Landis Intermediate School Library wins the ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future Award
For Immediate Release
CHICAGO — The American Library Association has named the Landis Middle School Library the 2015 winner of the ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future Award. This award is presented annually to a library that demonstrates innovative planning and development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting.
The Landis Middle School nomination illustrates how Sally Goode, Landis media specialist, planned and implemented an innovative model to help teachers design lessons across subjects that shifted the library’s role as a partner in providing/locating information via library specific technology to a partner that allowed students to engage in all aspects of information literacy via more school-wide technology acquired by a state grant. Landis Middle School in Vineland, New Jersey received money from a state grant for the purpose of improving the academic gap between the school’s highest and lowest performing subgroups in 2013. The school used that money to purchase iPads for their school, which had previously employed little technology in classrooms. Goode saw this as an opportunity to help her colleagues incorporate not only the iPad, but also everyday technologies such as Apple TV, Google Docs, Prezi and ThingLink.
School libraries and school media centers have long been recognized as early adopters of technology and their librarians sought after for training colleagues in the use of new technologies, so Goode’s willingness or ability to create technology workshops was no great surprise to the award committee. The committee saw the true innovation is that she worked with her colleagues to create something more than a series of workshops that each focused on the use of a particular technology.
The model asked her colleagues to consider pedagogy before technology. Teachers and administrators first considered learning outcomes, curricular goals and student engagement across subject areas. Next she introduced a variety of technologies and how those technologies might be used to engage students, allow them to demonstrate learning in subjects in which she did not possess expertise and connect skills to life and careers. As teachers began to incorporate one or more technologies into their lessons and projects, she then worked individually with both teachers and students to help them use the selected technology. The result is that students and teachers are not hemmed in by a particular technology and can use tips and tricks for the technologies of which they are already familiar.
The committee applauds Ms. Goode for providing a model for librarians across library types to embrace everyday technology and new roles for librarians as information literary, technology literacy, media literacy, critical thinking and other 21st century skills continue to converge and be woven throughout curricula. As one committee member noted, her efforts have not only made her an asset to her school and district but also the model for all the innovative things that media specialists and librarians can do with their unique skill sets.
Members of the 2015 ALA Information Today/Library of the Future Award Jury are: Amy Wallace, associate vice president library, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, California (chair); Carol Anderson, associate librarian, SUNY Albany, Albany, New York; Clara Bohrer, director, West Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield, Michigan; Barbara Burd, dean of library services, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, S.C.; and Kevin Reynolds, library dean, Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C.
The Library of the Future Award will be presented on, at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. The deadline for submission of applications for the 2016 ALA/Information Today, Inc. Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA website.