Welcome to the Upper School library! We look forward to seeing students in the library and helping them succeed in their academics this year.
We provide research assistance to students and staff, a well-rounded collection of information resources, instruction in their use, and provision of facilities, technology and an environment that supports study and learning. We expect all students to observe library rules and policies, as outlined below.
Hours: 8:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. May close when library staff are away from the facility for meetings or other reasons. If the library is closed, students may not enter or use the library unless permitted by staff. Students needing to come in before or after hours should make arrangements with library staff.
Food/Drinks/Gum – Closed water bottles are permitted in the library but must be kept away from computers. Other drinks, food and gum should not be consumed in the library .
Access: Students must obtain a pass from their Academic Prep supervisor or classroom teacher to come to the library. They should sign in to the library, and sign out when they leave for any reason or length of time.
Respectful Use of the Library: Students should use the library for quiet study, reading, typing papers, research, or homework. The silent area provides silent study space, and quiet voices must be used at all times in all other areas of the library. In addition, all school rules/consequences apply in the library. Students who do not use the library appropriately and/or respectfully or who do not follow library or school rules will be sent back to Academic Prep/class and in addition, may receive detentions/suspension of library privileges.
The library is seen as a quiet study environment. As such, students may use personal electronic devices (e.g.smartphones, laptops, notebook computers, and tablets) to do school work/reading:
a) as long as they maintain a work focus and do not distract others
b) as long as they obtain prior permission from library staff to use their devices during that period.
Students with a signed PCA Computer Use Contract may use the library computers for academic purposes only. Students will be provided with an account and space on the server to store their work. Limited printing for school use (up to seven pages) is available. Students are urged to purchase a memory stick to carry documents to and from home. Use of the computers for entertainment/recreation, games, shopping, personal email, instant messaging or social networking is not permitted. Students may not provide their account for use by another student. Students are expected to read and observe all computer use rules as outlined in the Computer Contract.
Borrowing Library Materials
Students are expected to use proper library material sign-out procedures, be responsible for the location and condition of borrowed items and return books on time. Most items may be checked out for two weeks and may be renewed once unless requested by another library user. Materials in use for a particular project may be reserved for in-library use only. Students may borrow up to two books.
In order to encourage the quick return of overdue/lost items and ensure the availability of materials to all students, we follow the following fines policy:
- The overdue fine is $.10 per school day per item with a maximum of $2.00 per item.
- Students will receive two overdue notices. If the item is not returned or renewed within one week of the second notice, a bill will be issued for the replacement cost of the item as well as for the overdue fine on the item.
- If library materials are returned and a bill has been issued, the replacement charge for the item will be dropped, but the overdue fine will remain due.
- If an item has been returned but in the librarian’s opinion is stained or damaged beyond repair, a bill will be issued to cover the cost of its replacement plus shipping and processing.
- Borrowing periods and privileges may be shortened or suspended at certain times during the school year. All fines or bills must be settled before the end of the school year.
We feel this policy is fair and will encourage good stewardship throughout the year. Overdue fines may be waived based on extenuating circumstances; feel free to talk to us if you have concerns.
Community Service Opportunities
Students may earn community service hours helping with library chores and errands. Please speak to library staff if interested.
Library Collection Policy
The goal of PCA library collection development is to:
- provide a current and comprehensive body of information resources to support classroom instruction, student assignments and projects, and independent inquiry;
- promote a lifelong love of reading and learning by providing and promoting a carefully chosen selection of Christian and mainstream fiction and nonfiction from all suitable genres;
- provide professional development teaching, Christian education and subject-specific resources for staff and faculty; and
- foster student and staff spiritual growth by providing a breadth of resources on Christianity and Christian living.
Guiding Principles for PCA Library Collection Development
- The library collects both Christian and secular materials.
- The librarian works closely with school administrators, staff and faculty to match library collection development with changing curriculum needs.
- The library collects materials that both support and challenge Christian worldviews, as appropriate to age levels and to particular areas of study.
- The library’s collection includes materials from all Christian denominations.
- The library collection includes some works in Spanish and French to support the school’s foreign language program as well as support materials for ELL students as needed.
- The library collection includes works that represent America’s multi-cultural heritage.
- The library strives to provide enjoyable fiction reading material in all genres, but selects materials based on factors such as, but not limited to: excessive and pointless violence, inappropriate or excessive sexual content, excessive use of profanity, promotion/celebration of inappropriate or undesirable behaviors, offensive anti-Christian content without other redeeming values, and age appropriateness.
- The librarian holds the primary responsibility for selection of library materials but will consult, as appropriate, with school administrators, staff and faculty and may also consult students and parents. The librarian uses a variety of professional selection tools (e.g. School Library Journal, Christy Awards, Follett Titlewave) to assist in decision-making, collection building and weeding.
Evaluation of Materials
Effort is made to evaluate each work not only for its intellectual and academic value but also for factors such as excessive or gratuitous violence, sexual content, and/or profanity; age appropriateness, and appropriateness for a Christian high school collection. Parents should be aware that some or all of these elements could appear to a degree in the material we collect, particularly in materials for older students, but are weighed against the overall value and quality of the work itself. Students and parents should also realize that materials are appropriate for or appeal to a variety of different reading interests, maturity levels, personalities and religious convictions. Students should always use their own discretion and their parents’ guidance in choosing reading material. Some materials may be held behind the Librarian’s desk or in teacher collections for selective use.
Contested Material Policy
Any student, staff member or adult responsible for a student may express concerns about Library materials. When such a concern is indicated, the following procedure will be followed:
- The person expressing concern will fill out the form “Statement of Concern about Library Materials” (available from the Upper and Lower School Library staff, Upper School Office, Lower School Office or Head of School’s Office.)
- The item in question will be removed from use pending the results of the inquiry.
- The Librarian and the Academic Dean will meet with the concerned person to discuss and try to resolve the issues expressed on the form “Statement of Concern about Library Materials.”
- If the concern is not resolved, a committee consisting of the Librarian, the Academic Dean, a parent (not the person expressing concern,) and a faculty member from the appropriate grade/subject area, will meet to discuss and make recommendations concerning the item in question.
- The recommendation and reasoning will be presented to the person expressing concern.
- If the concerned person is not satisfied with the Committee’s recommendations, he or she may appeal to the Head of School, whose decision in the matter is final.
The Portsmouth Christian Academy Upper and Lower School libraries welcome donations of money, goods and materials, with the following guidelines.
- The Library maintains a wish list of items (including furnishings and equipment) it would like to obtain, creating an excellent way to recognize a special memory, birthday, academic achievement, or graduation. Please contact a Library staff member for details.
- While we are grateful for donated materials, equipment and furnishings, the Library staff has the right to decline donations based on condition, currency, subject nature, relevance to curriculum, age appropriateness, need, space concerns, safety or other factors. Library staff may keep or discard donated materials as deemed appropriate.
“Special Someone Club”
The “Special Someone Club” encourages PCA students, families and staff to contribute to the library’s growth by donating books or audio-visual materials in honor of a “special someone.” This is a great way to celebrate student achievements and milestones, honor teachers, and staff, provide a lasting memorial to a loved one, and commemorate birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and other special occasions! A custom-made bookplate will be placed in the front of the book to document and preserve the remembrance.
There are three ways to participate in this program:
- Select an item of your choice, but please discuss your selection with the Librarian first to make sure it fits with our collection guidelines and also that we do not already have the item in our collection;
- Purchase an item from our wish list (available in Upper and Lower School libraries)
- Write a check for the purchase of the item by the Library staff. You may specify a particular title, subject, age group or author if you wish.
- Deliver your contribution (to the attention of the Librarian) to either library, to the Upper School main office or to the main lobby reception desk. Thank you for your support!
The Upper School library welcomes and depends on the assistance of volunteers. Volunteers are needed for cataloging and general library tasks during the time and day of their choosing. Volunteer assistance is also needed for the library’s many special events. Training is provided to all library volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, individuals should see the Volunteer Coordinator and the Librarian.