Tag Archives: effective TLs

NYCC Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

To demonstrate the positive impact of school libraries on the implementation of the Regents Reform Agenda in New York, the New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC) was asked in 2011 to prepare a brief which highlights specific examples of programs in states that have had success utilizing school libraries to improve student achievement.

The research on school libraries was analysed according to the five key elements of the RRA, which focus on:

  1. Teacher/School Leader Preparation and Effectiveness
  2. Early Childhood Learning Opportunities
  3. Raise Graduation Rates for At-­‐Risk Students
  4. Curriculum and Professional Development, and
  5. Assessment

Note to practitioners, this is an effective way of presenting your evidence, i.e. using your education system’s and/or school priorities as the framework for the findings in your report.

The brief concludes: “Based on the conclusions from the research cited in the brief, it is clear that school libraries play an important role in student achievement, curriculum development, and instruction. Through political and fiscal state support, effective school library programs can serve as consistent drivers for student achievement in times of constant change and churning educational reform.”

A copy of the full 19 page report is available at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/nyla/nycc_school_library_brief.pdf

“Who Are We? The Independent School Library: A Statistical Profile” Susan Williamson

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Who Are We? The Independent School Library: A Statistical Profile, a chapter by Susan Williamson presents a statistical picture of a sample of independent school libraries in the United States based on a survey in 2004-2005 conducted by the Independent School Section of AASL. The profile compares libraries on the basis of schools’ student and faculty sizes, collection sizes, budgets, staffing, hours open, facilities, and access to technology. Data from three main categories of school groups (Independent, Independent Religious, and Religious) and school types (Day, Boarding, and Combined Day and Boarding) are analyzed and then compared with data from the recent AASL longitudinal survey of public and private schools. The ISS sample of libraries which consists largely of NAIS members appears to provide greater resources, more open hours and more access to databases than public schools.

In addition, studies from NCES and NAIS comparing public and private school students indicate that independent school students have higher scores both on school tests and SAT tests. The author discusses the possible role that usage of the independent school library contributes to these outcomes.

This is a chapter in the recently published book Independent School Libraries: Perspectives on Excellence published by Libraries Unlimited – see http://www.islpe.org/ for details.

There are summaries of each of the chapters including references and recommended resources supporting each chapter via The Essays page of the above website.

School Libraries Cultivate Digital Literacy

At David C. Barrow Elementary School in Athens, Ga., media specialist Andy Plemmons works with two students to learn how to use the technology they need for the Barrow Oral History Project.

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

This converge article features a number of TL practitioners in the state of Georgia and explores how school library staff can work with teachers to integrate digital literacy into the  curriculum.

The article presents 5 digital literacy challenges:

1. Access to technology
2. Filtering
3. Sharing the importance of digital literacy
4. Instructional time
5. Teaching young children

with advice from TL practitioners on how to overcome them.

The article concludes:

“At these three libraries in Georgia — and in libraries across the country — library staff overcome challenges to teach students the digital literacy skills they need”,

with a final quote from one of our fave TL ambassadors in the US, Buffy Hamilton who sums up the work of the TL:

“At the end of the day, our emphasis is on learning and providing learning experiences and access to information in as many formats as possible.”

This article provides evidence of a range of ways that teacher librarians support students’ development as digital citizens who are content creators as well as critical users of information.

Note this article also features in Converge Magazine’s Top 10 K-12 Stories of 2011. If you are interested in technology integration, introduction of iPads in schools, bring your own device (BYOD) programs and flipped classrooms, these stories are well worth checking out.

Via www.convergemag.com

‘School Librarians’ and Libraries – Seeking Relevance & a Future?

As we are about to commence our first session of study for 2010, I thought I should get the ball rolling with some new posts. I look forward to sharing another year with my fellow blogger, Roy Crotty and our School of Information Studies students.

There’s been a lot of discussion among our US-based colleagues recently about AASL’s decision to use ‘school librarian’ as the official title for school library media specialists in all future correspondence, policy and advocacy activities of the association. This news was buzzing in January across a number of professional journals and websites, discussion lists and social networking sites – check out American Libraries magazine, School Library Journal’s Talkback, AASL’s blog, Cathy Nelson’s blog, Bookends blog, just to name a few, and clearly the debate continues.

It comes as no surprise that we struggle as a profession to come to consensus on this issue, whether here in Australia or in other countries, and the US is no exception. No matter what label an information specialist (my preferred generic label) adopts within a school, education system or state, the bottom line is that it is the daily practice and actions of the person holding this position that defines what the role is (and is not) to their school community!

A definite win for our US colleagues is this fabulous article published in Education Week yesterday which features a number of library media specialist movers & shakers. While David Loertscher’s ‘learning commons’ concept gets an airing, I was particularly struck by Joyce Valenza’s ‘take’ on libraries as “no longer [being] grocery stores where students can go to pick up ingredients, but kitchens, where they have the resources necessary to create a finished product.”

What are your thoughts on AASL’s decision to officially adopt the title ‘school librarian’ as the label for 21st century school library media specialists, and how might you use the ideas presented in the above article to inform the development of a vision for your school library and your role as a TL?

Remember: the future of our profession lies in the hands of those who currently practice.

All the best with your studies at CSU in 2010. 🙂

Librarian’s Manifesto

As teacher librarians, what do we believe our role to be?  Are we teachers, librarians, somewhere in between or something else?  We know what many of our teaching colleagues may think.  Sometimes our role can be misunderstood while at other times our role is regarded as vital within the school and the learning environment.

Below is a link to a video on teachertube so it should not be blocked by system filters on what one teacher librarian believes her role to be through her manifesto of a Librarian 2.0.  It makes thoughtful reading, especially for me the idea of understanding how my studetns learn and working in that environment, even though it may be different than my own.

manifesto

Creativity …. and Michael Caine

Are we creative enough?  If we do regard ourselves as creative, in what areas do we have our strengths?  Personally I don’t regard myself as a creative person and admire those who are.  I especially love watching good actors act.  I love the theatre, particularly live theatre and a good movie can also be up there as well. But are our schools creative?  Are we creative?

I have added a link below to a short (17 min) speech given by Sir Ted Robinson in 2006 which has become one the most watched videos on the internet.  One reviewer commented that you stop whatever you are doing and watch this.  I would agree.  Sir Ted challenges us to think about creativity and asks if our schools are killing it.

It made me stop and think about my own school and I was pleased that I could say that we were a creative school.  Students had opportunities to dance (we were regulars inthe State Schools Spectacular and one of our ex-students went on to be a Banana in a Pyjama for a short while), compete in sporting events ( we were State Softball champions two years running) as well as debating, Tournament of the Minds, etc.

What it did make me do was to seriously consider how creative I was as a teacher.  Were my lessons not only crafted to produce success but were they engaging my students interest in a meaningful and creative way?  I tried a few different approaches – some were successful while other not so.  That did not matter as it was only my ego that was affected and I did learn to think beyond the usual style I had been using for awhile.

After watching Sir Ted’s video a few times I gained more confidence and felt that I was achieving my objectives.  I could see it in my students’ faces as they entered the library – no more heads down but some actually seemed to keen to be there.  It certainly gave me a lift.

Sir Ted’s speech is entertaining and profound.  It can be downloaded in mp4 (video) format into itunes and loaded onto your ipod.  I have it on mine and look at it regularly.  I would encourage the same of others in the course.

And Michael Caine – I think Sir Ted must be Michael’s brother.

ted-robinson-23

Effective TLs as mavens, connectors & salesmen… which one are you?

In his book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), author Malcolm Gladwell identifies three types of people who can make a difference: mavens, connectors, and salesmen.

US school library media specialist, Peggy Milam Creighton builds on the ideas of Gladwell in her School Library Media Activities Monthly article, Impact as a 21st-Century Library Media Specialist (2008).

She explores Gladwell’s 3 types in terms of the qualities and behaviours of exemplary teacher librarians.  Creighton’s article also challenges TLs to harness a range of Web 2.0 technologies to leverage themselves as ‘mavens, connectors and salesmen’. How do Creighton’s ideas inform your vision of what a teacher librarian ‘looks like’? 
To which do you aspire?