In regard to selection, assistance, and acceptance, the library at Stratford subscribes to the American Library Association's Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights. We believe in serving all students. In doing so, we understand that students often do not have a clear understanding regarding expectations of ethical behavior with regard to research and information technology; it is something that needs to be explicitly taught to them. We provide modeling and direct instruction through classroom teaching, library visits, tutorials and lessons on the school website, and signage within the library and school environment. When using the resources provided to them, all student have rights and responsibilities related to their research and online experiences. Here is an outline of those rights and responsibilities:
Rights of All Library & Information Users
As referenced in the ALA's Code of Ethics, we believe that the materials provided to our users should be appropriate, organized, and accessible, and all users should be provided accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to their inquiries. We "uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources." (ALA Code of Ethics, 2014, II).
Note: Although the HLHS LMC follows the American Library Association's view that every individual has a right to intellectual freedom*, there are sometimes laws which conflict in the case of schools for the purpose of protecting minors. Because of this, there are some filters on our website which prohibit students from visiting particular sites (typically, social networking sites and those with pornographic content).
*As taken from the American Library Association's Manual on Intellectual Freedom:
"The First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are integral to American librarianship. They are the basis of the concept librarians call intellectual freedom. Intellectual freedom accords to all library users the right to seek and receive information on all subjects from all points of view without restriction and without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others."
Responsibilities of All Library & Information Users
Students at HLHS are expected to practice safe online behavior, complete all work honestly, without copying or stealing information from others, use appropriate sources for school-related assignments, and cite all sources properly using MLA format. To guide us as we assist our users, the HLHS LMC uses the U.S. Copyright Office, however to make things more user-friendly for the teachers and students, we refer them to the "Copyright and Schools" site to aide them in their understanding of what they can and cannot do in regard to publishing information.
Additionally, it is the responsibility of every internet user to follow the Acceptable Use Policy created by the Hamilton County School District. This policy discusses issues related to access, privacy, copyright, many internet "issues," prohibited uses, social networks, and liabilities of users. Every student and staff member of the district are required to read and sign this document each year.
Challenges and Appeals
Before any complaints of library materials are made, we ask that potential challengers read or view the entire work being questioned since it's easy for misunderstandings to take place when a work is only partially reviewed. To challenge a library item, the challenger must first schedule a meeting with one of our school librarians to discuss the material and reasons for the challenge. If the librarian and challenger cannot come to an agreement, the matter will be taken to the principal; if a decision is still not agreed upon, the challenger will fill out a "Challenge" form which will be sent to the district office and handled by the district's Chief Academic Officer. The CAO will appoint a committe to review the material, selection policies, curriculum, and all relevant material and data to make a decision. The challenger will be given the opportunity to meet with the committee in order to explain and expound on their complaint. The COA will report the decision of the committee to the challenger. Note: Access to challenged materials will not be restricted in the general school population during the reevaluation.
American Library Association. (2014). Code of ethics of the American Library Association. American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics.
American Library Association. (2014). Library bill of rights. American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill.
American Library Association. (2014). Intellectual Freedom Manual, Eighth Edition. American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ifmanual.org/part1section1.
CCLI, CLA, ERA, MPLC, NLA, PMLL, PPL, PRS, PVS. (2012). Copyright and Schools. Retrieved from http://www.copyrightandschools.org/#.
Purdue University. (2014). MLA Formatting and style guide. Online Writing Lab. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/.
United States Copyright Office. (2014). Law and Regulations. Copyright. Retrieved from http://www.copyright.gov/.