Loudoun Valley High School
VEMA Potomac Conference
April 5 2003
Importance of Pathfinders
How to create a Pathfinder
Creating Pathfinders with input from teachers
Implementing Pathfinders with students
Sources for Pathfinders
Summarize the benefits of Pathfinders
To provide accurate and high quality information
To focus students and teachers on appropriate
To indicate various methods of research (Dewey,
IPAC, Online Databases and web sites)
More organized classes
Improved use of time
Collaboration between teachers and librarians
Creating a Pathfinder
Consult with the teacher.
Request a copy of the assignment given to the
Research the topic.
Use a standard format.
Customize your Pathfinder to each assignment.
Send each teacher a copy several days before
the class comes in.
Have copies available for students.
Pathfinder Sample Format Suitable Graphic
Date Librarian/Teacher (use same graphic on cart)
Dewey Decimal Numbers
• Dewey Decimal Numbers are added for the topic to make it easier for students to find information.
• Numbers also reinforce the fact that Dewey Numbers indicate a logical arrangement of information.
• Always remind your students that the same numbers work at the Public Libraries.
Indicate the best method for searching for each topic.
• Remember that you can access the Public Library Catalog from our terminals.
• Remind students to bring their Public Library Card to reserve books.
• Give examples of terms.
• Importance of correct spelling for Horizon.
List the best choices for researching the topic.
• Give examples of searches.
• Have the URLs and passwords available.
Web sites/Search tips
• Choose current, quality web sites.
• List at least three for variety.
• Indicate Search engines most useful for this topic.
• Check each site yourself.
• Remind students to use quotes for phrases.
• Lii.org and the Internet Public Library are good sources.
• Loudoun Valley Library Web page
Working with Faculty
Know your teachers and the subjects they teach.
Know your school’s curriculum.
Send pertinent information directly to teachers.
Suggest ideas for research.
Use newsletters and notes.
Working with Students
Give each student a copy of the
Go over the Pathfinder with each class.
Follow up with students as they work.
Put extra copies on any cart used for an
Request feedback from students.
Keep copies at the Circulation Desk.
Sources for Pathfinders
Pathfinders Web Sites
Internet Public Library
The Lakewood (Ohio) Public Library High School Pathfinders (includes links to elementary
and middle school pathfinders as well)
Manchester High School Library - Creating Pathfinders
Walter Johnson High School Library Pathfinders
West Springfield High School (Fairfax County Schools)
Literature Web Quests by Eduscapes (other levels are also available)
Edsitement (the lesson plans page includes web sites)
Peter Milbury’s Directory of School Libraries worldwide
• Post Pathfinders in a prominent area.
•Color code them, identify them by grade or team level.
• Fax Pathfinders to local Public Libraries.
• Display them on your web page.
• Update Pathfinders as necessary.
• Highlight Pathfinders in newsletters and memos.
• Use the information elsewhere.
•brochures, news articles, newsletters, web page.
Allow the librarian to control the direction of
Focus attention on quality materials
Enables the librarian to showcase resources
Collaboration with faculty and students
Reinforce your position as a teaching source
and a curriculum resource