First of all, our school deos NOT have a MTAC, so it is not suprising that there is no selection policy in place. I think this is bad, and I have even considered approaching the prinicpal about it but I won't be there too much longer, I hope, so I just plan to learn and move on. There is a very clear selection policy for the county, however, which is a great guideline for the schools to use. According to our selection policy for the county: AR 6161.3, the Media and Techology advisory committe should consist of an administrator, the media coordinator, the curriculum coordinator,
the technology facilitator, and in elementary and middle schools there should be a teacher from each grade level, subject area or department, and in high schools there should be a teacher from each department. There should also be one specialist, encore or elective teacher, and two parents. We do have a SIT team, and possibly they tackle some of the issues an MTAC team would, but to have a serious media program, I think a MTAC should be in place.
We do have a video viewing policy in our school, and do require parental permission for videos. We have the Ambassador video distribution system which we monitor in the media center, and I'm sure this has reduced the amount of unapproved videos considerably. we have also placed video permission forms on our media center website. To my knowledge the media coordinator has no input on the selection of classroom textbooks at our school. The approved video list we refer to is from central office. When a teacher wants to show a video that is not on the list, we make them get a waiver signed by an administrator.
We have recieved many "gifts" to the media center, and because I didn't know any better had added them to the collection. After this class, however, I have started to scrutinize the materials more carefully. The policy also states that : Worn or missing standard items should be replaced periodically, Out-of-date or no longer useful materials should be withdrawn from the collection, and the evaluation of materials is a continuing process. After this class, I understand what all this means and feel more qualified to keep to these standards.
When I am in my own media center I want to at the very least create a link on our website to the selection policy put in place by the county. I want to be able to assure parents that thought has been put into our collection. I have learned some very important lessons in this class, and the most important is to not take for granted that the collection that you inheriet is suitable for the clientele it is supposed to serve. The first thing I intend to do is a complete collection analysis and I am going to give the principal a full report. I am then going to recommend that we form a MTAC if there is not already one in place. I will then survey the staff to see where our level of understanding is on copyright and video and supplemental use in the classroom. I will point them in the direction of the selection policy where there is a complete chart on the video policies.
The selection policy in our county was revised November 30, 2004, so it is relatively up to date. It is there for a reason and it should be adhered to. It is there for us as a guideline and for our protection.