State also requires that minutes of any such hearings be taken and made available should the State request them upon appeal beyond the Superintendent.
  • If satisfaction is still not received, he/she may present a written appeal to the district Board of Education.  The Board of Education will consider the appeal at their next regularly scheduled meeting, and will respond with a written reply. The School Board will act in any one of the following ways: 1) support the response  of the Superintendent; 2) request that the Superintendent revisit the complaint and modify his/her response; or 3) overturn the response of the Superintendent. The State also requires that minutes of any such hearings be taken and made available should the State request them upon appeal beyond the Board of Education.
  • If the complainant is still not satisfied, he/she may present a written appeal to the State Board of Education, requesting a hearing. The decision of the State Board of Education completes the process.

Library Media Committee


The library media committee serves as the advisory board for library media center functions.  It is composed of representatives from administration, each grade level, and the library media specialist.  The library media committee meets to evaluate library media center policies, procedures, and programs. This evaluation will be used to determine program goals, expand and/or delete services, and revise procedures, as necessary.

Other functions of the library media committee may include goal development for the upcoming school year, recommendations for print and nonprint purchases, activities selection, reading challenged materials, and serving as a springboard for grade level collaboration.



Gift materials will be accepted according to the same criteria as other materials.  In addition, the media center does not accept gifts with restrictions or conditions related to their final use, disposition, or location.  Gifts must contribute to the furtherance of the objectives of the instructional program. Donated materials addressing controversial issues must give a balanced treatment of the issues if they are to be accepted for the school library media center.  All gift materials become property of the school district and may be dispensed as deemed appropriate by the media specialist and the media committee. The library media specialist shall keep records of the disposition of gifts within the database of the library automation software.



           The media specialist is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of the collection. Worn out materials will be rebound if desirable; otherwise, materials will be removed from the collection based on one or more of the following criteria (Bishop, 2007)

  • Poor physical condition (Bishop, 2007)
  • Unattractive appearance (Bishop, 2007)
  • Poor circulation record – materials not circulated for 5 years and reference materials not used in five years
  • Outdated or inaccurate information (Bishop, 2007)
  • Biased or stereotypical portrayals (Bishop, 2007)
  • Duplicates of titles no longer in demand (Bishop, 2007)
  • Subject matter unsuitable for users (Bishop, 2007)
  • Inappropriate reading levels (Bishop, 2007)
  • Topics no longer of interest or no longer associated with the Georgia Standards


Weeded materials will be removed from the collection.  The bar codes will be removed and the items will be deleted from the circulation system.  Materials that still hold educational value will be dispersed to classroom teachers. Items that are outdated and lack educational value will be discarded.

Equipment, which cannot be repaired and must be discarded, becomes surplus equipment.  A work order is completed for the physical plant maintenance department stating that this equipment must be “withdrawn – sent to warehouse for resale.”

Lost or damaged books

For students

All homeroom teachers will receive email notices on Mondays if any of their students have overdue books. Please write this in a student’s agenda so that parents know to look for the missing library book. Often, books are found at home and brought back if parents know what to look for.

If students and parents have looked for a lost book and it is missing for good, then the student must pay to replace the book. The cost should be indicated in the Monday notices, but please let me know if no cost is listed. We can accept cash (exact change, please!) or a check made out to Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School.

If a student damages a library book in a minor way (i.e. a small tear, a stray crayon mark on a blank page), I usually give a verbal warning and/or withhold that student’s checkout privileges for one week.

If a book is damaged beyond repair (i.e. it was left out in the rain, multiple pages are missing or badly torn/marked), then the student is responsible for paying full replacement cost, just as with a lost

Report cards are held for students who end the year with outstanding library fines.

For teachers

Teachers are responsible for all items that they check out for use in their classrooms. Please make sure you have designated locations in your where library materials will be kept, particularly materials that are shared by multiple students.

You are also expected to have a system for distributing guided reading books among your students. You should always know which student has which books so that if one is missing from the bag, you can pinpoint exactly which student has not given his/hers back.

If a guided reading book is lost and you cannot account for which student has lost it, please do your best to find it.

Many teachers check out items to share with other teachers on their grade level team. Please keep track of who has which items and so you may ensure that all of them are returned to the library media center.


American Association of School Librarians and Association for Educational

Communications and Technology. (1998). Information power: Building

partnerships for learning. Chicago: American Library Association.

American Library Association.  Access to resources and services in the school library

media program.  Retrieved May 17, 2008 from http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/ statementspols/statementsif/interpretations/librarymediaprogram.pdf

Becker, Gary H.  The Copyright Game Resource Guide.  (Gary H. Becker 164 Lake

Breeze Circle  Lake Mary, FL 32746)

Bishop, K. (2007). The collection program in schools: Concepts, practices, and

information sources. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.


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