School Libraries Under Threat: How to Ensure Survival
LIB 600 Libraries and Education Fall 2012 School libraries under threat: How to ensure survival
2Storms ahead! The economy is stormy, and principals and superintendents are looking for ways to save money. That threatens school libraries and school librarians, and they are often among the first to succumb to the storms.
10Imagine a newly modernized schoolwith a built-in library/media center— but no books to put on the shelves. Actually, youdon’t have to imagine.Read about what’s going on with libraries in D.C.public schools (DCPS) in this open letter to MayorVincent Gray from D.C. resident and school libraryadvocate Peter MacPherson. He’s been fighting amove by DCPS to cut funding for dozens of schoollibrarian positions. Read MacPherson‟s letter athttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/10/09/school-libraries-without-books/
22School Librarians Must Build Support before the crisis happens! • Step 1 - Know Your Stakeholders – Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators, Community Members, Legislators • Step 2 - Alignment – Align your goals with those of the stakeholders – Use the latest research you can find • Step 3 - Program Promotion – Build promotional efforts around stakeholder needs • Step 4 – Evaluation and Evidence – Collect and analyze relevant data about programs, resources and services – Measure what is important to stakeholders • Step 5 - Share Findings – Organize and utilize the data that shows contributions to educational goals
23Crisis Planning when the unthinkable looms • Define the situation • Know your mission • Determine a communication structure • Identify the stakeholders • Craft the message • Share the message • Get people involved • Ask for letters of support
27What does AASL say? • Empowering Learners (2009) – GUIDELINE: The school library media program is built by professionals who model leadership and best practice in the school community • ACTION: The school library media specialist . . . uses research to inform practice and makes evidence-based decisions
31Organized evidence about your own school library • Action research – Action research is any systematic inquiry conducted by teacher researchers, principals, school counselors, or other stakeholders in the teaching/learning environment to gather information about how their particular schools operate, how they teach, and how well their students learn. • (An excerpt from Geoffrey Mills book Action Research) reproduced as part of Unit 1: What is and why use action research on
331. Identify the problem From Action Research Powerpoint - Presented at November 7, 2005 Delsea Regional High School In-service. (no longer available)
34What makes a good problem statement? • State it as a question that should
35Sample questions? • How can the library promote reading, writing and listening skills with English- language learners? – ―Ipods and English-Language Learners: A Great Combination.‖ Teacher Librarian 34, no. 5 (2007). • Does collaboration with the school librarian make a difference for the senior research paper?
362. Collect data • What data? – How are we going to measure what we’re looking for? • What does ―make a difference‖ mean? – Operationalize! • ―Difference‖ suggests a comparison » Compare what? » Final products? » Compare research papers of two high school classes— one where the librarian was involved, and one where the classroom teacher worked alone » Or interview the students about their experience
43Example of action research • Improving research paper assignments: – English teachers and the school librarian collaborate to gather data in a qualitative action research study that investigates the effectiveness of an assignment that requires primary research methods and an essay of two thousand words. • Gordon, Carol. Students As Authentic Researchers: A New Prescription for the High School Research Assignment School Library Media Research vol. 2, 1999
44Goals of action research • Making things better! – Ghaye, T. (1997). Some Reflections on the Nature of Educational Action Research. School Libraries Worldwide, 3(2), 1-10.