There was a discussion this week on the AASL Forum regarding an Edudemic blog post “10 Ways to Promote Your Classroom Library” by educator Jeff Dunn. Librarian Paige Jaeger posted a response “Building Bridges: Collection to Classroom” on her Library Door blog and launched the Forum conversation.
This exchange prompted me to think about how classroom teachers and school librarians often travel in different social media and professional development worlds. Reaching across the blogosphere is especially critical for school librarians simply because there are fewer of us and our collective voices simply cannot make as large an impact as those of classroom teachers.
In the spirit of reaching out, I emailed Jeff and copied the AASL Forum list. I hope classroom teachers and school librarians will break down some of the silos in the blogosphere and share information and ideas that further build collaboration among educators. The following is my email to Jeff:
Dear Jeff Dunn,
Your post about classroom libraries prompted a discussion on a listserv forum for the American Association of School Librarians. Thank you!
I appreciate your thoughtful ideas about promoting literature in the classroom and hope that in schools across the country school librarians are also using all of these strategies (and more) to promote reading in their schools.
In his book Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days, Frank Serafini notes that at least 100 books per child is the benchmark of a well-stocked classroom library (37). He recommends 2,500 – 3,000 resources at all reading levels in all genres.
Wow! I don’t know many teachers who have the financial resources or the physical space to provide that amount of reading material in their classrooms for their students.
However, a well-stocked school library facilitated by an effective school librarian can meet students’ and teachers’ resource needs. School librarians – along with classroom teachers – can contribute to developing the exciting strategies for engaging students with literature and learning that you propose.
Yes! to classroom libraries! Yes! Yes! to school libraries. Yes! Yes! Yes! to classroom teachers and school librarians who collaborate to help youth access fresh and exciting reading material and develop the skills and strategies they need to become lifelong readers and learners.
Serafini, Frank. 2006. Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days: A Month-by-Month Guide to Effective Instruction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.