While instructional materials and library books are both considered instructional resources, they are not the same and the terms should not be used interchangeably.
Instructional materials are used in the classroom and must align with and support the TEKS, while library materials are for voluntary inquiry.
Since school and classroom libraries are viewed as places for voluntary inquiry, library books are treated differently from instructional materials used in classroom instruction.
RISD LITEs select library books guided by RISD Board Policy; RISD Library Book Selection Criteria; published professional reviews and knowledge of how materials would fit into the current collection. Materials considered for purchase must be favorably reviewed in at least two professional review journals (i.e., Booklist, School Library Journal, etc.), and the reviews must include at least one grade level served by the purchasing campus.
A parent of a District student, any employee, or any District resident may formally challenge an instructional resource used in the District’s educational program on the basis of appropriateness.
Please contact your school’s LITE and/or principal to express your concerns. They will explain the rationale for the use of the material and may offer another resource to be used in place of the challenged material. If you wish to formally challenge the resource the principal will provide you with the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials form.
A complainant shall make any formal objection to an instructional resource on the form provided by the principal or designee. You can also download the form here. After completing and signing the form, the complainant shall submit the form to the campus principal. Upon receipt of the request, the principal shall appoint a reconsideration committee.
The reconsideration committee shall consist of a building administrator, teacher, curriculum director/central subject specialist, two parents and a Library and Information Technology Educator.
All members of the committee shall review the challenged resource in its entirety. As soon as reasonably possible, the committee shall meet and determine whether the challenged material conforms to the principles of selection set forth in the Board Policy. The committee shall prepare a written report of its findings and provide copies to the principal, the Superintendent or designee, and the complainant.
Once a resource has been made available in a school library, removal of the resource implicates students’ First Amendment rights. While the school district and librarian have discretion on which books it brings into its library, once a book is in the library, there are legal limits on what can be removed.