Value Statements

SLO 1: Philosophy, Principles and Ethics

School librarians need to understand their clientele at their school - faculty, administration, students and parents.  Every school presents different opportunities to plan and develop a collection that will meet the needs of that particular school.  Research into school rankings, test scores, curriculum, as well as, the demographic and socioeconomic make-up of the school are very important to locate when planning.  

During my first five months as a school librarian, I reflected and wrote about my experiences. My post, entitled Lessons Learned from a Newbie School Librarian, shed some insight into what I had experienced and what I felt everyone coming from outside the world of K-12 education might want to know.  There's so much more than just understanding the collection of a school library.   Below are the five main points I list about being a newbie and what I felt were important to understand:
  1. The school library is NOT about me.
  2. Build a community of support and advocates.
  3. Be flexible.
  4. Find a good support network.
  5. Look for inspiration, but remember to be realistic. 
I haven't had a chance to compile the "Part II", yet.  In a few weeks I will be finishing this degree, as well as, my first school library job.  I'll have to think long and hard about what I want to say to future librarians.  However, while working for my K-5 school in North Carolina, I researched and developed the collection management.  The school was in an affluent area of town and has one of the largest school populations in the county.  However, the school, and area around the school, continues to be developed by housing and commercial ventures.  The plan was developed for three years rather than five because of the rapid change in growth.  

I'm hopeful that the plan I have shared with the future librarian will help him or her gain an understanding of first the people and then the process.  It's a tricky balance.

Collection Development Plan (PDF)

SLO 2: Identifies, Evaluates, Conducts, and Applies current research

During my field experience, I worked at a Title 1 school in Greensboro, NC.  I was required to complete a demographic study of the population attending the school and learn more about their needs.  Conducting research to learn more about the socioeconomics, both in and outside the school was helpful in identifying resources that the students would need to help them succeed.  With this work, I was able to work more closely with the guidance counselor and develop a character education display.  I created an online resource through Destiny, the online card catalog, so that other teachers and students would be able to check out books on various character topics. 

I wrote about my experience with working with this population and looking at poverty.  I share some of the statistics but also my own personal realization of what was happening in this particular school.
So where do I go w/ the aspect of poverty?  I'm not sure...the demographic this school serves is extremely poor.  Let me just lay out some data that I've researched:
  • In NC, poverty is classified as a family of 4 making a total yearly income of $23,000.  Over half the demographic of this school is AT or BELOW the poverty line.
  • 100% of the school receives either a free or reduced cost lunch.  That's huge! In my child's school, only 20% of the students need assistance.  There are 450 students at this school while there are almost 800 at my child's...incredible.  
  • Test scores in reading and math for 3rd-5th grade are 30-50% lower than the state average
What I've seen with my eyes are...
  • Children in 4th grade who read at a 2nd grade level or lower
  • Children who come to school with a myriad of emotional, behavioral and physical issues
  • Children who are not fed, bathed and taken care of on a daily basis
While it's daunting to look at facts and figures, I came to realize that, as a school librarian, I'm in a unique position to take this information, see what is happening in my own school and apply what I can from my experiences to make the school library the soul of the school.   This can be the one place that students, all students of every socioeconomic background, can come to find solace in a very demanding educational landscape.

Demographic Analysis of K-5 elementary school (PDF)
Character Education Display (PPT)

SLO 3: Applies and values user education principles in the teaching of information literacy.

During my practicum experience, I wanted to demonstrate ways in which I was working with students to become more independent users of the library. Although I focused on a 4th grade class, I was teaching 1st-5th graders how to check out their books using Destiny. I wanted them to feel a sense of connection and belonging to their school library, something they had not had the opportunity to experience in the past.  

I enjoyed this experience as it taught me to use video more often in my lesson reflection. Watching myself teach was a way for me to adjust my delivery and method of instruction for future classes. During other teaching experiences, I found that classroom management and knowing my students is extremely important. Often, specialists are not included in IEP meetings or given a "heads up" on students who have various learning differences. This makes group work, seating assignments and so forth a bit of a guessing game until the first quarter is under way.  

I enjoyed this experience as it taught me to use video more often in my lesson reflection. Watching myself teach was a way for me to adjust my delivery and method of instruction for future classes.  I wish I had done this more as I think it helps make me a better teacher and really think about the art and craft of it.  It also helps to serve as a reflection record.  It's difficult to sit and write down those things that went well or didn't and truly remember why.  This will be something I make myself do in the future.

Destiny Self-checkout procedures - Reflection (PDF)

Destiny Self-checkout procedures - Video

SLO 4: Designs services to meet the information needs of all users and communities.

I was working in a school library for the first time while taking the LIS 653 School Library class.  During this class, I was asked to create a facilities plan.  This was instrumental in helping me identify what I needed to focus on to make the library more accessible for the schools population. In the last year, the school had been designated as a place for exceptional children (EC), however, the library was not organized or arranged for these students to be able to access the library more fully.  There was not much technology and the current technology was outdated.  There was no designated classroom space or shared work space.  

The facility plan was a way for me to show my principal and teachers how the library could be used more effectively to promote student growth and learning.  It helped to show the library as a place where teaching and learning come together, as well as, a place to use various resources other than print.

SLO 5: Engages in professional development and service and identifies specializations and related professional organizations as relevant to individual interests.

Since starting the UNCG LIS program, I have been a member of the following organizations: ALA, AASL and NCLA. I joined NCSLMA (NC School Library Media Association) two years ago when I decided to focus on this area of librarianship. I am a certified public librarian, as well.

SLO 6: Applies appropriate technology for effective information services.

While taking LIS 635 Media Productions, I was able to learn more about various technologies to use for promoting resources and programs at our school.  I choose to use the kiosk assignment to create a tour of the library for students. Although many of our students have been at the school for three or more years, many do not know how to locate fiction, nonfiction or everybody sections easily.  The kiosk project enabled me to create something that they would be able to use easily during their library time.  

The Elementary Battle of the Books program is a fun way to get students to read 17 books selected by school librarians in our county.  I wanted to promote the program in a fun way and using the video assignment allowed me to do that for our 4th and 5th graders. 

Meadowlark Elementary Library Tour (ppt - may not have kiosk functionality)
Elementary Battle of the Books - Video 

SLO 7: Applies advocacy, marketing, and communication principles for entrepreneurial leadership.

While taking LIS 688 - Libraries and Literacy, we discussed the various stages that readers go through and the impact of school libraries and librarians have on early readers.  Having strong programs that support and engage multiple literacies that meet the curriculum needs is an important part of developing the overall school library program.

My assignment was to create a literacy event. I began searching for storytellers as I think this is a unique way to get students thinking about, not only crafting their own stories, but also about the process of writing through creativity, synthesis of ideas and other avenues of display.   This particular storyteller was also an instrument maker and offered residencies where he would come and work with older students on creating gourd maracas, flutes and drums.  The event allowed students at all grade levels to experience some sort of storytelling through Native American stories and music but especially provided a curriculum link to 4th and 5th graders studying the people and their lives in a more profound, hands-on experience.

Hawk Hurst Storytelling Event (PDF)
Flyer (website)

SLO 8: Effectively collaborates for the achievement of individual, organizational, professional, and societal goals.

During the spring of 2012, I worked with a Kindergarten teacher to produce a series of lessons using 3rd quarter content and teaching to the ES on information and technology.  The result was three lessons focused on the research methodology of the Super 3 with weather content.

Teaching Reflection & Lesson Plans (PDF)
Weather Pathfinder (PDF)
Weather Pathfinder (Website)
Collaboration Project Glog (Glogster) - this tells a bit more about our lessons, shows student project work and a video of one of my teaching sessions.
SLO 9: Promotes reading for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment. 

During the spring of 2012, I took 618 - literature for young adults. I read many books on various genres by a variety of authors to become more familiar with what teens are reading in middle and high school libraries. I was also acquainted with resources, such as VOYA and YALSA to aid in the selection of materials, as well as, the current trends in the profession. Grabbing the teen populations attention to reading more than a magazine can be a challenge for many middle and high school librarians. They need to understand their audience and find ways to engage them through a variety of clever tools. Book talks, book displays, reviews and fairs are all ways to get students wanting to find out more about books.

During this semester, I created a book talk as a way to entice
 young adult readers to read,  targeting reluctant readers both male and female. (Grades 6-10). The three books I read were focused on family life, humor and farms. I chose books that each gender would find particularly interesting and then one book that everyone would be able to appreciate and enjoy. The result was a fun video highlighting the three books in a manner that would help guide students to reading something new.

Book Talk - Video 
Book Talk Plan and Transcript (PDF)