The District shall provide a wide range of library materials for students and faculty that support student achievement and present varying levels of difficulty, diversity of appeal, and a variety of points of view. Per the Texas Education Agency, “While instructional materials and library materials are both considered instructional resources, they are not the same, and the terms shall not be used interchangeably.” School libraries are viewed as places for voluntary inquiry.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Rockwall ISD is committed to maximizing transparency with parents and community members. To support transparency and access, parents may review library books through Open-Source Automated Library System OPALS for each school.
Rockwall ISD estimates approximately 289,000 library books district-wide.
Per Policy EFB (LOCAL), library materials shall be chosen in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. In the selection of library materials, librarians and other professional staff shall ensure that the materials shall not include "harmful material" as defined by Penal Code 43.24(a)(2) or "obscene" material as defined by Penal Code 43.21(a)(1). Library materials shall also comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), including technology protection measures. [See policy CQ]
When selecting library materials, librarians and other professional staff shall ensure that the materials:
- Enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration students’ varied interests, abilities, learning styles, maturity levels, and ages.
- Stimulate growth in factual knowledge, enjoyment of reading, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards.
- Develop a balanced collection presenting multiple viewpoints related to controversial issues to foster critical thinking skills and encourage discussion based on rational analysis [see EMB LEGAL and EMB LOCAL regarding instruction about controversial issues].
- Represent many ethnic, religious, and cultural groups and their contributions to the national heritage and world community.
- Demonstrate literary merit, quality, value, and significance.
- Have received favorable professional library reviews from state and nationally recognized review publications.
- Are included on recommended reading lists developed by library professionals and educators.
- Cover topics, authors, series, or genres that fill gaps in the school library collection.
- Include accurate and authentic factual content from authoritative sources.
- Have a high degree of potential user appeal and interest.
- Offer a global perspective that promotes equity of access, including print and non-print materials such as electronic and multimedia, to meet the needs of individual learners.
- Are requested or recommended by students and teachers.
- Represent diverse viewpoints and cultures appropriate to each campus to ensure the collection embodies the unique background of its student population.
In general, a student is afforded the opportunity to self-select library materials as part of literacy development and the library program. District staff may assist a student in selecting library material; however, the ultimate determination of appropriateness remains with the student and parent. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the campus librarian and their child’s teacher about special considerations regarding library materials selected by their student. In accordance with state law and administrative regulations, parents may select alternative library materials for their student.
Parents are able to view their child’s library activity by accessing their child’s OPALS account.
When the District or a campus receives an objection to the appropriateness of a library material, the appropriate librarian or administrator shall try to resolve the matter informally. The librarian or administrator shall explain the selection process and discuss the intended purpose for the library material. If appropriate, the librarian or administrator may offer a concerned parent an alternative library material to be used by that parent’s child in place of the challenged material.
A complainant shall make any formal challenge to a library material on the form provided by the District and shall submit the completed and signed form to the District’s student services office. A formal objection to an instructional material must be filed within 15 calendar days of the date the complainant first knew, or with reasonable diligence should have known, of the objection to the instructional material.
If the complainant wishes to make a formal challenge, please contact your campus administrator. The campus administrator shall provide the complainant a copy of EFB (LOCAL) and the District's form to request a formal reconsideration of the library material.
For more information, see Rockwall ISD policies EF (LEGAL) and EFB (LOCAL).