FAIR’s Impact of the Great School Libraries Report 2016

“In October 2015, FAIR (Freedom of Access to Information and Resources) joined with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), ALIA Schools, Australian School Library Association (ASLA), Queensland School Library Association, School Library Association of NSW, School Library Association of South Australia, School Library Association of Victoria and the Western Australian School Library Association to seek nominations of Great School Libraries across the nation.
We were looking for libraries that help children and young people find reliable information; use the information effectively; think critically; make informed decisions; work productively with others; build knowledge and understanding of the world; safely navigate the internet; communicate and share their ideas; and find great reads to meet personal interests and abilities.
Nearly 600 students, teachers, parents, principals, library staff and other members of the community nominated their school libraries and told us why they deserved the accolade of being named a Great School Library.
The campaign provided us with many different answers to the question ‘what do school libraries do’.”


As a result of collecting nearly 600 nominations from students, teachers, parents, principals, library staff and other members of the community across Australia, who identified their school library as being a “Great School Library”, FAIR analysed data from these nominations to answer the question “What do school libraries do?”

The report identified three primary drivers for school library to help achieve the best outcomes for students. These included:

Giving every child a reading start and keeping them reading through their teenage years.

Digital literacy
Making sure students are confident and safe users of the latest technology, media and applications.

Critical thinking and research
Ensuring students understand how to access information and critically assess its rigour, quality and relevance, and helping students improve their school performance and preparing them for further education.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: fair.alia.org.au

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

New ACER report: What the Staff in Australia’s Schools survey tell us about teachers working in school libraries

ACER2016-Staff in AustraliaSLsThis research report by ACER draws upon the national Staff in Australia’s School survey data that is now being collected every 3 years.

One of the findings of most concern is the number of teachers working in school libraries who do not have a library qualification.

Unfortunately the survey does not specifically ask whether participants hold a dual qualification in teacher librarianship. This would provide a more accurate picture of the status of teacher librarian positions in Australia’s schools.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: research.acer.edu.au

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Ebooks Can be a Great Choice for Middle Schoolers

A middle-school librarian conducted his own research on ebooks. What he found out now guides his collection development—and may be the answer to the “middle school drop-off” in pleasure reading.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.slj.com

This article presents some interesting local findings of this teacher librarian’s ebook program, including a small percentage of students preferring to use the ebook format over print so they can read what they want without fear of social stigmas. In the TL’s words, “Ebooks, I’ve found, are a great equalizer for our students.”
This is an aspect of ebook access that I had not previously considered. Thanks to Christopher Schiemann for sharing these findings from his EBP efforts.

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

My Story: From a Job Cut to Becoming School Librarian of the Year | edu@scholastic

Advice from the School Library Journal‘s 2015 School Librarian of the Year. Resilience, perseverance, professional engagement, and advocacy.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: edublog.scholastic.com

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Hot off the press – Becoming and Being: Reflections on Teacher-Librarianship Volume 2

Pages from Becoming and Being_ Reflections on Teacher-Librarianship Volume2 2016

This new ebook has been written by recent graduates of  University of Alberta’s MEdTL program. The book presents chapters under 5 broad aspects of the teacher librarian experience:

  • Becoming and being a teacher librarian
  • TLs engaging and supporting students
  • TLs becoming and being literacy leaders
  • TLs becoming and being technology leaders
  • TLs becoming and being school leaders

What I particularly like about this book is the chapter structure where all authors were asked to use this 4 point framework:

  • Why should school leaders care …?
  • What do school leaders need to know…?
  • What can school leaders do about … ?
  • What does this mean for school leaders…?

The framework is based on the expectation that school principals, and others playing a leadership role in the school, are proactive in taking responsibility for developing, implementing and evaluating an effective school library program.

Congratulations to editors, Jennifer Branch-Mueller and Wei Wei, and program supporter, Dianne Oberg. This is a powerful way of giving new TL graduates a voice as authors, while providing professional learning material for those currently enrolled in a Masters in TLship program, for TL practitioners and school leaders.

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Colorado’s new Highly Effective School Library Program (HESLP) Rubric


This rubric uses the performance scale of Basic – Partially Proficient – Proficient – Accomplished – Exemplary, with descriptors for each level. I think this can be used to assist teacher librarians in developing their role and responsibility statement, informing their professional learning plan for the year, and identifying the types of evidence they need to demonstrate performance per level.

It is certainly a powerful document to help inform a conversation between a TL and their principal, particularly with regard to the TL role as a teacher. Here is what Becky Russell, 21st Century Skills Instructional Specialist from Colorado had to say about it on the Knowledge Quest blog:

“The new HESLP rubric is designed to foster partnerships and collaborations based on mutual support and ongoing dialogue between teacher-librarians and their administrators…
This revised rubric highlights student-centered learning, emphasized in the Colorado Academic and Common Core Standards. Teacher-librarians can use the rubric to identify where they can have a greater impact on student learning…
This 2016 rubric represents a change in thinking about how teacher-librarians and library programs are viewed and valued. This rubric emphasizes teacher leadership and values collaboration among administrators, staff, students and the community—shifting the view from that of a support role to that of a guide for staff and students to transform learning practice. Most importantly, it also opens the conversation for how teachers and teacher-librarians are designing student-centric learning opportunities and collecting evidence of their impact on student learning.” Source: http://knowledgequest.aasl.org/colorados-highly-effective-school-library-program-rubric-new-tool-new-direction/

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.cde.state.co.us

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

AASL 2015 Conference Presentation

This week I am presenting a workshop on evidence-based practice with my colleague Dr Ross Todd at the AASL 2015 Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Participants are invited to develop a plan of action for gathering, analysing, documenting and sharing local evidence of the impact of their school library program on student learning.


Download a pdf of our presentation here

Download the template EBP Action Plan Nov 2015 here

Case study on teacher union partnership with school library association to support status of school libraries in British Columbia

Very few states or provinces in the US, Canada and Australia still have this kind of active partnership between the teachers’ union and the school library professional association.ewbank-report2015 But this case study shows how difficult even teacher unions find it to advocate for school library positions in schools. Although, one advantage of union support is the union’s access to school-based data on staffing etc. Well worth a read if you are fortunate to be working in an education system with teacher union support.


Ewbank, Ann Dutton. (2015). Union-Active School Librarians and School Library Advocacy: A Modified Case Study of the British Columbia Teacher-Librarians’ Association and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. American Association of School Librarians, Vol.18. Retrieved http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslpubsandjournals/slr/vol18/SLR_UnionActiveSchoolLib_V18.pdf

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.ala.org

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Washington State School Library Impact Study: the full report

I am currently presenting at the Washington Library Media Association Conference in Yakima, WA. I attended an excellent panel session of TLs and administrators who discussed district- and state-based evidence-building and advocacy initiatives.wlma-impactreport2015

This the latest school library impact study from the United States documenting evidence of school libraries and teacher librarians on student achievement. A must read for all TLs, no matter what state or country you come from!

Washington State is certainly looking pretty healthy in terms of school library and TLship growth. Way to go WA!!

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Washington Study Further Ties Quality Library Programs to Student Success | School Library Journal

Another school library impact study demonstrating the contribution school libraries and TLs make to student achievement.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.slj.com

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries