FeatuReARtiCLE                                     Visibility, Core  “As a researcher focusing          Standards, and the...
and have identified a number of reasons         gation of ideas, and writing, speaking, and      to 2011. The purpose of t...
bookmarkit       be tt y wi n s l ow                                              visibility, and indeed, to the sustainab...
bookmarkit                                                                                             b ett y wi ns l ow ...
bookmarkit       J O HN P E T ER S                                               explanation centers on their visibility i...
bookmarkit                                                                                                   JO HN P E T E...
ConClusion                                     Coles, R. (1989). The call of stories: Teaching   Sandelowski, M. (1991). “...
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Ross Todd

  1. 1. FeatuReARtiCLE Visibility, Core “As a researcher focusing Standards, and the Power of the Story: on school libraries and how young people engage with them to learn, I am captivated by the stories that people tell about them.” Creating a Visible Future for School Libraries dR. Ross J. todd Peer reviewed. Accepted for publication, October 1, 2012 how their school library had helped them introduCtion: the power of the story with their learning, as well as the develop- ment of life skills. Collectively these stories I have always been inspired by many of the statements of novelist and essayist Salman provide compelling, cumulative and deeply Rushdie. In his essay titled “One Thousand Days in a Balloon,” he says, “Those who do personal insights into the power of school not have power over the story that dominates their lives—the power to retell it, rethink it, libraries. And such stories, over the years, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change—truly are powerless, because have provided me with claims, challenges, they cannot think new thoughts” (Rushdie, 1993, 17). In a similar vein, the American poet and questions about the role of school li- William Carlos Williams (1883–1963) speaks of the power of the story: “Their story, yours braries in learning and their future in an and mine—it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other evolving educational landscape. to respect our stories and learn from them” (Williams, in Cole, 1989, 30). Ah, the power of Part of my motivation for documenting the story, and the challenge to learn from them. stories about the dynamics and future of I believe in the power of the good story! Falling under the scholarly discourse of nar- school libraries centers on questions being rative intelligence, Mateaas and Sengers (1999) claim that a growing number of fields, asked about the sustainability of school li- ranging from history to psychology, law and medicine, education to social work, have braries in many countries, with evidence embraced the use of stories and narrative forms as an effective methodology to hone in of cuts in library budgets and professional on findings not possible through traditional scientific methods in order to develop rich staffing. With this decreasing visibility, patterns of meaning and insights. Sandelowski (1991) posits that the narrative nature of there are also fundamental questions being human beings has often been lost in the data-driven research environment, yet it is these asked about the sustainability of school in narratives that convey the richness, depth, and variation of experience and, through tell- the increasingly digital information envi- ing and selection, are given cohesion, meaning, and direction. According to Atlee (2003) ronment of school education (Hay & Todd, of the Co-Intelligence Institute, the strengths of the use of “story” as a data collection 2010), particularly the increasing trend of and presentation approach include the tendency to understand things better when they mobile technology as the dominant plat- are presented in the form of a story (and sometimes to have trouble understanding things form for accessing information content, when they aren’t presented as stories); the capacity to sense the importance of context, the changing arena of content publishing, character, and history in any explanation; the ability to see another’s viewpoint when pre- and development of new delivery platforms sented with the stories that underlie or embody that viewpoint; the ability and tendency such as apps, ebooks and etexts. to see people, places, and things in fresh, insightful, and functional ways in a story; and the ability to recognize certain elements as significant, as embodying certain meanings from inVisibility to that “make sense of things. opportunity As a researcher focusing on school libraries and how young people engage with them to learn, I am captivated by the stories that people tell about them. Story, as a data- The question of visibility has plagued collection approach, has been pervasive in much of my research. I remember when we the school library profession for decades. collected ten thousand stories as part of the Student Learning through Ohio School Li- Hartzell (2002), Turner (1980), and Oberg braries research study (Todd & Kuhlthau, 2005). Students told in many different ways (2006) speak of occupational invisibility 8 TEACHER LIBRARIAN 39:6
  2. 2. and have identified a number of reasons gation of ideas, and writing, speaking, and to 2011. The purpose of this study was tofor this by administrators and teachers. listening as central to developing informed construct a picture of the status of New Jer-These include the pervasive nature of the creative responses to information. And in sey’s school libraries and to understand thestereotypical image; administrators’ and my view, students’ developing deep knowl- contextual and professional dynamics andteachers’ lack of exposure to the value of edge of their curriculum standards is core contribution of quality school libraries tolibraries; school librarians in teacher and work of the school librarian. education in New Jersey. Executive sum-administrative training; a lack of under- Eleven years ago, in a keynote address maries and full reports of these findings arestanding of the role of school librarians in at the IASL conference in New Zealand available at the CISSL website: cissl.rutgers.the workplace; the difficulty in measuring (Todd 2001), I made the statement: “In or- edu (Todd, Gordon, & Lu, 2010; Todd, Gor-the extent and value of librarians’ contri- der for school libraries to play a key role in don, & Lu, 2011). Phase 2 of the NJ researchbutions to classrooms; lack of seeing the the information age school, I believe there focused on documenting the perspectives,strong connection to the learning agenda needs to be a fundamental shift from think- perceptions, attitudes, and values of schoolof the school; and the lack of visibility in ing about the movement and management principals, curriculum leaders, and class-professional organizations outside of li- of information resources through structures room teachers through the narrative storiesbrarianship. At the same time, a body of and networks, and from information skills of their use of and engagement with theresearch exists that helps us understand and information literacy, to a key focus on school library. We believed that these sto-the dynamics of visibility, centering on knowledge construction and human un- ries would provide insight into how they seeadvancing school goals and including an derstanding, implemented through a con- students using and learning through schoolexplicit focus on instruction and curricu- structivist, inquiry-based framework. . . . libraries; their attitudes, values and beliefslum, team-based leadership in learning, Information is the heartbeat of meaningful about school libraries; and their insightsand leadership in schoolwide professional learning in schools. But it is not the hall- on the impact of school libraries on stu-development (Henri, Hay, & Oberg, 2002; mark of the twenty-first-century school. dent learning. This involved focus groups ofOberg 2006). The hallmark of a school library in the ninety seven participants in twelve schools These dynamics of visibility are parallel twenty-first century . . . is the development that were chosen because of their high lev-with the emergence of the Common Core of human understanding, meaning making, els of instructional collaborations under-Standards, and the affordances offered by and constructing knowledge.” While our taken by school librarian-teacher teams,these standards for building visibility are quest for the development of an informa- as identified in the first phase of the study.enormous. From my perspective, at the tion-literate school is indeed a noble one, I Classroom teachers constituted 49%, 29%heart of the Common Core Standards is the believe that deep knowledge is the core out- were school or district administrative lead-information-to-knowledge journey of stu- come of a school, enabled through powerful ers such as principals and curriculum coor-dents, a focus on developing deep knowl- pedagogies that develop the critical and an- dinators, and 22% were school librarians.edge and understanding of curriculum alytical-thinking and knowledge-building The focus groups addressed four themes:content through engagement with informa- processes. It is no longer about the teacher (1) In what ways does the school supporttional texts. The Common Core Standards teaching “content” and the school librarian learning through the school library? (2) Inprovide an intensified focus on the deep teaching “information skills.” It is about the what ways, if any, does the school librarycritical reading of complex informational mutuality of intent—working together to de- contribute to learning? (3) What do studentstexts to build meaning and understanding velop deep knowledge and understanding. learn through their interaction and engage-of curriculum content. Deep critical read- The Common Core Standards clearly signal ment with the school library? (4) How doing involves school librarians not just en- the knowledge-based competencies that you envision the future of school libraries?gaging in the evaluation of text but also I believe should be the instructional focus The stories of effective school libraries, asmatching learners, texts, readability levels, of the school librarian, an essential part of told in this study, provide support for theand tasks. It also involves the explicit and the challenge of being visible in the learn- central concepts of visibility, content stan-systematic development of capacity to in- ing agenda of schools as they grapple with dards, and knowledge.teract with text to construct deep knowl- Common Core Standards.edge. This includes such capabilities as listen to the storiesanalyzing texts for pertinent ideas and the one Common goalinterconnection of main ideas and support- In the twelve schools, the work of theing ideas, connecting ideas across diverse This is clearly illustrated in the findings of school librarians was highly visible, highlytexts, developing arguments, crafting in- the recent New Jersey research study “One valued, and focused firmly on enabling theformed and evidence-based conclusions Common Goal: Student Learning,” under- school to meet curriculum goals that cen-through interaction with diverse and con- taken in two phases by the Center for In- tered around core content standards. Fromflicting viewpoints, establishing and justi- ternational Scholarship in School Libraries the focus group data, we identified a num-fying positions through the critical interro- (CISSL) at Rutgers University from 2009 ber of key factors that contributed to this OCTOBER 2012 9
  3. 3. bookmarkit be tt y wi n s l ow visibility, and indeed, to the sustainability ing to implement the curriculum to of these school libraries. These include the teachers are teaching . . . from a cur- Junior fiction school library as a pedagogical center; the riculum perspective, the library is the school librarian primarily working as a place where the curriculum gets im-Bending the Rules coteacher; the focus on curriculum knowl- plemented. And not just pieces of theThe Friendship Matchmaker. Randa edge and meeting syllabus standards; and curriculum but the whole curriculum.Abdel-Fattah.Walker Publishing the implementation of an inquiry-based For me, [the school librarian’s] abil-Company, 2011. $15.99. 978-0-802- pedagogy. It was clear in these schools that ity to work with other teachers is very72832-6.Grades 4-6. Lara Zany, an the school libraries existed within a culture important for that. She’s not seeingofficial “loner by choice”, is famous for of schoolwide support—there was deeply one part of the knowledge that we’refriendship coaching, but when the new embedded belief in the vision of the school trying to impart to students, she’sgirl challenges her to a matchmaker library as a pedagogical center, trusting seeing the whole picture and that al-showdown, Lara discovers (to her school librarians with the freedom to enact lows her to bring language arts skills,surprise) friendships aren’t always made their learning-centered vision, and ongo- to science skills to history, and so onby following rules. ing support from principals and teachers. makes it easier.Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities. Take some time to listen to and reflect onMike Jung. Arthur A. Levine Books, the following stories. Visibility through2012.$16.99. 978-0-545-39251-8. Grades Coteaching3-7. Vincent, George, and Max (who Visibility throughcomprise the Captain Stupendous Fan Learning-Centered Vision Visibility in learning was enabled primar-Club, the world’s smallest fan club ever) ily through the school librarians workingare stunned when Captain Stupendous The stories as told in these schools share the as coteachers. A school principal claimed,has a heart attack and transfers his strong belief of the central importance of, Probably the greatest asset is thatpowers to one of their classmates. and contribution of, school libraries to the [the] librarians see themselves as cote-Gold Medal Summer. Donna Freitas. learning, life, and culture of their schools, a achers in every situation, instead ofArthur A. Levine Books, 2012. $16.99. belief that stems from a learning-centered maybe what we always thought of as978-0-545-32788-6. Grades 5-8. Fourteen- vision made visible throughout the school. a traditional librarian. So I see that asyear-old Joey has to choose between A school principal says, “The media spe- our greatest strength. They are threethe next level of gymnastics and a gold cialist articulated that she had a vision and individuals who truly believe that theymedal (a goal she’s had for years) having that vision of what the media cen- are co-teachers with that teacher. Theyor having a normal life (including a ter should be, a place where people want are impacting a very specific type ofboyfriend, dating, and hanging out with to come and learn. However that may be, knowledge that they want the studentsfriends). Committed gymnasts can’t have whether it’s formal or informal, they share to come away with whether it’s researchboth…. that vision and therefore it happens.” or media literacy leading to contentShowoff. Gordon Korman. Scholastic At the heart of this vision is the cen- knowledge. They are approaching itPress, 2012. $16.99. 978-0-545-32059-7. tral role of learning, as expressed by a lan- from a teaching standpoint which hasGrades 3-7. When Luthor, a former attack guage arts supervisor: “The library serves not always been my experience.dog, causes destruction at a dog show, as a learning tool to support every avenue This is echoed by an English teacher:his owner, Samantha, has to take him to of education rather than just as a micro- I really think that [it is] because thethe pound. Can Sam’s friends find a way scope just supporting biology or a chalk- librarians are coteachers for the mostto reunite the grief-stricken girl and her board just supporting note taking. So the part. The kids get to see us workingdog? library becomes more all encompassing as together with another adult. And I a tool that supports learning.” think that’s really important. They getA Star Is Born (The Cruisers, book3).Walter Dean Myers. Scholastic A district curriculum supervisor em- to learn how to collaborate. How toPress, 2012. $17.99. 978-0-439-91628-8. phasizes that this learning role focuses on be curious and how to work throughGrade 5-7. When LaShonda is offered a implementing the school curriculum: problems together. Maybe that’s a hid-much-needed design scholarship (which One of the things that I’ve tried to den type of learning, but I think that’swill take her away from her autistic little emphasize in my role is that he library one of the most valuable things thatbrother), she has to make some difficult and the librarians are not separate they get out of it is that they get to seechoices – and the Cruisers are right from the rest of the school. It’s not a us work together and model what webehind her, no matter what. separate piece. It’s actually the center want them to be able to do in small of the school. . . . Being involved in groups and together as a class. the curriculum decisions and help- Another English teacher claims: 10 TEACHER LIBRARIAN 39:6
  4. 4. bookmarkit b ett y wi ns l ow They’re not just librarians, and I part of the growth concept. And they don’t mean that in a negative sense, have challenged themselves to be on Junior fiction but they’re educators. They’re teach- the cutting edge of what’s going on ers. [School librarian] teaches, [school and what teachers need. So what they librarian] teaches, and that is the key. do is challenge themselves to go out Mysteries and Mayhem Because they are in the classroom with and figure out how best to service The Always War. Margaret Peterson kids, or young adult learners, and they what our needs are. And in order for Haddix. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $16.99. know what it’s like, they haven’t for- them to do that, they have to listen 978-1-416-99526-5. Grades 4-6. A gotten—they know the apprehension very well, they have to be willing to futuristic America has been at war for that we might feel, they understand get outside of their comfort zone and more than seventy-five years, with no when we’re nervous about teaching be educated, and then they work to end in sight, until fifteen-year-old Tessa, something that’s new to us, and they integrate this through their teaching. her childhood friend Gideon (now a war just ease those tensions completely. hero), and a young orphan, Dek, throw a And they make it a comfortable situ- The Investment of Visibility monkey wrench into the works. ation. . . . And they go above and be- The False Prince. Jennifer A. Nielsen. yond for one teacher—and they’re not As portrayed by the above principals, it Scholastic Press, 2012. $17.99. 978-0-545- just doing it for one of us—there are a is the primacy of the teaching role that is 28413-4. Grades 4-7. To unite a country lot of us. valued. This contributes a significant part headed into civil war, a nobleman One school principal cuts to the es- in the wider school culture of investing in attempts to train an orphan boy tosence of why school libraries are visible school libraries, giving the school librar- impersonate the heir to the throne (longand valuable, and that centers on quality ians the freedom to implement their profes- missing and presumed dead). However,teaching: sional expertise and supporting them with the boys have other plans…. We’re still in a time where we budgeting for resources and opportunities Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super don’t believe our information cen- for professional development, particularly Sleuth. Jane O’Connor. Robin Preiss ters are as powerful as they are, as in difficult economic times. This is further Glasser. HarperCollins, 2012. $9.99. our educators believe. Our librarian explained by another school principal: 978-0-062-08293-0. Grades 2-4. Nancy is a powerful educator. Our informa- The key to having a successful li- and her best friend, Bree, love pretending tion center is as good as the teaching brary is the librarians, and as a dis- to be sleuths, but when a crime actually that goes on there. Principals also ac- trict we’ve recognized that. They are occurs at school, will they be able to find knowledge that this teaching function teachers. They teach. And we not only the missing item from show-and-tell and is at the nucleus of all the functions provide financial assistance in terms identify the crook? that a school librarian performs on a of materials but also for professional The Mastermind Plot. Angie Frazier. daily basis: Well obviously it’s well development. . . . They have to find Scholastic Press, 2012. $16.99. 978-0- organized and, from an administra- out what’s the most up-to-date things 545-20864-2. Grades 4-6. When Suzanna tive perspective, it’s financially well happening in informational technol- visits her Bostonian grandmother, she supported. The library is stocked with ogy, and once they know then they hopes to get training from her famous resources and that continues year af- can scaffold that as teachers, and detective uncle, but he doesn’t want her ter year. And the librarian does a great that’s what everyone is saying about “meddling” in his current case, even if job of selecting pertinent resources for how they help the teachers. But they she does have great ideas! kids and with the financial support can do that because they themselves The Secret of the Ginger Mice. Frances and him navigating through materi- are professionally developed and they Watt. Running Press Book Publishers, als; what kids like and what the kids can pass that on in that procedure. 2012. $12.95. 978-0-762-44410-6. Grades want to read that all plays into it too. A seventh-grade social studies teacher 4-6. Alice and Alex set off to find their But most importantly, our librarian is further commented: missing brother, Alistair, while Alistair a teacher and works so much in an in- A school that values its library is teams up with Tibby Rose (the only other valuable teaching capacity. a school that values education. Just ginger-colored mouse he’s ever seen) to And from the perspective of another looking around here and seeing the find their way home, amidst kidnappings,principal: resources available, you know that the mysterious letters, and other dangers. The librarians are not necessarily leaders of this school system believe librarians—they are media teachers. in a strong library. They’re teachers first. And their role is A principal explains what is behind entirely different here than anywhere his support of the school library, and his else I’ve ever been. Because they are OCTOBER 2012 11
  5. 5. bookmarkit J O HN P E T ER S explanation centers on their visibility in tent knowledge. From the perspective of terms of learning outcomes: the focus group participants, this is a key picture books I understood that the media center dimension of visibility. They valued the in a library would be the center of any instructional role of the school librariansBACK TO SCHOOL great high school. And any good high emphasizing to students the developmentIt’s Time for Preschool! Esmé Raji school would feed off of the energy of deep knowledge and understanding ofCodell. Ill by Sue Ramá. Greenwillow, of the media center. In early 2000 we curriculum content standards, enabled2012. $15.99. 978-0-06-145518-6. Grades brought these two in, and we recognized through a suite of information-to-knowl-PreK-1. A soothing readaloud for that the media center was not only the edge capabilities. School libraries wereanxious new students, this picturebook center of the building but the center viewed as places where the content of thesystematically lays out typical common of the world. We had to open up our disciplines come together and was inte-preschool activities and in very simple school to that way of thinking. Thanks grated to create deep knowledge, and thisillustrations shows both familiar to the progressive leadership we’ve got- was the core work of the library. A districtclassroom items and a multicultural ten from our media specialists, we’ve curriculum supervisor claimed:group of children (generally) having agood time with them. gotten that. People have challenged me, The library is the place where asking why we have two media special- the disciplines meet. It’s where theMonster School: First Day Frights. ists—these are tough budgetary times as academic disciplines are integrated.Dave Keane. HarperCollins, 2012. you know. Our governor is challenging Whereas in the classroom, we some-$16.99. 978-0-06-085476-8. Grades K-2. us daily to do more with less, and we times become compartmentalized.Young Norm wonders whether he’llfit in—considering that his teacher can point to the evidence of continu- Here, students can access info acrosshas just one eye, his principal has no ing increases in test scores, continu- disciplines, and I think that’s a reallyhead, and his classmates are all creepy ing increases in SAT scores, continuing important application of the knowl-creatures. Fledgling readers will laugh increases in advance proficient ratings edge that’s happening in the class-at the unusually diverse cast depicted in our state-mandated graduation test. room and being developed morein Keane’s comical cartoon illustrations. These things are a direct reflection of deeply. They can come here and applyThey can easily listen to this reassuring the work our media specialists and our it in a real-world setting.tale or read it for themselves. content specialists have done with our A curriculum supervisor explains thatSubstitute Creacher. Chris Gall. Little students on a daily basis. . . . Another this happens in two ways:Brown, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-316-08915-9. important thing to point out is that we In terms of contributing to theGrades 1-3. The best “sub” since Miss have made it a priority, our media center learning process, the library does it,Nelson, Mr. Creacher sports green budget—it is not a secondary thing. We but on two different levels. In termstentacles and eyes in the back of his head, set up a regular budget line for purg- of content support but also skill sup-along with a bag full of cautionary tales ing our books. We don’t have books out port. And sometimes those skills areabout the sad fates of former students here that are outdated; we don’t have sometimes more imperative than thewho ate glue, passed notes, didn’t pay books out here that don’t belong. We do content because they are lifelongattention, or played pranks. In Gall’s regular purging and regular buying of skills that the teachers are supportingwonderfully detailed paintings not only books that are that work for kids. I tell through their content as well.do the chastened students undergo atransformation—but so too does Creacher. you that is a big, big challenge when Content and skills meet, and deep you are cutting here, you’re cutting a learning of curriculum content is enabledTen Rules You Absolutely Must Not security guard, you’re cutting this. The through the mutuality of working togetherBreak If You Want to Survive the School average Joe doesn’t understand, but we to develop content standards. It is not a caseBus. John Grandits. Ill. By Michael Allen are trying to keep our eye on the ball. of the teacher teaching content, and theAustin. Clarion Books, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-618-78822-4. Grades 2-3. Worried about And the nice thing about it for me is school librarian teaching skills, but workingbeing laughed at or pounded by big kids, that I have so many people around here together to ensure that the skills learned arehaving his lunch stolen, and other hazards, that give me daily reminders, including powerful competencies for students to de-a voluble lad tries to follow the rules laid the media specialists. velop content knowledge. Teachers saw thisdown by his older and more experienced happening through inquiry-based instruc-brother. Things don’t quite work out Visibility through tion and implemented through instructionalas expected, though. Accomplished Developing Content teams. This inquiry-based instruction gaveillustrations in which the narrator’s fellow Knowledge emphasis to developing deep knowledgeriders (and the driver) are cast as big, and understanding, rather than that of in-(deceptively) mean looking figures, Central to the teaching role is school librar- formation collection and skills of findingsometimes with animal heads, punch up ians working in teams to develop core con- information. Teachers across the disciplinethe humor of this wry anxiety-dispeller. 12 TEACHER LIBRARIAN 39:6
  6. 6. bookmarkit JO HN P E T ER Sareas in these schools wanted their students because you have to think. It’s notto develop deep knowledge and under- just a project they’re given in writ- picture booksstanding of curriculum content, and their ten form. It has a visual component,collaborative inquiry-centered instruction it’s something they can identify withwith school librarians served that goal. The that’s in their interest, and it has a PICTURE BOOKdevelopment of a range of information pro- product; and they get to demonstrate BIOGRAPHIES: Middlecesses and research capabilities was a vehi- their understanding in class on the Gradescle to curriculum content standards, and not white board, so you know, it’s library Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina.an end in its own right, even though such orientation but in a different format Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. Ill. by Raulcapabilities are viewed as vitally important leading to students knowing history I Colón. Marshall Cavendish, 2011.lifetime capabilities. guess its the best way to explain it. $19.99. 978-0-7614-5562-2. Grades 4-6. A supervisor of Instruction explains it And a school principal sums it up in a Presented in free verse poems andthis way: “There are the ideas such as media powerful way: graceful, evocative paintings, this storyliteracy, visual literacy, information literacy— I think for me it comes down to if of a dancer who battled progressivethey’ve all sort of been folded under the um- you’ve ever seen in class support where partial blindness to become one ofbrella of twenty-first-century inquiry skills.” there’s a strong coteaching model, and Cuba’s most renowned artists makesA language arts supervisor elaborates: it’s hard to know who the regular ed inspiring reading. Based on original You have to inquire within a li- teacher is, who the special ed teacher interviews as well as published sources, brary, but you also have to be capable is, where one person’s role ends and this handsomely designed book ends in your content area. . . . So the li- another person’s role starts, and in a with multimedia resource lists. brarian’s role is two-fold: There’s sup- really good coteaching model there is Irena Sendler and the Children of the porting what goes on in every content joint ownership of the lessons, presen- Warsaw Ghetto. Susan Goldman Rubin. area so that they have to know what’s tation, of the learning that goes on, Ill. by Bill Farnsworth. Holiday House, going on globally, but then they have not just for some of the students but 2011. $18.95. 978-0-8234-2251-7. Grades to be able to support the inquiry skills for all of the students, so I think what 4-6. The story of a Catholic social worker that the students need to be able to you see here is a true coteaching model who joined the Polish Underground in conduct research or to use software, where there is teaming going on. So, WWII and helped to smuggle nearly to locate a book. So in terms of con- what happens is, I think the librarians 400 children out of the Warsaw ghetto, tributing to the learning process, the challenge the teachers to step outside and then helped to keep many of them library does it, but on two different of their comfort zone because they step hidden from the Nazis. Farnsworth’s levels: in terms of content support but outside of their comfort zone. grim looking illustrations underscore also inquiry skills support. And some- With emphasis on inquiry, thinking, the dangers she and her young charges times those skills are more imperative and knowledge building, the school librar- faced, and readers will find both her than the content because they are life- ies were positioned as knowledge spaces courage and her ingenuity admirable. long skills that the teachers are sup- rather than information places—particu- Multimedia resource list at the end. porting through their content as well. larly at a time when the educational land- Joan of Arc. Demi. Marshall Cavendish, These educators recognize the intercon- scape in many countries is calling for 2011. $19.99. 978-0-7614-5953-8. Gradesnectedness of content and skills and the students to be creators and producers of 5-7. “To live without belief, that is a fatemutuality of working together in a seam- knowledge rather than receivers of infor- more terrible than dying.” So said Joan,less way to enable this connection. The mation. A middle school teachers explains, visionary, warrior, and patron saint ofperspective of a history teacher reiterates So it represents that space; it repre- France. In typically sumptuous fashion,the importance of this interconnectedness: sents that thirst for knowledge—where Demi presents scenes of the martyred I don’t want it to be something students can go if they want more. hero—usually in full armor astride a that’s detached from what the students And I think not only physically is it white horse—shining amid triumphs need to know about history. So it was that space, but also psychologically and tribulations highlighted with gold creating history knowledge. It was representing that to them, because our and surrounded with intricately detailed borders. There are many biographies of not just transporting information, but job is also to create a thirst of knowl- Joan of Arc, but none so visually rich. you know transforming information edge. . . . Having that space for them is with new knowledge for them. It cuts important for them, to go there, and to down on a lot of issues like plagia- know that’s there, and that someone rism. There’s no possible way to pla- will guide them through. And to point giarize those assignments because you them in the direction they need to go. have to think. And the kids like them OCTOBER 2012 13
  7. 7. ConClusion Coles, R. (1989). The call of stories: Teaching Sandelowski, M. (1991). “Telling stories: and the moral imagination. Boston: A Peter Narrative approaches in qualitative re-From this study, some key factors contrib- Davison Book/ Houghton Mifflin. search.” IMAGE: Journal of Nursing Schol-uting to building visibility emerge. These arship, 23(3), 161–166.include a vision of the school library as Hay, L. (2010). “Shift happens: It’s time toa pedagogical center; the school librarian rethink, rebuild and rebrand.” Access, 24(4), Todd, R. (2001). Transitions for preferred fu-primarily working as a coteacher; the focus 5–10. tures of school libraries: Knowledge space,on curriculum knowledge and meeting syl- not information place; connections, not col-labus standards; and the implementation Hartzell, G. (2002). “The principal’s per- lections; actions, not positions; evidence,of an inquiry-based pedagogy. These are ceptions of school libraries and teacher- not advocacy. Keynote address: Interna-the building blocks of sustainable school librarians.” School Libraries Worldwide, tional Association of School Libraries (IASL)libraries for the future. These factors are 8(1), 92–110. Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 2001.central to emerging conceptions of future Available at http://www.iasl-online.org/school libraries, such as Hay’s iCentre con- Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School librar- events/conf/virtualpaper2001.html.ception (Hay, 2010) and the Learning Com- ies 21C: School library futures project. Re-mons conception of Loertscher, Koechlin, port for New South Wales Department of Todd, R. J., Gordon, C. A., & Lu, Y. (2010).Zwaan, and Rosenfeld[Q: add to refs] Education & Training, Curriculum K–12 Report on findings and recommendations of(2012). These conceptions bring together a Directorate, School Libraries & Informa- the New Jersey school library study phaseset of core elements that in my view char- tion Literacy Unit. Sydney: Curriculum 1: One common goal: Student learning.acterize a sustainable and visible school K–12 Directorate. Available at http://www. New Brunswick, NJ: CISSL. Available atlibrary for the future. These include con- curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/ www.cissl.rutgers.edu.nected leadership through a team approach schoollibraries/assets/pdf/21c_report.pdf.to instruction; engaging information for Todd, R., Gordon, C., & Lu, Y. (2011). Reportlearning experts, curriculum instructional Henri, J., Hay, L., & Oberg, D. (2002). “An on findings and recommendations of theexperts, and technology instruction experts international study on principal influence New Jersey school library study phase 2:who support deep learning of students; and information services in schools: Syn- Once common goal: Student Learning. Newpedagogical fusion, where the expertise ergy in themes and methods.” School Li- Brunswick, NJ: CISSL. Available at www.of teams mutually fuse declarative knowl- braries Worldwide, 8(1), 49–70. cissl.rutgers.edu.edge (knowledge of disciplinary content);and procedural knowledge (the process Loertscher, D., Koechlin, C., & Zwaan, S. Todd, R., & Kuhlthau, C. (2005). “Studentcapabilities that enable the information- (2010). The new learning commons where learning through Ohio school libraries, part 1:to-knowledge experience and engagement learners win! Reinventing school libraries How effective school libraries help students.”with information in all its forms) in a ho- and computer labs, 2nd Ed. Salt Lake City: School Libraries Worldwide, 11(1), 89–110.listic and integrated way through a con- High Willow Research and Publishing.structivist, inquiry-centered pedagogical Turner, P. M. (1980). “The relationshipframework; and making visible the focus Mateas, M., & Sengers, P. (1999). (Eds.) Nar- between the principal’s attitude and theon learning, policy development, and ap- rative intelligence: An introduction to the NI amount and type of instructional devel-proaches to documenting evidence of Symposium. Working notes of the Narrative opment performed by the media profes-learning outcomes. These core dimensions Intelligence Symposium, AAAI Fall Sympo- sional.” International Journal of Instruc-underpin pedagogical policy and practice, sium Series. Menlo Park: Calif.: AAAI Press. tional Media, 7(2), 127–138.strategic and operational functionality, de- Oberg, D. (2006). Developing the respect andcision making, and continuous investment support of school administrators. Availableand improvement—it’s all about carefully at http://www.redorbit.com/news/educa- Ross J. Todd is associate professor, Rut-chosen actions underpinned by a learning- tion/397062/developing_the_respect_and_ gers University, School of Communicationcentered mindset. And that is at the heart support_of_school_administrators/. and Information, Department of Library &of professional visibility. Information Science. He is drector of the Rushdie, S. (1993). “One Thousand Days in Center for International Scholarship inreferenCes a Balloon.” In Steve MacDonogh, (ed.), The School Libraries. A highly respected re- Rushdie Letters: Freedom to Speak, Free- searcher, Todd is a prolific contributor toAtlee, T. (2003). “The power of story: The dom to Write. Dingle, County Kerry: Bran- professional literature.story paradigm.” Eugene, OR: Co-Intelli- don Book Publishers.gence Institute. Available at http://www.co-intelligence.org/I-powerofstory.html.14 TEACHER LIBRARIAN 39:6