School Libraries Work! Report
Scholastic has compiled research from over 30 separate studies demonstrating the integral role librarians play in teaching and supporting student learning. They found that when school librarians are cut, student achievement suffers. View the full report at http://tiny.cc/SPPS_SLW
Digital Citizenship and 1:1 Support
Libraries don’t just mean print books. Digital resources are essential in a 1:1 iPad environment, and librarians play a crucial role. They curate digital content, support instruction, teach digital citizenship, and educate students about issues such as online safety, privacy, and behavior. Librarians can also act as an in-house technology specialists, assisting students with device questions or issues.
What is a School Librarian?
A Licensed School Librarian has a Master’s Degree as well as a state-issued media specialist teaching license. The purpose of a librarian in the school is to work directly with students and staff. A licensed teacher librarian:
• Provides access to reliable, relevant, age-appropriate resources• Collaborates with teachers to support instruction and teach information skills• Works directly with students to provide support• Encourages a love of literacy and reading
Just as all content areas have standards, librarians have information and technology literacy standards to meet for all grade levels. The Information and Technology Educators of MN (ITEM) standards reflect 21st century skills and provide a bridge between K-12 and higher education expectations for students. The standards may be viewed at http://mnitem.org/Standards.
WHAT DOES A FULLY STAFFED LIBRARY LOOK LIKE?
A fully staffed library program includes a full time licensed librarian and a paraprofessional. The support staff handles all circulation and clerical duties, while the librarian teaches classes, collaborates with teachers, and provides direct instruction and support to students.
Edina, Osseo, Minnetonka, and Bloomington Public Schools all use this instructional model. Anoka-Hennepin and Minneapolis Districts have licensed librarians in almost all buildings.By comparison, SPPS has licensed librarians in 21 out of 57 sites, or 37% of buildings.
What does a Fully Funded Library Look Like?
A fully funded library has a budget for purchasing technology and online resources as well as keeping the physical book collection updated. Books need to be replaced on a regular basis to keep up with our rapidly changing society and our rapidly expanding knowledge;The average age of SPPS collections is currently twenty years: twenty years ago, the Internet was in its infancy, Pluto was still a planet, we'd yet to elect an African-American president, 9/11 was still years away, and no one had a mobile phone that fit in a pocket.
Keeping a library collection updated requires a yearly budget. For school libraries, the average hardcover children's book cost $19.32 and the average children's ebook cost between $30 to $115 in 2015. School libraries in the U.S. spend an average of $8.86 per elementary student and $13.47 per high school student each year. Currently, 60% of SPPS schools have no yearly library budget.