Two ways to advocate for school libraries
If school librarians want to make a case for library funding, they must learn to demonstrate how they help students learn and how they build collaborative isntructional partnerships with classroom teachers. Libraries often suffer financially when school administrators are forced to make budget cuts, often because administrators might still have outdated views regarding what the [ Read More ]
Four ways to advocate for school libraries
If school librarians want to make a case for library funding, they must demonstrate how they help students learn and prove that they build collaborative instructional partnerships with classroom teachers.
Libraries often suffer financially when school administrators are forced to make budget cuts, often because administrators might still have outdated views regarding what the school library actually does.
Librarians have specialized and varied training, but often, that training does not help direct funding to the school library unless administrators see how libraries benefit student learning, said Michelle Luhtala, head librarian at New Canaan High School (Conn.), during a Connected Educator Month edWeb webinar about making the case for school libraries.
Luhtala, with input from Deb Schiano, a teacher-librarian at Madison Junior School in New Jersey, outlined four areas of expertise where librarians can demonstrate to school administrators that they directly contribute to student learning.
“This is very powerful, very useful, and is a huge part of what we do,” Luhtala said. “We explain how research is done. There’s real collaboration here.”
School librarians play an integral role in developing materials that help teachers understand and unpack the Common Core, and they work to create documents and warehouses of collaborative materials and research projects.
Creating online learning materials in collaboration with fellow librarians and educators supports educators’ instruction, which supports students’ learning achievements.
Librarians teach teachers, through direct instruction and through classroom experiences, how to use technologies. Helping teachers reach that “ah-ha” moment leads to greater and more effective technology integration in teaching and learning.
Professional development is an important part of collaborative instructional partnerships. Librarians offer unique services when they enter a teacher’s classroom and help the teacher become more independent not just in technology use, but also in developing and teaching research skills and other important skills students will need when they go to college or join the workforce.
With no internet at home, kids crowd libraries for online homework
Once again, Christina Morua found herself in the South Dade library longer than she would like on a school night. The 28-year-old single mom sat in the bustling children's section on a recent Thursday, waiting for her fourth-grader to get on a computer and start some online math homework.
"We don't have any Internet at home," Morua said as her oldest, 11-year-old Abel, clicked through an assignment on a library laptop while Alina, 9, waited for her turn at a desktop. "We just reserved a computer. We have to wait 70 minutes. He got one of the last laptops."
With more school materials heading online, parents like Morua here and elsewhere across the country find they can no longer count on home for homework. That leaves libraries as a crucial venue for their youngest patrons, but funding challenges, reduced hours on school nights and aging equipment have made it harder to meet the demand.
"The laptops we do have, the batteries aren't working," said Patricia Readon, a librarian working the children's desk at the South Dade branch in Cutler Bay. "You can check out a laptop, and the next 30 minutes it's dead. The sad part is, if you don't have a computer, you can't do your homework."
Morua's long wait for a computer offers a flip side to the current debate over how best to reinvent Miami-Dade's libraries. That discussion has largely focused on how to attract people with no current interest in libraries--entrepreneurs who need office space, twenty-somethings who might like a Starbucks near the checkout counter, and 3-D printers for the "maker" movement of techie do-it-yourselfers.
Yet for families without access to online homework, libraries are already the place to be on school nights. It's just the lack of computers that has them complaining.
Students excel with project-based learning
When it comes to classrooms today, students want more than the lectures and quiet classrooms of the past. They want technology to use as learning tools, they want to collaborate, and they want to work on projects that are relevant to their learning and the real world.
CartWrite Offers Free Tablet Charging Cart to a Deserving School
Westlake, OH (October 22, 2014) – CartWrite, the online technology furniture dealership, is showing its commitment to schools across the country by offering a FREE charging cart to a deserving school. Ed Stevens, CartWrite CEO, said, “Dedication to low pricing and free shipping are everyday examples of our commitment. Now, we are offering a FREE [ Read More ]