Library-Powered Students

Our_Library_Hands_Raised_crop_sizedAs my piece of the May 19th Building a Culture of Collaboration Webinar, I will share and invite you to share the many ways school librarians can collaborate to support powerful student learning in our schools. As a former school librarian at every instructional level, I have served in schools with as few as three hundred students and as many as eighteen hundred. Regardless, I always made relationships with students a top priority in my work in the place we called “our” library.

Student library aides, drop-in students, before school, lunchtime, and after school “regulars” may respond to the library’s welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Student clubs, formal or informal, may choose library spaces for their meetings. School librarians have the opportunity to reach out to the students who frequent the library to build caring and supportive relationships with them.

Through coteaching with classroom teachers, we can show caring and support in other ways. We can advocate for real-world, relevant research and inquiry learning, for thoughtfully integrating technology tools and devices, for student choice in reading and topic selection. When we coplan, coimplement, and coassess student learning, we have a great deal to contribute to student success.

I invite BACC readers and Webinar attendees to conduct an environmental scan of the physical and virtual spaces of their school libraries. Here are some questions to consider:

1. What would a member of your community who hadn’t been in a school library in years see when she/he walks through the door or happens upon your school library Web site?

2. Where is student input reflected in various learning and social spaces in the library or on the library Web site?

3. Where is student learning evidenced in the library? Are final projects on display or linked to the Web site?

4. Are students participating in reader’s advisory by contributing book talks and trailers that are on display or accessible to schoolmates via QR codes, the library catalog, or the Web?

Bring your self-assessment to the Webinar on May 19th. Learn what others may be doing to build a culture of collaboration in their schools through their work with students.

Remix image from Thurston, Baratunde. “I Am A Community Organizer.” 7 Sept. 2008. Flickr. 29 Apr. 2015. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/baratunde/2837373493/>.

This entry was posted in Collaborative Cultures 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 has taught preservice school librarians since 1995. She is currently an adjunct associate professor for the iSchool at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has taught courses in instructional partnerships and school librarian leadership, multimedia resources and services, children’s and young adult literature, and storytelling. Her research agenda focuses on the professional development of school librarians for the leadership and instructional partner roles. She has published four professional books; the most recent is Maximizing School Librarian Leadership: Building Connections for Learning and Advocacy (ALA 2018). (See the book study on this blog.) Judi earned the American Library Association's 2019 Scholastic Library Publishing Award.

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