United States

Common Core, Visibility, Impact, Learning Models, and Much More

An introduction to the journal is presented in which the editor discusses various reports published within the issue including one by Dr. Ross Todd who cites the need for visibility of teacher librarians and the need for new learning and teaching models, another by Keith Curry Lance and Linda Hofschire who provide research finding that support the belief that school library programs and teacher librarians has significant contributions to gains in student achievement.

“I Hate To Write!”—The Critical Importance of Writing Gateways... And the Librarian's Role in Opening Them

The writer discusses the importance of getting students through “writing gateways” and the role of the librarian in helping students to become more effective writers. He explains the importance of sustaining a students' natural creative spark and enthusiasm to communicate effectively while writing proficiently. He lists eight essential elements of story architecture from his research on the human brain and provides suggestions on steps a school librarian can take to help students through writing gateways.

How Do School Librarians Perceive Disposition for Learning and Social Responsibility?

A research study was conducted to examine how school librarians perceive dispositions for learning and social responsibility. This study was prompted by the fact that school librarians regularly discuss dispositions in action and their role in fostering them on blogs, on websites, and through listservs. In this informal approach to determine the need for a larger study, 46 school librarians in 20 states participated in administering an online questionnaire containing multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question that gave a list of dispositions. Thirty-eight participants responded to the open-ended question, and findings revealed that social responsibility was the most cited disposition. Other significant findings are discussed, with suggestions for the scope of a dissertation topic.

The Story of the Story: Research Support for the School Librarian's Role in Teaching Writing

The writer discusses the importance of storytelling as a part of the curriculum in improving the academic standards of underachieving students, and highlights the role of school librarians in this regard. He focuses on various studies conducted in this area, noting that the overall results indicate that narrating stories to students actually improves their reading and comprehension skills. Advice on using storytelling as part of the curriculum is also provided.

Dropout Prevention through the School Library: Dispositions, Relationships, and Instructional Practices

In the United States of America, each year almost one-third of all public high school students drop out before graduating and receiving a diploma. School librarians can play a critical role in strengthening and improving the academic achievement of all students, but especially those who are at-risk of dropping out of school. In this article, students most at-risk of dropout are identified. A research-based framework to improve student achievement through dispositions of the school librarian, nurturing relationships and supportive environments, and effective instructional practices is identified. Practical suggestions about specific school library programs are made. The article concludes with a section on implications for practice and suggestions for further study.

Digital Natives, 21st Century School Libraries, and 21st Century Preparation Programs: An Informal Affirmation of Branch and deGroot

The presentations from the 2011 IASL conference theme School Libraries: Empowering the 21st Century Learner offered much to think about for graduate programs preparing future teacher librarians. Research indicates that school librarians are not actively integrating Web 2.0 tools into their programs, but students are regularly using these tools outside of school for accessing and sharing information. Professional preparation programs must help future librarians master these tools so they can be school leaders on the Web 2.0 technology frontier. This paper discusses issues related to Web 2.0 integration in online graduate programs in school librarianship and offers examples of Web 2.0 activities that can be used in graduate courses.

The Mind of a Researcher: Keith Curry Lance

In an interview, Keith Curry Lance, who works as an independent consultant and as part of the RSL Research Group, discusses the school library impact studies of ten states, for which he was the principal investigator and lead author; how school libraries and teacher-librarians can become more central to teaching and learning; his ideas that will help teacher-librarians link to a classroom teacher and the learning process in each school; information from outside his studies that teacher-librarians need to focus on; differences between modern teacher-librarians and yesterday's teacher-librarians; and the most important links between the teacher-librarian and the classroom and education today.

School Librarians as Technology Integration Leaders: Enablers and Barriers to Leadership Enactment

The highly technological environment of 21st-century schools has significantly redefined the role of school librarians by presenting the opportunity to assume leadership through technology integration. Despite the abundance of literature that has suggested the need for and the importance of school librarians to be a proactive leaders in technology integration, this role is one that has been ignored in the research arena and left undefined for school administrators, teachers, and the school librarians themselves, leading to uncertainty concerning how school librarians enact this role in practice. This research, based on distributed-leadership theory, investigates current practice of accomplished school librarians to identify what factors are enabling some to thrive as technology integration leaders and what factors are hindering others. This report of the results includes the initial identification and categorization of the enablers and barriers experienced by school librarians in enacting a leadership role in technology integration, a discussion of implications for the profession, and areas of future research.

The Power of High Quality School Library Programs

An overview of research demonstrating the effect of school libraries and teacher-librarians on student achievement is provided.

The Use of Reading Levels as Alternative Classification in School Libraries

A relatively new phenomenon in school libraries is the organization of books by the reading levels associated with reading incentive programs such as Accelerated Reader and Reading Counts. There is a body of research on the effects of reading incentive programs on variables related to reading ability and motivation, but currently there is no research on the characteristics of the school libraries that use reading levels as an alternative classification scheme for shelf arrangement. This article reports the results of a survey of P-12 media specialists in Kentucky who identified their libraries as arranged by reading level. Analysis of results provides information on the demographic characteristics of these libraries and media specialists' rationale for organizing their library collections in this way.

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