Library Assessment Project


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Library Assessment Project

  1. 1. Learning Environment Assessment:On the Path to Success! Jennifer Gladkowski Maegen Rose LIS 773: School Libraries Assessment of School Library Program
  2. 2. Donald L. Morrill Math &Science Specialty School Donald L. Morrill School is a Chicago public elementary school located on the Southwest side of the city. It has a population of 850 students. 55% of the student population is Latino, and 45% is African American. 20% of the student population have special needs. The school has been on academic probation for the past 12 years, but the 2011-2012 school year saw improved ISAT scores.
  3. 3. Learning Environment #1"The school library encompasses both physical and virtualspaces that provide flexible, equitable, and efficient access toresources for all learners." (Linking for Learning, p. 32)~ Historically, the school librarian did not create a spaceaimed at ensuring learners of all levels could access physicalor virtual resources.~ There is little evidence of a virtual space beyond theavailability of a few computers and other equipment in thelibrary.~ Given the seriously outdated nature of materials foundthroughout the library, the collection had not been weeded inover a decade, nor did it represent the growing needs of theschool population.
  4. 4. Outdated Materials FoundSummer 2012
  5. 5. Learning Environment #1 (cont.)~ It is unclear what library policies and procedures were inplace for collection development, circulation, technology andoverall learning.~The ability to have a well-planned, technology rich, student-focused library media center has always existed, butopportunities and resources were not severely under-utilized.Based on an in-person visit of the library andinformation provided by the new school librarian, thelibrary program rates as Deficient in LearningEnvironment #1, according to the Illinois School LibraryMedia Program Guidelines Rubric.
  6. 6. Learning Environment #2"The school library consists of both physical and virtual resources that havebeen selected through strategic planning, research, and evidence-basedpractice." (Linking for Learning, p. 34)Physical Resources:~Up until now, reference collection has stagnated; most recent set ofencyclopedias is from 2004.~Collection does not fully represent the needs of the student population - notenough engaging nonfiction texts.~Fiction collection is a mixed bag of outdated titles, as well as a limited amountof newer, award-winning and commercially popular titles.~There is a need for a graphic novel collection and wider array of young adulttitles.~Collection has not been weeded or maintained in accordance with theChicago Public Schools Collection Development Policy:
  7. 7. Over 100 copies of the HarryPotter series, books 1-7 It is important for school library collections to have popular materials available to students. However, those materials should be diverse and available in a variety of formats.
  8. 8. Learning Environment #2 (cont.)Virtual Resources:~Student and teacher surveys indicate that online databases are not utilized;most teachers were not even aware the district subscribes to these databases.~There is available technology available in the library (SmartBoard, projector,document camera, and desktop computers) but has not been utilized regularlyup to this point by students or previous librarian.~There are a limited number of playaways and audio books, a greater variety offormats is needed to provide access to text for students with special needs(20% of student body).~Teachers indicate a lack of collaboration between themselves and thelibrarian about digital resources available to the school community.Based on the evidence, the library program rates Deficient in LearningEnvironment #2, according to the Illinois School Library Media ProgramGuidelines Rubric.
  9. 9. A well-organized space is key to a librarys usability. Thespace should be both functional and practical, striking adelicate balance between physical resources and virtualexploration. This library has great room for improvement.
  10. 10. Learning Environment #3"The school library media program receives adequate annual funding from theappropriate local authority to achieve program goals." (Linking for Learning, p.36)~Previous administration prepared the budget with little to no input fromlibrarian.~Funds were not well maintained previously, as evidenced by large quantitiesof single titles, brand-new unshelved books, and unopened Leap Pad devices.~Lack of evidence of advocacy for funding, as outdated reference andnonfiction collection demonstrates.~Previous administration failed to encourage previous librarian to utilizeavailable technology.~Current administration has pushed the use of tablets and ereaders, and haspurchased these devices to ensure their use.~No grants were applied for within the last 10 years.~Current administration has provided a sizable budget to develop the physical& virtual collection.Based on the evidence, the library program rates as Basic in LearningEnvironment #3, according to the Illinois School Library Media ProgramGuidelines Rubric.
  11. 11. Learning Environment #4The school library media program respects the principles ofprofessional ethics, intellectual freedom, and the ethical andresponsible use of information. (Linking for Learning, p. 38)~ The new school librarian could not identify any prior models orefforts to teach the school community about ethical and responsibleuse of information.~ Historically, there has been little, if any collaboration between theschool librarian and the teachers.~ No policies on internet safety, acceptable use or challengedbooks were found.The library program rates as Deficient in LearningEnvironment #4, according to the Illinois School Library MediaProgram Guidelines Rubric.
  12. 12. The Future of the Library ProgramNext Steps:Despite this assessment, the current administration, after one year on the job,is making a concerted effort to transform this library program into one that isviable and provides engaging, high-quality resources to its students. Byreplacing the previous librarian with a new one who is currently pursuing anMLIS, it is likely students will be empowered to become "well-informed learnersand decision makers." The addition of current technology, formats, andrelevant collection materials all seek to ensure that students will graduate from8th grade well-equipped and prepared to succeed in high school.
  13. 13. Library Program Goals~Provide professional development for teachers on how to use the onlinecatalog and databases~Instruct all students how to use the online research tools ethically~Create a functional school library website and blog~Purchase new and relevant materials, including fiction & nonfiction titles,magazines, database subscriptions, and ebooks for use on 35 Nooks and 6iPads~Subscribe to professional library journals~Continue to weed the collection monthly to make room for new materials~Empower students and staff to utilize all available technology resources~Collaborate with classroom teachers to ensure library instruction supportsclassroom instruction as well as the Common Core State Standards
  14. 14. ReferencesChicago Public Schools Department of Libraryand Information Services. L. Morrill Math & Science Specialty School. School Library Media Association. (2010). Linking for Learning. 3rd edition. Canton, IL: ISLMA.