School Librarian's Role in Reading Toolkit


This page provides school librarians with 100-word scenarios about how to integrate the components of the position statement into school library programs at all grade levels with all types of supports and constraints.


Elementary Fixed-Schedule Library (serving as planning time for classroom teachers)

A SL working in an elementary fixed-scheduled library can teach reading comprehension strategies using picture book literature as stand-alone lessons: activating/building background knowledge, using sensory images, questioning, making predictions/inferences, determining main ideas, using fix-up options, and synthesizing. Over a seven-week period, she/he can teach one per week. At the end of seven weeks, she/he can begin combining two strategies in each lesson. Using think-aloud procedures, the SL can share her/his own mental processes while using the strategies and involve students as individuals, small groups, or whole classes in practicing the strategies. Share lesson plans with classroom teachers and administrators.

Elementary Fixed-Schedule Library (serving as planning time for classroom teachers)

A SL on a fixed schedule can teach summarization skills, a key reading comprehension strategy. Over a five-week period the SL teaches the students how to summarize information using non-fiction texts based on a topic being studied in the classroom. The SL models how to determine main ideas and supporting details and use technology tools, such as the AutoSummarize tool of Microsoft Word, Kidspiration and Inspiration or Webspiration, and Wordle, to display a summary. The SL differentiates the process based on need. Students' published products can be posted on the class or library blog, wiki, or displayed within the school.

Elementary Fixed-Schedule Library

A SL on a fixed schedule can adapt and use this situation to their advantage! This is an opportunity to see all students every week. Work with the classroom teachers when they are planning for language arts and learn the reading and comprehension standards for each grade level you work with. The SL can then work with the teacher to reinforce the teaching of the reading and comprehension skills from the classroom with mini-lessons. SL are children’s literature experts and what great way to teach, through children’s literature. Look to your collection and develop lessons around picture books that tie to a particular skill. Not only will this earn you respect from your teachers, but they will see how you are helping them teach and meet their curriculum objectives. Collect data on your instruction, classes served, and these lessons; then when those standardized test scores come in you will have a viable way to show are contributing to student achievement.

Middle School Flexible-Schedule Library (teachers schedule time for their classes to use the library as needed, accompany their class to the library, and collaborate with the librarian)

A SL working in a middle school flexibly-scheduled library can teach strategies in reading and extracting information from non-fiction materials when a classroom teacher schedules classes to do research for projects. The SL can review the access points in non-fiction materials and model a strategy such as “THIEVES” (Title, Heading, Introduction, Every first sentence in a paragraph, Visuals and vocabulary, End of chapter questions, Summary) to preview non-fiction material. The SL can also teach strategies for note-taking and note-making using print graphic organizers as well as online sources such as NoodleTools and Read Write Think.

With middle school students, a SL can model prereading strategies such as reading for a purpose and writing high-order thinking questions before reading. Students will become more engaged with print and non-print materials both when they are prepared to read.

The middle school SL can teach students how to read actively by using sticky notes to write questions that arise while reading. Students can also be taught to note when they have found something interesting that they want to remember and when they come across a word or phrase that they may want to look up later.

High School Flexible-Schedule Library

Conduct note-making mini-lessons related to determining importance when students begin a research project in the library. Use an informational text, book or Web site, and model searching for main ideas and supporting details. Use electronic tools for note-making and share the actual notes made from the example. When monitoring students' research, ask them to identify main ideas and indicate where they have recorded them in their notes.

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