Thursday, February 16, 2017

Love Your Library Media Specialist

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Dear Library Crush,

I’ve been trying to draw your attention for a while now.  I want to spend time with you, share experiences with you, and answer the question, “Dewey” belong together?

When I started teaching, more years ago than I care to admit in writing, I had little to no contact with my school’s library media specialist.  I’d smile and nod when I dropped off my students and sometimes make friendly conversation.  Occasionally, she’d ask if she could do anything to help me.  I had no idea what “help” meant (did I have that “I’m drowning” look on my face?) I’d politely say, “not right now, thanks for asking.”  I had no idea what was happening in the library, why it was important, and I didn’t have a clear understanding of the role of the library media specialist in the school.  Fast forward a “few” years, and my professional journey has lead me into the world of library media.  As I look back, I kick myself for not utilizing such an amazing resource, and knowing what I know now, how this partnership could have drastically improved my instruction.  So, I’d like to share with you some tips, so you don’t make the same mistakes:
  • Your library media specialist is eager to connect library/media standards to content standards.  You are not bothering them or inconveniencing them.  Although they may not show it, I get excited emails like, “guess what? The FACS teachers wants to do a project with me!”
  • LMSs can enhance/strengthen any lesson/unit by adding a tech twist.  You may want to try a new technology tool or know that you can do something different, but not sure how.  Your library media specialist can explore options with you, and can be an extra set of hands to help implement new technology.
  • Librarian does not equal books.  Yes, librarians can help pull materials and find sites to support research.  However, in this day and age, finding information is not the biggest obstacle for students. Information comes in many forms from social media, websites, print, and digital. Our world is saturated with information.  It is more valuable to teach students how to evaluate and find reliable sources.
  • Librarians can help plan deep units where students are engaged in critical thinking and creativity.  We can help students develop communication and practice collaboration. Planning is key, and it is important to get your LMS involved early in the project to be most effective.
  • The role of the librarian has changed!  The image of a librarian is traditionally a little old lady with a bun and a cardigan is outdated.  Our work has evolved and roles have changed!
A library media’s role cannot be accomplished alone.  Partnerships with the technology department, administrators, instructional coaches, students and teachers are key.  We are collaborative, and we want partner with you!

In closing, please don’t forget about your library media specialists, like I did in my early teaching days.  We are a wealth of knowledge, pillars of support, and key to improving instruction.


Your Secret LMS Admirer

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