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					Keeping the Connections Electric
Sharon Armstrong
Head of Library, North Park Collegiate

Valerie Bureau
Teacher-Librarian, Courtland & Walsh Public Schools Grand Erie District School Board

Keeping the Connections Electric
Keeping the zap in your library program can be challenging when you‟re not scheduled full-time.
What can you do to charge up your library program?

1. 2. 3. 4.

Fantasy vs reality The challenges Charge up to electrify When the going gets tough, remember the little engine that could…Ideas, ideas, ideas Evidence based practice tips

Fantasy vs Reality
The Fantasy: • a full-time teacher-librarian in every school (some schools do have „em)
The Reality: • I am a .x teacher-librarian - how can I run a great program?

The Challenges
• • • • • • • • Inflexible scheduling Prep coverage Lack of administration time Volunteers Lack of staffing Outdated materials Outdated technology Lack of funding/budget

Inflexible Scheduling
• Research says - use the Scholastic Research Foundation paper studies to help educate and advocate decision makers
• Evidence based practice - use the tools you have at hand and the student success that you collect to forward the rationale for the need • Collective bargaining issue - your CBC should be negotiating flex scheduling into your collective agreement if it‟s not already there

Inflexible Scheduling
Be creative! Look for opportunities to maximize the time you have. – in elementary: divide the class in half and do two activities at once – alternate weeks: use one week for book exchange, the next week to teach information skills – in secondary: trade classes – use your prep period: collaborate with teachers, help students, do administrative tasks

Prep Coverage
You have the power - use prep coverage as
• • • • • library time for students. book talks, book exchange literacy initiatives research skills, library skills information technology skills information management skills

• • • • • • • Kindergarten Journal Research Slideshow Forest of Reading book clubs Library skills Note-taking skills Software skills Project skills

Lack of Admin Time
• Make every minute count - have ongoing tasks at hand to work on • Block off a rotating period a day • Recruit volunteers • Survey teachers and students for their wish lists for library purchases • Collaborate by email • Don‟t reinvent the wheel… • SHARE!

• • • • • •

Library club - student volunteers Class room - student volunteers Community hours - student volunteers Parent/grandparent volunteers Student-teacher volunteers Community College/Co-op work placement

Lack of Staffing
Be proactive ! – join Canadian and Ontario Coalitions for School
– – – – – Libraries, People for Education political action (letters, M.P.P.) union action (educate rep, become a rep) TL association meet with Director or senior administrators parent council (speak, show) use the evidence you collect to advocate for more time

Outdated Resources
• Weed collection to demonstrate need • Create a collection development plan supported by statistics • Incorporate resources as part of student

success plan • Have wish lists at hand; share them

• Demonstrate technological limitations • Sit on your school‟s IT committee

Lack of Budget
• Create a success plan that fits the school & board strategic plans • Be proactive - ask your principal for money to support your success plan • Present at Parent Council meetings regularly - ask for money & support • TL association - present to trustees, senior administration • Fundraise through book fairs

Charge Up
• Be student oriented - kids count • Be staff oriented - teachers count • Be community oriented parents count • Use what you have to make it great • Find opportunities to connect

Kids Count
Keys to making kids count: • Create a warm, caring, inviting environment • Interact with students • Know students likes and needs • Provide inspired, current, diverse collections

Kids Count
Add zap to your program: • SSR/DEAR • Author visits • Book fairs • Web quests • Thematic displays • Battle of the Books • Contests

Kids Count
Offer informal program before/ after school, at lunch/recess: • Reading time • Book exchange • Book clubs • Help (for school projects)

Kids Count
• Help students to achieve higher academic success by having a

research guide
available for them when you‟re not.

Kids Count
• • • • • • • Writing/Poetry club Drama club (puppetry, etc.) Hobby club Games club “Make and take” “Breakfast and Books” Pen pals

Teachers Count
Provide “helps” for teachers when you‟re not there. • Plan collaboratively with teachers in advance of a visit • Create visit notices clearly defining what the teacher wants to do in the library • Create “pathfinders” for teacher use with a class

Teachers Count
• Send research materials to classrooms • Display relevant resources for research topics • Create easy to use organizers for teachers to use with students • Trade classes for a period to teach skills

Teachers Count
Don’t leave your colleagues to
fend for themselves… Provide the helping hand to teach them how…in-service your colleagues on the 4 stages of research and your library‟s resources (data bases etc.)

Teachers Count
• Share new resources at every opportunity • Always speak briefly at every staff meeting • Communicate regularly through principal‟s bulletin, newsletters • It will take personal time

Parents Count
Partnerships with parents:
• • • • • Family literacy “Snuggle-up and Read” Volunteers Newsletters Evidence of student success • Fund raising for projects

Community Counts
Investigate the possibilities in your community: • Contributions • Guest speakers • Advertising/promotion of events • Fundraisers

Opportunities to connect
Be part of every school initiative Be visible in school and public


-National School Library Day -Forest of Reading voting day -student success (projects, literacy, awards, accomplishments, excellence)

Opportunities to Connect
Sharing the Evidence of student success
• turn evidence into action research - share results • display results • video students in action • share the process leading to success • share collaboration

5 key things to do every day to make a difference Evidence Based Practice Ideas for Pro-rated schedules
Strategy based on research Collaborate with teachers to build solid learning experiences Action -use email as a communication and planning initiative method -keep all assignments, units, lessons in an indexed binder by discipline for teachers to access -create ready to use lessons with blackline master organizers and worksheets which are multi-disciplinary in nature -collect samples of student work to use as exemplars for teachers -provide opportunities for students to read in non-class room time –book clubs, read alouds in library at lunch, read-a-thons etc. -reading programs (Reading Across Canada) awards -provide diverse and current collections -provide & advocate use of remote access to online databases -purchase multi copies of newspapers – encourage students to take home -give aways of back issues of periodicals -webquests, internet pathfinders -be there for colleagues and students -demonstrate through program initiatives that you are a valuable resource -sit on committees and be proactive -create a program that promotes the school success plan Evidence of Success -colleagues recommendation to colleagues by talking about successes -more teachers want to collaborate

Teach integrated information Literacy

Motivate learners to read more

-teachers use lessons and worksheets with their classes -noticeable higher info literacy rates among students, reflection, self-assessment -build body of evidence from a variety of disciplines -increased numbers of students participating -reading journals, reflections -higher reading test scores

Push information beyond the library into the classroom and into the home

-increases in remote usage noted in reports

Work on the leadership agenda

-students ask for papers and magazines to take home -positive parents comments on initiatvies -increased teacher and student use of and asking for pathfinders, webquests, etc. -teacher-librarian is consulted regularly for input -teacher-librarian seen as a vital force in the school -school library is the hub of the school

Collaboration Log
T e a c h e r (s) N am es S h e rre d

Day/Week: January 16 -20
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Class Planning Sheet for Library Visit
Teacher _____________________________________________________ Cour se or Grade _______________________________________________ Topic _______________________________________________________ Date(s) requested ______________________________________________ Blocks r equested R 1 R2 R3 R4 Day R 1 R 2 W hen would you like to meet to di scuss and plan the assignment? Date __________


Before school



Q After


Q Prep Period __________

Preliminary assignment ideas: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ R esources: Supports:


book s on-line databases web sites A/V other _____________________

Q k ey-word web Q working bibliography Q note-taking sheets Q KW L Q other ____________________

Skill s Lessons: • • • • •

I know I can, I know I can...
• There are many things you can do to make and keep the connections electric
• Start with baby steps - no one can do it all - prioritize what, how, when

• You can do it - you are magic!