Each school library media center collection is unique; therefore, collection development in Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is a school site-based decision. Material selection is based on the curricular and recreational reading needs of each school site. At each school, the library media specialist selects materials by reviewing professional evaluation sources, collaborating with teachers to support the school's instructional program and students' free choice reading interests. The Library Media Services department does not purchase materials for district-wide inclusion in school library media collections nor does it review materials to make recommendations to schools for collection development purposes.
There are several factors that school library media specialists consider when making purchasing decisions for library materials: appropriateness of content; quality and physical integrity of items, availability of cataloging and processing services by the item source or provider, and confirmation of lobbyist and vendor status of the individual or organization selling the materials. As a result, the majority of purchases of library materials by school library media specialists come from library vendors such as book jobbers, distributors, and wholesalers.
School library media specialists may, in certain instances, purchase materials from individuals or local organizations who have self-authored a book; however, they must still ensure that the materials being offered are high quality, appropriate materials and that they are purchased according to school board policies and procedures. All materials, whether published through self-publishing or traditional publishing, are required to meet the criteria for selection set by Board Policy 2510 – Instructional Materials and Resources. Additional information on the evaluation and selection of instructional materials for inclusion in library media collections may be found at http://www.neola.com/miamidade-fl/.
Inquiries by self-published authors seeking to have their product placed in school library media center collections should be directed to individual school sites. However, prior to contacting school site staff or attempting to do business with the school district, individuals or organizations offering self-published materials for inclusion in school library media collections should familiarize themselves with the following procedures and/or protocols:
Contacting School Site Staff
School contact information may be obtained by visiting the District web site at www.dadeschools.net. Individuals should contact the school and request a meeting with the school library media specialist. It is not recommended that individuals show up at school sites without a scheduled meeting confirmation. Prior to meeting with a media specialist, authors should have the following in place:
Registering as a Lobbyist
As per Board Policy 8150 – Lobbyists, persons or organizations hoping to do "business with the School District" need to register as a "lobbyist." School site library media specialists or school administrators may not grant meeting requests until you can provide proof that you have registered as a lobbyist. Additional information regarding the Board policy, 8150-Lobbyists, may be found at http://www.neola.com/miamidade-fl/. For information on registering as a lobbyist, please visit the Lobbyist Registration Forms website at http://www.dadeschools.net/schoolboard/lobbyist.asp.
Becoming an Authorized Vendor with M-DCPS
The District uses an electronic procurement system that all District personnel, including library media specialists, use to purchase materials or services. Potential vendors must apply to become authorized vendors with the District and must have a district-issued vendor number so that District staff can create a purchase requisition for their products. Vendor information and forms may be found on the District's procurement site at http://procurement.dadeschools.net/a_vendors_vif.asp.
Submit Your Work for Review
School library media specialists (and public librarians) may buy hundreds or thousands of books a year from the several hundred thousand published annually. Because there's no way to read all the books, they rely on traditional reviewing sources and buy books that have been well reviewed. Additionally, library media specialists are tasked with acquiring materials that are appropriate for specific age groups and grade levels and that support the school's instructional program, so they focus on those materials that have good reviews. In order to have your materials be considered for inclusion in a school library collection, it is highly recommended that self-published authors have their work reviewed by established review sources.
Below are some of the professional review magazines, journals, and newspapers that review books, videos, audiobooks and other media. Some sources review specific genres or formats, so it is recommended that you look visit the websites below to determine which review source is the most appropriate for your product.