It’s a No-Brainer: Use CCSS to Advocate You and Your Library

Well, if there was any doubt if summer is here in full-force, maybe the fact that New York City survived its fourth heat wave yesterday will sway your opinion (yesterday was the happiest I’d ever been to see lightning, hail and torrential rain!). 😉

Perhaps you are trying to make the most of the remaining weeks of summer—enjoy the warmth and outdoor cooking while you can! Here at the EasyBib office, we’re finding the balance of savoring summer and prepping for next school year. Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which I’ve blogged about in the past, will be implemented in a matter of weeks. If you haven’t already, NOW is the time to start figuring out how you will use these standards to your advantage and shed light on the all-too often overlooked school library.

A great article has been making the rounds on Twitter this week that relates to librarians and the CCSS: “Why You Need Your School Librarian,” written by Kentucky Teacher of the Year Kimberly Shearer. In it, she talks about how school librarians play a massive role with developing common core standards in students:

  • Technology: “Regardless of the career paths they choose, all your students must be able to use technology to locate and create information…Your school librarian can help you develop lessons for your students that focus on both content objectives and technology objectives. — Even if your budget does not permit faster computers or shiny new iPads, there are many resources available online to incorporate technology into everyday learning. Not to mention, it makes learning fun and engaging for students.

  • Collaboration: “Being a part of a community in which they must share ideas, work and goals is important to students’ personal and academic growth.” — Platforms like Google Docs allowed students to create, share and work on content together, even if they are in separate classrooms, buildings, districts, states… you get my point. Collaborating together in person is incredibly valuable as well, as it builds teamwork and cooperative skills. However, utilizing technology in a collaborative setting combines two standards to create one efficient classroom activity.

  • Literacy: “[T]he best way to get our students reading is to help them find the right book. When students find a book that gets them excited, they are more likely to pick up another book. And when they continue to pick up more books, their reading fluency and their vocabulary are going to improve.” — Reading is at the core of learning. While librarians tackle many different tasks as information professionals, we are often still viewed as experts in locating the perfect book (which, let’s be honest, we are!). Despite the many other responsibilities teacher-librarians have, bringing the magic and inspiration of reading a really awesome book to students is still a top necessity.

  • Ms. Shearer clearly understands the importance librarians play in CCSS. Beyond the scope of educating students, school librarians need to educate their colleagues as well. Christopher Harris from The Digital Shift wrote about exactly this earlier today. He argues that “giving away the secrets of our information-finding powers will only enhance our value within the school community.” Do you agree? His point here is that teachers also need to be information literate–with CCSS, teachers must include “complex texts” for students to evaluate and analyze. Some local teachers struggled to find such texts, so Mr. Harris was asked to do a workshop to show them some tricks on finding relevant information. He provides three tips to readers, too!

    The Common Core is a great opportunity for school librarians to leverage the standards as a way to advocate their abilities, talents and pedagogy to the rest of the school, to show just how crucial they are to student success. How will you build up awareness of your necessity in the school?

    Sources:
    Why You Need Your School Librarian
    A Librarian’s Tricks for Finding Those ‘Complex Texts’ Cited in the Common Core

    Emily Gover is the in-house librarian for EasyBib. She is an amateur 5k runner (3.2 miles got nothin’ on her!), novice knitter and mac & cheese aficionado. You can find her on Twitter, @Emily_EasyBib, or posting news you can use at the EasyBib Librarians Facebook page.

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