Wrapping the Gift? The Role of the School Library and Evaluating the School Library Program
1 LIB 620 Library Management Fall 2012Wrapping the Gift? • The Role of the School Library • Evaluating the School Library Program
2 What are school libraries for?The Mission of the SchoolLibrary– The school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully in today‟s information and knowledge-based society. The school library equips students with life-long learning skills and develops the imagination, enabling them to live as responsible citizens. – IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto
3 AASL Mission The mission of the school librarymedia program is to ensure that thestudents and staff are effective usersof ideas and information. The schoollibrary media specialist empowersstudents to be criticalthinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillfulresearchers, and ethical users ofinformation . . . – Empowering Learners (2009).
4 What about school librarians? Roles and Responsibilitiesof the School Library Media Specialist– Leader– Instructional Partner– Information Specialist– Teacher– Program Administrator
5 More on the role of the LMSGuiding principles– Principle One: School libraries have no boundaries.– Principle Two: Library and information professionals should be flexible.– Principle Three: Ensure that students are effective users of ideas and information.– Principle Four: Information is everywhere, essential, and central. • Lowe, C. A. The Role of the School Library Media Specialist in the 21st Century. ERIC Digest. 2000-11-00
8 Leadership Are there manytypes of leaders?– Appointed Leaders– Expert Leaders– Interpersonal Leaders– Social/Informal Leaders • Are you a “born leader”? If not, you can develop skills to help you become an effective leader. Just as you become a better teacher through experience, youll become more comfortable as a leader over time. • The Teacher Librarian as Manager
10 Beyond Proficiency @ yourlibrary® supporting documents:– Beyond Proficiency @ your library Webcast– Library Media Program Rubric– Sample Evaluation Tool for School Media Librarians Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning in the Library
12Based in part on: Preemptive Action: The busy librarian‟s guide to program evaluation A workshop developed by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Professional Development Committee (No longer available online) indicates the slide was originally from the above presentation
14 What about school library program evaluation? Evaluation ofschool library media centers:– When you examine something or someone, you examine the subject and make a judgment about the quality, significance, or condition of whatever is to be evaluated. • Emanuel T. Prostano and Joyce S. Prostano, The School Library Media Center 5th ed. (Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1999), 44.
15 Purposes of evaluationTo find out what is rightTo find out what is wrong • Summary of definition in Blanche Woolls, The School Library Media Manager 2nd ed. (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 1999).
16 What can you evaluate? Everything!– Collection – Reference– Personnel service/collection:– Library Layout • Interview skills– Programs • Quality of the answers provided– Curriculum collaboration • Satisfaction of your patrons – Students or teachers—or other school staff
17 What should you evaluate?That depends . . .– On your priorities– On your economic needs and situation– On the policies and procedures established by your school, school district and/or state– On how much time you have left over from your other duties to devote to planning and executing an evaluation project
18 Why evaluate?Because you have to– Continuous assessment of services can be an ongoing requirement for accreditation/funding, etc.Because you want to– You want to find out how well you‟re doing– You want to find out how well others think you‟re doing– You want to find ways to improve your service
19 Why Evaluate?• Schools are being evaluated by student academic achievement in reading, writing and math. • Recent studies show student achievement correlates positively with effective school library programs.
20 Why Evaluate? Studies show the positive correlation withstudent achievement occurs when there is aneffective school library program [and]:– School librarians are full time and– Librarians collaborate with teachers on instructional planning.
21 Why Evaluate? Studies also show aneffective school library programincludes the following attributes:– Quality collections;– Increased hours of access beyond school day;– Professional development for teachers and librarians;– Student access to technology; and– Collaboration with other types of libraries.
22 Why Evaluate? Because. . .To improve, the librarian musthave baseline data about the program.To be relevant, the librarian mustknow if the library services andresources are aligned with the school‟sgoals for student achievement.To build a case for better support, thelibrarian needs data that demonstratesthe value of the program.
23 What Can an Evaluation Do? An evaluation enables you to:– Determine success in attaining program goals.– Determine students‟ and teachers‟ needs so they can be incorporated into the program.– Provide a basis for resource allocation.– Recognize strengths and accomplishments.– Examine the impact of the program on student learning. • Nancy Everhart, Evaluating the School Library Media Center (1998)
24 It makes sense— Focus data collecting andevaluation on those components of aschool library program that theresearch shows correlate with studentachievement.
25 Types of Evaluation Formal Informal External Internal Formative During a program Summative After the program is completed
26 Evaluation requires standards How do you know if the school libraryis ―good‖/ ―not good‖ or even ―good enough‖? – “Good enough” for what? For whom? Guidelines or rubrics or objectives for collections,performance, etc. can be found in:–
27 Types of DataQuantitative QualitativeNumber of OPAC Students‟ success rate in locating appropriatesearches resources in OPAC searchesSize of collection Collection supports the curriculumNumber oflessons planned Comprehensive andwith teachers collaborative planning is in place
31 Interpretation means creating goals and objectives The purpose and study goals shoulddetermine the types of methods and measuresyou use to conduct the evaluation Objectives will define your standard ofexcellence--the minimum level of appropriateservice for your particular clientele– Jo Bell Whitlach, Evaluating Reference Services
32 Methods of EvaluationObtrusive– People are aware of the evaluation • Self-evaluation • Surveys • ObservationUnobtrusive– data collection that does not require intrusion into the lives of participants by investigators • Glossary for Responsible Conduct in Data Management– People are unaware of the evaluation • Unobtrusive measures of physical facilities • Use of proxies—“mystery patrons”
Obtrusive reference evaluations in a school 33 library context Questionnaires orinterviews of students or teachers Numbers gathering:– Reference question counts– Numbers/types of reference books used– Circulation statistics Observation– By external observer– Self-observation: Journal
34 Evaluation Model1. Define the question.2. Collect data--determine needed data and method of collection.3. Analyze the data.4. Formulate recommendations.5. Develop an action plan.
35 Evaluation Model Step 1.Define the Question Research Finding The Question Students whose school What data are librarian plays an needed to instructional role determine whether tend to achieve higher or not the school than average scores. librarian plays an instructional role in the school?
37 Empowering LearnersBuilding collaborative partnerships:– Guideline: • The school library media program promotes collaboration among members of the learning community and encourages learners to be independent, lifelong users and producers of ideas and information – Empowering learners, p. 20.
38According to Empowering LearnersAddressing multiple literacies:– Guideline: • The school library media program provides instruction that addresses multiple literacies, including information literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, and technology literacy. – p. 23.
39 Evaluation Model Step 2.Collect data Determine the type needed. – Quantitative/Qualitative Determine the method of collection. – Existing statistic – Survey, questionnaire, focus group, observation
40 Evaluation Model Step 3.Analyze the data How can the data be analyzed to determine whether or not the librarian plays an effective instructional role in the school? – Identify areas of agreement and disagreement among groups. – Identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. – Identify areas where more data is needed.
44 Weakness Area Example--Target Indicator: Students are engaged in reading, writing, speaking, viewing & listening for enjoyment, enrichment, & understanding.Library Staff Response ____Basic 100% Proficient ____ ExemplaryAdministrative Response100% Basic ____ Proficient ____ ExemplaryTeaching Staff Response82% Basic 18% Proficient ____ Exemplary
45 Contradictory Data Example—Target Indicator: Effective teaching modeled & promoted. Library Basic ____ Prof. 100% Exemplary Admin. ____ Basic ____ Prof. 100% Exemplary Teacher Basic 60% Prof. 40% ExemplaryTarget Indicator: Student achievement is assessed. Library 100% Basic Prof. Exemplary Admin. 100% Basic ____ Prof. Exemplary Teacher 90% Basic 10% Prof. Exemplary
46 Back to Step 2 Collecting More Data – Focus Groups1. How are student products and performances assessed in units involving use of the library?2. How do you determine the products and performances to demonstrate mastery of content in units involving use of the library?3. What is the role of reflection in student work involving use of the library?
47 Evaluation Model Step 4.Analyze the data Role of an Advisory Committee of stakeholders— • Review the data, formulate recommendations. • For example: – Because of the strong correlation between the school librarian‟s instructional role and student achievement, the Advisory Committee establishes a three year goal of reaching the Exemplary level in all target indicators in the Teaching and Learning Rubric
Example: 48 Recommendations for First Year Standards for the 21st Century Learner – Review the Standards for the 21st Century Learner to ensure they align with content standards and set student expectations for analysis, evaluation and inquiry. – Meet with teaching teams to solicit recommended revisions. – Convene a workshop for new teachers to review the standards. Adapted from
Example: 49 Recommendations for First YearCollaborative Planning– Establish regular common planning time for teachers with the library media staff.Curriculum Development– Review school policies to remove any barriers that prevent librarians from participating in building and district curriculum sessions.
Example: 50 Recommendations for First YearReading, Writing, Speaking, Viewing– Provide a series of author workshops and develop plans with teachers for student reading, writing, speaking, and viewing responses to the author workshops.– Involve Parents.Effective Teaching– Clarify conflicting feedback through focus groups targeting use of assessment, differentiation, & inquiry in instruction.– Develop recommendations based on new data.
51 Evaluation Model Step 5. Develop an action plan Library staff develop an action plan for eachrecommendation. The Advisory Committee of Stakeholdersreviews and approves the action plans.
52 Action Plan Example:Target Indicator:Curriculum development is modeled and promotedObjective Activity Documentation Participants New Completion Resources DateReview Review School Council School None Sept. 1barriers policies minutes Council & projectedpreventing admin.librarians Secure Post schedule in Principal None Sept. 10from schedule lib. & facultyparticipating rm.in curriculumsessions. Participat Meeting Librarians None June 1 e in mtgs. minutes projected Report Faculty mtg. Librarians None Monthly back minutes Written In professional Librarians None Within 5 material library days of mtg
53 This example of an evaluation was…• Type (which one?) • Data collection methods: – Formal – Research – Internal – Rubric-based – Formative questionnaire – Focus Group • Data type: – Quantitative – Qualitative
54 Unobtrusive evaluation in schools 1Unobtrusive measures of physical facilities– “The basic premise . . . is that you can learn a great deal . . . by looking at how things wear („erosion‟), how things are left in the building („traces‟) and how things are rearranged („adaptations for use‟).” • Nancy Everhart, Evaluating the School Library Media Center: Analysis Techniques and Research Practices. Libraries Unlimited, 1998.
55 Unobtrusive evaluation in schools 2Use of proxies—―mystery patrons‖– Technique used more often in academic libraries and government documents reference services • Half-right reference: the 55% rule • 5-minute rule – Peter Hernon and Charles R. McClure, “Unobtrusive Reference Testing: The 55 Percent Rule” Library Journal April 15, 1986, 37-41. • “It‟s not true, and now we know why . . . the so-called “55% rule” has never been tested against a truly representative field sample.” – John V. Richardson, Jr., “Reference Is Better Than We Thought,” Library Journal April 15, 2002, 41-42.
56 Importance of a sophisticated modelRichardson:– “The reference service performance model [that led to the 55% rule] was overly simplistic, samples were way too small, and the test questions were not representative of real-world reference questions.”– “Students of reference service should learn about the existence of multiple performance outcomes (i.e., accuracy, utility, and satisfaction) and to recognize that each outcome is driven by different factors.” • “Reference Is Better Than We Thought.”
57 Characteristics of good modelsMeasures of reference service must be– Valid • They “accurately reflect the concept being studied.”– Reliable • They “are stable and dependable, and provide consistent results with each repeated use.”– Practical • They “require that data be relatively easy to collect.”– Useful • They “provide information that can be used to improve reference services.” – Whitlach, Evaluating Reference Services.
58 Problems of Evaluation in School Context Often the school librarian is the only oneworking in the library An evaluation project can be time-consuming to plan and to put into action
59 Solutions to evaluation problems Depends on your local situation– Your resources: • Time, money, available warm bodies– You and your creativity Make evaluation part of your routine– As you plan/prepare your program(s), include an evaluation component • Appropriate, affordable, accessible, accountable Seek collaborative partners wheneverpossible