Bringing Our Students Into the 21st Century

I promissed to tell you about some of my ideas for the library. You see, AASL11 really did open my eyes a bit. First I was so happy to see that our library is right on par with other school libraries. Many of the lessons taught in our library are very similar to other librarians lessons. It is always nice to receive some validation or reassurance that what you are trying to do is not only working but correct.   Second, I have returned with an overflow of ideas for the library and school. I also came to realize that four years after our library opened it is time to step up our game.

The library is now in a comfortable position. We have a circulating collection of almost 6000 books, an excellent online catalogue, and a curriculum that strives to teach inquiry, use of information and book appreciation by the time the students leave 5th grade. While, my lessons continue to be fluid by evolving and adapting each year, I feel it is time to add another focus in my plan to provide a 21st Century library for our school.

What world of information could be hidden in this portal to knowledge?

While reflecting on my conference experience I realize that we must provide our students with safe, easy to navigate online tools. When assigned a research assignment our students automatically turn to Google and Wikipedia. While these resources are not necessarily bad, they should only be used as a jumping off point and most definitely with a certain amount of caution. What the St. Philip student needs is to learn to use online tools such as databases and encyclopedias. Often these things are free through the public library and that is great. But the school should be providing them for our students also. I am currently testing a few databases in my library classes. I have also asked the teachers to take a look at and assess the usefulness of various databases. In my opinion, our lone World Book Encyclopedia subscription is not enough. I plan to provide more before the school year is out.

I am excited to test these databases with both my 4th and 5th grade classes. Look for more posts on how I plan to utilize our free database trials.

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