In 2011, Maria Cahill, Rebecca McKee, and I conducted a study of state-level librarian conferences. Our research questions centered on the professional development focused on each of the five roles of school librarians offered at these conferences. We conducted a content analysis and reviewed the data in several conference categories and we looked at the data across all conferences as well.
We learned that the instructional partner role of school librarians is the least represented in state-level conference sessions. (You can read the complete study report in School Library Research.)
Does that mean that school librarians are not consistently practicing this role? Or are we not submitting conference session proposals that spotlight our instructional partnerships? Or are conference planners not selecting instructional partnership sessions from among those proposed?
For whatever reason, many of us believe it is essential to counteract this trend. Some in the school librarian profession are renewing our commitment to presenting workshops and conference sessions focused on the benefits to students and educators of classroom-library collaboration for instruction.
I am a member of a team of school librarians and classroom teachers who will share our instructional partnership experiences at the upcoming American Library Association (ALA) conference in Chicago later this month. Judi Paradis and her teaching partner first-grade teacher Marianne Duffy will represent the elementary school perspective. Sabrina Carnesi and her teaching partner Naadira Mubarak will share their collaborative work at the middle school level. Stacy Cameron and I will share our high school examples.
Here’s a description of our preconference:
What is the core of 21st-century school librarianship? How does OUR core relate to the Common Core State Standards and other state standards? What are the skills, dispositions, responsibilities, and self-assessments we can apply to co-achieve uncommon success? This preconference will provide strategies for demonstrating the school librarian’s central role in the academic program through practicing instructional partnerships to ensure success for K-12 students, teachers, administrators, librarians, and for the school librarian profession, too.
If you are headed to Chicago to attend the ALA Annual Conference, I hope you will consider attending our preconference workshop. It will be held on Friday, June 28th from 8:30 a.m. to noon. For more information about all of the preconference workshop offered at the conference this year, visit the AASL Web site.
See you in Chicago.
Moreillon, Judi, Maria Cahill, and Rebecca McKee. State Library Conferences as Professional Development Venues: Unbalanced Support for the AASL-defined Roles of the School Librarian. School Library Research 15. 29 July 2012. Web. 06 June 2013 <http://www.ala.org/aasl/slr/volume15/moreillon-cahill-mckee>.
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