in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

Posts tagged ‘librarianship’

Thoughts on: Evidence-Based Practice in SchLibs

This week, our professor offered us two different discussion prompts/ideas/guiding questions on Evidence Based Practice.
I reproduce them below, but understand that my thoughts don’t necessarily align with either question, but rather the practice of EBP in school libraries on the whole. My brain decided that’s how it wanted to function today.

What are some of the issues or concerns that might hinder school librarians from engaging in EBP and, in your opinion, are they valid, insurmountable, etc.? What are potential evidence-based strategies that you might use in your school library? (For example, Ross Todd mentions rubrics, checklists, portfolios, etc.)

First, a few statements that may sound a bit harsh:

  • If one’s understanding of EBP is that it is librarian-focused, not student-focused, one needs open up to the greater possibilities.
  • If the thought of implementing EBP is overwhelming, rest assured it’s entirely possible to do so in pieces, and necessary.
  • If you believe school libraries and learning are important, please continue reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

What is evidence-based practice? I’ll allow Ross Todd to explain that, in this quote from The Evidence-Based Manifesto for School Librarians which can be accessed here on the School Library Journal website.

“School libraries need to systematically collect evidence that shows how their practices impact student achievement; the development of deep knowledge and understanding; and the competencies and skills for thinking, living, and working. This holistic approach to evidence-based practice in school libraries involves three dimensions: evidence for practice, evidence in practice, and evidence of practice.”

Here’s the beauty of evidence-based practice: it won’t look at the same at school 1, school B, or school 3. The three components that Todd speaks of work together to take in the big picture, apply it to the local picture, and create a local picture. The end result is the ability to say,

This school in particular has been affected/changed/transformed/improved through X, Y, and Z initiatives, which were developed based onย this needs assessment based on our local learning community. This team of persons implemented these initiatives and we have witnessed outcomes 1, 2, 3.ย Our students learned how to do this, that, and the other and successfully reached the learning objectives that were designed to meet their particular needs. These initiatives were developed based on research of best practices, and then applied in specific ways to the needs our learning community presented.”

Wouldn’t you love to be able to say all of that about the projects and learning going on in your school library?!

Perhaps it sounds overwhelming – I can appreciate that. One step at a time! What can you implement into the library program that will turn towards a culture of evidence-based practice, and help incorporate it consistently? Maybe starting with rubrics for projects – and having students help you create those rubrics and engage in their own learning. What about adding in reflective practice on the part of students – starting small with a discussion-style “wrap up” of the project with ideas on what went right, what went wrong, and what went awesome?

The first step to moving towards EBP is toย start moving towards EBP. ๐Ÿ™‚ Start with analyzing your students needs and determining learning goals. In what ways can you gather evidence to support teaching to meet those goals? In what ways can you gather evidence that the learning goals are being met effectively through both teaching and learning? I firmly believe that simply starting to think about how to incorporate evidence-based practice is the first step to making the transition smooth.

I liked this short summary of areas from which to gain evidence in your practice, from the School Library Media Specialist Eduscapes page.

This means gather evidence from various perspectives (Loertscher & Woolls, 2003):

  • learner level – student gains (i.e., achievement test scores, rubrics, portfolios, attitude scales, checklists, reflections)
  • teaching unit level – lessons and learning (i.e., checklists, collaboration rubrics, evaluation forms, timelines, log sheets)
  • organization level – library output (i.e., center statistics, hardware and software data)

As someone who is about to enter the school library world, I have one more request to make – please share your evidence! Share the successes; share those that didn’t meet expectations; share how you’ve revised; share what you’ve learned; share what your students have learned and how learning outcomes have changed along the way; share how your role as a library media specialist has changed as you’ve learned more; share.

And now, a statement that hopefully wraps up my ramblings coherently and gives us all hope and motivation for the future, that comes to you via Ross Todd (again, from the Evidence-Based Manifesto for School Librarians):

“EBP is not about scrambling to find additional time. Itโ€™s about establishing priorities and making choices based on your beliefs about the importance of school libraries and learning.”

Rapidly Live-Blogged: “Rethinking Digital Literacy for All Ages” at #CILDC

Michele Farrell, Senior Library Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Enid Costley, Children’s and Youth Services Consultant, Library of Virginia
Matt Montgomery, Technical Services Librarian, Mechanics’ Institute
Jeremy Snell, Web Librarian, Mechanics’ Institute

Here are my notes, largely unedited – I can only type so fast, after all. Sigh, human limitations. ::sips coffee::

Michele and Enid:

Most libraries today have a children’s room, but that’s a “new” thing – as in, circa 1890 – so literacy in libraries is not a recent trend

“Storytime” isn’t what you think it is (my note: so stop stereotyping children’s librarians, please, thanks) – we’re engaging in children’s social, emotional, physical development – we’re branching out and creating new partnerships with the community to advance literacy

What’s the federal role?
Majorly comes out of support from the Inst of Museum and Library Services – their goals are to promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning – and the “early literacy” focus means working toward these goals before kids can read and write
other goals: build healthy communities; support and empower parents; create possibilities for more things libraries can do through partnerships — IMLS partners with a lot of different organizations all under the umbrella of leading to children’s success
At the end of May: IMLS will be issuing a report on early learning – stay tuned!

Digital Literacy:
what does it mean? –> “skills associated with using technology to enable users to find, organize, evaluate, create, communicate information”

Programs in existence that may be of interest:
Rhode Island’s Getting Ready for Kindergarten
Utah’s Getting Ready to Read program
StoryBlocks: collection of 30-60 second videos to model songs/rhymes/finger plays for young children & enhance ‘early literacy’
DaybyDay: every day there is a song to sing/activity to do that’s high in creativity, along with a TumbleBooks – family literacy project –there is a bid underway to translate the entire thing into Spanish
Colorin Colorado!: helping children read and succeed – a bilingual site for English language learners
Project ENABLE: training sessions for gaining skill and understanding in creating and delivering effective library/information services to students of ALL abilities (my note: I’ve done the training, and it is highly useful. Recommended.)

Current national ad campaign: “3 2 1 Everyone On” – aims to promote digital literacy at multiple skill levels, searchable by zip code for programs in your area that may fits your digital literacy needs

Matt and Jeremy:

(My note: I hate when I accidentally +1 something on Google+ when I’m on a different website! ^_^)

Their work has focused on a population that tends to lack digital skills. They needed a way to serve this population better than they had been – one barrier was that the reference desk is in the middle of the library space, so approaching with questions wasn’t nearly as comfortable as it should be. SO they set out to fix that.

Change the setting and set the mood:
using an upper space in the library and having “open office hours” to provide one-on-one service – one hour, each day, for an entire week. You could set up a 15min appointment or just walk in for help. Fifteen minutes is not enough time to do anything and there were very few walkin/dropins.

They tried it again – and instead of the previous setup, it was a six-hour shift with 30minute appointments. There were more drop ins and overall, a more effective approach to solving problems and teaching digital skills.

How’d they promote it?
The usual – website, posters, print newspaper, etc – they had a few prompts on what they could do – “help with eReaders, the library catalog, general technology questions” – and one staff member was tasked to set up all the appointments so that the patrons had just one person to meet with via phone/email. (My note: the thought of not shuffling between staff members on the phone makes me smile!)

What happened as a result?
They’ve assisted 69 people over 38 “staff hours” in a 6 month period. This isn’t something that only older library users are attending! Basic email/computer questions are what they handle – but they do a number of things from formatting eBook formats to building a WordPress blog for professional uses – it keeps the library staff “on their toes” as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

The library members are appreciative of the service – and the library staff have been able to learn more about the needs of their community and thus, respond more effectively to those community needs.

 

Rapidly LiveBlogged: “Open Education Resources & The School Librarian” at #CILDC

Session presenters:

Heather Braum, Digital and Technical Services Librarian, Northeast Kansas Library System
Gary Price, Co-Founder, INFODocket & FullTextReports

I came to this session and thus, had the pleasure of bookending my sessions for the day with Heather Braum of the Northeast Kansas Library System! Here are my notes from Heather’s presentation, unedited:

Open Source Software — Open Access Journal — Open Ed Resources

Apparently we should all go watch this video on OER — http://goo.gl/uxWER — but not ’til after

Open Ed Resources – The Verbs:

REUSABLE without violating a copyright
REWORK/REVISE to meet your needs
REMIX and combine it with something else
REDISTRIBUTE it so that others can do the same thing to your resource
CREATE new content and give it back to the community

You have to cede some of the control you may want to enter into the idea of open education resources!

Why the heck should YOU, of all people, care about open ed resources?
-find new perspectives
-share knowledge

OER comes in ALL FORMATS – anything that can be in a curriculum can be an OER. Lectures, videos, quizzes, podcasts, etc!

Long list of links that were mentioned during the talk:

www.oercommons.org – topics organized by subject and grade levels

www.cnx.org – different materials that are shared and may make up components of your courses – THERE FOR YOUR USE! Yay!

Project Gutenberg – www.gutenberg.org – is an open ed resource. Are you using it with your students?

OER Livebinder: http://goo.gl/D2yGIย – divided up into subjects, has lesson plans

Khan Academy – controversial, but it IS a source – vet it! www.khanacademy.org

TedEd: education.ted.com – doesn’t quite fit the definition of OER, but you can use it as a reference – turning TED talks into lessons/components

Art history resources that aren’t copyrighted? smarthistory.khanacademy.org – organized by periods/times

eTexts/curriculum – organized by Joyce Valenza – LOTS of resources here – http://www.only2clicks.com/pages/joycevalenza/350887

And it was right around then that we started having an open discussion (quickly) about how we might use OER.

I had to bail out of the session at this point. My apologies for only getting half the fabulous session on the blog!

Notes from #CILDC: Innovation “Sunrise” Session

I’m up and at ’em early this morning! Arrived before 8 AM, armed myself with a mug ..well, you get the picture. But in case you don’t:

Note: just because #coffeewithmarie is a theme doesn't mean I look bright-eyed and super psyched at 7:45AM. I'm working on it. Stay tuned...

Note: just because #coffeewithmarie is a theme doesn’t mean I look bright-eyed and super psyched at 7:45AM. I’m working on it. Stay tuned…

James King, Information Architect, NIH Library, National Institutes of Health and Past President, DC Chapter of SLA
Jill Hurst-Wahl, Associate Professor of Practice, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University
Heather Braum, Digital and Technical Services Librarian, Northeast Kansas Library System

James King:

Things are shifting – a lot of things are moving to “a self-service mindset”
Those who we serve want to/are able to do it themselves, but our library message HASN’T changed, which is problematic
“The skills that librarians/information professionals bring to the table are more valuable than ever”
question the status quo, everything, in your organization – “Realistic and honest strategic planning”
willingness to experiment is a necessary skill – craziest ideas can –> best ideas (selling shoes online?! CRAZY. except not.)

Heather Braum:

regional library system – in KS; 1 state, 7 rgl, 365 library buildings
the libraries are very independent from each other, but they collaborate in order to become better
they are vastly different from each other (size, budget, etc) – collaborate or die
some of them run an open source ILS
UK in Lawrence – works actively with open source initiative

And then we brainstormed as many “crazy ideas” as we could. Here are a few tweets from that…check the #cilsun tag for more!

 

Rockstar Session #CILDC: “Learning 2.0 and 23 Things in Schools”

This session was awesome. Seriously. I had a feeling it might be.

Speakers:
Polly-Alida Farrington
, Consultant & Trainer, PA Farrington Associates
Sarah Ludwig, Library Department Chair & Academic Technology Coordinator, Hamden Hall Country Day School
Sara Kelley-Mudie, Library Director and Educational Technology Facilitator, The Forman School

First up was Polly-Alida Farrington! Here are the highlights from her “10 minutes of fame” (with my interpretative spin, of course):

  • The 23 Things program started at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library, but was licensed under Creative Commons (librarian win!) and has become quite “the thing”, interpreted in different ways by different people!
  • There was a “read the lesson, do the activity, respond on your own blog type of system” in place. One of the first “things” in the program was to create a blog, so that information could be shared by participants throughout the program.
  • It’s mostly likely difficult and unsustainable to build the program as a “come, watch, do” – hence the idea of building on a blog/online platform –ย  but you can (and should!) encourage your participants to build a learning community among themselves and use it for support as they learn.

Next up was Sarah Ludwig. Again, my notes:

  • She built her 19 things program using a free wordpress blog and had about 30 participants out of 60 teachers — but they were NOT the “expected” teachers/staff. You never know who may be interested in your program!
  • Promotion of the program? Done mostly through personal conversation & interaction and “talking it up”.
  • Have incentives for your participants/those who complete the program – whether it’s an award, a completion certificate, continuing ed/PE credits, coffee shop gift cards, etc!
  • Group your tools/things together by theme — this aids understanding and adds purpose to the whole process (examples: productivity, presentations, learning, writing/sharing, online life) –thenย  wrap up with a few lessons on continuing learning and how to keep in touch with the prof dev community.

The final speaker was Sara Kelley-Mudie! A few comments:

  • She used a free Blogspot blog, “14 Things to Tame” – designed as a self directed, self paced online learning community – with the addition of a weekly email.
  • She had a tracking spreadsheet so that participants could see their progress along with other, and it was updated incredibly frequently.
  • A lovely side-effect/result: the people who finished it became the evangelists for the program!

Day in the Life of an LIS student, Day 3!

Here I am… blogging yet a-a-gaiiiin… (okay, so “Hurricane” is stuck in my head and now you all know).

I was at home most of the early part of the day. What did I do? Well…

  • drank a lot of coffee, black.
  • learned an incredible amount about GoogleSites and how to manage a Google Site, and what you can’t do on a Google Site if you’re not an “owner” of the site. #frustration
  • read through the mash-up document of Common Core state standards and the Information Fluency Continuum, not for the first time, but for probably the third or fourth time…
  • worked through a module for a class, and posted to the discussion board. Whee, Blackboard!

And then I went to the clinic and tried to figure out why, after a 14-dose course of antibiotics, I’m still feeling sick. Answer: I’m probably still fighting off a virus 3.5 weeks later. So there’s that.

Then…

  • went to Panera so they could make me dinner because I’d spent so much time in the urgent care clinic that I couldn’t comprehend coming home and then making dinner.
Yet another photo in this weeks series of "Marie, staring at camera, holding large beverage container in hand". This time, it's not coffee! #shocking

Yet another photo in this weeks series of “Marie, staring at camera, holding large beverage container in hand”. This time, it’s not coffee! #shocking

  • I consumed a lot of unsweetened acai berry tea and did some mindless “Internet things”, like checking email
  • got to work on an assignment for my “tech in educational organizations” class. I actually made quite a bit of progress!
  • One of my brothers called, and we chatted for a good fifteen minutes ๐Ÿ™‚

And now I’m hanging out at home, watching coverage of the filibuster on CSPAN2, and contemplating making a banana-mango drink with my awesome food processor. Tomorrow’s another day! Gotta build up my energy. ๐Ÿ™‚

LIS student Day In The Life #2

It’s Tuesday. And day two of this project. Twosday?

It’s been said that I occasionally have “intense” hair. Well, I’d like to think it’s just a natural overflow of my intensely bubbly and helpful personality! Science tells me it’s probably just a combination of genetics and humidity, though.

Must. drink. more. coffee.(Note, the Timmy Ho Twenty Fo makes another appearance!)

Must. drink. more. coffee.
(Note, the Timmy Ho Twenty Fo makes another appearance!)

Today, I am, among other things…

  • trying to learn useful ‘tricks of the trade’ regarding GoogleSites, and how to build, curate, and manage them. Why is this harder than normal, you ask? Because my host school’s filtering policy blocks Google Help. Yep. So this project will continue tomorrow, when I’m at home and unfiltered!
  • helping out my host librarian and/or students with anything that comes up during the day. The fun part of being a librarian is something happens almost every day that must be handled almost immediately! To me, that’s fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay tuned! You never know what will happen as the day goes on…

And now it’s late afternoon and I can report that…

I found some rather entertaining infographics this afternoon. My host librarian asked for some, so, I went out in search and it was really quite fruitful. I decided to share this Anatomy of a Librarian one with y’all.

But unrelatedly, “The Very Very Many Varieties of Beer” was even more fascinating.

I’ve got assignments, modules to read, and food(s) to make tonight. See you on the twitters! ๐Ÿ™‚