Librarians and learning: the impact of collaboration.

Gomes, Kathline

Collaboration (CO)

McNee, D. & Radmer, E. (2017). Librarians and learning: The impact of collaboration. English Leadership Quarterly, 40(1), 6-9. Retrieved from: http://cccc.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/ELQ/0401-aug2017/ELQ0401Librarians.pdf

This article, written by a school librarian, addresses the online search abilities of students. The author compares assessment results of students who received cotaught lessons with students who received lessons only by the librarian. The authors found that better assessment results and deeper learning were achieved with coteaching.

I thought it was very interesting that while many of the students had Internet access, many lacked efficient online search skills. This lack contrasted with what teachers might assume, and with students’ own self-perceptions. The author notes that more than half of the students thought they were skilled at internet searching, with no formal instruction. However, this perception did not match with students’ actual abilities. This article is a good reminder of not only the power of coteaching, but also the importance of explicitly teaching these research skills.

Kelly Roys

Herring, J. E. (2011). Improving students’ web use and information literacy: A guide
for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet Publishing. doi: 10.3233/EFI-2010-0888

Summary: Review of James Herring’s new volume on information literacy skills includes the processing and evaluation on web usage. Herring is a professional who has been publishing works related to teacher librarians and theories for practicum in information literacy for over 30 years. The review of the book details the overarching themes to the nine chapters within the book. The beginning chapters of the book are detailed to introductory on web usage pre-Web 2.0. Herring’s volume promotes a few models of theory for learning when using technology and the author reviewing the book notes that there are parts of the volume that not all will agree with and the reader should be made aware of these sections.

Evaluation: I found this review of Herring’s book to be of value as it notes the background of the author, the preferences towards theories applicable to teacher librarians, teachers and students. The volume is practical and theory based, which allows the reader to both apply what they are learning in a contextual aspect. The review does not lean heavily to one perspective of the author and his work. The review describes the book for its application and relativity in relation to the topic and allows the reader of the review to make their own conclusion as to whether the volume will be of interest to them to read.

Stop searching like a bird and start thinking like a cat

Maricar Laudato
IL
Cheby, Lisa. (2016) Search strategy instruction: shifting from baby bird syndrome to curious cat critical thinking. Knowledge Quest 44(4) 48-53.
Summary:
Cheby draws attention to the problem that high school and college level students lack basic research and critical thinking skills. She asserts that students are not given enough time or guided instruction to learn how to undergo the inquiry process, where a deeper level of learning occurs. A fair amount of the article discusses how most of the problems are due to the fact that students do not know how to construct search terms to use for databases and/or search engines.
Evaluation:
I think that Cheby brings to light an issue that often gets overlooked amidst all the talk about the need to achieve equal access to digital resources. Yes, it is of utmost importance that all school libraries have access to the all the digital and print resources necessary to help students succeed. However, what gets forgotten once the said resources are obtained is that the school does not take the necessary steps to train students nor faculty/staff to use these resources to their utmost capabilities. In this article, Cheby focuses on the problem of students not having the skill of being able to employ successful search strategies when using the library’s online research databases. Too often, when librarians hold research workshops showing students how to navigate the databases and use all of the database tools, the librarians conducting the workshops provide students with search terms to move the workshops along. Spoon-feeding students search terms is what Cheby calls searching like a “baby bird.” Cheby, however, wants students to be as curious as “cats.” Since students are given search terms by the librarian, students will always yield results when they attend a database workshop under the supervision of a librarian. However, frustration takes root when the student researches on their own and they yield little to no results when they use search terms that they create. This is because  librarians and teachers do not invest the necessary amount of time to teach students the process of constructing effective search terms. Cheby, a fellow MLIS candidate at SJSU, effectively underlines the importance of getting students to engage themselves fully in the inquiry stage of the research process. Cheby outlines how in order to do this, it requires the cooperation and commitment from teachers and school librarians to set aside time in the lesson to show students how to conduct successful searches.