Over 24 years ago, a new rule from the Nebraska Department of Education insisted schools include current and unbiased information about different cultures in their libraries. Lincoln Public Schools stepped up to the challenge by creating a Multicultural Committee to review materials and make recommendations to schools about appropriate content.
“Our media specialists are doing an amazing job opening the world to students through books,” said district media coordinator Chris Haeffner. “With all the time they spend in the classroom with kids, they don’t have the time required to research and review all the new materials that fit within Rule 16.”
Haeffner said the MOSAIC committee helps with that. The committee consists of current and retired media specialists and volunteers. Each member reviews between 10 to 20 books each year depending on the reading levels. Even though this year’s books have just been announced, these reviewers have already begun selecting and reviewing titles for the 2016-17 school year.
“We have a rigorous evaluation process with a set of guidelines for each grade level, and only the books that receive a very good or higher rating make the cut for our display.”
By having the MOSAIC committee making recommendations, media specialists in the schools can preview the books through the traveling display and see which books are popular with their students. Then librarians can order those titles to house in their school’s library.
“We know that it is critical for kids to find themselves reflected in books,” added Haeffner. “Not only can these books help them relate to things they are feeling and doing, it can open their minds to our global society and also take them to places a world away to learn about new cultures.”
This year’s MOSAIC display includes over 278 titles, and will be at the District Office until September 16. Then the display will be split into smaller groups to travel to different schools around the district.
Published: September 10, 2015, Updated: September 11, 2015