Media Center » DES Media Center Handbook

DES Media Center Handbook

Dearing Elementary School

Library-Media Center Handbook


Stacey Amerson, Principal
Sonya Thomas, Assistant Principal
Terrie Gribanow, Media Specialist

Purpose and Mission of Library-Media Center:

Dearing Elementary’s Library-Media Center is a multi-faceted, dynamic learning environment designed to serve all students and staff members as efficiently as possible. The mission of the Dearing Elementary School Library-Media center is to enhance and reinforce the curriculum, goals, and the philosophy of the school through the use of all forms of media.  Developing the love of reading and the joy of learning is our ultimate goal as both a library-media center and a school. 

Staff Members and Their Roles:

The Dearing Elementary Library- Media Center staff consists of one full-time certified library-media specialist and one full-time paraprofessional.  The essential function of the library-media specialist is to facilitate learning.  Dearing Elementary’s library-media specialist works with teachers, students, administrators, parents, public libraries and the community at large to accomplish this goal.  The library-media specialist coordinates the building library-media committee and plans the school library-media program.  She also recommends media and technology based on the needs of the instructional program and the patrons.  Planning with the instructional staff to integrate media skills instruction with classroom content and informing users of library-media services and resources are among the most important ways to meet learners’ needs at Dearing Elementary School.  

The library-media paraprofessional at Dearing Elementary assumes responsibility for operation of the library-media center in the approved absence of the library-media specialist with specific guidance from the library-media specialist.  She is trained in operating and maintaining media-related equipment.  She assists in training volunteers and demonstrates how to operate equipment.  The paraprofessional also supervises small groups of students in retrieving materials; finding information and other activities as directed by the library-media specialist.  She repairs print and non-print materials, processes materials and explains the location and arrangement of resources to students and staff members – among a myriad of other supervised duties.

The library-media center invites parents and community members to serve as volunteers to assist the library-media staff and our patrons.  All volunteers must first contact the library-media specialist and then receive training in the areas in which they will be working.  Volunteers are most heavily recruited during the weeks in which the book fair takes place.


How Materials are Selected: (Print, Non-print, and Equipment)

Dearing Elementary School, under the auspices of the McDuffie County Board of Education, selects its materials using the following criteria: books, other reading matter, and audio-visual materials shall be chosen for values of interest and enlightenment of all students at Dearing Elementary School.  Selection of materials will be assisted by the reading of, examination, and checking of standard evaluation aids; i.e. standard catalogues and book review digests.  Two basic factors, grade and age, will be considered in the selection of books and other library materials.  The factual accuracy, authoritativeness, balance, diversity and integrity of materials are considered.  Additionally, the quality of stimulating presentation, imagination, vision, creativeness, style appropriate to the idea, vitality and distinction are factors that lead to material being selected for our collection. Media materials will be aligned with the state-approved curriculum and will be used to facilitate the school’s instructional program. 

Materials for the school library shall be examined to select those in which the presentation and the subject matter are suitable for the grade and the interest level at which they are to be used.  They will be considered in relation to both the curriculum and the personal interest of pupils and teachers.

Budget Process:

In the spring of each school year, Dearing Elementary School is responsible for ordering all materials that will be used during the up-coming year for instructional purposes.  These include:  Books, periodicals, supplies, and instructional equipment.  Teachers and students are given a survey to include their needs and requests in the budget process.  The library-media specialist has the responsibility of finalizing the media budget and presenting it to the principal, who in turn submits it to the Superintendent.  The superintendent then recommends it to the Board of Education for approval.

Additional purchases are made with funds that are earned through book fairs held each year.  Books, supplies and materials are purchased with the funds after the principal has approved the orders.  Many supplementary materials are purchased through these additional funds.

Library Circulation:

Dearing Elementary Media Center operates under the open library concept, however, teachers may also schedule to come to the library-media center on a regular basis. Students may come to the library-media center, with their agenda books and/or library card with the permission of their teacher, anytime during their assigned school day from  7:00 a.m. until 2:15 p.m. to check out library books.  Students must leave the media center at 2:15 p.m. to prepare for bus call.  It is permissible for students and/or teachers to come to the media center for any reason after bus call each day as the media specialist is on duty until 3:15 daily.  Parents and other stakeholders are also invited from 7:00 am until 3:15 with the exception being during bus call from 2:30 - 2:45.

A scheduling plan-book is housed in the media center. Teachers may e-mail or come in and collaboratively plan with the library-media specialist to design the method of instruction they desire for their classes, and then sign the book for the appropriate day and hour they want this instruction to occur.  Three days notice prior to lessons and instruction is required so that the library-media specialist has ample time to gather resources and effectively plan with the teacher. 

Library-Media Center Organization:

The library-media center is organized under the Dewey standard.  Most schools within the county follow this model, as do the public libraries located in Thomson and Harlem.  This type of organization promotes children learning a nationally accepted model at an early age and helps to ensure their success when locating materials at other schools within the county as they move from grade to grade.

Fiction books are shelved for students, with the most popular/circulated series shelved separately for quick access.  Non-fiction books are shelved in their own section.  Reference books and biographies are also shelved in their own sections.  Students use shelf markers, which are provided, when selecting their book from the shelf.  Shelf markers are used to return a book to its correct location if it is not wanted.

Several small satellite rooms branch off of the library-media and house materials and resources for teachers and the library-media center staff.  The rooms are as follows: Equipment room serves as our Parent Resource Room and Library-Media workroom and houses extra equipment that is not checked out; Reading Resource Room contains the book sets used for guided reading lessons; the television studio, language arts materials, and professional collection; the Library-Media workroom houses various teacher resources and professional writings as wells as art supplies for use in the media center; the Office of the library-media specialist; a Conference Room that serves as the daily news show studio, a teacher conference room, and/or a classroom for students with special needs. 

Student and Teacher Loan Procedures:

 Teachers are encouraged to check out both print and non-print materials from the library-media center at any time as the need arises. Teachers may visit the library-media center any time during the work day (7:00 - 3:15). Teacher materials do not have a due date.   However, we do ask teachers to return materials as soon as they are finished using them.  Nothing is to be removed from the library-media center unless it has been formally checked-out using Alexandria, our automated circulation system.  

Technology carts are loaned to teachers/classrooms as needed. Additionally, a wide variety of professional books are available for teachers to check-out and use in their instruction.   Any lost or damaged books or equipment must be paid for by the end of the school term.

Students may visit the library-media center any time between 7:00 am and 2:15 pm.   The number of books students are allowed to check-out depends on the grade level (100 hall students = 1 book at a time; 200 hall students = 3 books at a time 300 hall = 2 books at a time), and may not exceed this loan limit.  Books which our students check-out are loaned for a two week period.  

All students who participate in the Accelerated Reader program will select their AR books according to the Lexile Range that is assigned to them.  Students must bring their individual library card, which is inside of their agenda book,  with them when they visit the library-media center to check-out materials. 

Dearing Elementary School library-media center does not charge for overdue books.  A computer print-out of overdue/lost books is issued as needed, and books that are not returned or books that are severely damaged must be paid for by the student who has the material checked-out.  Students may not check-out any new materials until damaged books or materials have been paid for in full, or they have begun a payment plan to make weekly deposits on their fine.  Students who have lost or damaged book(s) may not check-out books in their teacher’s name.


Fees and Fines for Library Materials:

The following price list is used to fine students for missing or damaged library-media materials:


Wet/Water Damage current replacement cost

Food Damage current replacement cost

Page Torn Out/Print Illegible current replacement cost

Lost current replacement cost

Damaged Beyond Repair current replacement cost


Missing Barcode 3.00

Book Marked in, but Legible 3.00

Torn, but Repairable 3.00

ID/Library Card:

Missing or damaged 1.00