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Position Statement on the Role of the School Library Media Program

The school library media program is not only integral to and supportive of the school curriculum, but also provides a mechanism for choice and exploration beyond the prescribed course of study. The school library media program provides a wide range of resources and information that satisfy the educational needs and interests of students. Materials are selected to meet the wide range of students individual learning styles. The school library media center is a place where students may explore more fully classroom subjects that interest them, expand their imagination, delve into areas of personal interest, and develop the ability to think clearly, critically, and creatively about the resources they have chosen to read, hear, or view.

The school library media center provides a setting where students develop skills they will need as adults to locate, analyze, evaluate, interpret, and communicate information and ideas in an information-rich world. Students are encouraged to realize their potential as informed citizens who think critically and solve problems, to observe rights and responsibilities relating to the generation and flow of information and ideas, and to appreciate the value of literature in an educated society.

The school library media program serves all of the students of the community--not only the children of the most powerful, the most vocal or even the majority, but all of the students who attend the school. The collection includes materials to meet the needs of all learners, including the gifted, as well as the reluctant readers, the mentally, physically, and emotionally impaired, and those from a diversity of backgrounds. The school library media program strives to maintain a diverse collection that represents various points of view on current and historical issues, as well as a wide variety of areas of interest to all students served. Though one parent or member of the school community may feel a particular title in the school library media center's collection is inappropriate, others will feel the title is not only appropriate but desirable.

The school library media center is the symbol to students of our most cherished freedom--the freedom to speak our minds and hear what others have to say. I urge that the decision of this board be one which reaffirms the importance and value of the freedom to read, view, and listen and sends a message to students that in America, they have the right to choose what they will read, view, or hear and are expected to develop the ability to think clearly, critically, and creatively about their choices; rather than allowing others to do this for them.

Adopted October, 1990


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Last Revised: July 20, 2009
Position statement adopted by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association.