The Flipped Library

21st-century school librarians post a fine collection of book trailers, extensive pathfinders, online tutorials, and other resources, and student learning artifacts online in order to serve their learning communities 24/7. These curation activities provide 21st-century resources to support school library collection development.

But then what?

On Friday, November 2nd at the Richardson-Plano (Texas) “Pump Up Instruction” Library Expo 2012, I presented sessions to invite elementary and secondary librarians to consider how they can show that the librarian is the most important resource in any library. (Thank you to David Lankes for crystalizing the concept.)

In the “flipped” library, school librarians provide students and teachers with support they cannot get learning from home or in their classrooms without the aid of their school librarian. School librarians can provide students with explicit modeling for reading comprehension and inquiry learning. School librarians serve as coteachers who strengthen the work of their colleagues in monitoring student learning, assessing outcomes, and developing expertise in instruction.

Check out the resources at: https://flipped-library.wikispaces.com

This entry was posted in Flipped Library and tagged , , by Judi Moreillon. Bookmark the permalink.

About Judi Moreillon

Judi Moreillon, M.L.S, Ph.D., has served as a school librarian at every instructional level. In addition, she has been a classroom teacher, literacy coach, and district-level librarian mentor. Judi taught preservice school librarians for twenty-one years, most recently as an associate professor at Texas Woman's University where she taught courses in instructional partnerships, multimedia resources and services, children’s literature, and storytelling. Her research agenda focuses on the professional development of school librarians for the leadership and instructional partner roles.

27 thoughts on “The Flipped Library

  1. I think the idea of developing online resources that the teachers and students have access to that really illustrate why you need your librarian is great! The librarian will have to sit down and really plan out activities to illustrate their usefullness to the teachers and students. I think teachers often get wrapped up in this is what I have to do and do not stop to think who can help me accomplish this giant list.These online resources can make it easy for the teacher to browse and decide if they should talk to the librarian.

  2. As a former classroom teacher and K-2 reading coach, it comes very naturally to me to co-teach reading and comprehension strategies to the students in the library. Each year I have been the librarian, I’ve tried to do more and more in the way of reading support. Only in the last few months have I become aware of how I can also support my co-workers through online webinars, tools, strategies, and techniques. It’s not easy and its so, very time consuming, but in the minute experience I’ve had with it thus far, I have to admit it’s absolutely worth it. I am fortunate to be in a new position where I can grow and be more helpful each and every day.

  3. As a former classroom teacher and K-2 reading coach, it comes very naturally to me to co-teach reading and comprehension strategies to the students in the library. Each year I have been the librarian, I’ve tried to do more and more in the way of reading support. Only in the last few months have I become aware of how I can also support my co-workers through online webinars, tools, strategies, and techniques. It’s not easy and its so, very time consuming, but in the minute experience I’ve had with it thus far, I have to admit it’s absolutely worth it. I am fortunate to be in a new position where I can grow and be more helpful each and every day.

  4. What an interesting topic of discussion – being able to see how other SMLS provide at-home resources is encouraging and helpful for those of us still starting out.

    • I agree, Beth. As someone new to the profession, it seems that the flipped library can help to create a collaborative culture within the school community where the library and librarian are viewed as the primary source for information both inside and outside of the school day.

  5. What an interesting topic of discussion – being able to see how other SMLS provide at-home resources is encouraging and helpful for those of us still starting out.

    • I agree, Beth. As someone new to the profession, it seems that the flipped library can help to create a collaborative culture within the school community where the library and librarian are viewed as the primary source for information both inside and outside of the school day.

  6. Hi Judi,
    I agree the librarian is the most important resource in the library. The 21st century resources within a library collection are a great example of a librarian’s role in organizing information and making information accessible. One glimpse of the librarian’s vital role as an instructor is visible as they teach others how to use the resources. For example, if patrons have 24/7 access to an online database, it is important for patrons to know how to use the database. I would be interested in learning more about video tutorials and which screen capturing software may be user-friendly and free or budget-friendly for school libraries.

    Additionally, I love that you mentioned digital book trailers. The use of digital book trailers is a new found favorite of mine. Intrigued by Michele Ragen’s article titled “Inspired technology, inspired readers How book trailers foster a passion for reading” in the March 2012, volume 26, first issue of Access, I read how students’ interest in reading grew more positive. Students can improve reading, writing and technology skills while creating digital book trailers. Studies like this show students are engaged and responsive to digital book trailers. I look forward to implementing this project and other ideas in my future career, as I continue to learn from the professional library community.

    I am new to this blog and will be back to visit again soon and learn more about collaboration! Thanks.

    • As a high school student, I would have loved having a flipped math classroom. Being able to work through problems with my teacher present–nirvana! Being able to revisit videos explaining concepts would also be great for math. Introducing topics for English and history classes and then discussing them would also be nice. But how would you keep the class from becoming the same day after day? It could get boring. Perhaps I am being too literal in my thinking. I see the librarian playing a role with this in terms of literacy instruction, book talks, research methods, and citation methods. However, I wonder how kids who don’t have ready access to the videos would prepare for class. Does this sort of classroom/library require everyone to have a laptop, tablet, or cell phone? Can the school provide them for kids without the resources to get them on their own? I like the idea of having kids prepare for lessons in a more digital, interactive method than reading textbooks–which are often boring– or listening to lectures, but you need to read literature to discuss it. Will more innovative teaching methods make it even more difficult to get kids to read assigned texts? Nonetheless, having ready access to helpful materials and being able to ask questions of the experts sounds great. But how much time will be required to answer all those emails or blog posts? I see positives and negatives to this. The idea of flipped collaboration sounds like a very promising notion since it could overcome the difficulties of scheduling face-to-face meetings. Ultimately, having digital lessons available to students 24/7 is not any different from having instructional videos posted to YouTube, an oft-used source of information indeed. So long as they are watched before class and not during it, I think that it could help kids become independent learners. I wonder how teacher development taught by librarians will lead to recertification, however, since that is why most teachers attend teacher development sessions. I also wonder where these lessons will be stored and how they will be accessed.

  7. Hi Judi,
    I agree the librarian is the most important resource in the library. The 21st century resources within a library collection are a great example of a librarian’s role in organizing information and making information accessible. One glimpse of the librarian’s vital role as an instructor is visible as they teach others how to use the resources. For example, if patrons have 24/7 access to an online database, it is important for patrons to know how to use the database. I would be interested in learning more about video tutorials and which screen capturing software may be user-friendly and free or budget-friendly for school libraries.

    Additionally, I love that you mentioned digital book trailers. The use of digital book trailers is a new found favorite of mine. Intrigued by Michele Ragen’s article titled “Inspired technology, inspired readers How book trailers foster a passion for reading” in the March 2012, volume 26, first issue of Access, I read how students’ interest in reading grew more positive. Students can improve reading, writing and technology skills while creating digital book trailers. Studies like this show students are engaged and responsive to digital book trailers. I look forward to implementing this project and other ideas in my future career, as I continue to learn from the professional library community.

    I am new to this blog and will be back to visit again soon and learn more about collaboration! Thanks.

    • As a high school student, I would have loved having a flipped math classroom. Being able to work through problems with my teacher present–nirvana! Being able to revisit videos explaining concepts would also be great for math. Introducing topics for English and history classes and then discussing them would also be nice. But how would you keep the class from becoming the same day after day? It could get boring. Perhaps I am being too literal in my thinking. I see the librarian playing a role with this in terms of literacy instruction, book talks, research methods, and citation methods. However, I wonder how kids who don’t have ready access to the videos would prepare for class. Does this sort of classroom/library require everyone to have a laptop, tablet, or cell phone? Can the school provide them for kids without the resources to get them on their own? I like the idea of having kids prepare for lessons in a more digital, interactive method than reading textbooks–which are often boring– or listening to lectures, but you need to read literature to discuss it. Will more innovative teaching methods make it even more difficult to get kids to read assigned texts? Nonetheless, having ready access to helpful materials and being able to ask questions of the experts sounds great. But how much time will be required to answer all those emails or blog posts? I see positives and negatives to this. The idea of flipped collaboration sounds like a very promising notion since it could overcome the difficulties of scheduling face-to-face meetings. Ultimately, having digital lessons available to students 24/7 is not any different from having instructional videos posted to YouTube, an oft-used source of information indeed. So long as they are watched before class and not during it, I think that it could help kids become independent learners. I wonder how teacher development taught by librarians will lead to recertification, however, since that is why most teachers attend teacher development sessions. I also wonder where these lessons will be stored and how they will be accessed.

  8. I have mixed feelings about the flipped classroom. While I think it is innovative, creative and might turn some kids on to learning, I also think there is the potential that it might not connect with some students and/or be executed poorly.
    Things that worry me:
    • Some students won’t be motivated to watch or read the lecture before class.
    • A student might not understand the lecture and not ask questions. Also, mechanisms are not in place for comprehension checks.
    • The students learning style does not mesh with watching a video.
    • The teacher will not put much effort into making quality videos. Or if they make wonderful videos, do they make new ones, add content or edit them in years to come?
    • It is a move towards online education.
    • It is teacher lecture driven more than student inquiry driven.
    I think the best way to use the flipped class is to use it sparingly. Put in the mix of your methods but don’t do it every day. Also, when you use it, make sure you are connecting to all students, motivating them to watch and engage in the lesson and constantly checking for understanding.

  9. I have mixed feelings about the flipped classroom. While I think it is innovative, creative and might turn some kids on to learning, I also think there is the potential that it might not connect with some students and/or be executed poorly.
    Things that worry me:
    • Some students won’t be motivated to watch or read the lecture before class.
    • A student might not understand the lecture and not ask questions. Also, mechanisms are not in place for comprehension checks.
    • The students learning style does not mesh with watching a video.
    • The teacher will not put much effort into making quality videos. Or if they make wonderful videos, do they make new ones, add content or edit them in years to come?
    • It is a move towards online education.
    • It is teacher lecture driven more than student inquiry driven.
    I think the best way to use the flipped class is to use it sparingly. Put in the mix of your methods but don’t do it every day. Also, when you use it, make sure you are connecting to all students, motivating them to watch and engage in the lesson and constantly checking for understanding.

  10. I agree with Yuri. That is why my presentation on “The Flipped Library” did NOT focus on the online resources but rather focused on what the school librarian was doing when working face to face with students and teachers during the school day. If you link to the presentation, you will find information about aligning coteaching reading comprehension strategies and inquiry.

    For me, the most important part of “flipping” is the instruction, monitoring, interventions, and assessment for which school librarians take joint responsibility with classroom teachers and specialists – during the school day.

  11. I agree with Yuri. That is why my presentation on “The Flipped Library” did NOT focus on the online resources but rather focused on what the school librarian was doing when working face to face with students and teachers during the school day. If you link to the presentation, you will find information about aligning coteaching reading comprehension strategies and inquiry.

    For me, the most important part of “flipping” is the instruction, monitoring, interventions, and assessment for which school librarians take joint responsibility with classroom teachers and specialists – during the school day.

  12. There is no doubt that students succeed when they recognize the importance and value of something. In the flipped classroom this also works for the teachers. While it may be hard to get some of the “old-school” teachers on board it, they will not be able to argue with its success.

    Another great feature is putting items on the web so that it is accessible after school hours. With the amount of hours that people work, it is sometimes hard to get to the library for a resource before it closes. However, in this case, students (and their parents) will have access at home! One concern I have is if the number of people that will be able to see the sites that have been posted. Should the library sites have access codes? I have mixed feelings about this.

  13. There is no doubt that students succeed when they recognize the importance and value of something. In the flipped classroom this also works for the teachers. While it may be hard to get some of the “old-school” teachers on board it, they will not be able to argue with its success.

    Another great feature is putting items on the web so that it is accessible after school hours. With the amount of hours that people work, it is sometimes hard to get to the library for a resource before it closes. However, in this case, students (and their parents) will have access at home! One concern I have is if the number of people that will be able to see the sites that have been posted. Should the library sites have access codes? I have mixed feelings about this.

  14. I like the idea of the flipped library. It aligns with the ideals that we librarians embrace concerning accessibility; specifically ‘when’ a resource is available. If a teacher does not have time to meet with the librarian throughout the day, but has access to an online tutorial on their own time, then accessibility expands.

    Concerning the digital divide, I am still concerned that the flipped library could limit accessibility for some of our students. The school I work in is comprised of a significant number of students who fall into this category. Our school addresses this by hosting a ‘tutoring’ lab in the library after school for 1 hour, but I am concerned about those who have to catch buses after school and don’t have access at home.

    I also have one question. When you create these tutorials and resources for your teachers and students, where do you ‘put’ them. Are they on your own personal website? School website? Do you keep them in a blog? Youtube channel? How are faculty and students given access?

  15. I like the idea of the flipped library. It aligns with the ideals that we librarians embrace concerning accessibility; specifically ‘when’ a resource is available. If a teacher does not have time to meet with the librarian throughout the day, but has access to an online tutorial on their own time, then accessibility expands.

    Concerning the digital divide, I am still concerned that the flipped library could limit accessibility for some of our students. The school I work in is comprised of a significant number of students who fall into this category. Our school addresses this by hosting a ‘tutoring’ lab in the library after school for 1 hour, but I am concerned about those who have to catch buses after school and don’t have access at home.

    I also have one question. When you create these tutorials and resources for your teachers and students, where do you ‘put’ them. Are they on your own personal website? School website? Do you keep them in a blog? Youtube channel? How are faculty and students given access?

  16. Over the past few weeks, I have been looking for ways to flip my library. I have also looked at using centers in the library. At first these ideas seemed so separate, but then I realized that I could create a flipped lesson to teach the skills needed at the centers. This would allow the students who need the centers as practice to go ahead and practice the skills. The students who are developing the skill would have a lesson to replay as needed.

    I really enjoyed the idea of flipping the library for teachers as well though. Like our students, teachers tend to be diverse learners too. Flipping the library for the teachers would allow for instruction as needed. At times, I am not available for the instant teaching (of teachers) that is required. This would be a great alternative to having the teacher wait until a better time is reached. It would allow the teacher to watch the lesson and then attempt the skill on his or her own. Once the teacher is in need of the librarian’s help, the teacher will be familiar with the process, so will be able to connect with the information more quickly.

  17. Over the past few weeks, I have been looking for ways to flip my library. I have also looked at using centers in the library. At first these ideas seemed so separate, but then I realized that I could create a flipped lesson to teach the skills needed at the centers. This would allow the students who need the centers as practice to go ahead and practice the skills. The students who are developing the skill would have a lesson to replay as needed.

    I really enjoyed the idea of flipping the library for teachers as well though. Like our students, teachers tend to be diverse learners too. Flipping the library for the teachers would allow for instruction as needed. At times, I am not available for the instant teaching (of teachers) that is required. This would be a great alternative to having the teacher wait until a better time is reached. It would allow the teacher to watch the lesson and then attempt the skill on his or her own. Once the teacher is in need of the librarian’s help, the teacher will be familiar with the process, so will be able to connect with the information more quickly.

  18. This is fantastic. It’d be great (perhaps wishful thinking) if school faculty could see themselves as one, big body of workers, each serving a vital purpose that works to keep the whole system running. If classroom teachers could see the school media specialist/librarian for what he/she is (a fantastic outlet to immeasurable resources), there would be less stress and more collaboration that could really change and enrich the learning environment. (and vice versa – if SMLS would see the teachers as an invaluable source of insight into the needs and desires of the students, more accurate lesson planning and collection of resources could be played out.)

  19. This is fantastic. It’d be great (perhaps wishful thinking) if school faculty could see themselves as one, big body of workers, each serving a vital purpose that works to keep the whole system running. If classroom teachers could see the school media specialist/librarian for what he/she is (a fantastic outlet to immeasurable resources), there would be less stress and more collaboration that could really change and enrich the learning environment. (and vice versa – if SMLS would see the teachers as an invaluable source of insight into the needs and desires of the students, more accurate lesson planning and collection of resources could be played out.)

  20. Like Yuri, I too have concerns about “The Flipped Library.” While I feel that it is essential to provide an array of tools and resources to students, I also realize that the tools and resources cannot replace a good teacher or librarian. We have been told for years that one day every student would learn at home via computer-based instruction – but that has yet to materialize. While I am a firm believer and supporter of online education for adults (college students), I am convinced that leaving younger students to their own devices for educational purposes would be disastrous. A computer or web-based program can explain a complex theory to a student, and it may allow practice/drill exercises for a variety of fundamental skills – but it cannot interpret incorrect answers. Why did the student answer the question incorrectly? Was it because the information was not presented coherently? Was it because the information was misstated? Was it because the student did not read the lesson / listen to the podcast / practice the skill? Was it because the student has a learning block that could be addressed through a different mechanism? Computers are not human, they can not replace a teacher that will restate the lesson five different ways, then draw pictures if necessary. Leaving most (young) students to their own devices for learning would prove disastrous. Unfortunately, it would take time to recognize the disaster and address it. Technology in the classroom is effective and beneficial – alone, not so much. I firmly support and appreciate online learning for mature adults, but I feel most students require the guidance and support of good teachers to become enlightened and educated citizens. We should not allow technology to become a babysitter for our students, nor should we relinquish our professional knowledge to a computer screen.

  21. Like Yuri, I too have concerns about “The Flipped Library.” While I feel that it is essential to provide an array of tools and resources to students, I also realize that the tools and resources cannot replace a good teacher or librarian. We have been told for years that one day every student would learn at home via computer-based instruction – but that has yet to materialize. While I am a firm believer and supporter of online education for adults (college students), I am convinced that leaving younger students to their own devices for educational purposes would be disastrous. A computer or web-based program can explain a complex theory to a student, and it may allow practice/drill exercises for a variety of fundamental skills – but it cannot interpret incorrect answers. Why did the student answer the question incorrectly? Was it because the information was not presented coherently? Was it because the information was misstated? Was it because the student did not read the lesson / listen to the podcast / practice the skill? Was it because the student has a learning block that could be addressed through a different mechanism? Computers are not human, they can not replace a teacher that will restate the lesson five different ways, then draw pictures if necessary. Leaving most (young) students to their own devices for learning would prove disastrous. Unfortunately, it would take time to recognize the disaster and address it. Technology in the classroom is effective and beneficial – alone, not so much. I firmly support and appreciate online learning for mature adults, but I feel most students require the guidance and support of good teachers to become enlightened and educated citizens. We should not allow technology to become a babysitter for our students, nor should we relinquish our professional knowledge to a computer screen.

  22. As a former classroom teacher, I love the idea of the flipped library. If we can get classroom teachers to see the librarian as an indispensable resource for their classroom, the possibilities for enrichment are limitless.

    Teachers, students, and librarians all face daily busy schedules. I like the on line tutorial possibilities. Although nothing can replace face-to-face interaction, the computer based program can be used to fit any schedule. I think students today are so technologically aware that this fits with their mode of learning.

    The flipped library is just one more way that librarians can show the educators how valuable we are.

  23. As a former classroom teacher, I love the idea of the flipped library. If we can get classroom teachers to see the librarian as an indispensable resource for their classroom, the possibilities for enrichment are limitless.

    Teachers, students, and librarians all face daily busy schedules. I like the on line tutorial possibilities. Although nothing can replace face-to-face interaction, the computer based program can be used to fit any schedule. I think students today are so technologically aware that this fits with their mode of learning.

    The flipped library is just one more way that librarians can show the educators how valuable we are.

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