Literacy (6)


Well, isn't that the life of a teacher librarian? We are constantly changing what we do and how we do it.

This summer I moved every book in my library and discarded some very old non-essential materials and made lists to replace them with 21st century materials. I also dumped all of my VHS tapes. Yes, you read this correctly. ALL VHS tapes are gone.

There are two reasons for dumping the technology. First, it is ancient technology in schools today when we have laptops instead of DVD players, LCD projectors, and electronic whiteboards. None of the teachers have VHS players in their rooms. None of the teachers have TVs in their rooms. We have one TV in the entire building located in the lobby and it is not to be used for TV shows.

Second, like most people we download, we subscribe, we stream, or we play from a DVD in our laptops. We may be replacing student laptops with Chromebooks so we will only have teacher laptops left in our building. So, out with the VHS tapes. I have spent a lot of time ridding the library of ancient tech and I think I am almost at the end. Baby steps but steps indeed.

Third, I needed the space for my students. I teach in a PK - 4th grade school where very few children reach my shoulder before 4th grade. Due to lack of space my books were shelved on 72" shelves where many students could not reach them and certainly did not maintain the integrity of the shelf once a book was removed. I spread out the books by reclaiming four three-foot 72" tall units and so could lower books for my shorter students, raise individual shelf height to accommodate tall books and make the library look much neater.

I shifted my non-fiction materials, weeded a few I went, to take back those shelves. By doing so I was able to shift my biographies into the non-fiction section and put them at a better height as well. I also reorganized my picture book section by AR level. Our school enjoys using AR and I wanted to make the sections more distinct. I spent a great deal of time color coding levels and reshelving. Books without AR quizzes are shelved at the end of the section to be revisited and enjoyed.

I finished reorganizing the fiction section of the library by genre. My students loved that I did this last year as it made the sections easier to access and when students asked where the fiction sports books were shelved, I could point to a section. I also removed a computer table and two chairs in order to make way for two recycled seating benches. I want my kids to enjoy sitting and reading on days where we are free to just read.

My next goal is to replace some of the old furnishings in the library. I have a GoFundMe account set up so if you are interested in see what has been done and want to help out, go here:

Thanks and enjoy!


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Hi Everyone!

The National Forum on Information Literacy, under the auspices of Dr. Sharon A. Weiner, NFIL V.P. and W. Wayne Booker Chair in Information Literacy at Purdue University, is spearheading a national campaign to secure gubernatorial information literacy proclamations from all 50 states and territories. 

As most of you know, President Obama issued a presidential proclamation in 2009 establishing October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month, the first national recognition of this critical teaching and learning concept. 

In October 2011, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts issued an proclamation describing the importance of information literacy to the citizens of the Commonwealth. 

The National Forum's mission is simple - mainstream information literacy practice.  Seeking gubernatorial proclamations underscores that mission.  And we cannot do it without your support. 

A number of information literacy advocates have already volunteered to pursue proclamations in their states. The process, in most states, is quite simple and not complicated.  

We welcome your involvement...please contact Dr. Weiner directly at for a template and details on how you can become involved.  Thanks!

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LIT framework from WLMA

In Jan 2010 WLMA advocates drafted a great one-page School LIT Program framework, pasted below. I shared it today with the British Columbia Teacher Librarian's Association leadership meeting in Kewlona, BC. In a similar way, they announced their new "Points of Inquiry" framework as the culmination of three years work. Here's to sharing!

School Library Information and Technology Programs for 21st Century Learning
Mission: To ensure that students are effective users and producers of information and ideas
Three essential functions of Teacher-Librarians:
  1. Information and Technology Literacy Instruction
  2. Reading Advocacy
  3. Information Management and Services
The scope and mix of these functions will depend on the program priorities and goals of each local school district and school building.
  1. Information and technology literacy instruction
  • Leads information literacy instruction including evaluation and analysis of the credibility, relevance and currency of information
  • Coaches instructional staff in support of curriculum, information technology and information management
  • Teaches students to be critical consumers and producers of information
  • Teaches students and staff to use emerging learning technologies for school and lifelong learning
  • Teaches students to be safe, ethical and responsible digital citizens
  1. Reading advocacy
  • Establishes and models a powerful, fashionable and ubiquitous culture of reading in the school community
  • Motivates and guides students to read for enjoyment and understanding
  • Develops a relevant collection of fiction and non-fiction in a variety of formats, ensuring quality reading choices for all students
  • Manages resources in support of established curriculum and student passions
  1. Information management and services
  • Provides open and equitable access to resources, technology and information services for the entire school community
  • Develops and administers inviting and effective physical and digital library environments
  • Manages resources to support teaching and learning
  • Administers information management systems to support student learning and school and district programs

Program framework development group (January, 2010):
Secondary Level
  • Marianne Hunter, NTCB (North Thurston S.D.)
  • Stephen Coker (Rainier S.D.)
  • Sarah Applegate, NTCB (North Thurston S.D.)
  • Mark Ray (Vancouver S.D.)
  • Roz Thompson (Tumwater S.D.)
Middle Level
  • Linda Collins (University Place S.D.)
  • Linda King (Yakima S.D.)
  • Leigh Lohrasbi (Yakima S.D.)
  • Nancy Mowat, NBCT (Bellevue S.D.)
Elementary Level
  • Dave Sonnen (Edmonds S.D.)
  • Wayne Osborn, NBCT (Clover Park S.D.)
  • Laura Berry, NBCT (Issaquah S.D.)
  • Steve Goodwin (Edmonds S.D.)
Higher Education
  • Mike Eisenberg (University of Washington)
  • John Marino (University of Washington)
  • Betty Marcoux (University of Washington)
  • Lorraine Bruce (University of Washington)
  • Christie Kaaland (Antioch University)
With additional contributions from Lisa Layera Brunkan, Washington Coalition for School Libraries and Information Technology and Colet Bartow, Montana Office of Public Instruction.
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New Children's Book

I have recently published a new children's book that has a librarian as the protagonist. Kids of all ages should enjoy this 116 page comical chapter book with questions at the end. For more information visit, Barnes and Noble, Joseph Beth, or and search for THE OFFICIAL LIBRARIAN: BESSY'S BACK, by Nathan Miller..General information:by Miller, NathanBinding: PaperbackPublisher: AuthorhousePublish Date: 10/2009ISBN: 1449023916ISBN-13: 9781449023911DescriptionBeware of GIANT CATS!!! Did you ever have one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong? Well, if you have you can relate to Bessy Beebody. Her name might sound silly, but she takes her new job very seriously. After having a tough time getting to work and meeting a boss who reminds her of Santa, Bessy struggles to get her school library that has been left in a mess cleaned up and in order before she has the public join her to see the original copy of a very famous book. Bessy finds her job is not an easy one as she has a gorrilla, a wild bird, and a teacher with bad breath interrupt her progress. As if Bessy didn't have enough stress already, she begins getting some communications from strange places, but she'll need all the help she can get if she is to solve the mystery she is forced to take on as the "Official Librarian."
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Concepts related and/or synonymic with Information Literacy (INFOLIT) according to the conceptual, linguistic and/or pedagogical position to assume:Spanish: Alfabetización en información, Alfabetización informativa, Desarrollo de Habilidades Informativas, Competencias informacionales, Competencias en información, Competencias informativasEnglish: Information skills, Information competency, Information competencies, Information literacy instruction, Information literacy skillsA proposed from Colombia on what is understood for Information Literacy(Information Literacy Education)INFOLIT is...the teaching-learning process designedfor an individual or group of persons,under the professional leadership andguidance of an educational or library institution,using different teaching strategies and learning environments(classroom, mixed-blend learning or "virtual" / E-INFOLIT),to be able to achieve the competences(knowledge, skills and attitudes)in computing, communications and informationthat would enable and empower them,after identifying and recognizing their information needs,and applying different formats, media and physical,electronic or digital resources,to locate, select, retrieve, organize, evaluate,produce, share and disseminatein an efficient and effective way,as well as with a critical and ethical approach(Information Behavior)the information that best satisfies those needs,building upon their potentialities(cognitive, practical and emotional)and previous knowledge(multiple literacies: reading and writing, functional,visual, media, digital)and to achieve an appropriate interactionwith other individuals and groups(cultural practices-social inclusion),according to the different roles and contexts involved(educational levels, research, job-training),for finally with all this process,to get and share new knowledge as well asthe foundations for lifelong learning(to which every citizen has the right)in order to facilitate the decision-makingfor personal, organizational, community and social benefitsin view of the everyday and long-term demands(opportunities and threats)in the current information society.Uribe-Tirado, Alejandro (2009)Translation with the support of: Cristobal Pasadas UreñaLocate all our content and communities (especially in Spanish) in...Blog: - Group:alfincolombia@googlegroups.comFacebook Community: Page:
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