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My Teacher Said "Just Use the Internet": Instructional Library Outreach to Middle School Students

My Teacher Said "Just Use the Internet": Instructional Library Outreach to Middle School Students



PowerPoint presentation from California Library Association conference in Pasadena, Fall 2009.

PowerPoint presentation from California Library Association conference in Pasadena, Fall 2009.



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    My Teacher Said "Just Use the Internet": Instructional Library Outreach to Middle School Students My Teacher Said "Just Use the Internet": Instructional Library Outreach to Middle School Students Presentation Transcript

    • “ My Teacher Said Just Use the Internet” Why Middle School Students Need Instructional Outreach and How to Deliver It
    • Part One: Why Do Outreach?
      • California School Libraries are understaffed and understocked.
        • Library media technicians or school librarians may not have time to teach research skills.
        • Information needs of middle school students sometimes exceed resources of school libraries.
      • Outreach benefits your library.
    • California Public School Libraries: 51 st in the Nation
      • CA school teacher librarian to student ratio: 1:5,124
        • National average: 1:916
      • CA averages 18 books per student, K-12.
        • Top 25% of schools in nation average 26 per student.
      • CA books’ average copyright date: 1993.
      • Only 24% of schools report having a certified teacher librarian on campus at least part time—mostly in the high schools. Many employ classified staff instead.
      • Source: CA Dept. of Ed. “Statistics About California School Libraries”
    • Students Build Skills Over Time
      • Students don’t arrive at college “library savvy.”
      • College success is higher when high schools have librarians (Smalley, 2004).
      • Even before high school, students begin doing research that requires more resources than some middle school libraries can provide.
      • High achievers particularly are expected to gather, analyze, and even synthesize information.
      • In the absence of school librarians and access to adequate library resources, students turn to the Internet, developing basic search techniques but inadequate evaluation skills.
    • Case in Point:
      • Crystal links to Ancient China
        • Crystalinks.comPersonal Web site ranking high on Google results list for “Ancient China” search.
        • Site also has link to psychic readings, casting doubt on quality and veracity of site’s information.
    • Types of Assignments Requiring Research
      • AVID: Students research universities and careers.
      • Social Studies: Students need information for speeches, papers, posters, projects.
      • English: Students need background information for literature, including author bios; descriptions of historical periods, social movements, or cultures for context; and even court cases.
      • Science: Present biographical posters, including scientists’ contributions; locate instructions for building water-fueled rockets or other experiments; write essay and create poster on ecological problem
      • Foreign Language: reports on aspects of culture and on country in which language is spoken; recipes
    • Sample Assignments
      • Please see packet for these handouts.
      • Middle School Assignments ChinaProject_Butler.pdf
      • Middle School Assignments ResearchProjectDirectionsButler.pdf
      • Middle School AssignmentsDecorative Character.doc
      • Middle School AssignmentsPhys Sci Bio Poster.doc
    • How Do Teens Conduct Research?
      • I asked three small groups of middle and high school students how they would find information to meet the requirements of a mock assignment. Here is what they said:
    • Interim Solution: Outreach
      • Promotes our collections and services.
      • Builds bridges to the community.
      • Increases patronage.
      • Promotes summer reading programs.
      • Teaches people how to use the library.
      • Introduces visitors to the physical building.
      • Supports literacy with all of the above.
    • Instructional Outreach
      • Lays foundation for college library use.
      • Contributes to the development of lifelong information literacy by teaching basic research skills and Web site evaluation.
      • Demonstrates databases.
      • Emphasizes how to use the library.
      • Can be delivered inside your library or on campus at a middle or high school.
    • Part Two: How to Deliver It
      • Churchill Middle School Outreach
      • Personal & Professional Motivation
        • Parent
        • Public Librarian, Youth Services
        • Academic Librarian, Instruction
      • Catalyst: 8 th Grade Science Assignment
        • (See handout in Packet.)
    • Churchill Outreach Nuts & Bolts
      • Alert Colleagues to Visitors
      • Goals and Learning Outcomes
      • Summary of Presentation (lesson plan)
      • Student Handouts
    • Preparing Colleagues
      • Notify all by email of impending visitors.
      • Set aside potentially high-use items for a week or weekend. Let staff know location.
      • Post students’ assignment at Reference Desk.
      • Thank all colleagues profusely for supporting the young researchers and their parents with patience and encouragement.
    • Churchill Outreach Goals & SLOs
      • Students will
        • understand their privileges as community library users.
        • be able to use the catalog to locate books.
        • be able to use Academic Search Premier to locate articles.
        • understand requirements of their assignment as it pertains to the library.
      • Students/families will be feel welcome to utilize college libraries and will be able to locate them.
      • Students will be aware of public library resources and how to access them.
    • Outreach Presentation
      • My Lesson Plan
      • Their handout
      • What I would change:
        • Arrange earlier to facilitate computers in class so students can at least search catalog.
        • Focus on one library of teacher’s choice.
        • Use simpler handout .
        • Assess before presentation and at end of research project to evaluate outreach’s impact.
    • Part Three: Design Your Outreach
      • Standards
      • Locating a Target Audience
      • Contact Person
      • Sample Assignments
      • Break-out Groups
    • Cover the Standards
      • Variety of resources
      • When to use which resources
      • How to formulate questions and, from those, search terms.
      • How to access resources.
      • How to evaluate resources.
      • This can be done fairly quickly when presentation is based on an assignment.
    • People & Places
      • What schools in your area need outreach?
        • Are the students in need of this teaching moment?
        • Do they need your library?
        • Consider special programs
          • Technology-based
          • High Achieving
          • AVID Take a moment to jot down 1 or 2 schools.
      • Find a Contact Person
        • Teacher or counselor
        • Librarian
        • Personal contact
    • Real-life Assignments (in Packet)
      • View Decorative Character Assignment
        • Discuss and brainstorm as a group.
      • View China/Japan Project Assignment
        • Discuss and brainstorm lesson plan in small groups.
          • What kinds of resources? Any specific titles?
          • What search terms would you show students?
          • Any reinforcing activities or games?
      • Collect and Share
    • Bibliography
      • California Department of Education. (2008). Statistics about California school libraries . Retrieved June 8, 2009, from http://www.cde.ca.gov/CI/cr/lb/schoollibrstats08.asp
      • Smalley, T.N. (2004). College success: High school librarians make the difference. The Journal of Academic Leadership 30 (3): 193-8. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2004.02.008  
      • California Library Association. (2004). Standards and guidelines for strong school libraries . California School Library Association: Sacramento, CA.