Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 15

Capstone Final Paper

Ann M. Webb Spring 2012

Introduction Librarianship has evolved dramatically since the days when librarians were considered solely as caretakers of the book collection. Technology, rigorous curriculum standards, societal changes, and testing requirements have shifted the role to that of teacher, co-teacher, collaborator, technology expert, and information specialist. Librarians in all settings have a critical role in helping patrons of all ages and experiences meet the challenges and changes of the 21st century. Luckily, current library programs and other forms of training are preparing librarians to face the challenges associated with information literacy, use of technology, and being service-orientated. In the sections below, this paper will demonstrate my depth of understanding of and experience with several key areas that are crucial to all librarians in the information profession. Specifically, my experience and career is with school librarianship, which is discussed in each target area. Philosophy, Principles, and Ethics Librarians in all settings are regularly faced with decisions in which they must consider the philosophy, principles, and ethics of the library and information field. ALA, the American Library Association, provides the leadership and standards to help libraries develop and promote their programs in order to provide information access to all. Documents such as the ALA Code of Ethics and the Bill of Rights are commonly consulted by librarians in daily decision making and for creating policies. ALA also has a Code of Professional Ethics that defines for library professionals and for the public the ethical principles that guide the work of library professionals. I had the opportunity to explore my own professional values in LIS 600; I have revisited these values now that I have more experience and understand more about librarianship through the courses I have taken since that initial class. During the Practicum, we also discussed various ethical issues on Blackboard, and I summarized my stance on the topics presented. A few additional issues are discussed below in more detail.

Diversification Library patrons are very diverse due to ethnicity, gender, interests, age, abilities, socioeconomic status, and life experiences. As stated by ALA, we value our nations diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to the communities we serve. I remember hearing a professor say that when purchasing for a collection that our students should be able to see themselves in our collections. That is a guiding principle I will always remember when making collection selections and planning lessons for students. Diversity should be celebrated rather than ignored. A lesson I created in LIS 654 reflects having students choose books based on their interest and at their reading level. In this same course, I created a handout for educators that summarizes the Multiple Intelligences and explains the need for librarians to teach in multiple formats to accommodate the diversity of ways students learn best. For LIS 693, a summary of our class Blackboard discussion about affirming diversity gave me the chance to reflect about the difference between being inclusive versus being affirming of diversity.

Confidentiality In a library (physical or virtual), the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of ones interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf (ALA). In LIS 600, we discussed many scenarios in which privacy is necessary, but can be ethically challenging. For example, a patron checking out a book about suicide or requesting information about building a car bomb could pose an ethical issue for the librarian. In a school setting, I think confidentiality is especially important when students are checking out books concerning personal problems or if a reading disability must be considered for finding appropriate leveled books. Accessibility Access can be thought of in a legal sense: The First Amendment states that people have the right to express themselves, thus they have a right to speak freely and to receive information freely. ALA states, All information resources that are provided directly or indirectly by the library, should be readily, equally, and equitably accessible to all library users. At a school level,

librarians need to consider many factors related to access. How often are students able to visit the library? Are all students, regardless of age or other quality, able to check out any book they desire? Are there a variety of resources, including online, for students to access what they need? Is the facility structured in a way that all students have access? In LIS 653, our Facility Plan analyzed a school library as it adhered to the guidelines for access according to IMPACT (Guidelines for North Carolina Media and Technology Programs). The point was made that before intellectual access can be made, that physical access must be met. This plan also looked at aspects such as signage, location within the school, and aesthetics. Librarians must be mindful of the physical space to ensure proper accessibility. In LIS 636, I learned that even our school websites need to be ADA (American Disabilities Act) and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) compliant so that patrons with disabilities can use the website effectively. The specifications for how my website I created for class meets these standards is explained on the last page in a final paper written for Dr. Chow.

Censorship vs. Selection ALA states, We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources. In school libraries, librarians make collection decisions based on factors such as the curriculum, age and maturity of the students, budget constraints, and interests of the students. In making selections, we also have to be sure we are not censoring based on our own personal interests, values, or morals. This can be particularly difficult when a librarian is faced with a book of a subject adults may feel is inappropriate. We are faced with statements such as, Librarians suppressing access in publicly funded libraries are considered censors. I wrote that statement in notes taken in LIS 600. Another form of censorship is filtering. As a group action research project in LIS 600, we reviewed articles with professional opinions about filtering, surveyed students and teachers, and analyzed the data to determine if filtering hinders student research. Personally, I think school librarians must be careful about their collections and what can be viewed and loaned at school because students under 18 are minors and not always able to make sound decisions. In theory, this is censorship, but in reality, I feel this is necessary when working with minors.

Copyright As librarians emphasize access to information, we must also adhere to the guidelines for copyright and fair use. School librarians, in particular, must model use and compliance to copyright, and must educate staff and students of these guidelines. We are typically the most informed in the school and have the most experience with copyright, so we must stay current in order to help others. I learned a lot about copyright and fair use while preparing to present this information at a staff meeting. Copyright and Fair Use were the topics I chose for staff development as a Practicum goal. The vast amount of digital resources makes this topic an even greater challenge.

Current Research and Thought Librarians must stay current with the latest research, and must be willing to conduct their own research on topics to which they are unfamiliar and need additional information. When making decisions about the library program, consulting research or experts on the topic or issue is best in order to make informed, unbiased decisions. A current issue I am having in my own media center pertains to the use of Accelerated Reader to test comprehension of books for middle school students. In LIS 600, I completed a literature review to see what researchers and other educators had to say about the positive and negative aspects of AR. Now, I can address both sides of this issue and feel more confident taking a stance against our school continuing to use this program. In LIS 600, we completed an action research topic about use of filters in schools and how these filters impact student research needs. We concluded that the filters do hinder students to some extent, but my experience since that project has shown me that there are still ample databases and sites for students to find what they need while at school. I did not really understand the guidelines for filtering or how teachers and students felt about the filters until this research was completed, so this was another opportunity to gain more insight while I formed my own opinions. Cataloging was another topic to which I had little understanding of the multiple dynamics, including the use of copy cataloging or shared cataloging. In a Cataloging course I took at Central University, I met with a public librarian to gather information about how public and school libraries handle cataloging. I gained valuable insight into how different companies assist with cataloging, fees,

and pros and con of how different types of cataloging impacts libraries. I designed a Power Point to share my findings with my classmates. Currently, a majority of what I purchase is already cataloged, and our online catalog features are invaluable for managing the collection and what is cataloged. I have learned to be careful about what companies offer and charge for their copyright services. Another opportunity to analyze research is taking a look inward at a librarys positive features and what needs the library has in order to improve and get closer to an ideal vision. In LIS 650, we learned how to conduct a Needs Assessment as a powerful tool to gain more insight into what is and what should be in order to help media coordinators improve and build their library program. We surveyed administrators, the library and assistant, teachers, and students in order to compile our data and combined with our own observations and interview with the librarians, we were able to help prioritize goals for the media program. In LIS 653, I completed a Facility Plan and Collection Development Analysis as two means of researching the needs and areas of improvement for the library where I currently work as the media coordinator. These two assignments have aided me greatly in making decisions for our library. In particular, having already analyzed the collection in such detail has already helped me make budget and curriculum decisions. Media coordinators much stay current with research and must take the time to stay informed with the experience and opinions of others in the field about the multitude of topics and issues we face.

User Education Principles Teaching information literacy needs to be a top priority for librarians at all levels and in all library locations. Information literacy is not just to be taught to students in schools, but also to adults who lack these skills and visit and use libraries. All educators, but especially school media coordinators, have an obligation to teach these digital natives how to locate and use information safely and effectively. Librarians have the specialized training in information literacy that other educators in a school do not have, so their leadership is critical in developing a plan for the school. Ideally, vertically aligning the curriculum from grade to grade so that students are

building and improving their skills each year is what media coordinators should be developing within their school settings. At my current school, we do not have a research process or an information literacy plan in place. When I have taught these skills to students because of graduate school assignments, I have witnessed the lack of knowledge and exposure we have provided at our school to prepare students for high school and beyond. One assignment for LIS 654 was working with science students on a paper where they were to research body systems. I had to start with reliability and purpose of resources, teach about plagiarism, note-taking, and writing citations, all of which were new topics for them as seventh graders. They were overwhelmed and took a lot longer to finish than we anticipated due to their lack of skills. In the end, this was very successful, but cemented the need for our school to improve our teaching of information literacy. With the same group of students, I completed a project with use of Glogster and was able to build on their prior skills in a different format, which helped to improve their understanding of ethical use of information. As the media coordinator now, I am doing my best at this late point in the year to start emphasizing information skills, and my largest obstacle is that teachers do not think they have time for the research process. They want students to find information, but want to skip over teaching them how to take notes effectively or to write citations. I am treading lightly and starting with small steps as teachers adjust their thinking, but I do have a long way to go.

Designing Services A fundamental function of librarians is to be customer service orientated with the patrons information needs at the forefront of what librarians provide. Designing library services that meet the information needs of all patrons and the community we serve is essential. Through the LIS courses, I have had a lot of opportunities to design services that would help the students, staff, and parents. In my mind, services also relates to having policies that encourage circulation and check-out rather than discouraging check-outs and use of resources. In a school library, one way to keep people informed is through a monthly newsletter; I designed a newsletter in LIS 618 and I am currently designing one with a similar format to introduce myself and basic information about the library to the students and parents as I am starting as the new media coordinator this month. A monthly newsletter can include dates of special events or programs in

the library, new resource arrivals, library hours and offers to help students after hours, and listing of sites or resources that can be used at home. Being available before and after school to assist students and staff and providing all-day access to the library for students would also create a service-orientated atmosphere. Having an interactive media center Web page where students can visit at any time to use the electronic resources is another valuable tool for patrons. I had the opportunity to create a plan for a Web site in LIS 625, and I will get to implement these ideas soon in my new position. Through my Web site, students will have the resources and links to go through the research process such as searching for information, taking notes, and citations, book suggestions, and Web 2.0 tools.

Professional Development and Service in Professional Organizations Another principle in the ALA Code of Ethics states, We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession. Ongoing professional development is essential to staying current and avoiding being isolated and outdated in the library. Information and methods for seeking information is in a constant state of change, so librarians must find resources and other library professionals to help them stay informed. Membership in professional organizations such as ALA or NCSLMA, subscribing to professional journals or reading online blogs or journals, attending workshops and conferences, and having a network of other librarians to talk to are all ways to stay professionally involved. In LIS 618, we explored three print journals and two online resources for their usefulness to young adult librarians. In LIS 653, we also analyzed the value of five professional journals for school librarians. This was extremely helpful because I would not have explored these journals to this extent on my own. The school I work at subscribes to School Library Journal, which was my favorite, and I have really enjoyed reading blogs by other librarians. A summary of a Blackboard discussion about professional development during LIS 693, also reminded me of the importance of professional development. I have now attended my first library conference as a result. As an example of sharing with other professionals, I created

a wiki in LIS 615 designed to help librarians with resources for serving ELL students. Unfortunately, this is now saved as a text document rather than a wiki, but this could still be used if needed. For the Capstone, the Professional Development Plan is helpful to make goals for the next five years as I am new to the profession and need to find additional ways to grow professionally considering I will be finished with graduate classes.

Use of Effective Technology The students we face today are digital natives, young people that have never known a world without the Internet, computers, TV, and other technology advances. As educators of these youth, we must incorporate technology into their learning experience and teach them to be effective and ethical users of technology. When used properly, technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological, knowledge-based world. Effective technology integration must happen routinely across the curriculum in ways that support and enhance the curriculum rather than just because it is fun for students. Technology should be used by educators to enhance their instruction and make it more engaging, which results in more active learning. Students should have opportunities to use technology for research, multi-media interaction with information, creating products, and differentiated learning. Empowering Learners discusses guidelines for school library programs in order to meet the needs of the changing 21st century school library environment. This document states, Todays students need to develop information skills that will enable them to use technology as an important tool for learning, both now and in the future (2009). The NC Essential Standards contain Technology as a Tool and require school librarians at all levels to teach students to learn to gather, organize, and access information in order to present information and design products. An example of using technology effectively with students is when I had classes design an online poster using Glogster. Through this project, students analyzed the elements of a fiction story, but also learned about citing their sources for images and sound used in the project. This project incorporated their Language Arts curriculum and informational skills with a technology tool that was very engaging to students. In LIS 620, I created a Libguide for a team of 7 th

graders preparing for a state writing assessment. The Libguide was very effective to help students use the best resources, and a variety of resources, to research a selected body system rather than a broad Internet search. A similar assignment, creating a Poetry Pathfinder, was another instance where preparing a list of resources positively aided the students in their use of a variety of resources for a project. The Libguide would be used online by students as a Blog, while the Pathfinder would be a print document used by students, but both formats utilize effective resources for students. Sharing Booktalks through use of a podcast or video is another example of how technology can be used to enhance learning for students. In this example with the Booktalk, I created the podcast for LIS 618, but I recently helped a group of 8th grade students use Photostory to record themselves reading a letter they had written to a famous person. Through this experience, they made connections with the significant person, learned a new technology tool, and also learned valuable writing skills as they self-corrected their work based on their recording of the letter. A final example of using appropriate technology for effective information services would be the interactive information display, a kiosk, I designed in LIS 635. For this assignment, my goal was to create an interactive display that could help students choose books to read within a variety of genres. In a media center, this could be displayed on any computer for students to search for suggestions. Use of effective technology applies to both use by teachers and students.

Advocacy, Marketing, and Communication for Leadership The digital age has left many wondering if libraries and librarians will soon be obsolete. As the relevance of libraries comes into question, we must advocate for ourselves and show others that libraries are essential for teaching information literacy, supporting curricula, fostering critical thinking, and creating educated communities. School Libraries Work! (2008) is one of the most important documents that school librarians can use to cite the measurable impact school libraries and media specialists have on student achievement. The findings of this study support the belief that powerful libraries-and librarians- do, indeed, make powerful learners (Lance, 2005). This research was extremely important when I wrote an advocacy plan for LIS 653. Through this plan, I outlined goals and objectives to increase circulation, co-teach more often with teachers, and to be viewed as a collaborator in curriculum planning and teaching. The

monthly newsletter and an interactive Web site I explained previously would also be critical as a marketing tool. In LIS 650, I was challenged to write an Ideal Organizational Vision for how I would direct a school library program in order to exceed the expectations of customers, and how I would utilize planning and budgeting to run an effective library. Through this vision I described, I realized just how important the atmosphere of the library is and ways of making the library welcoming so students and staff will want to come and learn. As the final assignment for LIS 650, I wrote a Leadership and Management Treatise to define my leadership and management style and personal values. In this paper, I outlined my goals for creating a resonant working environment based on servant leadership in order to create an environment where patrons can then be raving fans of the library. Another topic addressed in the paper is how to shift the perceptions of the library so that staff find value and utilize the services the library provides. Effective Collaboration As stated in School Libraries Work (2008), When school librarians collaborate with classroom teachers to enrich curriculum content, they help create more authentic learning experiences. An essential part of a school librarians role is to collaborate with administrators, teachers, and other staff to enhance the learning experience for students. Librarians need to meet with administrators about budget and program needs, serve on key committees in the school, and keep the administrative team informed with what is happening in the media center. We also need to attend department and grade-level meetings to stay current on what content is being taught when and how we can help teachers with their curriculum needs. Most subjects now have a pacing guide, so this makes it more manageable to stay current with what teachers are teaching. In LIS 654, we created a Curriculum Map where we analyzed the topics covered in 7th grade social studies and developed assignments and projects that could correspond with the curriculum. This was a major undertaking at the time, but once media coordinators develop a map for a subject, they can use it as a guide as long as the curriculum stays consistent, while continuing to develop upon the map as the need arises. Equally important is collaborating with teachers to teach information and literacy skills with assignments and projects taking place both in the media center and in the classrooms. Through my courses at UNCG, I have had plenty of opportunities to create and teach collaborative

lessons with students. An example is when a science teacher and I collaborated to have students research body systems in order to prepare for a state writing assessment. Initially, we co-taught this plan for an assignment I had for LIS 654, but this went so well that we used the same plan again this school year now that I am the media coordinator. Students learned about the various body systems, but also gained experience using print and non-print resources, taking notes, and writing citations. I also had an experience working with a math teacher who was interested in reviewing some math concepts, but also having students learn about two mathematicians. To review decimals, I created a Dewey Decimal scavenger hunt through the library and I created the questions for the mathematicians. The math teacher created the other stations and we assisted the students throughout the rotations. This collaboration led to the other math teacher also coming to the library the next week for us to repeat these same stations. A final example is working together with a social studies teacher to plan research for a writing prompt about Ancient Egypt. As the media coordinator, I worked with the classes throughout the research process and writing of the paper considering my English teaching background. Since becoming a media coordinator a month ago, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with three teachers on staff that have never utilized the library before. One was a science teacher and we worked on discovering why Earth is the only inhabitable planet. Another was the Chorus teacher who had students researching conductors, and a final opportunity has been working with a team to develop a tribute to an influential person for Black History Month, through use of Photostory. I will continue to seek out opportunities to collaborate with teachers and students in order to enhance their learning experience. As I addressed in a previous section, collaborating with other professionals in the field is also crucial to achieving my goals as a media coordinator. Attending staff development and workshops, as well as attending optional district PLC opportunities are essential. Since I have become a media coordinator, I have visited two other middle schools in order to see their facility and talk about their library program. I left with ample ideas and two more experienced librarians that have become valuable colleagues in which to collaborate and share ideas.

Conclusion The UNCG LIS program has definitely prepared me for the challenges ahead as a school media coordinator. Through this final portfolio, I have had the opportunity to reflect over all that I have learned and experienced in this journey to a new career path. Each course had its own unique objectives and assignments to provide a broad base of experience rather than duplicating, which I greatly appreciated. I welcome the challenges and rewards I will face, and I will be forever grateful for the professionalism, knowledge, and care that has been shown by all the professors I have had the privilege of working with through the program.

Bibliography American Association of School Librarians (2009). Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs. Chicago: ALA.

American Library Association Council. (2008, January 22). Retrieved January 28, 2012 from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics

American Library Association Council. (1996, January 23). Retrieved January 28, 2012 from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/ IMPACT: Guidelines for North Carolina Media and Technology Programs (2006). Retrieved January 28, 2012 from http://www.ncwiseowl.org/impact/TOC.htm#infoaccdel North Carolina Essential Standards (2010). Retrieved February 19th, 2012 from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/new-standards/info-technology/grade6.pdf

U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (2008). School Libraries Work! Washington: NCLIS.

Index of Artifacts Cited LIS 600 Professional Values Statement LIS 693 Summary Ethical Issues LIS 654 Lesson Plan Problem Novels LIS 654 Handout - Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences LIS 693 Summary Inclusive and Affirming of Diversity LIS 653 Facility Plan Kernersville Middle School LIS 636 Final Paper Web Site Version 1.0 LIS 600 Action research Internet filters LIS 693 Power Point Copyright LIS 600 literature review Accelerated Reader LIS 600 Action Research filtering of Internet sites LIS 650 Needs Assessment Balfour Elementary LIS 4400 Power Point- copy cataloging LIS 653 Collection Development Analysis Kernersville Middle LIS 693 Power Point- Glogster LIS 618 flyer monthly newsletter LIS 625 integration project interactive Web page LIS 618 Analysis professional journals LIS 653 Analysis - professional journals LIS 693 Summary professional development LIS 615 wiki- Serving ELL Teachers and Students in the School Library LIS 688 Outline Professional Development Plan LIS 693 Glogster Web 2.0 tool

LIS 693 Glogster PowerPoint used for instruction LIS 620 Libguide Body Systems LIS 620 Pathfinder Poets LIS 618 Podcast Sports Books LIS 635 Kiosk Recommended Books LIS 653 Advocacy Plan Kernersville Middle School LIS 650 Ideal Organizational Vision creating Raving Fans LIS 650 Leadership and Management Treatise leadership and management LIS 654 Integrated Curriculum Map 7th grade social studies LIS 654 Collaboration Project 7th grade science Current Position Ancient Egypt 7th grade social studies prompt