November 21, 2011Laura L. Lee, Student PracticumHMS Media CenterPrincipal Jones:The media specialist and I have conducted a thorough analysis of Houston County’sHMS Media Center based on the guidelines set forth in the Georgia DOE 2010 LibraryMedia Program Self-Evaluation Rubric.In the following paragraphs, I will rate each of the allocated categories according to oneof three levels of proficiency as set forth in the above rubric.Category I: Student Achievement and Instruction a. Information Literacy Standards integration into the media center.The HMS media center exhibits a proficient integration of the Information LiteracyStandards Skills as addressed in Information Power and the AASL Standards for the21st-Century Learner. The basic skills are met with the media center orientationsessions offered to all entering 6th grade students, as well as to any new studentstransferring into the 7th and 8th grade classes. Each school year students are providedlessons on the understanding of the Dewey Decimal System. The media center meets theproficient standard due to the media specialist’s exemplary relationship with classroomteachers. She meets with teachers on each grade level periodically to address their needsand they partner to provide lessons for students incorporating the Georgia PerformanceStandards. The media specialist did not feel the media center meets the ExemplaryStandard, as they do not utilize the AASL Standards in shaping the student learningenvironment. b. Collaborative planning initiatives support classroom learning.The HMS media center receives an exemplary rating for the media specialist’s proactiveinitiatives with teachers. She meets the basic level by participating when initiated by theteachers. She meets the proficient level due to her participation in grade level andsubject-level meetings with the teachers in her school. She also promotes the active useof GSO based resources with her teachers. She also meets the exemplary bar for effortsto reach every teacher and pattern collaborative teaching efforts in regular classroominstruction. c. Professional library media staff areengaged in active teaching roles.
The HMS media specialist receives an exemplary rating for her role as an informationsteward who promotes and encourages engagement actively. She goes above and beyondto get to know each of her students and recognize their individual needs. This allows herto be proactive in assisting her student population in locating appropriate materials inthe media center. Additionally she conducts routine orientation sessions with herstudents. Her media center serves as an additional supplement to the traditionalclassroom learning experience as she regularly partners with the teachers to plan andimplement instructional technology-based lessons for the HMS students. Her door isalways open to discuss one-on-one with teachers ways to collaborate on lessons to meetthe Georgia Performance Standards and suggests varying methods to accomplish thisdelivery. d. Library Media Center resources encourage and support reading, viewing and listening.The media specialist creates bulletin boards and displays that create visual interest inher media center. She has one main bulletin board that resides in the hallway justoutside her media center entrance. She also has a cork strip that continually featuresstudents’ artwork and other students are able to vote on their favorites by placing goldstar stickers on the board. She also maintains a centrally-located book display in themedia center where she periodically features themes, often seasonally based. The mediacenter offers multiple events and activities each year. An example of a popular event isher Fall and Winter Coffee Shop initiative. She has brought in a few round high-toptables with chairs and a portable fireplace to set up a “coffee shop vibe” in her center.During her coffee shops, she brews Starbuck’s coffee and sets out a bevy of condiments(whipped cream, sprinkles, cinnamon, chocolate syrup) to create a do-it-yourself-coffee-bar where students can custom make their own fancy coffee beverage for $1.00,purchase snacks and mingle in the media center before school and during 1st period(which is similar to an activity period). She takes attendance numbers at all of theseevents to track and report. These type of ventures aid in boosting the recreationalreading and meeting the reading and language arts criteria in the school. e. Diverse learning abilities, styles and needs are readily addressed.The HMS earns an exemplary ranking for having such an open stance on meeting theneeds of the school’s diverse population of learners. Diverse learning styles and abilitiesare addressed promptly when applicable. For those students who prefer the print inhand, or perhaps a larger font, these accommodations are readily made. Students whoprefer to use the computer for certain skills are given ample time to meet these needswhen applicable. Students who require technological adjustments can painlessly makethese modifications with ease, i.e. adjustments to the monitor for virtually impairedstudents. The media specialist keeps the teachers abreast of resources and applications
on hand for these varying diverse learning styles through programs such as Hi-Lo whereshe secures books that’s subjects often appeal to the middle school reader but arewritten on a slightly lower than middle school reading level in order to appeal to uniquelearners and readers. The MS goes even further to support instructional strategies andlearning activities through appropriate data collection and utilizing resources to meetunique student needs. f. Student achievement is routinely assessed.The HMS classroom teacher assesses the student achievement levels to meet the basics.The HMC media specialist and the classroom teachers meet periodically and collaborateon lessons where they discuss varying methods of student assessment. They discusswhat the teacher’s anticipated outcome and student achievement levels are based on thelesson activities to meet the exemplary level.Category II: Staffing a. HMS serves more than the state of Georgia’s base size mandates for a library media center (624+ student population), but the MS is the only staff in the middle (and elementary school media centers in Houston County). There are no paid part-time or full-time media clerks. This was phased out by the county a couple of years ago. HMS got by with a part-time media clerk for the last couple of years as there was a grant in this school that employed a minimum wage part- time employee who assisted the MS. Since she was not a full-fledged clerk, the MS tasked her much like a volunteer. She checked in and out books, shelved books, greeted students, dusted and cleaned the center, etc. She did not handle money, repair broken technology or participate in lessons. The media center would not earn even the basic ranking in this category.Category III: Facilities, Access & Resources a. A plan of flexibility for media center scheduling is in place.In order to achieve the basic rating, HMS maintains flexible scheduling in the mediacenter. Due to the lack of support staff in the HMC media center (i.e. elimination ofmedia clerks and grant position funding was exhausted), it is very difficult now for theMS to have the most flexible schedulingavailability in her media center – as far asproviding the most ample access to her and the media center’s resources. For instance,open times for students to check out books have been limited to certain blocks of timesthat run before and after school or during the 1st period activity period. Different grades
or classes have certain times during the regular school day when their classes come inand either complete book check-in and checkout and/or lessons. b. Student media center square footage is based on FTE.The HMS media center scores a basic and proficient level in their center for meetingsquare footage criteria, as this school was designed and built within the last few yearsand is still current. The HMS media center would not meet the exemplary level GeorgiaDOE status, due to the lack of electrical outlets and wiring available in the media centerespecially in the central areas away from the walls. c. Streaming video is used in support of the school curriculum.The schools have access to a video streaming program called Peach Star that allows allGeorgia schools to have equal access to a plethora of video titles and subjects that can beutilized in collaboration with classroom curriculum. The teachers each set up an onlineaccount where they can go into the database and perform a search for what they need.The HMS media center also supplies titles that may be checked out by teachers inaddition to the streaming video account access. The school meets the exemplary criteriaby providing white boards around campus and the media center now has its ownPromethean board that the MS was able to secure through a grant. d. Print and non-print resources and access to online information is basic to the library media program.The HMS media center can be ranked as exemplary in this category. There are morethan the state allotted caps for computer per student ratios. Each of these computers haseasy access to the internet and online database resource capabilities. The school doesnot have wireless access but students may access all of the school media center databaseresources at home or anywhere off campus. Their AR and E-Books programs are alsoavailable to students for access off site. e. All library resources are managed for maximum efficiency in use.The HMS media center meets and exceeds the basic and proficient rankings, because thecenter provides an online catalog through SAFARI and it is networked within multiplecomputers on campus. Each year the MS purchases new acquisitions of titles based onneeds, surveys, national literary reviews, etc. Weeding is performed by the MS based onneed.Category IV: Administrative Support a. Local system superintendent appoints a media contact person.
The county and HMS media center receive an exemplary rating as there is a county appointed technology spokesperson that represents a voice for the media center (as well as many other technology-related services managed within the county school district). The county provides web links on the school webpage to the media center in order to encourage and promote the media centers as a tool for students, faculty and staff. b. Administrative staff support at both the school and district levels.At the most basic level the HMS Principal provides ample support of the school librarymedia center program and makes time for periodic meetings with the media specialist.In the proficient level, the Principal of HMS as well as the district goes above andbeyond to promote the integration of technology and media center resources within theclassroom curriculum. The main element that holds the center back from receiving theexemplary rating is the budgetary support dilemma mentioned above, where vitalresources such as support staff have been entirely removed from the equation. Thishinders the center’s ability to function at 100% levels. c. Library media center policy is current and up to date.The center receives an exemplary ranking for maintaining up to date policies that areconsistent and adherent within each of the schools in this county. d. Funding for media center resources are spent 100% on these centers.The HMS is fortunate in that the Principal makes every effort to adhere to channeling allof her resource money earmarked for library technology strictly to the school’s mediacenter. Local and state funding is directed to these coffers. The media centers stopsshort of receiving exemplary status as the school district administration does not alwaysabide by these guidelines when deciding on media centers budgets as a whole. Somemonies are directed to other technology resources that are necessarily media centerdriven.Category V: Staff Development a. Staff development opportunities are encouraged for media center staff to enhance their professional knowledge and leadership skills.The HMS media center earns an exemplary rating on this assessment as the mediaspecialists are encouraged to pursue continuing education initiatives when budgets andfunding resources allow. The MS also provide support for teachers who may be electingto pursue higher degrees as well.
Recommendations:Based on the information compiled in this report for the Georgia DOE 2010 LibraryMedia Program Evaluation, the weakest link in this media center is staffing issues.There is the one, full-time media specialist who is doing the job of multiple individualsin her center. It is physically impossible for her to meet every single check in the box forthis evaluation without extra sets of hands on board. The media specialist has enlistedthe assistance of several students to serve as helpers before and after school. They aretasked such duties as shelving books, dusting and cleaning the tables and making copies.But this really does not provide much assistance for the media specialist throughout theschool day. She has never had significant parent support in the past, but it may be timeto kick it up a notch. She needs to reconsider enlisting the help of parents. This wouldrequire more aggressive recruiting. If this still does not suffice, then contact localcolleges and initiate a volunteer program for students either interested in education,counseling or library science. In a tough economy, students who are looking for projectsto become involved in to gain experience, network and build community connectionsmay be able to provide a necessary resource to the center and the media specialist.