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Speak Up! Students Need Libraries Kathy Lester, MLIS, MA School Library Media Specialist Three Fires MS.

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Presentation on theme: "Speak Up! Students Need Libraries Kathy Lester, MLIS, MA School Library Media Specialist Three Fires MS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Speak Up! Students Need Libraries Kathy Lester, MLIS, MA School Library Media Specialist Three Fires MS

2 Disclaimer Graphic from: HikingArtist.com X X

3 Speak Up!  What Happened ?  What I Did  Continued Advocacy

4 What Happened ?  School Board Meeting, Jan 2010

5 What Happened ?

6 What I Did  Calm down  Gather support  Speak up!

7 Gather Support  Supporting articles / data  Teachers  Union  Parents  MAME  Principal - Helped create video - Ask for support - , write, call Board - Offered to come to Board Mtg - Kept informed

8 Gather Support  Overwhelming info  Narrow: What is important to: -“my” School Board -“my” Administration -“my” Community

9 What is Important  Student achievement**  No “sob” stories  Research-based  $ on instruction  Ready for 21 st century jobs

10 School Board Meeting #1  Spoke at public comment  Provided CD – articles /video

11 School Board Meeting #1 Presented at Howell School Board Meeting, February 8, 2010 I’m the School Library Media Specialist at Three Fires Middle School. I’m here to speak about the proposed cuts of the media specialists; however, I’m not here to talk about myself, but about the Library Media program. If these cuts take place, I will still have a job; I am a Certified teacher with seniority who is highly qualified in Library Media AND other subjects. However; I believe very strongly that cutting the Media Specialists would negatively affect Howell’s classrooms -- our students and our teachers. Howell Public Schools specifically looks for programs to aid in student achievement that are research-based. Spending money on programs that have been shown to be effective by research makes sense. Well, the library media program is a research-based program; research studies in 19 states including Michigan show clear evidence of a connection between student achievement and the presence of school libraries with qualified school library media specialists. Students in schools with good libraries with certified librarians learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests. The report “School Libraries Work”, which I’ve included on a disk for you, summarizes this research. - No “sob story” - Student achievement & research -based

12 School Board Meeting #1 I’ve also included on this disc a copy of a January 2010 article from the American School Board Journal. This article points out our need to change our perception of what today’s certified librarians do. Today’s librarians are teachers, instructional partners, information specialists and instructional technology experts. An important component of this is teaching students how to navigate and critically assess the abundance of information available today. Thus, as pointed out in the ASBJ article, certified librarians are needed now more than ever and are essential to successful schools. I agree, I believe that school libraries with certified librarians are essential to our district. In the video (21 st Century Media Center) Michael Flanagan, our State Superintendent, states: “As we make the difficult financial decisions in our schools today, the school library media program is clearly one we should support.” He goes on to say that he considers spending on school media programs as spending on instruction just as much as spending on teachers in the classroom is spending on instruction I hope you agree with me and Mr. Flanagan and will support keeping the School library Media Specialists in our schools st century skills - $ on instruction

13 School Board Meeting #1  On Disk:  ASBJ article - (Jan 2010)  School Libraries Work (2008)  Info: 21 st Century Media Center Video  Copy: 21 st Century Media Center  Principal magazine article (Mar/Apr 2006)  Dr. Todd presentation (2006)

14 Support from Teachers  Created Video  “ Certified Librarian Is…”

15 What is Important  Student achievement**  MEAP scores  Conservative community  Dispel myth – less books; don’t need librarian

16 School Board Meeting #2  Sent letter before meeting  Spoke at public comment  Provided DVD of Teacher Video

17 School Board Meeting #2 I am the certified Teacher-Librarian at Three Fires Middle School. There is an overwhelming amount of data and support information as to why certified school librarians are essential to quality schools. It would take well more than 3 minutes to discuss them all. Thus, I would like to highlight 3 very important reasons that Howell needs certified librarians: Reason #1) There is a proven connection between student achievement and the presence of certified school library media specialists. Students in schools with certified librarians learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests. I’ve spoken of this before and given the board supporting documentation. At one of the previous board meetings, Mr. Yenshaw mentioned that the board would like to see our MEAP results become the best in Livingston County; well, if that is the case – Howell should be looking at how to add certified library media specialists in our district; not reduce them. For instance, Hartland’s elementary MEAP reading scores are higher and Hartland has certified Library Media Specialists at every school in their district while Howell currently has three at only the secondary level. - Student achievement - MEAP scores

18 School Board Meeting #2 Reason #2) Certified school library media specialists play a vital role in the selection of both print and electronic resources appropriate for our curriculum and our community. In particular, as a Middle School Media Specialist, I understand our curriculum needs as well as the unique maturity level, interests, and abilities of middle school students and the concerns of their parents. Reason #3) Certified school library media specialists teach students to navigate and critically assess the abundance of information available today. In fact, James Tracy, the headmaster of Cushing Academy -- the school that made headlines by getting rid of books when opening a new school library says teachers and students in his school now have more access to digital resources, yet because of this “they need more help from librarians to navigate these resources, so we have also increased our library staff by 25 percent.” As a community, we need to be sending a strong message to our students that reading and information skills are important. How can we expect our students to believe this; if we ourselves don’t show that we believe this? What message is the school district sending to our students when certified library media specialists who are strongly connected to both student’s reading and information skills are on our proposed cut list? - Role in selection - Dispel myth

19 Ongoing Advocacy “Build it and they will come” [Doesn’t work – need to advocate!]

20 Ongoing Advocacy  MAME video & School Library Works links on my library homepage  5 th Grade Orientation Slide  List of Media Services  Monthly school newsletter  Blog  Attend school board meetings

21 Ongoing Advocacy  “Give ‘em what they ask for”  “Did you mention that to the principal ? ”  Pass on professional articles of interest

22 Advocacy Resources  MAME Advocacy Toolkit  MAME Advocacy Wiki  AASL Toolkits

23 Advocacy Resources  AdvancED Educational Practices Reference Guide (2010)  AASL Position Statement  Guidelines for Michigan School Libraries (2006)  School Library 21 (2010)

24 Advocacy Resources  Videos  21 st Century Media Center (MAME & Library of Michigan)  Ask Me (CA librarians video)  Our Media Specialist (My middle school)  Ask Why? (MAME PSA)

25 Advocacy Resources  MEA Voice (February 2010) Vanishing Act: What’s Happening to School Librarians  Forbes (March 2010) Young Learners Need Librarians, Not Just Google  ASCD (August 2009) The Transformational Media Center  District Administration (October 2008) School Libraries Renewed

26 Image Sources listed in slide order : 2. Experts in their tower: 2. Magic wand: Microsoft Clipart 4. Businessman with chart: Microsoft Clipart 5. Back stabbing: 6. Calm: Microsoft Clipart 8. Overwhelm: Microsoft Clipart 9.Looking toward graduation: Microsoft Clipart 10. MI Report Card: 11. Podium: 14.CD: Microsoft Clipart 15.Smile: 16. Speech: Microsoft Clipart 20. Construction: D character: 23. SL 21:


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