Posts Tagged 'school libraries'

Changing Their Minds (With a Little Help From My Friends)

I am lucky to be connected to many wonderful, vibrant school library media specialists who work in high school settings.  So when I thought about how to demonstrate the possibilities of school library media programs, I reached out to friends and asked for their help. Two media specialists, Holly Frilot and Buffy Hamilton, were able to participate.

These future teachers were amazed by Holly’s work at Collins Hill High School library media center in Suwanee, Georgia. She shared a Prezi that showed many of the ways her library media program reached out to teachers and students to enhance literacy learning. Take a look at what her program provides… Her presentation made the connections between the school library media program and literacy learning abundantly clear. The teachers were amazed at what they saw, scribbling notes and links throughout her talk.

I also shared a peek into Buffy Hamilton’s Unquiet Library at Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia. Although Buffy could not take the time to come to Athens, because of her meticulous documentation of her program at Creekview, I was able to search her blog for video testimonials from teachers and students.  The videos I selected are linked from my presentation. (See slide 6).

As I showed these videos to my high school preservice group, they were amazed at the quality of thinking going on in the Unquiet Library. This experience also reinforced the importance of taking time to document (and share) the learning taking place in school library media centers.

In my next post, I’ll share a bit about the final take-away activity I did to try to solidify the new ideas these teachers were creating about school library media programs and literacy learning in high schools.

(In an interesting side note, since my presentation several months ago, both Holly and Buffy have taken new positions, working with wider audiences to further connections between libraries, literacy, and learning.  Thanks to both of them for allowing me to share their amazing work!)

Standing Strong for School Librarians

It’s been a devastating year for libraries. I’ve been watching the school library situation very closely, reading stories almost daily about the losses to students across the country and the globe.

Perhaps the best illustration of these losses is the Google Map A Nation of School Librarians, which presents a powerful visual representation of what libraries are facing.

Yesterday, after I read about the Natomas Unified School District cuts in California, I was talking on twitter with Carolyn Foote, Diane Cordell, Buffy Hamilton, Donna Bills, Julie Murray and others about the losses. We were struck, though, by the story of Sacramento City Unified School District, buried deep in the article. Instead of losses, this district is planning to expand funding to libraries.

“One district bucking the trend is Sacramento City Unified. The district is keeping libraries open and even increasing funding for middle school libraries next year.

“I’m proud of our superintendent and his vision,” said Martha Rowland, district coordinator of library services. “I don’t know how that vision will be funded, but he has the right idea – that libraries are important to kids.”

Carolyn mentioned the importance of pointing out these examples of districts that are expanding their libraries during this time of dwindling funds.  I made a companion to the Google Map, to showcase places where libraries have been defended and expanded.  We may not get as many pins as quickly, but over time I hope this map can inspire school librarians as the tide turns back toward access to librarians and libraries for all!

Please add your stories of success.


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