Recommended Articles for the School Librarian

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Students Working in the Library

Lehman, K. B., and L. E. Donovan. 2011. Power Researchers: Transforming Student Library Aides into Action Learners. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

This article describes how a book called Libraries Unlimited, suggests using an elective for high school students that allows them to develop research skills, confidence, and knowledge while independently manning the library circulation desk, and in turn providing much needed help. Among other tasks, students would become part of the learning commons, contributing to the school community while gaining incomparable experience. This is a great idea and can be adapted to middle and elementary school students as well, perhaps allowing time spent volunteering in the library as a portion of their language arts grade.

Librarians and Evaluation

Johnson, D. 2001. “What Gets Measured Gets Done: The Importance of Evaluating Your Library Media Program.” Book Report 20 (2): 14–15.

This article explains how to assess your library media program in four steps and emphasizes the importance of gaining support from the principal in order to make effective improvements. Johnson concludes the article by stating how librarians should view evaluation as a tool enabling them the opportunity to get a higher budget, improve working conditions, and gain a direction for planning. I would implement the 4 steps Johnson describes and keep a written record of my progress throughout the year, making workable plans to achieve goals.

Library Design and Copyright Compliancy

Harper, M. 2007. “How Physical Design Can Influence Copyright Compliance.” Knowledge Quest 35 (3): 30–32.

This article gives examples of how the layout of a library can effect copyright compliancy with both teachers and students. Harper describes how the location of resources can affect teachers and students by being inconveniently located, hidden from view, or being often unavailable. These circumstances can be avoided or improved upon, creating copyright compliancy more often. I had never considered this effect until reading this article, and it has now made me aware of issues that need to be considered when designing or making changes to a libraries physical design.

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The Librarian's Annual Report

Jensen, A. 2008. “Presenting the Evidence: Librarian’s Annual Report to the Principal.” Knowledge Quest 37 (2): 28–32.

This article explains the importance of the quality of a librarian’s annual report and its possible impact on the library budget. Jensen states that evidence should be presented in all of the 4 roles of teacher, instructional partner, informational specialist, and program administrator. She also emphasizes ongoing month-to-month communication with the principal, keeping the lines of communication open for collaborative thinking. I would make a huge effort in this area, knowing how it can pay off at the end of the year.

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