Reaching Across the Blogosphere

handreachThere was a discussion this week on the AASL Forum regarding an Edudemic blog post “10 Ways to Promote Your Classroom Library” by educator Jeff Dunn.  Librarian Paige Jaeger posted a response “Building Bridges: Collection to Classroom” on her Library Door blog and launched the Forum conversation.

This exchange prompted me to think about how classroom teachers and school librarians often travel in different social media and professional development worlds. Reaching across the blogosphere is especially critical for school librarians simply because there are fewer of us and our collective voices simply cannot make as large an impact as those of classroom teachers.

In the spirit of reaching out, I emailed Jeff and copied the AASL Forum list. I hope classroom teachers and school librarians will break down some of the silos in the blogosphere and share information and ideas that further build collaboration among educators. The following is my email to Jeff:

Dear Jeff Dunn,

Your post about classroom libraries prompted a discussion on a listserv forum for the American Association of School Librarians. Thank you!

I appreciate your thoughtful ideas about promoting literature in the classroom and hope that in schools across the country school librarians are also using all of these strategies (and more) to promote reading in their schools.

In his book Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days, Frank Serafini notes that at least 100 books per child is the benchmark of a well-stocked classroom library (37). He recommends 2,500 – 3,000 resources at all reading levels in all genres.

Wow! I don’t know many teachers who have the financial resources or the physical space to provide that amount of reading material in their classrooms for their students.

However, a well-stocked school library facilitated by an effective school librarian can meet students’ and teachers’ resource needs. School librarians – along with classroom teachers – can contribute to developing the exciting strategies for engaging students with literature and learning that you propose.

Yes! to classroom libraries! Yes! Yes! to school libraries. Yes! Yes! Yes! to classroom teachers and school librarians who collaborate to help youth access fresh and exciting reading material and develop the skills and strategies they need to become lifelong readers and learners.

Sincerely,
Judi

References

Hand Reach Photo by Pennywise from Morguefile.com

Serafini, Frank. 2006. Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days: A Month-by-Month Guide to Effective Instruction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

 

 

This entry was posted in Collaborative Cultures and tagged , , by Judi Moreillon. Bookmark the permalink.

About Judi Moreillon

Judi Moreillon, M.L.S, Ph.D., has served as a school librarian at every instructional level. In addition, she has been a classroom teacher, literacy coach, and district-level librarian mentor. Judi taught preservice school librarians for twenty-one years, most recently as an associate professor at Texas Woman's University where she taught courses in instructional partnerships, multimedia resources and services, children’s literature, and storytelling. Her research agenda focuses on the professional development of school librarians for the leadership and instructional partner roles.

3 thoughts on “Reaching Across the Blogosphere

  1. What a great letter! This is something I am struggling with in my current situation. Teachers are just not seeing me as a valuable educated resource to help with our students.

  2. You are not alone, Lisa. This can be an on-going challenge for school librarians. Do you make opportunities to get out of the library? Simply teaching in the classroom rather than in the library can send the message: “I am a teacher, too!” Here’s another idea for your consideration. Make a list of tasks that teachers do on a daily basis and reflect on how many of these you are currently doing. Writing lesson plans? Assessing student learning outcomes and basing future instruction on that data? Collaborating with grade-level colleagues to design curriculum or solve learning challenges? We must remember to be visible about the “teacherly” things we do in order to be seen as teachers. Don’t give up!

  3. You are not alone, Lisa. This can be an on-going challenge for school librarians. Do you make opportunities to get out of the library? Simply teaching in the classroom rather than in the library can send the message: “I am a teacher, too!” Here’s another idea for your consideration. Make a list of tasks that teachers do on a daily basis and reflect on how many of these you are currently doing. Writing lesson plans? Assessing student learning outcomes and basing future instruction on that data? Collaborating with grade-level colleagues to design curriculum or solve learning challenges? We must remember to be visible about the “teacherly” things we do in order to be seen as teachers. Don’t give up!

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