Signs to Indicate

SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL LIBRARY


Before adding content please look at this chart that appears here (which is a web link from the book listed below.)

external image schools_deserve.jpg

The Schools Our Children Deserve

Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards"
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999)


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GOOD SIGNS Space is
Student Centered

POSSIBLE REASONS
TO WORRY

FURNITURE
Variety of seating available: larger group, small group, individual--for both reading and research.
Comfy area for snuggling up with a book during independent reading time. (A. King)
chairs with arms that are confining/uncomfortable for larger students
furniture designed for 'looks' rather than practicalities. Study carells (DM)
ON THE WALLS
Promotional reading activity announcements (clubs, book discussions, etc.)
Displays about Authors or popular books that are current (changed often)
Information about online services and databases (P McClune)
faded posters-even if the message is good
STUDENTS’ FACES
Smiling and engaged in work and/or library materials
Looking at other students' faces while collaborating
No students in library at break times

Frustrated; waiting for service (PM)
SOUNDS
NOISE! (inside noise?)

Students clustered around the room talking/collaborating/laughing.

Music playing softly.

Some students quietly using individual MP3 players to listen to their choice of music while working, or headphones to hear Web audio or podcasts related to research.(PM)
absolute silence - or just the clacking of computer keys
SMELLS
A light air freshener perhaps, but nothing overpowering (PM)
musty, damp, unpleasant, like old books
LOCATION OF TEACHER or Librarian
Teacher-librarian moves throughout the space, stopping to check on students' progress

Because the learning space is flexible and quite possibly not even in the media center all the time, the teacher librarian could be anywhere in the building.
Teacher-librarian stays behind the Circulation Desk, or even worse, in the office (but sometimes the office is required...to get some work done)
TEACHER’S or Librarian's VOICE
Pleasant
Positive
Quietly assertive
Friendly
Ssssh ! (D McKenzie)
Yelling at children (A King)
Condescending (PM)
STUDENTS’ REACTION TO VISITOR
hospitable but prefers to continue work
or
unaware of visitor
Creates a "show" for visitor, either acting out or doing what is "expected"
CLASS DISCUSSION
(Not sure where to put this) When a visitor comes in, if it is a student, all TL attention is on the student; if an adult (parent, teacher, principal, visitor) comes in, students should still be top priority.
Students ignored when outsider visitors come in--made to wait for assistance.
STUFF
Student projects displayed
Plants to warmup the atmosphere
Windows allowing natural light
Interesting / relevant displays that are changed often (DM)
Colour! (DM)
Signage - colourful, clear and appropriate (DM)
Stuffed Book Characters - Elementary School (A King)
Museum quality art pieces purchased for display but not for touch.
TASKS
A class is working at the computers and tables on a research assignment - collaboration is taking place.

Individual students from other classes are also working on independent assignments - both on the computer and at tables.
Students come to the library for independent reading. (A.King)

Students are not only accessing and reading information but are also creating Web content, i.e. adding their own book reviews to the library OPAC. (PM)
The media center is virtually empty--otherwise known as "the lights are on but nobody's home."
AROUND THE SCHOOL
students reading library books
students accessing online catalog and databases outside of library space
teachers integrating library resources
Library books visit classrooms for projects. (A King)
Hallway signage that directs new students and visitors to the library (PM)

Reading Advocacy
Check out what is needed for pleasure or research
Wish List the students can add to (DM)
books off shelves and on display all over the place (DM)
Limited checkouts (by number of books or by level, zpd, lexile, etc.) (C. Nelson)
Shelves
Books neatly on shelves shows someone cares about making sure books are easy to locate. Shelves should have some books facing out much like bookstores do--giving hidden treasures some face time to be seen and selected.

Age-appropriate shelving with student-centered displays and signage in primary and elementary schools show that even the youngest students are treated as respected patrons.
Colored dots on books indicate leveling is pushed by the library media program. Leveling restricts choice, labels kids, and tells a whole different story about what kind of readers are selecting books (and that is not always a positive thing!) Numbers on the books (such as Lexiles) tell a similar tale. A library can use these programs without the use of tell-tale stickers or numbers. These can easily be placed inside a book instead of outside, and also be made searchable through electronic catalogs. Stigmatizing students with these stickers and numbers is literacy abuse.
Classroom Teachers
Feel welcome to talk at any time and ask for help. (DM)
Understands how the TL can make their life easier and make them look like fabulous teachers (and we won't tell) (DM)
Check out books for themselves from the general collection to read or to keep up to date with current children's or YA literature
CT feel comfortable lesson planning in the library w/ or w/o librarian. (A King)
Too frightened to come into the library. (DM)
Library does not meet their needs. (DM)
They do not know what is in the library. (DM)
Teachers avoid library because it is irrelevant to their curriculum. (CN)


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