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Diving Brief:

  • School libraries and the librarians who work in these spaces are crucial to the educational needs of students, serving as literacy, resource and research experts, Benjamin Barbour, a high school history and government teacher who previously served as school librarian, written for Edutopia. And a better understanding of these roles can help educators facilitate student literacy skills, especially the number of school librarians is decreasing.
  • Librarians help support students on their literacy journey, from finding books that support struggling readers to encouraging learners to voice their own criticisms. Classroom teachers who do not have access to librarians can also supplement literacy needs by organizing read-alouds or offering students suggestions on creating more conducive reading environments.
  • Librarians can help design lessons on specific topics, show how to discover sources, and teach proper citation rules. Without a school librarian on site, teachers could ask public libraries for research suggestions or create their own collections of materials. They can also share collected resources with colleagues, such as appropriate citation tips.

Overview of the dive:

Librarians are a valuable resource for lesson planning and curriculum design, bringing much more than book suggestions and hours of reading to classrooms. As educators, they can help complete the educational environment by helping students learn, conducting research, and developing media literacy skills.

Although the title can vary from “librarian” to “media specialist”, those who hold this position can serve as “great equalizers in the world of education”, said Jennifer LucasPresident of the American Association of School Librarians.

Complementing what students receive in the classroom, librarians can teach classes how to craft well-constructed research questions, understand the proper way to use and cite sources, and understand what it means to be “digital citizens with integrity.” , Lucas added. Ultimately, she believes that information literacy, a specialty for school librarians, should be woven throughout the K-12 curriculum.

“School librarians tend to see the big picture and are able to guide learners to connections between subjects and between curriculum topics and personal interests,” Lucas said. “We carefully curate collections that support student learning with material beyond teacher-assigned texts so they can explore topics in greater depth. As teachers create lessons and plan curriculum, school librarians are powerful partners for new ideas and extending lesson ideas.

Librarians can work with teachers and provide scaffolding for students who may need extra support, said Judy Deichmann, president of the Virginia School Librarians Association. For her, the role acts as an additional teacher, from planning lessons and projects to grading the final result, helping to broaden the learning experience for students, whether in the classroom or in the library. school.

“The teacher and librarian team teach and distribute the workload, can differentiate instruction for students, and can support students who might need extra help,” Deichman said. “Two teachers working together to deliver content can be an amazing thing!”

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