Tag Archives: eSchool News

Why libraries in K-12 schools are important

26 Dec

Kimberly Shearer, Kentucky Teacher of the Year, has a great piece in Kentucky Teacher, Why You Need Your School Librarian:

Now, think about the Common Core Standards. These standards emphasize 21st-century skills and require our students to be able to collaborate with others within small and large communities. They require our students to be able to locate and evaluate sources using technology. And they require our students to be able to share information and to build their own arguments while considering things such as audience, purpose and language. Sound familiar? All of these skill sets are not too far from the behaviors our students exhibit when they utilize social media like Facebook. Those relevant connections between their personal and their academic lives are so important for teachers to make in our classrooms.  

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of creativity and know-how to generate such connections for our students. The good news? We have our school librarians to help. School librarians have the resources, training and knowledge to help us make those meaningful connections between the Common Core Standards and our students’ interests and lives. Here’s why you need your school librarian now more than ever:

  • Students must be able to evaluate information. Technology has ensured that our students have unlimited access to information. While this is exciting, it is also frightening. Our students must be able to sort through all this information and separate the credible from the unreliable. Your school librarian can help you co-plan and co-teach lessons that focus on the evaluation of sources and information, providing your students with the discernible eye they’ll need to survive in college and the workplace. 

  • Students must be able to collaborate. Technology and today’s global economy have made it necessary for our students to master collaborative skills. Being a part of a community in which they must share ideas, work and goals is important to students’ personal and academic growth. Your librarian can help you generate collaborative projects for your students that incorporate both information literacy and the Common Core Standards. And, working with your librarian helps you refine your collaborative skills, as well.

  • Students must master technology. Regardless of the career paths they choose, all your students must be able to use technology to locate and create information. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t rely on computer software for day-to-day operations. Your school librarian can help you develop lessons for your students that focus on both content objectives and technology objectives. Blogs, digital stories, website creation – there are endless possibilities for transforming your current assessments into something more meaningful (and — GASP — more enjoyable) for your students. 

  • Students must be readers. Reading skills are always said to be the gateway skills to all subject areas. If a student can’t read, he or she is not going to flourish in any subject area. And the best way to get our students reading is to help them find the right book. When students find a book that gets them excited, they are more likely to pick up another book. And when they continue to pick up more books, their reading fluency and their vocabulary are going to improve. Your school librarian can help match your students’ interests with the right books, and he or she can help you incorporate more books into your curriculum to help support student learning. Plus, reading for enjoyment has its advantages, as well. Nothing beats a good book, and our students will benefit personally from becoming readers, too.     http://www.kentuckyteacher.org/kentucky-teacher-of-the-year/2012/07/why-you-need-your-school-librarian/

Chancellor Kaya Henderson of D.C. Public Schools is reaching the same conclusions as Ms. Shearer.

Emma Brown reports in the Washington Post article, DCPS should guarantee librarians in every school, task force recommends:

All D.C. public schools should be guaranteed money to hire a librarian, according to a task force convened by Chancellor Kaya Henderson to make recommendations regarding school libraries.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-schools-insider

Research supports a strong library component in K-12 schools.

The December 2012 District of Columbia Public Schools School Library Task Force:

Recommendations for School Library Media Programs reported about prior studies:

The results from studies on the impact of school library media programs on student achievement have been consistent. For example:

MICHIGAN IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS, SEVENTH GRADE READING SCORES USUALLY RISE AS SCHOOL LIBRARIES REPORT:

higher numbers and weekly hours of librarian and total library staff;

offering more weekly hours for flexible access/scheduling;

librarians spending more time planning and teaching cooperatively with classroom teachers, and providing in-service training to teachers;

larger collections of print volumes and video materials;

access to more library and school computers that connect to Access Michigan, library catalogs and licensed databases, and the Internet and the World Wide Web;

more frequent individual and group visits to the library; and

spending more on library operations.

(Rodney, Lance, Hamilton-Pennell, 2003)

NEW MEXICO ACHIEVEMENT TEST SCORES TEND TO RISE WITH INCREASES IN:

school librarian and total library staff hours per 100 students;

print volumes per student;

periodical subscriptions, video materials, and software packages per 100 students; and

school library expenditures per student.

(Lance, Rodney, and Hamilton-Pennell, 2003, VII)

PENNSYLVANIA READING TEST SCORES INCREASE WITH INCREASES IN:

school librarian staff hours; and

support staff hours.

TEST SCORES INCREASE AS SCHOOL LIBRARIANS:

teach cooperatively with teachers;

integrate information literacy skills standards and curriculum;

provide in-service training to teachers;

serve on standards committee;

serve on curriculum committee; and

manage information technology.

(Lance, Rodney, and Hamilton-Pennell, 2000 and 2011)

http://dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/Files/downloads/ABOUT%20DCPS/Press/Final_Report_Lib_Task_Force_121012.pdf

The American Library Association (ALA) has a position statement about library resources.

Here is the ALA Position Statement on Appropriate Staffing for School Libraries:

The success of any school library program, no matter how well designed, depends ultimately on the quality and number of the personnel responsible for the program. A well-educated and highly motivated professional staff, adequately supported by technical and clerical staff, is critical to the endeavor.

Although staffing patterns are developed to meet local needs, certain basic staffing requirements can be identified. Staffing patterns must reflect the following principles:

  1. All students, teachers, and administrators in each school building at all grade levels must have access to a library program provided by one or more certificated school librarian working full-time in the schools library.
  2. Both professional personnel and support staff are necessary for all library programs at all grade levels. Each school must employ at least one full-time technical assistant or clerk for each school librarian. Some programs, facilities, and levels of service will require more than one support staff member for each professional.
  3. More than one library professional is required in many schools. The specific number of additional professional staff is determined by the schools size, number of students and of teachers, facilities, specific library program. A reasonable ratio of professional staff to teacher and student populations is required in order to provide for the levels of service and library program development described in Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs.

All school systems must employ a district library director to provide leadership and direction to the overall library program. The district director is a member of the administrative staff and serves on committees that determine the criteria and policies for the districts curriculum and instructional programs. The director communicates the goals and needs of both the school and district library programs to the superintendent, board of education, other district-level personnel, and the community. In this advocacy role, the district library director advances the concept of the school librarian as a partner with teachers and promotes a staffing level that allows the partnership to flourish.

Revised 09/01/2010 http://www.ala.org/aasl/aaslissues/positionstatements/appropriatestaffing

School libraries are evolving with technology.

Moi wrote in The changing role of school libraries:

Laura Devaney wrote the article, School libraries changing with move to digital resources, which was posted at eSchool News.

As schools across the nation move from printed textbooks to digital materials and digital learning environments, school libraries are adapting to keep pace—and new advancements are changing the very definition of school libraries and library media specialists.

Many of today’s students do not know what a card catalog is, and challenges lie not in locating information about various topics, but in narrowing it down and determining whether resources are trustworthy or not…

I see librarians as media specialists,” McConnell said. “We still have literacy, whether it’s reading or research…the librarian is the perfect partner for the classroom. The role of the librarian has shifted” for the digital age, he said.

McConnell said thinking about physical learning space is critical even as school districts and higher education migrate to digital resources and virtual workspaces…

We think about different ways of doing business, and it’s not all about economics—it’s also about quality,” Suddreth said. “There are quality resources, and there are not-so-quality resources, and going with the cheapest model is not always the best. Tech directors are the perfect people to make it really clear to people that purchasing the least expensive model is not always going to support teaching and learning.”

Other challenges include:

Content expertise—Nearly every subject area has people who are proponents of that subject area being taught in a particular way, and other people who are against a particular method.
Hardware—Not every school has computers or tablets for every single student, even though 90 percent of all homes have a computer at home and 70 percent of the population has internet access. “Having hardware in the schools is something we see as our responsibility for students who don’t have it at home, but it’s also a challenge,” Suddreth said.
Security—Often of great concern to parents is what student access. Also, issues arise regarding protecting student information. Online assessments lead to security concerns.
Parent reactions—While student are very excited about working with the technology, where they can really be immersed in learning games or web research, parents are not always familiar with that and have concerns over what their students might be able to access. Parents sometimes have a fear of letting go of a more traditional way of learning.
Accessibility—This includes non-native English speakers and students with disabilities, as well as students’ ability to access the internet at home. “In Utah, because we have large families, when a family has five or six children and one computer, this does pose a problem after school,” Suddreth said.

McConnell said that as technology changes learning, libraries are evolving and will partner with students and faculty to help everyone understand how to research topics and filter information.

http://www.eschoolnews.com
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/10/30/school-libraries-changing-with-move-to-digital-resources/

For many children a library is where the are introduced to reading and learning.

Resources:

Are School Librarians Expendable?                    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/06/26/are-school-librarians-expendable

The True Value of the Work We Do http://www.schoollibrarymonthly.com/articles/Tilley2011-v27n8p45.html

Related:

Reading is a key component of learning                     https://drwilda.com/2012/01/18/reading-is-a-key-component-of-learning/

Helping at-risk children start a home library                   https://drwilda.com/2012/06/13/helping-at-risk-children-start-a-home-library/

More research about the importance of reading              https://drwilda.com/2012/06/05/more-research-about-the-importance-of-reading/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                         http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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The changing role of school libraries

31 Oct

Moi wrote about the importance of access to information in The digital divide in classrooms:

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has agood bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview As technology becomes more prevalent in society and increasingly is used in schools, there is talk of a “digital divide” between the haves and have-nots. Laurence Wolff and Soledad MacKinnon define the “digital divide” in their article, What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide,” inequalities in access to and utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT), is immense. http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/57449/digitaldivide.pdf

Access to information technology varies within societies and it varies between countries. The focus of this article is the digital divide in education.

Jim Jansen reports in the Pew Internet report, Use of the internet in higher-income households:

Those in higher-income households are different from other Americans in their tech ownership and use.

95% of those in households earning over $75,000 use the internet and cell phones

Those in higher-income households are more likely to use the internet on any given day, own multiple internet-ready devices, do things involving money online, and get news online.

Some 95% of Americans who live in households earning $75,000 or more a year use the internet at least occasionally, compared with 70% of those living in households earning less than $75,000.

Even among those who use the internet, the well off are more likely than those with less income to use technology. Of those 95% of higher-income internet users:

  • 99% use the internet at home, compared with 93% of the internet users in lower brackets.

  • 93% of higher-income home internet users have some type of broadband connection versus 85% of the internet users who live in households earning less than $75,000 per year. That translates into 87% of all those in live in those better-off households having broadband at home.

  • 95% of higher-income households own some type of cell phone compared with 83% in households with less income.

The differences among income cohorts apply to other technology as well

The relatively well-to-do are also more likely than those in lesser-income households to own a variety of information and communications gear.3

  • 79% of those living in households earning $75,000 or more own desktop computers, compared with 55% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 79% of those living in higher-income households own laptops, compared with 47% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 70% of those living in higher-income households own iPods or other MP3 players, compared with 42% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 54% of those living in higher-income households own game consoles, compared with 41% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 12% of those living in higher-income households own e-book readers such as Kindles, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 9% of those living in higher-income households own tablet computers such as iPads, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Better-off-households.aspx

Read Full Report

Explore Survey Questions

Unless school leadership is very innovative in seeking grants and/or outside assistance or the school has been adopted by a technology angel, poorer schools are likely to be far behind their more affluent peers in the acquisition of technology. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

A very important part of helping bridge the digital divide is the school library.

Laura Devaney wrote the article, School libraries changing with move to digital resources, which was posted at eSchool News.

As schools across the nation move from printed textbooks to digital materials and digital learning environments, school libraries are adapting to keep pace—and new advancements are changing the very definition of school libraries and library media specialists.

Many of today’s students do not know what a card catalog is, and challenges lie not in locating information about various topics, but in narrowing it down and determining whether resources are trustworthy or not…

“People often say that the library is going away,” McConnell said. “It’s really not—it’s a critical piece. It’s a place for community, collaboration, and it’s a place to find partners to help you in whatever literacy you’re trying to increase. That may be literacy in resources, media creation—those services are all there.”

And the stereotypical librarian is evolving into someone who knows how to locate reputable online resources and can help students learn how to use those resources in their research.

“I see librarians as media specialists,” McConnell said. “We still have literacy, whether it’s reading or research…the librarian is the perfect partner for the classroom. The role of the librarian has shifted” for the digital age, he said.

McConnell said thinking about physical learning space is critical even as school districts and higher education migrate to digital resources and virtual workspaces…

“We think about different ways of doing business, and it’s not all about economics—it’s also about quality,” Suddreth said. “There are quality resources, and there are not-so-quality resources, and going with the cheapest model is not always the best. Tech directors are the perfect people to make it really clear to people that purchasing the least expensive model is not always going to support teaching and learning.”

Other challenges include:

Content expertise—Nearly every subject area has people who are proponents of that subject area being taught in a particular way, and other people who are against a particular method.
Hardware—Not every school has computers or tablets for every single student, even though 90 percent of all homes have a computer at home and 70 percent of the population has internet access. “Having hardware in the schools is something we see as our responsibility for students who don’t have it at home, but it’s also a challenge,” Suddreth said.
Security—Often of great concern to parents is what student access. Also, issues arise regarding protecting student information. Online assessments lead to security concerns.
Parent reactions—While student are very excited about working with the technology, where they can really be immersed in learning games or web research, parents are not always familiar with that and have concerns over what their students might be able to access. Parents sometimes have a fear of letting go of a more traditional way of learning.
Accessibility—This includes non-native English speakers and students with disabilities, as well as students’ ability to access the internet at home. “In Utah, because we have large families, when a family has five or six children and one computer, this does pose a problem after school,” Suddreth said.

McConnell said that as technology changes learning, libraries are evolving and will partner with students and faculty to help everyone understand how to research topics and filter information.

http://www.eschoolnews.com
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/10/30/school-libraries-changing-with-move-to-digital-resources/

For many children a library is where the are introduced to reading and learning.

In Reading is a key component of learning, moi said:

As more schools use “Common Core” standards, parents must also work at home to prepare their children.

Regan Mc Mahon of Common Sense Media has written the article, How to Raise a Reader which gives the following advice:

Read aloud: This comes naturally to lots of new parents, but it’s important to keep it up. Kids will enjoy it longer than you think. For babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kids in early grade school, it’s wonderful to have a kid on your lap, snuggled next to you on the couch, or drifting off to sleep in bed as you enjoy picture books together. You may have to read your kid’s favorite a hundred times, but just go with it. Your kid will remember the closeness as well as the story. And try nonfiction for those who are curious about pirates, Vikings, robots, castles, history, sports, biography, animals, whatever. For second through fifth graders, read those rich and meaty books that might be missed otherwise, maybe classics like Treasure Island or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Many parents think that as soon as their kids learn to read on their own, they no longer need to be read to. But kids still love it and benefit from it as they hear the rhythm of the language, learn correct pronunciation, and get to relax and just take it all in. Kids will get the idea that there’s something worthwhile in books and that there’s something special about time spent with a parent.

Savor the series: It’s common for kids to become book lovers for life after getting hooked on a series. And there are lots of good ones that keep kids hungry for the next installment. Some reliable prospects: Ivy and Bean, Judy Moodyfor beginning readers; Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the Percy Jackson series for middle graders; and Hunger Games, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Twilight (unless you think vampires are too creepy) for older kids.

Grab onto a genre: Kids go through phases of genres they’re passionate about, from girl detectives to science fiction and fantasy. Don’t get hung up on whether it’s considered great literature (although some genre books are). Be happy that your kid is devouring books one after the other. 

Feed the favorite-author addiction: Once your kids finds a writer they love, they may want to read all of his or her books — a great excuse for a trip to the library or an opportunity for book swapping among friends and classmates. Here are some good bets for favorites. Younger kids: Dav Pilkey (The Adventures of Captain Underpants), Beverly Cleary (Beezus and Ramona). Middle grade: Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie), Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book). Tweens and teens: Judy Blume (Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret) and Sarah Dessen (Just Listen). 

Count on the Classics: Books are called classics because they continue to engage readers generation after generation. There are no guarantees, but you could try introducing your kids to books you loved as a kid and see which ones click. Some good ones to try are the Dr. Seuss and Narnia books, Charlotte’s Web, and The Secret Garden. Check out our Classic Books for Kids list to find more. 

Find Books About the Things Your Kid Loves: If your kid adores horses, try Black Beauty or any of the titles on our list of best Horse Books. If he’s wild about cars, trucks and trains, check out our list of Vehicle Books. Librarians, booksellers, and Internet searches will help you find books on any favorite topic.

Funny Is Fine: Some parents wrestle with letting their kids read Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other edgy humor books about kids getting in trouble. Talk to your kids about the content, but keep in mind that kids like these books not because they want to imitate the characters’ actions but because they can live vicariously through their bad behavior. Humor is a great pathway to book loving.

Comics Are OK: Graphic novels are among the hottest trends in children’s publishing, and they can get kids hooked on reading. Kids may start with Squish and Babymouse and move on to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But these series can also lead to more sophisticated fare such as Marzi andAmerican Born Chinese. Find other titles in our list of best Graphic Novels.  

Make Reading a Family Value: Actions speak louder than words. Take your kids to the library once a week or once a month to get new books, make regular outings to your local bookstore, hunt for low-cost books at used bookstores or second-hand shops, and show kids that finding a good book is like a treasure hunt.

Fit reading into your family lifestyle. Set aside time for reading only — turning off the TV, computer, and cell phone. Encourage focused reading time, either for independent reading or reading aloud. Take preschoolers to story time hours at libraries and bookstores. For older kids, a parent-kid book club can be fun. Read to kids at bedtime. Provide time and space for your kids to read for pleasure in the car (if they don’t get car sick!), on vacation, after homework is done, on their own before bed. Warning: It could be habit-forming! http://www.commonsensemedia.org/new/how-raise-reader?utm_source=newsletter01.12.12&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature1

Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved. Parents are an important part because they enforce lessons learned at school by reading to their children and taking their children for regular library time. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/18/reading-is-a-key-component-of-learning/

Resources:

US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments

The ABCs of Ready to Learn

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn

Ebony Magazine’s How to Prepare Your Child for Success

General Tips for Preparing for Kindergarten

Louise Hajjar Diamond in an article for the American School Counselor Association writes about preparing a child for middle school

Getting Your Child Ready to Learn

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success

Related:

Helping at-risk children start a home library                       https://drwilda.com/2012/06/13/helping-at-risk-children-start-a-home-library/

Cultural literacy: Is there necessary core knowledge to be academically successful?                                                              https://drwilda.com/2012/03/12/cultural-literacy-is-there-necessary-core-knowledge-to-be-academically-successful/

The slow reading movement                                                https://drwilda.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum                                                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                      http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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