When I arrived at Maine South High School in the Fall of 2005, our Library website consisted of a homepage listing of our online databases with a handful of links to an online catalog, works cited/bibliographic support, and a few resources in support of class assignments. It was static and unchanging, limited and limiting. It was boring at best and wholly inadequate at worst. It was time for dramatic changes.
I knew that a dynamic vibrant virtual library web presence was absolutely vital to the support of our students' learning success and teacher instruction.
Why? What could a great library web site possibly do for learning that its absence would leave barren? A strong school library web site enables the library information specialist to be a ubiquitous presence, available 24/7 for students and staff in a changing world. Students access information wherever and whenever they need to or desire it. If the school library website makes no effort to give students this support, they will seek it elsewhere -- in unreliable places, from questionable sources, and in ways that do not fully support their needs.
My vision included support and integration for each of these learning and instruction paradigms --not simply buzzwords in current educational practice, but real authentic integration. I have participated in either beginning or advanced levels of training in each of these areas and have extensive experience working with staff to co-teach students using these dynamic, effective best practices.
The planning, development and implementation of an entirely new concept for South&#x2019;s Library website including the study and examination of school websites, school library websites, and library websites as developed by leaders in the field throughout the country and world. I read and studied professional journals, studies, and of course, viewed thousands of websites for best practices and models of effective online communication and presence.
I collaborated with my administrators, staff, students, and parents -- the school library&#x2019;s stakeholders -- in learning about their needs and desires for an effective school library website.
My training in Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Fireworks, common productivity software, and a host of web-based tools such as wikis, bookmarking websites, social networking tools, rss aggregators, and many others is largely self-taught and enhanced by my motivation as a life-long learner and collaborator.
A highly visual interface with interactive slideshows, book trailers, and constantly changing features. Key tools -- Databases, Pathfinders, Works Cited, and Online Catalog are on every page in the left-hand navigation menu.
Pathfinders to support assignments in all curricular areas -- an ever-changing, collaborative online document created to support students at all learning levels with a variety of resources and tools. Web 2.0 tools like widgets push current information to the researcher.
The Ubiquitous Library
Creating a 24/7 Portal of Information and Service to
Support Learning and Instruction
April 1, 2010
create a dynamic virtual presence to support
student learning and teacher instruction
21st Century Skills
Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum
Problem Based Learning
Fully embedded and integrated
into content curriculum
Planning ~ Development ~ Implementation
Best Practices Web-based learning
Collaboration Personal motivation
Teachers, Administrators, and Parents
• Facilitates teacher -- librarian collaboration
• Promotes reading and writing across the
• Incorporates Problem-Based Learning
• Enhances Differentiated Instruction
• Integrates Web 2.0 technologies
• Generates effective communication
• Models best practices in information literacy and
Results -- Students
• Provides exemplary resources
• Models an effective research process
• Promotes reading for pleasure and learning
• Engages students in planning their research process
• Inspires students to seek out new reading sources
• Promotes information creation and collaboration
• Draws students into exploring information resources
sources and experimenting with technology tools that
will enhance their study skills, organize their research, and
improve their learning.