Fixed vs. Flexible Schedules


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Fixed vs. Flexible Schedules

  1. 1. Fixed vs. Flexible Schedules By: Kimberly Trafford
  2. 2. What is the Difference? Fixed Schedule Flexible ScheduleO LMS meets with classes at O Classes able to come to a set time each week media center when theyO Media center only used have a need during set class time. Is O Classes can come as often not available for other as necessary, if available class use O More teacher/LMSO LMS see all students in the collaboration occurs school (Creighton, 2007, Pg., 10 )
  3. 3. Fixed Schedule Positives NegativesO Every student guaranteed time O There is no communication in LMC each week between the LMS and classroom teacherO There is no reliance on the O Learning in the LMC often teacher and LMS does not connect to what is communicating happening in the classroomO Teachers have release time O Skills are taught in isolation for prep. without meaning to students O Projects take extended times because students may onlyHarvey, 2009, Pg. 105 get the library once a week
  4. 4. Flexible Schedule Positives NegativesO Requires LMS and classroom O Some teachers may opt to not teacher to communicate come for instruction orO Students may come multiple circulation leaving some times to LMC for circulation students with gaps in their and instruction skillsO Learning in the library is connected to learning in the classroomO LMS can attend planning sessions held during teacher Harvey, 2009, Pg. 107 prep time
  5. 5. How Many School Use Fixed/Flexible Schedules? National Center for Education Statistics Data6050 % of LMC having Flexible40 Schedules30 % of LMC having Fixed Schedules2010 % of LMC having Combined 0 Schedules 50 States & New Jersey DC
  6. 6. What Type of Schedules does each School Level have? National Center for Education Statistics Data Combined % of LMC having Combined Schedules Secondary % of LMC having Fixed Schedules % of LMC having Elementary Flexible Schedules 0 50 100
  7. 7. NCESThe National Center for Education StatisticsData conducted a survey of public andprivate schools in the United States. Thesurvey asked various questions regardinglibrary media center characteristics, librarymedia center staff characteristics, librarymedia center expenditures and collectionholdings, and library media center policies.The results were put into a report.Full Report by the NCES
  8. 8. What is the Ideal Schedule?In a perfect world all media centers would bestaffed with a full time certified LMS and asupport staff to help with the daily operations ofthe library. The media center would be open forall to use when ever they need. A flexibleschedule is considered the best way for a mediacenter to operate. It is believed that with aflexible schedule, teachers and LMS collaboratemore on projects. This collaboration brings theknowledge of the classroom teacher and theLMS together to make sure all students needsare being meet. (AASL, 2011)
  9. 9. What is the Ideal Schedule?Some people think that a flexible schedule in an elementaryschool does not allow students to check out books. Oneschool sets aside time each week for students to come to thelibrary to return and check out books. This is done in smallgroups of 5-10 students at a time. They set aside 10 minutesfor primary grades and 15 for the older grades. K-2 gradeshave a daily time they can come and check out books whilegrades 3-6 have a weekly time. Students get the permissionfrom their teacher to go to the library during selection time.This allows the library to be open for more flexible class time.(Fox, 2001)In one study, it was found that students with a flexibleschedule actually check out more books in a school year thanstudents who were in schools that had a fixed library schedule(Gavigan, Pribesh & Dickinson, 2010)
  10. 10. If research shows that flexible schedules are best for students, why don’t all schools have them? Many times, especially in elementary schools, a fixed schedule is necessary because the media center acts as a prep period for the classroom teachers. Sometimes there are budget cuts that don’t allow a full time LMS to be available to the students and staff throughout the day. Recent trends show that less schools are moving to a flexible schedule (Creighton, 2007) If a school has a fixed schedule the LMS must work to have a successful program.
  11. 11. Can a Fixed Schedule be Successful? 1. Classroom teachers must see the LMS as a fellow teacher and include them in their planning.-LMS can be invited to attend grade level meetings.-Some schools are required to plan a couple months inadvance. If this is required by the principal the planscould/should be shared with the LMS. This will give the LMStime to plan based on what the teacher has planned.(Formanack & Pietsch, 2011)-LMS should communicate with classroom teachers overlunch, email or other communication tools to make teachersaware of what the media center has to offer. (Ludmer, 2008)-The LMS should show the teachers that they are familiar withthe standards and have ideas to help integrate informationliteracy into the curriculum. (Ludmer, 2008, p.28)
  12. 12. Can a Fixed Schedule be Successful? 2. The LMS needs to create a positive relationship with the classroom teachers.-The LMS need to create a trusting relationship with theteachers they will be working with. This will helpteachers see that the library offers an opportunity fortheir students’ learning to grow and meet the classroomgoals.-One school builds in a window of time around the fixedclass schedule. If a teacher wants to work on a projectthey can ask for an extended time in the library. Theteacher must be in the library during the extended time.Both teacher would be giving up some “prep time”, but itis believed that the extra time given to the studentsbenefits them tremendously. Without a goodrelationship between the teachers this would not bepossible. (Ludmer, 2008)
  13. 13. Can a Fixed Schedule be Successful? 3. LMS have 21st Century Standards too- One district created a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) where the LMS from the district would meet on a monthly basis to create lessons that would “focus on integrating standards based on AALS’s standards for the 21st Century Learners with content area standards.” (Formanack & Pietsch,2011, p.9) The PLC’s must have communication with the classroom teachers therefore sharing thoughts on how the media center can extend classroom learning.- Having a fixed schedule allows the LMS to see the students on a regular basis and create a relationship that will help students feel comfortable using the library. (Formanack &Pietsch, 2011)
  14. 14. One Librarian Says it Right! This is true whether you have a fixed or flexible schedule “You have to be a constant presence- approachable and open. Have a tea, invite your faculty to a new book exhibit, get time on the faculty meeting agenda, hand-deliver new resources to teachers when you know they are working on specific projects. These two C’s of Communication and Cooperation can lead to Collaboration.” (Rowe,2007, P. 45)
  15. 15. BibliographyO AASL, Retrieved from Creighton, P. (2007). Just How Flexible Are We?: The Current State of Scheduling in School Libraries. Library Media Connection, 26(3- ), 10.O Formanack, G., & Pietsch, L. (2011). Fixed Schedules Can Support 21st-Century Skills. School Library Monthly, 27(6), 8-10.O Fox, C. J. (2001). Designing a Flexible Schedule for an Elementary School Library Media Center. Library Talk, 14(1), 10-13.O Gavigan, K., Pribesh, S., & Dickinson, G. (2010). Fixed or flexible schedule? schedule impacts and school library circulation. Library & Information Science Research, 32(2), 131-137.O Glenda, S. R. (2007). Collaboration: ITS A GAMBLE ON A FIXED SCHEDULE. Knowledge Quest, 35(4), 44-46.O Harvey, C.A. (2009) The 21st Century Elementary Library Media ProgramO Ludmer, R. (2008). A Fixed Schedule and Successful Collaboration- -An Oxymoron?. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 24(6), 27- 29.NCES Retrieved from