Originally created 08/10/00

Librarian cites school media policy



In reference to T. Williams' July 31 letter, I am the librarian she wrote about concerning the Harry Potter books. Ms. Williams not only misquoted me, but also left out some important facts.

The librarian is not the sole person making decisions at the school. Each school has a media committee that plays an active role. In this case, a parent approached me about donating the first book in the Harry Potter series in honor of her son.

Knowing there was a lot of controversy over the series, I called a media committee meeting made up of administrators, teachers, a community member and parents.

Several committee members, being concerned parents themselves, had read the Harry Potter books. It was discussed and unanimously decided that the donation would be accepted.

After having the first one donated, there were more than 25 requests to order the other books and accelerated reader tests. Only three voiced skepticism.

To correct Ms. Williams'statement, school media specialists do not select books because they are on the "best seller" list. Selections are made using the county's school media selection policy, which is available to everyone.

When asked about not having the Left Behind Christian children's series, I informed Ms. Williams that I was unaware of the books, although familiar with the adult series. When Ms. Williams expressed concern about the accelerated reader tests for the Left Behind series not being available, she was given the information needed to contact the company.

Schools contain religious books covering Christianity as well as other beliefs. These books are available for students. Since the vast majority of the curriculum has nothing to do with religion, it makes sense that our tax dollars be spent on supporting the classroom curriculum. Yes, there are books for enjoyment also.

Ms. Williams asks if we know about the imagination of kids today. Yes, I do know. As a teacher I have read stories written by students recently. Those students who are constantly in the media center checking out books are usually the students who write the most imaginative stories. The "Potter" books spark the imagination ...

As a conscientious media specialist and one who loves and cares about these kids, I felt it was my duty to read the book before I made any judgment calls, and I did. Tell me, Ms. Williams, as a conscientious parent, did you?

Dena Payne, Evans