It’s time to blow the bifocals off what you know about school librarians. Today’s librarians are not your grandmother’s keeper of books. School Library Media Specialists understand the developmental and academic needs of students and are trained to work with them in the Media Center and/or the classroom. Media Specialists work with classroom teachers to plan, teach, and evaluate student learning. They collaborate with other professionals to extend learning beyond school. If the Media Specialist doesn’t know the answer to a question they know where and how to find it. Whether helping students with research or working with teachers to collect resources. They model for others the art of solving problems through inquiry and discovery. The Media Specialist is an effective program administrator who is creative, flexible and willing to try new things. When they cannot find exactly what is needed to help students and teachers, they create it.
What is Information Literacy?
The ability to locate, evaluate and effectively use information in its various forms to communicate clearly, make informed decisions, and construct new knowledge.
- It comes to us in many ways, from many resources, for diverse purposes, and in increasingly different formats.
- It provides us with unprecedented opportunities but threatens to overwhelm us as well.
- Throughout our lifetime, we are dependent on this information to make decisions that guide our actions. Managing information or becoming information literate is one of education’s most critical challenges.
Students must become creative, critical, and constructive users of information:
- Enormous quantities of information
- Ways information is organized and applied
- A variety of formats including printed words, illustrations, photographs, charts, graphs, tables, menus, databases
- Look at information and be able to detect accuracy, relevancy, appropriateness, bias, and comprehensiveness
- The process and product of their information search
- Ethical behavior when using information
Presentation: Information Literacy: Implications for Library Practice
Studies conducted over the past two decades, both in Colorado and nationwide, show that students in schools with endorsed librarians score better on standardized achievement tests in reading, compared with students in schools without endorsed librarians. The increased test scores exist regardless of student poverty level and overall staffing losses.
The Media Specialist promotes reading for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment. Ms. Reynolds is aware of major trends in young adult literature and selects reading materials in multiple formats to support reading for information, reading for pleasure and reading for lifelong learning. Ms. Reynolds collaborates with classroom teachers to reinforce a wide variety of strategies to promote leisure reading and model personal enjoyment of reading in order to promote habits of creative expression and lifelong reading.
What is Makerspace:
A Makerspace allows students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, commonly called STEAM, through activities that promote trial and error. Students are not taught a lesson but given tools that allow them to expand their knowledge by exploring and finding information. The Media Specialist works with staff to select items for exploration, such as electronic circuits, 3D printing, and puzzles.
The students work independently, as well as, collaboratively with their peers. Some of this is accidental learning but it is learning and expanding their confidence and curiosity.