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My Role As The School Librarian

2191 words - 9 pages

Everyday I walk into my school library with the hope of influencing a student or a teacher to read a new book, use a new search strategy, or to collaborate on a unit of study. My goals for students range from getting to know them and their interests and then guiding the student to these new sources or literature. I look upon the library as a learning lab or, as some in my profession have dubbed it, the Learning Commons. Every morning I greet anywhere from 50 to 80 students who are waiting for the first bell of the day. These students are in the library because they have made a decision that this is their place; a hangout for those students who are drawn to a vibrant environment that is ...view middle of the document...

I knew when the school opened that I wanted a library that was more than a warehouse for books and equipment. It was imperative that the library be considered a learning laboratory; a place for teachers to try new methods of instruction and a space where students are able to apply analytical skills when completing assignments or searching for resources. In order to have a library that includes all students’ interests and learning styles then it needs to integrate the information skills curriculum with various content curriculums. This goal means that I work closely with teachers when designing units of study. I am always searching for the most engaging lessons in order to impact student learning. In addition to researching best practices, I also network with other library teachers and classroom teachers through my Personal Learning Network. Through my PLN I have discovered an incredible body of work that I have integrated with the lessons that I provide to the classroom teachers. What follows are examples of exemplary programs and units of study that I have created with colleagues for students.
TRAILS - (Tools for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) Standardized testing and assessment continues to drive decisions related to education. For years, I have used informal or in-class assessments to gauge student learning. While effective, I decided that these assessments needed to augment with a standards driven test, such as TRAILS. In order to demonstrate an effective library instructional program it needs to be able to provide evidence that demonstrates what a student knows and then strategies to develop and enhance that knowledge. Knowing that data-driven decisions are imperative to operating an effective library program I searched for and found what I believe is the best device to measure student’s information literacy, TRAILS a knowledge assessment with multiple-choice questions that target a variety of information literacy skills
My primary reason for using TRAILS is to assess student learning of information literacy skills. The test captures a large amount about student learning because it includes questions from five areas of information literacy. After administering the test, I am able to get a thorough picture of student skill weaknesses and strengths. I am also able to pre- and post-test students so that I can measure student learning from freshman year to graduation. This specific data informs my teaching and guides my professional responsibility. With the knowledge of student weaknesses, I am able to create lessons that include skills that need additional time and practice. TRAILS also serves as an invaluable library advocacy tool. This important data provides me with talking points for both school and district decision makers. I am able to advocate for the support of the library program by showcasing the improvements that student achieve with units of study that integrate library and content area curriculums. ...

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