Category Archives: ETL503

“Who Are We? The Independent School Library: A Statistical Profile” Susan Williamson

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Who Are We? The Independent School Library: A Statistical Profile, a chapter by Susan Williamson presents a statistical picture of a sample of independent school libraries in the United States based on a survey in 2004-2005 conducted by the Independent School Section of AASL. The profile compares libraries on the basis of schools’ student and faculty sizes, collection sizes, budgets, staffing, hours open, facilities, and access to technology. Data from three main categories of school groups (Independent, Independent Religious, and Religious) and school types (Day, Boarding, and Combined Day and Boarding) are analyzed and then compared with data from the recent AASL longitudinal survey of public and private schools. The ISS sample of libraries which consists largely of NAIS members appears to provide greater resources, more open hours and more access to databases than public schools.

In addition, studies from NCES and NAIS comparing public and private school students indicate that independent school students have higher scores both on school tests and SAT tests. The author discusses the possible role that usage of the independent school library contributes to these outcomes.

This is a chapter in the recently published book Independent School Libraries: Perspectives on Excellence published by Libraries Unlimited – see http://www.islpe.org/ for details.

There are summaries of each of the chapters including references and recommended resources supporting each chapter via The Essays page of the above website.

Learner Voices | Services to Schools – National Library of NZ

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Some of my Student Learning project findings are featured on the National Library of New Zealand’s Services to Schools website in section on the Learner Voices.  It states:

“Listening to our students and incorporating learner voices into the many layers of data that informs our practice, ensures that we are delivering the best possible service. Tuning in to learner voices ensures that the school library is responsive and relevant to student needs…

What are students telling us about school libraries? …over 99% of students reported that their school libraries had helped them with their learning in some way.  In analysing the qualitative data in the Australian research, Hay found the following were key factors:  

* seamless integration of ICT between home and school

* access to databases and production software

* access to the library before, after and during school hours  

The top three areas that students identified as most helpful in the closed question area of the study were:  

* help defining a topic

* planning their research

* finding resources.”

Further reading on this study which was the largest Australian survey of school students about how school libraries support their learning, can be found in these articles:

Hay, L. (2006). Student learning through Australian school libraries. Part 2: What students define and value as school library support. [Refereed]. Synergy, 4(2), 27-38.

Hay, L. (2006). School libraries as flexible and dynamic learning laboratories… that’s what Aussie kids want. [Refereed]. Scan, 25(2), 18-27.

Hay, L. (2005). Student learning through Australian school libraries. Part 1: A statistical analysis of student perceptions. [Refereed]. Synergy, 3(2), 17-30.

Hay, L. (2005). Hallmarks of school library programs to support student learning. Connections, Issue No. 55, Term 4, 5-6.

Is The Library Important? Multivariate Studies at the National and International Level

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries
Research has shown that more access to books results in more reading and more reading leads to better literacy development. A new study on the impact of libraries on reading achievement by Stephen Krashen and colleagues using NAEP reading scores and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) data. Three multivariate analyses, all controlling for the effects of poverty, confirm the importance of the library.

Warm Pillows and Blankets for Cold Days

Image: cc licensed ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) flickr photo by Enokson

The researchers conclude:

“In all of the multivariate studies considered here the library emerges as a consistent predictor of reading scores… Of course, providing access is only the first step: Even with access, some children (but surprisingly few) will not read. The research literature consistently indicates that rewards for reading are not effective (McQuillan, 1997; Krashen, 2003; 2004), but that read-alouds and conferencing do help. But in order for these approaches to work, the books need to be there.

But what is clear is that libraries definitely matter and they matter a lot.

Inspection of the betas in the tables reveals that access to books in some cases had a larger impact on reading achievement test scores than poverty (tables 1,3, 4), and in other cases had nearly as strong an impact (tables 2,5). This suggests that providing more access to books can mitigate the effect of poverty on reading achievement, a conclusion consistent with other recent results (Achterman, 2008; Evans, Kelley, Sikora, and Treiman, 2010; Schubert and Becker, 2010). This result is of enormous practical importance: Children of poverty typically have little access to books (Krashen, 2004). It seems that libraries can provide this access.”

Here’s the link to a copy of the pdf version of this research paper Is The Library Important? Multivariate Studies at the National and International Level.

You might also want to keep an eye on Jeff McQuillan’s new blog The Backseat Linguist. Jeff is a former university professor of applied linguistics and education, and now a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Educational Development in Los Angeles, California.

Lisa Oldham: Lsquared – Libraries x Learning | edtalks.org

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Lisa Oldham, Development specialist for school library futures at the National Library of New Zealand, discusses the future of school libraries with EDtalks.

Lisa describes how school libraries are a great way to achieve the creation of skilled students who are able to navigate in the knowledge economy. I particularly like the way Lisa details the information specialist and teaching roles of the teacher librarian in schools. An excellent 7 minute video for professional learning in schools regarding the contribution school libraries make to student learning.

Highly recommended viewing for TLs in training, educational administrators, principals, classroom teachers and parents.
Via www.edtalks.org

The Joy of Books

With 2012 Australia’s National Year of Reading, I know a lot of teacher librarians (while still on holidays) are planning a range of events and programs to promote the importance of developing literacy skills of students and their parents as well as fostering a love of reading.

In the School libraries 21C: School library futures project report Ross Todd and I wrote in 2010 for the New South Wales Department of Education & Training’s School Libraries & Information Literacy Unit (Curriculum K–12 Directorate), we identified eight (8) principles underpinning 21C school library design as an instructional zone of which ‘literary learning’ was one:

A centre that supports literary learning, where students become immersed in imaginary worlds, explore personal reading interests, develop sustained voluntary reading practices, develops reading for meaning and independence as critically-capable readers literary learning. (p.16)

More of my musings on literary learning can be found in my post ‘Emily Rodda, Lu Rees Archives & literary learning‘.

So what motivated me to write this morning? Waking up to an email that contained the URL to this new YouTube clip which captures the magic of books, even in a time where e-formats are gaining much popularity.

I just love this clip! I think this clip would make a great feature on any school library website to promote the National Year of Reading.

For those just starting out, here’s a few places to check out:

National Year of Reading 2012 – official website

Love2read – the official National Year of Reading Facebook page

The love2read wiki – this is where information about a lot of projects and events is being recorded, and heaps of links to websites and resources for ideas

Join in The Amazing Read – a Twitter reading group for 2012. Share what you are reading  over summer with others, promote reading events you are organising, follow the hashtag #NYR12 to see what others are doing – check out the tweetfeed for starters and follow @love2read on Twitter.

Australia’s National Year of Reading 2012 is a great opportunity for teacher librarians to keep school libraries on the public’s ‘radar’. What are you planning to promote the great work of school libraries and TLs in supporting student learning?

Curating Information & Making Sense of Data Is a Key Skill for the Future [Research]

Via Scoop.itFuture Trends in Libraries

Excellent scoop on Scoop.it by Future Trends in Libraries curated by nickcarman. He states:

Extremely valuable skills for Information Professionals of the future… The Institute for the Future and the University of Phoenix have teamed up to produce, this past spring, an interesting report entitled Future Work Skills 2020.   By looking at the set of emerging skills that this research identifies as vital for future workers, I can’t avoid but recognize the very skillset needed by any professional curator or newsmaster.   It should only come as a limited surprise to realize that in an information economy, the most valuable skills are those that can harness that primary resource, “information”, in new, and immediately useful ways.   And being the nature of information like water, which can adapt and flow depending on context, the task of the curator is one of seeing beyond the water, to the unique rare fish swimming through it.  The curator’s key talent being the one of recognizing that depending on who you are fishing for, the kind of fish you and other curators could see within the same water pool, may be very different.     

Here the skills that information-fishermen of the future will need the most:   1) Sense-making: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed;   2) Social intelligence: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions;   3) Novel and adaptive thinking: proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based;   4) Cross-cultural competency: ability to operate in different cultural settings;   5) Computational thinking: ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning;   6) New media literacy: ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication;   7) Transdisciplinarity: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines;   8) Design mindset: ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes;   9) Cognitive load management: ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques;   10) Virtual collaboration: ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.

Executive Summary of the Report

Download a PDF copy of Future Work Skills 2020

Via apolloresearchinstitute.com

Content curation and the power of collective intelligence

I have been exploring this topic as part of the subject INF506 Social Networking for Information Professionals that I am teaching this summer (it’s an elective in our MEdTL amd MIS courses at CSU). A lot is being written about content creation within and beyond the information professions. Here are a few gems that I recommend TLs and librarians check out:

Beth Kanter’s blog post Content Curation Primer is a good starting point for information professionals.

Weisgerber clearly presents the difference between aggregation and curation, highlighting the importance of the ‘human touch’ in curation by contextualising the ‘found information’.  
I think her 8 steps in successful curation provide an excellent guide for information professionals who wish to become proactive curators of digital content, adding value to the content they curate.
Glenn Remoreras provides us with a nice historical snapshot of the shift from Web 1.0 – Web 2.0 – Web 3.0 in his post Forecast 2020: Web 3.0+ and Collective Intelligence. His diagram on collective intelligence is excellent!
Donna Pappacosta’s presentation Best practices for content curation provides some useful practices and strategies – advice on slides 45-53 is very practical.
Sophia B. Liu’s presentation on her PhD research at the University of Colorado about crisis and curation and how the world of social media is shaping a brave new world in curation of crisis information and how the history of crises is captured is Fascinating (with a capital ‘F’!). She looks at the role of curation and curators in society before exploring curation within the context of information on and about crises.
View more presentations from sophiabliu
Her presentation is a fabulous educational resource about curation with detailed speaker notes included for many of her slides. This is highly recommended viewing and reading.
Joyce Valenza’s blog post, ‘Curation – The Musical’ highlights the importance of building school students’ capacity as digital curators, while her ‘Guide for Teacher Librarians: Curating and remixing the tools that define current professional practice’ demonstrates Joyce’s own capacity as a content curator – this is such a comprehensive professional portal for teacher librarians. Thanks Joyce!
And finally, I recommend you follow the activity on the Curation Nation website. Also view some of the short videos on this site including Allen Weiner’s defining curation and the importance of credibility in curation, and interview with Clay Shirky about curation.
I’d love to hear from teacher librarians about your curation efforts. It would be great to start building a collection of curation practices by TLs in schools.

How school libraries can support pre-service teachers

I am really impressed with this new series of YouTube videos What your teacher librarian can do for you! created by the Southern Cross University Library team to support pre-service teachers going out into schools on practicum. These are featured as part of their Professional Experience / Pedagogy in Practice libguide which provides students on practicum with loads of resources to support their prac teaching experiences.

These clips provide lots of great advice from experienced teachers, TLs and principals about how to prepare for practicum visits and introduces the important role of the school library and the teacher librarian as an information specialist and teaching partner in schools.

I really like the following ‘Words of Advice’ clip which features primary and high school principals’ advice to pre-service teachers when visiting their schools on practicums on how to get the best out of the school library. These principals are clearly advocates for school libraries supporting the professional needs of teachers and the learning needs of students.

Another favourite is Something special about OUR school libraries where the principals and TLs discuss what is great about their school library as a flexible learning centre, and mention is made of the importance of collaborative planning & teaching with teacher/TL teams and how a flexible schedule maximises the impact of the TL in supporting student learning. There is also a video introducing how public libraries can help pre-service teachers and the libguide provides advice on the services provided by state libraries and the national library for teachers.

Well done to the school communities from the Coffs Harbour district in regional (mid-north coast) NSW who present a very positive and proactive stance with regard to school libraries and teacher librarians as essential components of the school education equation. It’s also great to see a couple of CSU TLship graduates in this local group of TLs :-)

Do School Libraries Need Books?

This is a question that always fuels heated debate between stakeholders, and recently the NY Times decided to re-ignite the debate. This time we have a school principal, a school library media specialist,  an English professor, and two authors weighing in with their opinions.

Given recent concerns about cuts to US funding to school libraries, this debate could either support or crucify one’s argument.

It’s certainly gained much attention across teacher librarianship circles worldwide as well as the broader information and education communities – just do a Google search for starters! And after this latest tussle dies down, it will be re-fuelled again, so best you get your arguments for/against developed so you can be prepared for the next wave!

I think this argument is particularly pertinent for our new MEdTL and GradCertTL students at CSU who are studying ETL401 and ETL503. Please feel free to share your opinions on this debate here.

Concluding comments from Roy and others at the close of Library & Info Week

May 31 saw the close of another week of library advocacy in Australia hosted by the Australian Library & Information Association (ALIA). The theme for Library and Information Week 2009 was Libraries your passport to discovery!, which was a great opportunity for our information profession to promote the value of libraries in today’s society. I noticed Sue Hutley‘s (Executive Director, ALIA) statement that “libraries offer every Australian a chance to discover, access and connect to a much wider world – and in these tough economic times, it’s a lot cheaper too!”, was a message that resonated through a number of comments in the media this week, including those of Robert McEntyre (Public Libraries NSW Metropolitan Association Executive Director) in the Herald article Book now: libraries are top shelf in family attractions by Rachel Browne (on May 31).

It was also great to see  the words of Roy Crotty (fellow studentslearn blogger, President of ASLANSW and Associate Lecturer with us at the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University – love the concluding quote in the article Roy:

“If anything, the digital era has made a teacher librarian’s job even more relevant.”

The ALIA media release highlights the cultural, educational and economic benefits to society afforded by libraries and information agencies, noting that each year “Australia’s 1,500 public libraries lend over 178 million items to 12 million registered borrowers” which is over half of Australia’s population. Additional figures quoted by Sue Huntley provide the public with an idea of the breadth of library services across the nation including “approximately 9,000 school libraries, 42 university libraries, 387 TAFE campus libraries, and thousands of health libraries, law libraries and other special libraries.” In addition, the Herald article Students can borrow to boost chances outlining public libraries’ support of school children’s reading habits through the provision of multiple copies of books on the Premier’s Challenge reading list each year, demonstrates how public libraries are ‘switched on’ to the needs of kids and in supporting school libraries to resource public programs that can sometimes be beyond the capabilities of an individual school library’s budget. 

Sherman Young’s article Is the book dead? published on ABC’s Unleashed on May 26 and National Simultaneous Storytime on May 27 capped off a busy week for libraries, authors, publishers and booksellers in promoting the value of libraries, books, reading and literacy for all Australians.

An interesting antidote to the good work presented in the media this past week about the value of libraries in Australia, can be found in ABC’s Unleashed article The vulgar modernisation of our libraries (published at the end of April) is you missed it. Love to hear your feedback on any or all of the above!