Library Mission & Policy

Mission Statement

The mission of the Mt. Edgecumbe High School Library program is to ensure that all students and staff in the district have access to and are effective, independent users of ideas and information that support the curriculum and personal, lifelong learning interests.

Purpose of the policy is to:

      • satisfy the educational needs of all the members of our staff and student body
      • ensure every student has access to a variety of quality, relevant and current information resources
      • meet the recreational reading needs of our students, reflecting their personal growth and developmental needs
      • provide resources in print, audio-visual and electronic formats to support, enrich and enhance the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied learning needs and styles, recreational and study interests and maturity levels of the students
      • provide materials which will enable the acquisition of factual knowledge and the development of literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards
      • provide materials offering a breadth and diversity of viewpoints on various issues so that students may develop their critical thinking skills and make informed judgements
      • provide materials representative of religious, ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to our heritage
      • enhance teachers' effectiveness by providing access to recent curriculum and professional development materials
      • place principle and reason above personal prejudice in the selection of the highest quality materials to ensure a comprehensive collection suitable for the needs of its users.

Community and User Groups:

Established in 1947, Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS) is a residential public boarding school providing a secondary educational alternative in a residential setting for over 375. Residential student services include housing, food service, activities, and supervision twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.

The Student Population

Comprised of students from over 110 Alaskan communities, the student body is a demographic representation of the adolescent population of Alaska; the most unique linguistically and culturally diverse student body in Alaska. Admissions is given to students who have no access or limited access to secondary education in their local communities or who would particularly benefit from placement in a residential setting or otherwise be placed in foster care or other state-sponsored programs. The health challenges facing Mt. Edgecumbe students are the same challenges facing youth in their home communities.

The percentage of Mt. Edgecumbe students who arrive with low academic requisite skills, in reading, writing and math, essential in meeting secondary content standards requires significant time spent on academic learning. The demands for high-academic performance are very real for Mt. Edgecumbe’s student population. Academic demands, although necessary for building the student’s future, dictate a heavy academic course load.

The Collection Contains:

      • fiction books, including magazines, comics, and novels of all genres to cater to the students from pre-school to young adult
      • non-fiction titles to support the curriculum and to extend students’ knowledge
      • a reference collection to provide continuous access to basic knowledge
      • a teachers’ reference collection to support the curriculum and to enhance professional knowledge
      • Whilst the bulk of the collection is in print format, audio, visual and electronic resources form an important part of it. We have an extensive video collection of both fiction and non-fiction titles, and these are used under the provisions of the licences purchased on behalf of ACT schools by the ACT Department of Education.

The school website is also an integral part of our collection and pages containing links to pre-selected sites about specific topics are created to support curriculum delivery. These are available on the site to enable student access from home.


1. Create a technology-based information retrieval system with access to district-wide multi-media resources; district and state-wide online library catalogs; periodical databases; and other research tools.

2. Create a multi-media collection of educational materials that supports all areas of the district curriculum.

3. Offer instructional program for information literacy skills in which learners will demonstrate the ability to use technology to

        • Select, retrieve, review, evaluate, manipulate, and create information for an identified information need
        • Apply study, research, reference, and critical thinking skills to organize information


1. Assess student/staff information needs and order materials to meet those needs. In addition focus on:

        • Science and social studies support materials

2. Implement the SIRSI, circulation and booking system:

        • Catalog multi-media materials added to the Media Center collection
        • Provide training in the use of SIRSI on-line service

3. Work closely with the Technology Staff to:

        • Train students/staff in the use of District Internet/On-line resources (WorldBook Online; Wiki)
        • Train students/staff in the use of the Statewide Databases including EBSCO and Electric Library
        • Update and add curriculum links to the Media Services Web pages

4. Assist Educators, upon request, with site library program needs

5. Communicate, on a regular basis, with all staff via print and online newsletters and emails