Interview TGG

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					Tamblyn Green                                 MEDT 6461                                   Spring 2010


                     Project 2.2: Interview Summary and LM_Net Research

                                   Miller Middle School
        Miller Middle School has been a Title I school of Distinction for four consecutive years.

This middle school services students in sixth through eighth grade. There are approximately 778

students, with 62 teachers and administrators. There is an assortment of programs to include gifted,

fine arts magnet, technology, computer science as well as a great special education staff.

        The school has made Adequate Yearly Progress for the past three years although a large

portion of the school continues to be economically disadvantaged. This year’s FTE count showed

81% of the students at Miller are economically disadvantaged and 8.9% of the students have

disabilities.

First Impression

        As this year draws to an end Ruth Harn is completing her fourth year as a middle school

media specialist. Ms. Harn previously completed two years in elementary prior to moving to

middle school. Ruth has a huge advantage over many library school media specialist. The school

administrator, Steven Jones, understands the library is the hub of the school and utilizes it as such.

        It was amazing to witness the flow of traffic through her circulation area in the morning.

Many of the teachers, including the principal, and one assistant principal came through during the

interview to solicit Ruth’s assistance. The spelling words of the months were flashing on the

window of the media center with a make-shift screen and back throw projection. The media center

was definitely a welcoming environment. The check-out books for school technology and other

resources stored in the media center were being visited. Ruth commented that “digital camera and

mobile labs were two of her most used technological resources.”
Tamblyn Green                                 MEDT 6461                                   Spring 2010


Policy and Procedures

        Ruth uses the district level media services calendar, which outlines many conferences,

reading and literacy weeks, meetings, and professional development, as a guide for Miller’s

program. Having a media clerk allows her to plan a book fair and book talks. Ruth enjoys doing the

book talks in the classrooms because it often gives the students the opportunity to see her as a

teacher. Ms. Harn often collaborates with teachers to offer research skills and resources to students

on the current instructional focus. Each grading period at Miller rewards are given to students who

obtain a certain amount of Accelerated Reading (AR) point. These incentives encouraged student to

come into the media center and check out more books. The main page of the media center website

boasts of the 35 points needed to make it to the February AR party. This is one way of increasing

circulation and promoting literacy. (Library 101, p. 80)

        During the interview, fines and over-due books were discussed. It was a reality Ms. Harn

expected but did not enjoy. “It is the hardest part of my job to tell a child they can’t checkout a

book,” stated Harn. In an LM_Net post entitled, Forgotten Book Policy an anonymous reproach

was shared,

          I think this is deplorable. I know libraries with this policy but it won't help kids
          develop a lifelong love of reading. Kids who forget their book on library day
          have to wait till the next library day. So, 6 more days could pass.


        They abide by the BCSD public relations policies for schools and media services. The Bibb

County School District media policy is available in print at Miller and on the district website. (Harn,

2010) When information is released, every effort must be made to avoid misunderstanding,

misinterpretation, or confusion. Once a misconception takes root, it is always difficult and often

impossible to make full correction. Generally there is a calendar, and basic handbook guideline sent
Tamblyn Green                                 MEDT 6461                                   Spring 2010


at the beginning of the year and the end of the year. Often communication for the parents and the

community is handled through the district broadcast station 17.

Collection and Budget

        Fortunately, their budget was not eliminated due to state cuts in budgets and the economic

downswing. Miller’s program is very well established and continues to look for more ways to

improve. The PTSA at Miller plays a huge role in the annual book fair and gives the profit to the

media center. This year’s profits were minimal, “a lot less than last year’s.” (Harn, 2010) Ruth

completes a need assessment to determine what teachers and students would like added to the

collection.

        Until recently the Macon Telegraph had donated newspapers to the schools. With the

permission of the media specialist and principal, a media survey was the media center website for

two weeks. While the media budget at some schools is not supplemented, Miller’s principal, Steven

Jones offered to purchase more newspapers for the media center next year after receiving the results

of the media survey. (Harn, 2010) This year’s budget primarily covered operating expenses and

renewal of the Accelerated Reader program.

        Ruth expressed confidence in the collections available. In addition to the book fair they

have done auctions with donated items from stakeholders. The items are displayed in the media

center for a week prior to the silent auction. LM_Net research provided an----

Facilities

        The media center has an effective layout for collaboration. (Woolls, 2008) The circulation

desk is positioned just to the left of the library entrance with a view of the three windows that

overlook the school main entrance. The mounted projector creates a wonderful way to present

whole group. Ruth bragged on the efforts of the clerk to assist in creating three themed reading
Tamblyn Green                                MEDT 6461                                  Spring 2010


areas. The magazine and newspaper area is heavily visited. Although the grade levels all have

assigned times to bring their class to the media center students are encouraged to come with teacher

permission. “You will always find someone sitting on the sofa reading,” exclaimed Ruth.

       Moving from elementary to middle school was a pleasant surprise for Ruth. Student helpers

assist with the check-in and shelving of books in the morning and afternoon. Miller is a 21st

Century school with teacher carts in every classroom which includes tablets, document cameras,

television tuners, and other digital devices she is often called to troubleshoot. Often teachers come

in the media center during their planning to check email or post grades because of the warm

environment. There are only 18 computers in the media center, which deters many from planning

whole group lessons which require a lab.

Professional organization memberships and activities

       Ruth has been a member of ALA, GMLA for eight consecutive years. Recently, she became

a member of Bibb Association of Media (BAM). The coalitions she has joined have allowed her to

network with individuals with curriculum background. Ruth felt she struggled in this area initially.

Attending professional development in different curriculum areas has afforded her the confidence

she needed to speak up in department meetings. Each year there are planned in-services at the

district level that Ruth attends. She also attends the GAETC conference annually. This year travel

budgets were cut and she was only allowed to attend one conference. Research on LM_Net suggests

that an era of declining budgets and increased book prices exist. One possible way to protect core

collections is to purchase back-up copies now to keep on hand.

Communication

       Ruth created a brochure at least four times a year. She sends them home with progress

reports or signed papers. At the start of the school year Ms. Harn does an informational flyer to
Tamblyn Green                               MEDT 6461                                  Spring 2010


outline dates and Miller’s circulation procedures. A copy of the district Acceptable Use Policy is

included with this brochure. Communication with the faculty and staff is continuous via email and

video broadcast. Ruth agrees with the article posted on LM_Net by Walstein, which references the

relevance of using email and SMS as a form of communication with stakeholders. Currently,

parents are emailed or called using ConnectEd about overdue books and other student information.

                                           References

American Library Association (1998) Information power: Building partnerships for learning,

       Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Bibb County School District. Media services policy manual (Adopted 1990). Retrieved February 1,

       2010, from http: //www.bibb.k12.ga.us/images/media_policies.pdf.

Hicks, Bob. Budget Cut Bookshelf. (2009, May 03). Message posted to LM_Net ListServ, archived

       at http://www.eduref.org/plweb-

       cgi/fastweb?getdoc+listservs+LM_NET+229803+58+wAAA+Budget

Krish. Forgotten Book Policy. (2007, January 13). Message posted to LM_Net ListServ, archived at

       http://www.eduref.org/plweb-

       cgi/fastweb?getdoc+listservs+LM_NET+810+12+wAAA+Policies.

Miller Middle School, Balanced score card. Retrieved January 14, 2010,

       from http://schools.bibb.k12.ga.us/164320103113847513/site/default.asp

Miller Middle School, Media center. Retrieved January 24, 2010,

       from http://schools.bibb.k12.ga.us/1643201010102927717/site/default.asp.

R. Harn Personal Communication February 1, 2010.

S. Jones Personal Communication February 1, 2010.

Stephens, C. G. & Franklin, P. (2007) Library 101. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
Tamblyn Green                             MEDT 6461                              Spring 2010


Walstein, Karen. (2007, December 20). Parent e-mail communication. Message posted to LM_Net

       ListServ, archived at http://www.eduref.org/plweb-

       cgi/fastweb?getdoc+listservs+LM_NET+15780+12+wAAA+communication.

Woolls, B. (2008). The school library media manager (4th ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries

       Unlimited.

				
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