Why School Librarians are the Literacy Leaders We Need

Van Duzee, Alyssa

(CO) Collaboration

Sacks, A. (2018, May 30). Why school librarians are the literacy leaders we need. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/whole_story/2018/05/why_school_librarians_are_lite.html

This article essentially summarizes some of the key components regarding what a librarian does. Since many libraries are underutilized (for a multitude of reasons), the article provides good insight as to what a high functioning library can offer. It also touches on the importance of the librarian truly being a literacy leader on campus.

This article is important because it showcases the impact that the librarian can have on a campus. Teachers are amazing and definitely influence their students within their classrooms. but having another person to support literacy campus-wide is only going to help support them. The article concludes with a call to action to support more well-trained certificated librarians being hired on school campuses. Funding is always an issue, but librarians can offer a lot of support and really become a leader on campus.


Patrons and Pedagogy: A Look at the Theory of Connectivism

Moreno, Mary


Guder, C. G. (2010). Patrons and Pedagogy: A Look at the Theory of Connectivism. Public Services Quarterly, 6(1), 36-42.



In this article the author discusses the theory of connectivism as related to education theory already used in libraries. First the author describes the basic principles of connectivism, including “currency, relevancy [sic], critical thinking, and networked information.” In connectivism, the user controls the learning network. The author argues that libraries have already been providing a user controlled experience through collections and computer access. Libraries can build on this tradition by embracing and adding new technologies. In addition, librarians can play a role by teaching students about new technologies. Librarians can also teach students how and where to access information in new networks. In his conclusion, the author states that “Technology can be viewed as a tool for learning or it can be viewed as the place where learning takes place. Libraries do not have to come down on either side…“. This quote sums up what we can do and promote in the library.


The article is from 2010, and therefore is a little dated. However, I feel like just as we hope the skills students learn today transfer to the technologies of tomorrow, this theory can encompass all that has happened in the past 8 years. For instance, social media is no longer new, but librarians are still working to ensure students know the best ways to use it. I also liked the author’s discussion of helping students know where to look for information. This is a traditional library skill, but with more options for learning and more to learn, knowing how to find relevant information becomes a key skill for success. I agree with the author; connectivism is a theory that has a lot to offer for libraries.

How This School Library Increased Student Use By 1000 Percent

Christina Young

Gonzalez, Jennifer. (2016). How this school library increased student use by 1000 percent.  Cult of Pedagogy, transcript retrieved from: https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/episode-38/  

In this podcast a principal and an administrator from Ohio are interviewed about their transformation of an underused library to a widely used “learning center”. Highlights include personalized learning prescriptions and flexible spaces.

The reason I tagged this under collaboration / co-teaching is because on of the red flags for me about this article was how their model of co-teaching had very little to do with common teaching and planning and seemed to me like the media specialist was less a collaborating teacher and more of an instructional babysitter. I am really interested in how people balance this in their own libraries.

One of the major things our library is used for is for teachers to bring whole classes for a week or more at a time so that the classroom teacher and the librarian can co-teach units often with different stations. This is what teachers in my school want to do and it is also what I was hired to do, but reading about other schools, like this one in Ohio, where students from all different classes come with a “prescription” for what they are working on seems exciting and useful too. That would allow more teachers (and hence students) to use the library in the context of what they are already doing (rather than as a special unit), but it would also limit the teachers who love the co-teaching model. I worry that in a model like the learning center in Ohio, the teacher librarian is instructional babysitting but not really co-teaching in a meaningful way.

Reimagining the role of school libraries in STEM education: Creating hybrid spaces for exploration

Levine, Inna
Subramaniam, M. M., Ahn, J., Fleischmann, K. R., & Druin, A. (2012). Reimagining the role of school libraries in STEM education: Creating hybrid spaces for exploration. Library Quarterly, 82(2), 161-182. Retrieved from https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/professional/docview/1037906444?accountid=143640

In recent years, many technological interventions have surfaced, such as virtual worlds, games, and digital labs, that aspire to link young people’s interest in media technology and social networks to learning about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas. In this article, the authors outline a sociocultural approach to explore how school library programs can play a critical role in STEM education and articulate the need for research that examines the contributions of school libraries as potential hybrid spaces for STEM learning. The authors propose that school library programs become active participants in STEM learning through the specific roles that school librarians currently play in schools, such as information specialist, instructional partner, and technology ally. They also highlight how these roles can be tailored toward helping young people develop STEM identities.

Finding inspiration in the Common Core: An uncommon opportunity to refine the role of the school library and technology planning committee

Inna Levine
CO-Collaboration Strategies
Cravey, N. (2013). Finding inspiration in the common core: An uncommon opportunity to refine the role of the school library and technology planning committee. Knowledge Quest, 42(1), 18-22. Retrieved from https://dialog.proquest.com/professional/professional/docview/1651857306?accountid=143640

This article talks about the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for all areas of curriculum and motivates school librarians to change their roles in the school to be better “curators of the school library collections, innovators in the use of instructional technology and leaders in curriculum planning. The author explains that by focusing on these aspects, teacher librarians can rebuild (or continue building) a library program that best accommodates the school and focuses on long-term goals. The article was particularly insightful as it provided concrete examples of how teachers librarians and classroom teachers need to work together in the redesigning of the curriculum.