CHICAGO – Results of a survey undertaken by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Senior Project/Capstone Project Task Force are now available as part of an executive summary detailing the completion of the group’s work. The results and summary are available on the AASL website at: www.ala.org/aasl/advocacy/resources.
The task force was charged with gathering examples of exemplary implementation of student-centered Senior/Capstone Projects that involve school librarians as integral to the information literacy and inquiry process. Along with assessing the current state of school librarian involvement at different stages of the Senior/Capstone Project process, the national survey allowed the task force to review existing programs and identify those exhibiting best practices.
"The Senior/Capstone Project Task Force findings reinforce the excellent work that school librarians currently do in high schools across the country," said Gail March, task force chair. "The exemplary programs we chose to highlight represent the variety of ways school librarians support these unique learning opportunities for students. Beyond teaching research skills, librarians are in involved in the planning and implementation of senior projects, providing connections to resources and technology, and providing guidance to teachers and mentors. Successful senior/capstone projects take advantage of the educational and leadership skills of their school librarians."
"This survey readily shows the instructional impact of school librarians," continues AASL President Gail Dickinson. "The Senior Project or Capstone experience is a crucial point in the education of students as they transition to college and career. Their use of information and the degree to which they can find and use resources to meet information needs may well be a factor in the degree to which they are college/career ready."
Survey results, a brief overview of Senior/Capstone Project exemplars and a base definition of student-centered Senior/Capstone Projects involving school librarians as information literacy specialists are available as a part of the executive summary. The task force was created in response to a concern submitted by a member of the AASL Affiliate Assembly. In the coming months, the task force will also be releasing a position statement on the role of school librarians in these research projects and presenting a webinar on Senior/Capstone Project involvement.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change, and develop leaders in the school library field.