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12, 2012

My Iowa and Community History Pathfinder is designed for 5th grade students. The Iowa History unit is a main part of the 5th grade Social Studies curriculum at AdairCasey Elementary School. In addition, this unit also places emphasis on helping students learn about their own families and communities. I used Follett Titlewave to validate the print resources. Follett Titlewave includes full-text reviews (if available) as part of the entry for each print resource that is listed on the website. I was able to read reviews from reputable sources including School Library Journal, Horn Book, Kirkus, and Booklist. I had originally included more non-fiction texts in this Pathfinder, but I omitted them from the PowerPoint when I was unable to locate professional reviews of those texts. I also removed one book that had a very negative review from Horn Book. I was able to validate the community resources because I have personally visited all of the sites and have firsthand knowledge of their resources. I have found all of these locations to be welcoming to children. In addition, the State Historical Society of Iowa manages the State of Iowa Historical Building, which makes the museum a reliable source of information. The Guthrie County Historical Village is operated by the Guthrie County Conservation Board and contains a wide variety of original artifacts from Guthrie County residents. I validated the web resources by researching the institutions that produced the websites. Pearson Education, Iowa Public Television, and Encyclopdia Britannica are all reputable organizations that provide accurate educational information. The multimedia resources that I selected come from Iowa Public Television, a reputable organization known for its quality noncommercial, educational programming. In addition, the This Old Statehouse DVD earned a 2002 Iowa Motion Picture Award, and the Iowas One-Room Schoolhouses DVD won a 2009 Regional Emmy Award. The awards recognize these productions as quality educational programming. Finally, the primary sources that I selected are reliable because they are authentic representations of life in Iowa and the communities of Adair and Casey during the past. The high school yearbooks illustrate changes in student population, fashion trends, clubs, athletics, and staff members throughout the past 50 years. The Adair News is a reliable resource that chronicles life in Adair and surrounding communities for over 100 years. Reviewing past issues of the weekly newspaper provide a window to life in my hometown when my parents and grandparents were growing up in rural Iowa. The rock samples were collected to supplement a unit about Iowa rocks and minerals. The vertical file consists of booklets, brochures, and textbooks from the 1960s and 1970s about Iowa and its history. I especially enjoy looking at outdated textbooks to see the illustrations and to discover how history was taught to previous generations.

I learned that it is difficult to validate resources. There were several resources that I wanted to include in this Pathfinder, but I could not find any reviews from professional organizations or reputable journals. The only reviews that I could find for the Iowa Jeopardy, Iowa Millionaire, and Iowa Bingo games came from the publisher, Gallopade International. I chose not to include those games because I did not feel that praise from the publisher was an accurate representation of the strengths and weaknesses of those curricular materials. In addition, the library has several locally-published periodicals and books about Iowa, including several alphabet books. Because these books were produced for a specific market, mainly elementary school teachers in Iowa, they were not reviewed by national publications or organizations; therefore, I did not include them in my Pathfinder. The ability to discuss the Pathfinder with my partner helped me make revisions. I knew that the photographs of the Adair and Casey libraries were blurry, but they were the only images that I could locate on the Internet. When Ann Marie mentioned that they were blurry, I knew that I needed to take my own photos of the libraries. Sometimes when I try to crop photographs and then enlarge them, the images become so pixelated that I cannot use them. In addition, taking my own photographs helps me avoid any copyright issues. I also edited some of my other photographs to ensure that the images were straight and clear. Viewing Ann Maries PowerPoint reminded me that I needed to provide call number information for my multimedia resources. The multimedia resources in my library, specifically VCR tapes and DVDs, do not have traditional Dewey Decimal call numbers. All of the librarys DVDs and videos are kept in the junior high/high school library, regardless of audience, because of storage limitations in the elementary library. They are kept in a separate area of the library and are numbered in order of acquisition. I provided the accession numbers for the DVDs in my Pathfinder in lieu of traditional call numbers. This Pathfinder will be very useful during the fifth grade Iowa History unit each spring. The information in the Pathfinder will help students locate library materials independently. The Dewey Decimal information will guide students to the appropriate sections of the library and will allow them to explore the shelves to locate more nonfiction books about Iowa that were not included in the Pathfinder. This PowerPoint can be emailed to students, saved to a flash drive for use in the fifth grade classroom, and uploaded onto the school website. I think most fifth graders know that the elementary library has a wide variety of books to aid them in their study of Iowa History; however, I think students using this Pathfinder would be surprised to learn about some of the other resources that are available in the libraries. This Pathfinder will help students learn about online resources, multimedia resources, primary sources, and local and state resources that will help them learn more about Iowa. I think that I will continue to make Pathfinders to help students locate materials in both the elementary and junior high/high school libraries. Possible topics include helping sixth graders locate information about World War II and the Holocaust, helping fourth

grade students learn about the regions of the United States, and helping seventh graders locate books in ten different genres for book reports in reading class. In the future, I might use Word to make a handout for the students to use. Copies could be placed in the library and distributed to students for use at home. I think this format would be more appropriate for quick reference than the PowerPoint that I created. Students could easily refer to printed Pathfinders while providing access to multiple PowerPoint Pathfinders would be more difficult. This Pathfinder has helped me meet some of the course goals. First, creating the Pathfinder has helped me learn to use multiple resources to address a reference need. I always think of books, newspapers, and magazines when I think of conducting research in a library. However, this Pathfinder forced me to think about additional resources both in the library and in the larger community. Web resources and multimedia resources are important tools to help students locate information in the twenty-first century. Students rely on up-to-date information, and current information is easier to locate on the Internet than in printed books. I also never considered that library resources could extend beyond the library walls. However, the museums, public libraries, and newspaper office are important resources to help students learn more about their community and their state. The Pathfinder helped me understand that an effective library must have a varied reference collection. My library is rich in non-fiction texts and has access to many newspapers, periodicals, Internet resources and databases; however, my library is lacking in other areas, specifically multimedia resources and ebooks. Making this Pathfinder has helped me realize that I need to find the funding to replace outdated VCR tapes in the library collection with modern DVD technology. In addition, I need to explore the costs associated with developing a collection of ebooks for the library. I need to continue to weed the reference section of the library to eliminate outdated materials. Finally, I need to continue to update reference materials to ensure that current information is available from reliable sources. This assignment helped me learn the importance of evaluating library materials to ensure that they are current, accurate, and reliable. Evaluating and updating library materials will help the library continue to be an important place for students to locate information to meet their reference needs.