Library Services Frequently Asked Questions
For what purpose are library materials selected?
MISD Libraries seek to provide a wide range of instructional resources for students and faculty that present varying levels of difficulty, diversity of appeal, and a variety of points of view for the purpose of enriching and supporting the District’s educational program. Library materials may relate directly to the instructional program or may provide support through recreational reading materials that enhance reading growth and ultimately academic success. (policy EF Legal & Local). For additional clarification of Library books as instructional resources, see the Instructional Materials and Library Books document published by the Texas Association of School Boards. LINK
How are library materials selected?
MISD librarians seek to provide a balanced library collection. Book lists are compiled based on correlations with instructional standards, patron input, reviews of recommended book lists, and personal research.
What factors are considered before books are purchased?
When a book is evaluated for purchase, consideration is given to the educational suitability (directly or as it provides recreational reading materials to support reading growth), the reading level, the interest level, the developmental appropriateness, diversity of appeal, point of view, professional book reviews and ratings, and overall appropriateness for the educational environment and needs of the campus. In addition, consideration is given to book format for digital books and physical book specifications such as binding guarantee, cataloging record availability, and label processing. To view the MISD Library Book Selection Rubric, visit this LINK
What should I do if I feel a book doesn’t meet district selection guidelines?
While librarians spend a significant amount of time vetting books prior to selection, reviews and ratings do not always give an accurate depiction of the book. If you have a concern regarding a book, first make contact with the campus librarian. Give the book title and the page numbers that contain content of concern. The librarian will make an informal review of the book for suitability in the library collection. If after review, the librarian feels that the book meets selection criteria, the parent may choose to do a formal reconsideration request. (policy EF Legal & Local)
What are the steps in a Formal Reconsideration Request?
The first step is to contact either the campus librarian or the campus principal to request a copy of the material to be reconsidered and the necessary forms. Next, the parent reads the book and completes the reconsideration form. When the reconsideration form is returned to the campus principal, the principal will convene a reconsideration committee and the material will be reviewed according to policy. The principal will notify the parent of the committee decisions. (policy EF Legal & Local)
How can I see a list of books that have been recommended for reconsideration?
To see a list of books that have been recommended for reconsideration, see this LINK. The reconsideration log will list all books that have been recommended for reconsideration starting November, 2021. The log is also updated to include committee reconsideration decisions once decisions are made.
What should I do if I still have questions about book removal and reconsideration?
See this guide by the Texas Library Association. LINK
See this guide by the Texas Association of School Boards. LINK
Contact the MISD Lead Librarian with questions:
Mendy Autry email@example.com
How are library collections updated?
MISD school libraries follow the Texas School Library Standards. For elementary schools, this means providing a minimum of 11,000 or 14 books per student, whichever is greater. For secondary schools, this means providing a minimum of 10,000 or 12 books per student, whichever is greater. Collections should be at least 80% physical and 20% digital. The overall average copyright date of the collection should not exceed 14 years. To accomplish these goals, MISD libraries have a 5 year collection development plan in which they weed (remove damaged or outdated items) and update one fifth of the collection each year, as budget allows. A professional collection analysis is completed yearly. This includes a list of aged items to be considered for weeding, a breakdown by dewey number to inform collection balance, a diversity analysis, a social-emotional analysis, and a readability analysis.
Library Databases & Subscription Services
What are library databases and Subscription Services?
Digital library services include both state subsidized and solely district purchased digital content. A consortium called TEXQuest affords MISD group buying power on digital resources subsidized by the state of Texas. Because a large number of Texas schools participate, subscriptions are provided to MISD at a lower rate. These include Encyclopedia Britannica, Gale Research Databases, Proquest, Ebsco E-Books, Teaching Books, and Learn 360. In addition to these, MISD supplements with some additional subscriptions to meet instructional needs. These include Pebble Go for elementary, Gale e-books for secondary, Discovery Education Instructional videos, and Soundzabound - a royalty free music database. For more information on these, see the MISD Library Services website or or your campus library website.
Does MISD select the content of their databases and subscription services?
No, when MISD subscribes to a database or service, the district subscribes to all content within that service; however, not all students can access all content. Content is filtered in an age appropriate way by campus, so that elementary students see elementary content, etc.
What should I do if I have concerns about database or subscription content?
Contact your campus librarian and provide the name of the database, the name of the item, and any other pertinent information. Concerns will be reviewed by district staff and communicated to database representatives.
Library Fundraisers & Book Fairs
MISD Libraries may choose to participate in various fundraising programs to benefit the school library program and students served by these programs. Librarians follow the procedures outlined by the MISD finance department for the selection, approval, and operation of fundraisers. Please keep in mind that when schools host book fairs, librarians receive flyers and shipments of books from the company. Not all books on flyers are sent by the company. The flyer is an overview of items that may be sent. Also, not all items sent by the company may be available for purchase. Items available for purchase are based on developmental appropriateness, available space, etc. MISD will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, or any legally protected classification. Student book fair participation is completely optional, and students or families may opt out of participation.