An outstanding session I attended at NCSLMA was Track It: Documenting Instructional Impact developed by Gerry Solomon, Donna Shannon and Karen Gavigan from the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science. An outline of their presentation can be found in their wiki http://slmimpact.wikispaces.com/Presentation+Outline In their session they presented numerous resources to assist school librarians as they use documentation to inform practice, demonstrate impact, and advocate for school libraries. Links to these resources are collected in the wiki. A similar presentation is on the program for the American Library Association Annual Conference in 2013. The wiki is a gold mine for school librarians to use to collect data about their impact on student learning.
Take a look at the wiki page for forms http://slmimpact.wikispaces.com/Tools
to find several related to collaboration. The Collaboration Log/Checklist from Koechlin/Zwaan (2003) struck me for its ease of use with an ability to quickly circle the type of collaboration and the time frame. As we have discussed in this blog, time is often identified as a barrier to collaboration. Maintaining a log such as this one will allow a school librarian to quickly note even the briefest (0-5 minute) hallway or parking lot conversation. Over time, these encounters may establish a pattern of collaboration that might otherwise be overlooked. Are there some teachers who seem to prefer this type of collaboration? Do these encounters lead to lessons or other activities? Are they follow-up to more formal meetings? Or do they serve as preparation in advance of longer conversations? Over time these collaboration logs might demonstrate an ongoing and cumulative collaborative relationship that might otherwise be lost. I’m reminded of how some budgeting plans stress documenting even your smallest expenses because frequently these add up to become a significant drain on your budget. In a similar way small savings may accumulate and earn interest over time. The small conversations school librarians have with teachers will also add up and earn interest over time. Here’s a way to collect and study that data.