EasyBib’s Library Corner: Librarians & the Common Core

Emily Gover is an information literacy specialist and in-house librarian for EasyBib. Her professional interests lie in web services and design, usability, information literacy, instructional services and reference work. She continues to work part-time at the Hendrick Hudson Free Library, and has previous work experience at Berry College, Reader’s Digest and the University at Albany.

There has been a lot of talk in Library Land about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These standards have been collaboratively developed by educators, administrators and experts to better prepare students for a college learning experience, as well life in the workforce. The majority of the country has chosen to adopt these standards (Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia have not), and the standards will be incorporated in some state tests next year.

Since instructors need to teach these new skills and standards to their students, librarians will have to learn and understand them, too! Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Joyce Karon, who has worked as a school librarian, was appointed to the Illinois Sate Board of Education, and is currently on the Illinois P-20 Council.

During our conversation, she stressed how fundamental information literacy skills are an underlying factor for many of the standards across different subject areas. Oftentimes, the school librarian has continuous interaction with teachers of multiple subjects–he or she is an indispensible asset to help teach and develop these interdisciplinary standards. Specifically, Joyce referenced the concepts taught in the Big 6, and how CCSS will gradually develop these research skills over a number of years. An interview with Joyce Karon can also be found here.

In addition, librarian Carolyn Jo Starkey has compiled a great pathfinder that provides tons of resources and articles about the librarian’s role in Common Core State Standards. Earlier today, Buffy Hamilton tweeted a link to a detailed presentation by Kristin Fontichiaro on ways librarians can prepare for these new standards. I encourage you to take a look at her slides and see how instructional skills and collection development may be modified to best support CCSS!

Sources:
The Common Core State Standards
Interview with Joyce Karon
Carolyn Jo Starkey’s School Librarian CCS Resources
Kristen Fontichiaro’s May 10 presentation
Buffy Hamilton’s Twitter

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