Every Flower in the Garden: Collaboration Between School Librarians and Science Teachers

Clem, Katy


Rawson, C. H. (2014). Every Flower in the Garden: Collaboration Between School Librarians and Science Teachers. School Libraries Worldwide, 20(1), 20-28. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ofm&AN=96402255&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Examines collaborative relationships between school librarians and science teachers. Posits librarians as the pollinators & science classrooms/teachers as skipped flowers; analyzes why this is so and outlines successful collaboration efforts. They conclude by highlighting the commonalities between the fields and recommending that communication and relationships between educators are of primary importance to increasing collaboration between the two groups.

My initial takeaway from this article was the comprehensive review of the literature describing teacher-librarian collaboration across different fields of education. The cited articles are a goldmine for collaboration research if you haven’t already dug into the topic! The authors observe that, overall, science teachers are less likely to co-teach with librarians than educators in other disciplines despite science lending itself particularly well to collaboration in inquiry. This stood out to me in particular because I come from a science background in undergrad and am especially drawn to working with teachers in that field; I’m surprised to hear that it’s not a common pairing! After reading this article I feel motivated to pursue viable partnerships actively rather than waiting for them to approach me.

Enabling Inquiry Learning in Fixed Schedule: An Evidence-based Approach

Mulligan, Kristi
Stubeck, C.J. (2015).  Enabling inquiry learning in fixed-schedule:  An evidence-based       approach. Knowledge Quest, 43 (3). Retrieved from             http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid  =a13fbf00-0ae8-471a-ad35-62ea68311666%40sessionmgr102&vid=14&hid=125
Summary:  As is the case in many K-12 libraries, librarians must adhere to a fixed schedule for class lessons and meeting times.  This causes challenge when it comes to collaborating and co-teaching over a full unit of instruction.  This article addresses the trial and error of one middle school librarian as she sought to overcome the inherent problems of the fixed schedule and such collaborative efforts.  The author chronicles the evolution of a process that she has developed for her site.  She offers insights into problem solving and solutions that have worked for her.
Evaluation:  This is a challenge for many librarians.  I appreciate the honesty with which the author shares her successes and her failures.  I believe that collaboration with classroom teachers on long-term units provides innumerable benefits to students.  Therefore, the suggestions put forward in this article are a genuine assistance to anyone struggling with their own fixed schedules.

What Teachers Need from Researchers

Mary Fobbs-Guillory


Saul, Roger. (2016) Education and the mediated subject: What today’s teacher’s need most from researchers of youth and media. Journal of Children and Media, 10(2). Pp.156-163

Roger Saul shares that the majority of today’s educators are still operating with archaic understanding of what young people are capable of and how to engage them in school.  He argues that researchers need to provide educators with a better understanding of their students’ potential to make meaningful contributions to their education.  He also shares that teachers may not realize they are marginalizing their students by not allowing students the opportunity to explore their identity and express themselves as they learn in school.

Saul has offers a balanced perspective in his argument as he shares that teachers too are regulated and may not have the autonomy to change how they address students needs.  He shares that districts need to trust teachers more and allow them to do what research says is best for students.  This was interesting to read as an educator because I often felt that in district schools, teacher’s don’t have much of a voice and they have to do what they are told or else find a new school to work at.  It is encouraging that some people see the need to empower teachers who can in turn empower students to be more involved and engaged in their education.

This Library is Going to the Dogs

Martin, Jeanette
ET – New Trends

Cottrell, M. (2017). Library Waggin’ Train: Service dogs, therapy dogs, emotional support dogs: Which ones can come in? American Libraries,48(3/4), 24-25. Retrieved April 4, 2017, from americanlibrariesmagazine.org.

The article assists librarians in how to utilize service dogs in the library. It also explains the rights individuals have to bring their service dogs into the library and the rights the library has in questioning the owner of the animal. Many people buy a service vest for the animal to bring them into public places. Some animals have not been trained and can become a safety and health hazard. The law explains that a librarian can ask an owner of a dog if it is a service animal and what kind of service the dog provides to its owner. The law does not permit one to ask for a certificate or a letter to verify this.

Studies have shown the benefits animals animals can have on people. We are the largest school in the district with special needs kids. Twice a year a service dog comes into our schools library to provide emotional support to our students. It is very soothing to our students and gives our teachers a piece of mind that the students are calm. My son, while he was in college, had the opportunity to cuddle with service dogs during finals. It calmed him down so much he asked me to bring his dog on campus during finals week.

Co-Teaching without Boxes or Boundaries

Alpers, Jessica


Stein, E. (2017, January 30). Co-teaching without boxes or boundaries. Retrieved from https://www.middleweb.com/33987/co-teaching-without-boxes-or-boundaries/

Summary: The purpose of this blog post is to encourage teachers to “allow their thinking to be stretched and empowered” in the area of co-teaching. The argument is made that two teachers who are “in-synch” with each other will have a wonderful co-teaching experience. The advice Stein gives is to express the expertise of both teachers, make sure to co-plan, create a log, communicate with post-is and email, and be resilient.

Evaluation: What I like about this blog post is that it is concise but gives really good advice about co-teaching. Some educators are afraid of co-teaching, due to the fact that collaboration is required. But two experienced educators can create such a valuable experience for both themselves and their students. The advice Stein gives is easy to follow and helps create a path to success.

Co-teaching Relationships among Librarians and other Information Professionals

Alpers, Jessica


Medaill, A., & Shannon, A. W. (2012). Co-teaching relationships among librarians and other information professionals. Collaborative Librarianship,4(4), 2.

Summary: The article begins by discussing librarians as teachers and then delves into collaboration. A table is presented showing attributes of successful collaboration. This is followed by a discussion of co-teaching, with an explanation. Much information is given on the topic, including factors for success. The article goes on to describe methods for co-teaching, and explain what works and does not work. Following this discussion is a set of guidelines for successful co-teaching.

Evaluation: This is a good article describing co-teaching between librarians and teachers. For someone who may not have a lot of experience co-teaching this is a good resource to begin with. The tips and guidelines are very easy to understand. For those who have more experience, it is a good resource to help strengthen your understanding and performance as a co-teacher.

Standing on a Corner

Amanda Rude


This article explores the various  accessibility issues of rural schools and proposes possible interventions to address them.  These issues contribute to the problem of a growing digital divide between these students and students from more urban areas.  This article addresses the equity issues created by geography.  But, it is interesting to note that many of these same issues could be encountered by students from low-income areas as well.

Living in Interesting Times

Frey, Jennifer


Woyshner, C. (2016). CHAPTER 1: LIVING IN INTERESTING TIMES. Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue, 18(1/2), 1-10.


This article is very current and addresses how curriculum can include current events and provide lessons on morality. Curriculum could cultivate citizens and shape and motivate them to be aware of social issues and act appropriately. The article also goes over a brief history of what has been the focus of curriculum over time which i found interesting.


I found this article very interesting, I read it to learn more about curriculum and assessment but found it enjoyable too. I labelled it with a Z-Fun tag since it was an interesting perspective and also provided some history which I liked.

Nicole Ogden
CO and ET

Maniotes, L. K., & Kuhlthau, C. C. (2014). Making the Shift: From Traditional Research Assignments to Guiding Inquiry Learning. Knowledge Quest, 43(2-), 8-17.
Maniotes and Kuhlthau compare the traditional research assignment framework that librarians often work in and propose a more authentic method that mirrors the inquiry process. They articulate how one visit to the library cannot cover all that students need to learn in order to accomplish authentic inquiry. The authors provide six steps to transform the research process and also discuss how the teacher librarian can convince the reluctant content teacher.

The authors perfectly capture the situation that many librarians find themselves in where they are given a small slice of time and expected to teach a whole range of valuable skills to a class in a one time visit. They provide suggestions on how to encourage teachers to partner with the TL on an inquiry process. They also provide some clear activities and steps in the research process that the TL could immediately adapt for the classroom.


Nicole Ogden

Lankau, L. (2015). Connection + Collaboration = SUCCESSFUL INTEGRATION OF TECHNOLOGY IN A LARGE HIGH SCHOOL.Knowledge Quest, 44(2), 66-73. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=llf&AN=110493163&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Lankau provides ways for a teacher librarian to reach out to colleagues and create relationships and opportunities for collaboration.  She is positioned at a large high school but her advice can work for any grade level or school size. She has many suggestions from how to plan meetings with different departments, introducing department specific technology and resources and how to get administration on your side. She also has advice for the TL who is just beginning to form these relationships.

This article is a wonderful resource for Teacher Librarians who are in their first years at a position. There are very concrete suggestions that the TL can adapt to connect with their school staff and build opportunities for collaboration. Lankau also provides best practices for just getting started.