Home / Forums / Today’s Question / How would you best prove that the Transforming Your School Library Movement will actually improve student and teacher success?

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  • #5254 Reply
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    #5256 Reply
    Todd Burleson
    Todd Burleson

    I believe that this will take time. Many schools have done away with the very subjects today’s 21st-century libraries are trying to re-create. I’m speaking of shop class, home economics, etc. In my library, I teach sewing, basic woodworking, computer programming, robotics, circuitry and more. These are explorations that many students would never have had the chance to explore. By giving them these skills and opportunities for exploration, we are altering their life path. They may decide to become an electrician or a costume designer due to these early opportunities. The student who learns to use a green screen to put himself in the 14th century as he talks about the dark ages may be the next George Lucas. Teachers want their students to be challenged and successful and I believe that when the tools, understanding and resources are in the right places this is possible!

    #5521 Reply
    Stony Evans
    Stony Evans

    Students and teacher feedback are key to proving the value of library transformation. I enjoy sharing student and teacher voice through my blog, Facebook, and School Library Connection magazine. Through these voices we an give evidence of success and growth.

    #5727 Reply

    Susan Grigsby

    There are already over 25 research studies that have made the correlation between a fully funded and professionally staffed library media center with improved student academic success. Why re-invent the wheel? That said, those studies need to do more than just prove the correlation. We need to dive into the research to see WHY those libraries made a difference and WHAT those librarians were doing to improve their student outcomes. By focusing on those attributes and dispositions, we can create a framework with which to help others improve their practice and their spaces to replicate the success.

    #5728 Reply

    Chris Haeffner

    I believe the proof is in the pudding. We have to transform our libraries first. If we are doing the right work, our success will be measured by the way a school community relies on the library program to provide certain essential services: indispensable instruction, high quality resources, and opportunities for students to learn deeply, think critically, collaborate authentically, and explore their talents and interests.

    #5729 Reply

    Dhaivyd Hilgendorf

    Examples of student learning, student work, and student networks will be the true test of the success of the program.

    #5730 Reply

    Nancy Jo Lambert

    In a presentation at AASL, I saw that the best data is student driven data: pictures, social media outputs, web presence, collaborations with teachers, grades and curriculum activities where the library was used. We have to be very vocal in showing what we are doing and what that means to our students and other stakeholders and how the library impacts student achievement.

    #5731 Reply

    Carol Robinson

    I have already experienced transformation in my library and school as a result of being a Lilead Fellow. As one of the 25 school library supervisors across the nation participating in the Lilead Program, I know that when strong librarians come together and join forces for the purposes of transforming education good things happen. How I teach and perform my job has been re-invented as a result of my involvement with the group. It has affected both student and teachers around my district for the better and student work has improved. I have numerous samples of student work that show higher levels of critical thinking skills and the use of inquiry. Teachers have told me they are having success by using inquiry in their classroom and I have too. I think your movement could have a similar impact with similar types of librarians.

    #5732 Reply

    Rachel Langenhorst

    More than providing teachers and students with digital learning materials and Makerspaces, so much about success revolves around mindset and involvement in the decision-making process. To get total buy-in, every stakeholder must be heard and have their opinions carefully considered. The rest comes with management and guidelines about proper use, as well as incorporation back into the classroom. The library should be seen as an extension of the classroom to both teacher and student.

    #5733 Reply

    Heather Lister

    The librarian does a great job of telling the story, but I think the most impact will occur if the stories are coming from parents, students, teachers, administrators, legislators, and community members. I would love to see TYSL feature stories from these groups.

    #5734 Reply

    Jennifer Luetkemeyer

    Again, research. Legislators and administrators want to see information backed up by data.

    #5735 Reply

    Dawn Nelson

    See the above answer. We must first do and then share the information that we have gathered in whatever means possible. Teachers will be successful when their students achieve. It’s about learning and when the learners with whom we connect show growth, it will happen.

    Also, knowing where to find other corroborating data is very helpful. A collection of resource from others engaged in the same journey is valuable.

    #5736 Reply

    Lynne Oakvik

    We need to tell the story from start to finish through the eyes of the school stakeholders. Let the principal,teacher librarian, teachers and students document the re-design in all phases sharing their reflections on the impact on teaching, learning and school culture when the library is designed to be the active learning hub of the school.

    #5737 Reply

    Barbara Romersheuser

    I’m not certain there will be a consistent way to measure success because each space will offer unique and special accents to learning. I believe there is a subtle influence a transformed space may place in supporting all learners (teachers and students) to learn how to connect with the real-world, imagine a creative or inventive way to showcase their learning. Bringing a teacher to an “a-ha” moment with a child, offers an intriguing and wonderful opportunity to celebrate learning!

    Our district recently adopted Tony Wagner’s seven survival skills (which we are calling “Global Ready Skills of:

    *CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING
    *COLLABORATION ACROSS NETWORKS AND LEADING BY INFLUENCE
    *AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY; *INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
    *EFFECTIVE ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
    *ACCESSING AND ANALYZING INFORMATION* & *CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION…where better than at The I-Quad!

    #5738 Reply

    Carol Tracy

    There are various ways you could measures its success. Although I would not jump immediately to test scores, it is one way to measure the success of any educational program. It would be interesting to note if test scores do change after the transformation. Other ways of measuring a program’s success are through interviews with participants, observations, numbers of participants in the space and circulation and access to online materials.

    #5739 Reply

    John Carver

    There are two aspects one could use. If you are counting the number of kids to visit the library or the number of books checked out, you are missing the mark. If students are choosing to come to the library physically or connect virtually, and are share created content, then you will have success. In this age of budget cuts, you are successful if cutting the library has been raised to such a level that it is not even a possibility of being cut.

    #5740 Reply

    Lori Donovan

    With the new teacher evaluation system that has come into play in our state, librarians are really drilling down to skills and learning students need the most to become lifelong learners. Using school test data, the AASL standards, teachers develop a SMART goal to focus on a group of learners and see how they make progress on a deficit skill. Using a diagnostic test, librarians collaborate with teachers to develop a plan to improve learning and transfer of that knowledge and skills. Using UbD format and Guided Inquiry Research model, librarians develop a strategic plan to help students master a set of skills that has interventions and formative assessments along the way so that when students are given a post test, they can show progress in mastering the skills set out in the expectations at the beginning of the unit.

    #5741 Reply

    Michelle Griffith

    Data. Test scores are just one way to showcase that active learning and 21st century skills equate to student success.

    Circulation numbers, and usage statistics will also show that the transformed library is making an impact. I believe that when students are actively engaged in collaborative, social, learning, that all areas are improved. Discipline goes down, attendance goes up, grades are reflective of a new empowered learner. Digital portfolios as well as paper pencil tasks are preformed at a more thoughtful level and all members of the learning community benefit.

    Librarians will have to “toot their own horns,” by tweeting, posting, and showing what their programs and spaces are doing for students and teachers. They must be their own advocates and their own cheerleaders.

    #5742 Reply

    Carl Harvey

    I think if you can show an increase in the library usage, resources, programming, PD, etc., it would be hard to say the library doesn’t impact those things in some way.

    Probably really the best way to prove it is with stories…the impact it has had on one student or teacher and how the library really was a part of their success. Those stories will be what you can use to prove (and sell) that it is working.

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