I’ve tried creating tabs and subpages for the Standards but to no avail. Until I successfully figure it out, this page will be long and convoluted.
Because I always have a difficult time finding these, here is a link to the AASL’s Standards.
Standard 1: Teaching for Learning
Citation: Todd, R. J. (2013). The Power of (in) the (Im)possible. Teacher Librarian, 41(2), 8-15.
UNT Database: EBSCOhost
Summary: The article discusses the librarian’s role as a teacher, co-teacher and partner in curriculum development and being pedagogical leaders rather than keepers of information. It starts with the author’s pondering on possiblists and impossiblists. Then it looks at the findings of two studies and delves into the seven Principles of the Possible. After a definition and explanation of each Principle, excerpts from interviews of teachers, administrators, students and district employees elaborate and reinforce the positive impact librarians have on their learning community. Although the author uses two studies he conducted, this is a review article because there is little raw data that is explained and the studies and interview excerpts emphasize the role of the librarian as a co-teacher and partner.
Critique: The author’s claims are sound because of the interview excerpts used to bolster his point. The first research study collected data showing the impact and positive results from sources of evidence of impact. The methodology used is narrative forms and stories, and data was collected through the formation of focus groups and student insights. The second study looked at two freshmen English classes participating in a research project being co-taught by the teacher and librarian. The CiSSL-developed Student Learning Through Inquiry measure was used to collect the data. The writing style was scholarly, narrative and explanatory when discussing the seven Principles, but then it jumped straight into interview excerpts with no transition. The speaker appeared to insert conversational opinions and anecdotes until the excerpt was attributed to the speaker. It became easier to read and understand after adapting to his writing style. The data collected from interviews is not entirely reliable because the subjects’ opinions and feelings toward the librarian could have positive bias. In addition, since only excerpts are used, negative feedback may have been excluded, but the raw data from the actual studies gives the speakers credence. The article relates to school librarianship as a profession by showing the positive impact they have on their school and community. The seven Principles act as a guide for future librarians wishing to be successful as well as current librarians looking to expand their philosophies. School librarians should read this article for the seven Principles, but also as positive affirmation.
Standard 2: Literacy and Reading
Citation: Martins, A. B., & Marques, A. (2010). Promoting a reading culture in school community: How to engage reading activities cross curricula, directors, teachers, students, parents, administrative services, local authorities, public libraries and other partners – Relating a project. Proceedings of the 12th Biennial School Library Association of Queensland, the 39th International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference incorporating the 14th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, Brisbane QLD Australia, 27 September – 1 October 2010
UNT Database: EBSCOhost
Summary: The article is about the School Libraries Network Programme (SLNP) working in tandem with the Portuguese National Reading Plan (NRP) to promote reading literacy in order to develop myriad literacy abilities. Launching in 1996, the SLNP’s main goal is to have libraries in state schools at every level. The NRP knows reading for adults is important, but it cites studies indicating lack of reading at a young age results in difficulties with learning and storing knowledge which can compound into impassable roadblocks. The SLNP and NRP are borrowing strategies and ideas from the Reading Connects project from the National Trust Reading, UK. Together, they created a program, aLeR+, that they launched in 33 schools in the 2008-2009 school year. The results of their findings were preliminary but hopeful, and they are launching the program in other schools and will continue to monitor their progress and results over the years. The article is a research article, albeit with little data. This is because it was published during the beginning stages of the nation’s study of the impact of their program.
Critique: I found the article fascinating. The authors wrote academically and factually without being stuffy and boring. They did use the first-person point of view, which I felt diminished some of the objectivity, but after reflecting on the article, I feel like they used words like ‘we’ and ‘our’ because they are passionate about improving the quality of education for their citizens. Portugal is so behind this idea that they made a law that requires every school to have a competent teacher-librarian in every single school. It turns out that their reading habits and literacy levels are lower than other European Community Countries because they have only had nine-year mandatory education for 23 years at the time of publication. That makes me appreciate the opportunities I’ve had in my education. I hope their program is successful and implemented in all of their schools.
The article is related to school librarians as a profession because an entire nation is focusing on reading and literacy habits, and they are using the community, along with school and public libraries, to promote reading and information literacy. I think it’s helpful because it shows librarians that other countries know and value the importance of reading and how to foster it in children. I would recommend the article to others since it is short and positive.
Standard 3: Information and Knowledge
Citation: Reidling, A. (2003). Helping teachers teach students about ethical behavior. Teacher Librarian, 30(5), 42-43.
UNT Database: EBSCOhost
Summary: The article begins with a question from a 10th grade English teacher about a student who did not read an assigned book but managed to pass the test by studying chapter summaries and other shortcuts related to the novel. The questioner asks why the student’s behavior is wrong. The author responds like Dear Abby but without the wit and snarkiness. Her answer is answer to the query is for the teacher-librarian to better educate the students and faculty about information literacy and ethical behavior through inservice, posters, and talking to classes. She then goes on to say that the teacher-librarian should help the teacher develop better questions that challenge students and allows them to use critical thinking skills rather than rote memorization. The article is more of an advice column, but because there is no data and the author provides titles of other articles for further reading, this can be considered a review article.
Critique: The author’s logic is sound because students, and some teachers, may not know much about information literacy and being responsible and ethical users. She offers helpful ways to guide teachers in the right direction instead of giving them a list of do’s and don’t’s. Her solution to replacing the novel comprehension test with critical thinking prompts is also helpful, but some students may still find ways around this with the advancement of technology since the article was published 14 years ago. Her writing style is conversational; the article feels like one was overhearing this conversation in the faculty lounge. There were not any research methods used other than the author’s own personal experience. The article relates to the profession because this is a legitimate classroom issue teachers face and is something they should collaborate on with librarians. It is also helpful because of the strategies it offers and the further readings listed. It is a quick read that school librarians should peruse.
Standard 4: Advocacy and Leadership
1. What thought “struck you” or was an “AHA” moment for you as you looked through the resources and considered the idea of intellectual freedom?
The reasons why books are challenged is what struck me. I looked at the OIF’s annual list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books and was surprised to see Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird on there in 2011. Before I got to that entry I read why these books were being challenged and noticed a pattern on why these books were being challenged. Oftentimes it was because the book dealt with minority issues, such as race, gender and sexuality. Religious viewpoints, obscene language, nudity and sexuality were also common points. It struck me that the reason these books are being challenged is because they don’t fit the pretty little world view of certain people. To try to ban Dorothy Hillestad Butler’s My Mom’s Having a Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy because it depicts nudity and sex education is ludicrous to me! It’s the human body and biology, why are we trying to censor that? Now I’m just mad.
2. What type of impact do you believe intellectual freedom has on the management of school libraries?
Similar to what the ALA states, people, and students, should be allowed to read what they want, when they want, and why they want. Since schools and libraries are public entities, certain members of the public will challenge intellectual freedom by challenging books and attempting to ban and censor them. As a librarian, it will be my duty to promote and protect students’ intellectual freedom.
3. As a school librarian, how will you promote AND protect the intellectual freedom of your students?
Celebrating banned book week is a start. Keeping up with the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and educating myself about censorship and book challenges is another step.
4. Share at least two challenges that you can foresee for protecting the intellectual freedom of your students.
One challenge is the community I live in. It’s a college town, but the actual community is conservative and may not be open to allowing certain books in the library. One of my coworkers had to create alternative assignments for one of her students because the child’s parents didn’t want them reading And Then There Were None. That was so much extra work placed on top of a good and passionate teacher for one student. The silver lining is the parents objected to only their child reading it and not the whole class or school.
Another challenge is being able to read every book that is challenged, especially starting out. I can read all of the reviews, and do all of the research, in the world, but that is not a substitute for actually reading the book and forming my own opinions.
5. Describe how you will address the two challenges that you have identified.
Addressing challenge one is getting to truly know and understand my community. Only then can I reach out to them to discuss the issues instead of being combative. Working and communicating with the administration to be on my side is another way of helping with that issue. It is good to have powerful allies on your side, and that extends to the superintendent, the PTA, the school board, and community leaders. Being educated and well-versed in the First Amendment and censorship cases (like Board of Education v. Pico, 1982 and other cases Scales mentioned in her article) is also a useful tool in protecting the intellectual freedom of my students. The ALA’s censorship bootcamp and resources are a good starting point.
The last part also applies to my second challenge. Managing my time and resources to be educated on the issues is crucial, so I will have to learn how to do that. I can’t argue against banning a book if I’m ignorant and haven’t read it myself, so being well-informed is paramount.
Standard 5: Program Management and Administration
Citation: Yates, S. D. (2011). The school librarian as program administrator: Just-in-time librarianship. Knowledge Quest, 39(5), 42-45.
UNT Database: ProQuest
Summary: With school library budgets constantly shrinking, the author suggests the Just-In-Time business model to keep the library and catalog current. The school librarian should collaborate with local public and academic libraries on a variety of activities and support one another. One example is to work with the public library’s budget committee, and another is providing public library membership applications in the school library. Once mutual respect and cooperation is established, work with the public and academic libraries on compiling and borrowing a temporary collection of books and resources from them for use in the school setting. This stretches the limited budget and gives the stakeholders greater access to additional scholarly materials. This is a professional/review article because the author does not use data.
Critique: The author used his experience touring a Daimler Benz plant in Alabama to apply their Just-In-Time business model to his school library. He also cited Joyce Valenza’s blog post “Revised Manifesto” to validate his approach, so he adds some credence to his claim. However, he says going to the J-I-T model appears frightening but is easy, but that is his personal experience. It may have been simple for him, but a K-12 school library in a rural town may not have a public or academic library to rely on, so it is a challenge. The closest one for them may be 30 or more miles away, and that adds travel expenses and time management to a librarian already dealing with budget issues. The writing style is similar to that of a speaker during staff development sessions; conversational with a hint of superiority.
The article could be helpful to school librarians with limited, or decreasing, budgets that have access to local public and/or academic libraries, and school librarians facing those problems should absolutely read it in order to formulate at least one solution to their monetary issues; librarians who are looking for ways to get more resources into their library without spending the money should also read this article.