Section 3: The Library Learning Environment
3.1 Establishing a School Library Learning Environment (School Library Guide p. 24)
The school library should be exciting and welcoming and identifiably different from classrooms. As a multimedia interactive learning environment, it motivates pupils to explore resources for curriculum related work and their personal interests and stimulates creativity.
- AASL: Resource Guide for Underserved Student Populations
- NEW YALSA: Transforming Library Services for and with Teens
3.2 Understanding the Librarian’s Role in Reading and CCRS (School Library Guide p. 25)
Reading within the content area is at the center of College-and Career-Readiness Standards Initiative. Significant numbers of the standards also address the building of informational skills to ready students for 21st century learning.
- Strong Reader = Strong Leaders
- AASL: Role of the School Librarian in Reading Development
- AASL: School Librarian’s Role in Reading
3.3 Creating a Reading Environment (School Library Guide p. 27)
The library should be the heart of the school where frequent and flexible access is encouraged. It should be aesthetically pleasing and have a barrier-free learning environment that encourages the enjoyment and excitement of reading. A vibrant program will encourage students to visit the library, to become life-long library users, and to love books and reading.
3.4 Using Data in the School Library (School Library Guide p. 28)
Reading or text levels are used to help guide students in choosing books that are right for them by not being too easy or too hard. Adding reading or text levels to library records allows teachers and students to find resources that connect to classroom learning.
3.5 Understanding Collaboration (School Library Guide p. 29)
Collaboration with the learning community is an essential element that enhances student achievement and the school curriculum. It is imperative that the librarian and the grade and subject area teachers work together to create a quality learning environment.
3.6 Planning for Instruction (School Library Guide p. 31)
Librarians of the 21st century are educators in every sense of the word. Whether instruction is a collaborative effort with other teachers or on an as-needed basis, librarians – like their classroom counterparts – must be prepared to develop instructional plans that meet the needs of the learning community they serve. These lesson plans must be framed according to current best practices in teaching and learning and should include the use of technology in teaching as a necessary element in meeting the needs of the 21st century digital learner.
- Student Learning Outcomes
- K-6 Library Skills Guidance
- 7-12 Library Research Skills Guidance
- Resource Pathfinder for Teachers
- Resource Pathfinder for Students
- 21st Century Reference Collection
3.7 Promotion Flexible, Open Access (School Library Guide p. 44)
In order for the school library to be the core of the educational setting, the librarian, with the assistance of the administrator, must be allowed to schedule the library for its most effective use.
AASL: Position Statement on Flexible Scheduling
Open access to a quality school library program is essential for students to develop the vital skills necessary to analyze, evaluate, interpret, and communicate information and ideas in a variety of formats. Inquiry skills are taught and learned within the context of the curriculum and may occur in the classroom, the library, or at home with 24/7 accessibility to a wide range of resources, technologies, and services.
3.8 Encouraging Advocacy (School Library Guide p. 46)
Leadership and advocacy require stepping out of comfortable behind-the-scene roles and becoming a proactive leader. The professional librarian needs to provide leadership and advocacy in information literacy, technology initiatives, policy creation, instructional design, and professional development.
- School Libraries Change Lives Poster
- AASL: Advocacy Toolkit
- AASL: Advocacy Resources - Position Statements
- AASL: Public Relations Toolkit
- Library Advocacy Committee Meeting Agenda
- Library Public Relations Plan
3.9 Library Promotional Events (School Library Guide p. 47)
The American Library Association and its division sponsor nationally recognized events that promote the value of the school library program. State and local events also promote the value of the school library program.
- Library Card Sign-up Month (ALA)
- Banned Books Week (ALA)
- Read for the Record
- Picture Book Month (AASL)
- Digital Learning Day
- Teen Tech Week
- Freedom of Information Day (ALA)
- School Library Month (AASL)
- National Library Legislative Day (ALA)
3.10 National/State Reading Programs (School Library Guide p. 48)
National reading programs provide a catalyst for collaboration with the learning community. Each year professional organizations and state reading programs provide opportunities to enhance the library program and promote the joy of reading. Librarians should seek out age-appropriate venues for the learning community and make them available.
National Reading Programs:
- BOOKIT! Program
- National Children’s Book Week
- National Poetry Month
- Read Across America
- Teen Read Week
State Reading Programs:
- America Reads - Mississippi
- Letters About Literature
- Mississippi Children’s Choice Award: Magnolia Award
- Mississippi Reading Fair
- Poetry Out Loud
3.11 Collaborating with Public Libraries (School Library Guide p. 49)
The public library can be a great resource for school librarians and their students. It is important to get to know the public library staff, especially the person responsible for providing service to children and teens.
Mississippi Library Commission Resources:
3.12 MAGNOLIA Database (School Library Guide p. 50)
Mississippi Alliance for Gaining New Opportunities through Library Information Access provides Mississippi residents with access to electronic database through their local public, school, community college or university libraries.