Making the Library More

I found the articles this week fascinating in terms of how they talked about ways to really take learning beyond rote and how to do it without alienating teachers. The Hrada articles presented really incredible road maps that I could see someone putting into practice without too much trouble. Again there’s always the issue of personalities and negotiating with teachers to say, let me partner with you and together we can create a lesson plan that’s more than both of our expectations and that hopefully the students will enjoy and gain from.

Also there seems to be a clear connection to what we read last week but taking that step of saying okay these are the standards, here are ways to actually make them work in the classroom. Everything is really connected which is I think the most amazing part of this class, because it makes sense in terms of how a library is so much at the center of the school community that so many different and varied issues have an impact on what a good school librarian does. This is also a tricky thing to try and show to someone else because all of these roles are important but not always obvious.

Empowering Learners did a good job too of presenting how do you really become a partner instead of just the librarian who keeps having ideas that get in the way of what I want to do. It really seems like a tricky balance and ties into so many other things we’ve read and talked about in terms of how difficult collaboration and inquiry teaching is to get right.

I thought that the Valenza and Warren-Gross articles touched on some critical issues in relation to the panel and everything that’s happening in the economy at the moment. The idea of figuring out really how to use reading to improve test scores and help a school and students succeed really resonated with me, because its a reminder that while technology is important as with everything it comes down to how you use it. I think that’s really what I ended up taking from all of these readings that AASL, curriculua and so many other places can provide some powerful roadmaps and ideas but it all comes down to how you use them in your school.



Filed under school library management reflection

7 responses to “Making the Library More

  1. cpyee

    I agree with you about how application is what counts, not how new the school’s technology is or how there’s a new, highly-praised learning theory the school wants to try out. A school could have some great theories in librarian/teacher collaboration, but unless both parties are willing to put in the extra work required, it’s not really going to benefit the students a whole lot.

    • Oh yes and I think that’s really the hardest part to learn because its going to be different at every school depending on teachers and administrators and just the school culture.

  2. All the reading and discussion we’ve been doing has been helping me to appreciate the standards more myself. I think they’d be a big help in planning collaboratively, because you would know the kinds of things the teachers would be working on. Of course, each teacher’s approach is always different, but still, you always know that certain bases need to be covered. I wonder if part of being an “instructional leader” means that the librarian is the “standards person” — the person who helps standards come together in practice. Just a thought. I know that as a teacher I would have liked a little help keeping track of standards and making sure I was implementing them.

    • Yes, I feel the same way. I’m starting to really understand how the standards can become a road map and a place to begin a shared dialogue.

      *nods* The ‘standards person’ could make a lot of sense and I wonder if there’s another person within a school who’s supposed to have that position or not or if its more a district level thing.

      • In order to truly be effective, I would imagine the SL would have to be a curriculum expert. After all, knowing the curriculum is not only important for collaboration, but it’s essential for collection development too.

  3. Kristin

    Sometimes, I wonder if school librarians are the grout that holds the mosaic together. Each piece sparkles on its own, but a good librarian can bring the disparate pieces together. Not that we’re the only ones who can do that.

    I think your conversation about being the “standards person” is a fascinating one. Most teachers have negative connotations with the word “standards,” but I think what y’all are hinting at is that a good librarian can be a building’s de facto curriculum expert. When Carl talks to our class, try to probe at this idea with him — he is very good at having a master view of the curriculum. And yet I once had a principal acquaintance say to me, “No one would ever hire a school librarian as a curriculum director.” That disconnect is harsh!

    • I wonder if where the principal was coming from is connected to an idea that keeps coming up in the reading and discussions of how everyone really has specific things to do in a school. So there are certain standards and ideals for the school, teacher, library, librarian and that one of the challenges of inquiry based learning is stretching out of these boxes without breaking them.

      Instead creating as you said more of a mosaic but that really involves a lot of communication so that there’s a true understanding of what everyone’s doing. I think the librarian and administrators have the best chances to know the expectations for everyone so its so key for them to have a conversation that can then move outwards to the rest of the school.

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