For each of the four topics, the Vermont Center for the Book has amassed an extensive, multifaceted bibliography of children’s picture books, a long list of related projects and activities, suggestions for independent discovery centers, and a selection of recommended resources and manipulatives.
It is important for school librarians to introduce themselves to the early childhood educators in their schools by inviting them to visit the school library and look at the available resources. They can also make plans for story time with the students and collaborate to build a foundation for early literacy.
Many children begin school today at a disadvantage. They may not have been read to on a regular basis, and many have never been to a library. School librarians can make books fun for these students and introduce them to the whole new world ahead of them!
Librarians are uniquely qualified to teach the information literacy skills that are paramount in a knowledge-based economy. As their duties expand, it is more important than ever for stakeholders to view their LMS librarians as teachers, curriculum designers, technology gurus, and school leaders.
The characteristics of 21st century education have been articulated by many and continue to evolve. However, in order to achieve within this developing context and beyond, it is accepted that students need: Reading literacy Information literacy Technological literacy Skills for personal knowledge building Oral literacy and numeracy Research evidence from the USA, Canada and Australia shows that where school libraries are resourced effectively and managed by a qualified librarian with educational expertise, all of the above are fostered and student academic achievement on standardized tests is higher than in schools where these conditions do not exist.
Delaware, 2005: Students in grades 3-5 saw the school library as strongly helping them to enjoy reading more.
The school librarian plays an instrumental role in preparing students to be twenty-first century learners: problem solvers, critical thinkers, and effective users of information.
By acting as a teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator, the school librarian can weave together content curriculum and information literacy skills in ways that benefit teachers and students
… [R]esearch proves that successful, well-staffed school library programs with a focus on collaboration do have a positive impact on student learning.
Other best practices include flexible scheduling and flexible access that allows for the maximum amount of authentic learning to take place in the media center, a wide and varied collection that supports the curriculum and promotes reading, and the presence of a certified school librarian who takes on leadership roles within the school to share expertise and help students flourish.