Category Archives: ETL507

ALA Presidential Task Force: Focus on School Libraries 2012

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

In the March 2012 issue of the journal ‘School Library Monthly‘ (Vol XXVIII, No 6), Susan D. Ballard (AASL President-Elect and Co-Chair of the ALA School Library Task Force) summarises the current state of school libraries in the United States, and details the focus of the ALA School Library Task Force, which “is charged with “leading a campaign addressing the urgent need for advocacy for school libraries, as well as the impact of the de-professionalization and curtailment of school library instructional programs on students and student achievement” (ALA 2011).

Photo: ‘Science in the stacks‘ by SpecialKRB on Flickr
 

This article outlines the 5 goals of the Task Force and the strategies and tactics devised to achieve each goal. The final section on the ‘Tipping Point’ details the implications for students and society if school age children do not have access to school libraries and school librarians based on ‘what we know’ from research regarding school libraries and student achievement.

Many of the recommended readings and points made can be utilised by the school library profession in other countries to support their own advocacy campaigns. This article is also useful reading for our new students entering CSU’s Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course as they are exposed to school librarianship issues and trends in Australia and worldwide in the subject ETL401 Teacher Librarianship.

If you find any recent research evidence on the impact of school libraries on student learning, please recommend journal articles, research reports and websites to my curation site on Scoop It! http://www.scoop.it/t/student-learning-through-school-libraries. The more evidence we can collect and disseminate regarding the important and essential role of school libraries in school life, the better!

“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.

Looking Toward the Future: Competences for 21st-Century Teacher-Librarians | Alberta Journal of Educational Research

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries
This article reports on a study by Joanne de Groot and Jennifer Branch that explored what core competencies are required by teacher librarians for developing exemplary school library programs in 21st centurt schools, based on the experiences and attitudes of graduates from the TL Masters program at the University of Alberta. Key findings from this study indicate that technology and leadership issues are the most pressing needs of TLs. These graduates also indicated that their “traditional roles and responsibilities” are changing as they are responsible for promoting new literacies and evaluating, selecting, organising, and managing diverse learning resources. The best way of getting your hands on this article is via EBSCOhost’s Education Research Complete unless your organisation subscribes directly to the Alberta Journal of Educational Research (AJER).
Via ajer.synergiesprairies.ca

Emily Rodda, Lu Rees Archives & literary learning

OK, so I’m a day late with this news because I have just finished reading the hard copy version of yesterday’s Canberra Times newspaper, but I was really taken by this full page feature on Australian children’s author, Emily Rodda‘s visit to Canberra this week to address the launch of a special exhibition and project managed by the Lu Rees Archives of Australian Children’s Literature at the University of Canberra.

Emily Rodda believes it is "vitally important that children have a smorgasboard of the absolute best stories from every culture to choose from."

In April 2010, the Lu Rees Archives began a project to catalogue 462 Australian children’s books, DVDs, puzzles and games published in 32 languages. The Lu Rees Archives had to employ CAVAL, the professional cataloguing company to  gain access to the language expertise required to catalogue these resources  using specialist translators for languages such as Icelandic, Tetum from East Timor, and Zulu! A number of embassies also joined forces to sponsor the project. This represents the breadth of coverage across countries and languages that the works of many Australian children’s authors now have. The Lu Rees Archives now holds 659 items of Rodda’s work which makes it the largest collection in Australia.

The Lu Rees Archives has become one of the special libraries included on the itinerary of the Canberra Study Visit as part of the School of Information Studiesprofessional experience program, and in the past few years we have found the visit to Lu Rees Archives hosted by Emeritus Professor Belle Alderman is always a favourite of students, especially those students studying in the Bachelor of Information Studies, Master of Information Studies and Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) who are working as children’s librarians and teacher librarians.

Belle is the Collections Development Manager at the Lu Rees Archives and has worked tirelessly in maintaining this unique collection of works and artefacts on Australian children's literature.

Belle has also hosted a number of CSU students as part of our SIS Professional Library Placement program. This is where our students are provided with the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge practically in an information-based workplace, with emphasis being placed on the acquisition of knowledge and the performance of professional activities. As a small special library, students can gain excellent individual attention and hands-on experience in information work, while contributing to special projects and being surrounded by some of Australia’s greatest literary treasures. All the new records for this recent Lu Rees project of translated works are available via Libraries Australia hosted by the National Library of Australia. This way, as Belle states: ‘The world then knows these books exist and are publicly available… ‘Most importantly, such translations demonstrate the importance of children’s stories and their ability to link people of all cultures through common stories.’

In this interview Emily Rodda also makes a distinction between ‘books’ and ‘stories’, particularly now as our world becomes more and more digitally-enhanced. She believes it is important to continue supporting an appreciation of literature and reading of stories, no matter the format (whether as an ebook or printed book), and compares this to listening/viewing ‘story’ portrayed via film or video/online games:

”It’s very, very important we go on reading because there is a logic and a rationality to even the most fantastic story, and a complexity and an understanding of how people work things out, which doesn’t appear in film because it’s all visual.

Things might happen in a logical order in a film but you don’t get that rational explanation of why things happen.

If we want our future citizens to be able to reason and to see propaganda for what it is, for example, or work their way through people trying to persuade them to do something by appealing to their emotions, it’s important, in their childhood, that they’ve learnt about rational argument and I think that’s one thing books do.”

I think this final statement sums up the power of literary learning and why it must remain fundamental to a 21st century education. School libraries are central to building a reading and literary learning culture within a school. As part of the NSWDET 21C school library futures project Envisioning School Libraries in 2009, Ross Todd and I devised a set of eight (8) principles underpinning 21C school library design as an instructional zone within and beyond the school emerged, one of which was:

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. (Hay & Todd, 2010, p. 16)

I think this reflects what Emily Rodda has emphasised in this Canberra Times feature.

A detailed presentation on these principles of 21C school library design can be viewed in my presentation at the Cairns Diocese Curriculum Conference: