This is a required course for school library media specialists working for certification in the MSLS degree program at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Objectives of the Course
Conduct of the Class
Class Policies and Honor system
The development of the school library media program is a complex undertaking which calls for an understanding of sound management principles, good interpersonal skills, and a broad vision of what the library media program can mean to student learning. The role of the school media specialist is multi-faceted and demands skills in information retrieval, instruction, management, planning, and public relations.
This course will address the library media specialist's responsibilities for the successful operation of a media program. It will emphasize systematic program development to help teachers, students, administrators, and others in the school community to become "effective users of ideas and information." The focus of the course will be on the building level professional and his/her role and responsibility to provide an effective and integrated program and set of services to make the media center a vital part of the total educational program of the school.
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By the end of the course, you will be able to:
OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE
- Talk knowledgeably about current educational and social issues and their implications for school library media centers.
- Articulate a philosophy about the nature, roles and functions of the school library media program and the school library media specialist.
- Perform a community analysis of a school and its context -- the school system and the community - and, from the results, determine design considerations for the school library media program and services.
- Design a program of services appropriate for the SLMC in a particular school.
- Devise a working draft of a policies and procedure manual for an SLMC.
- Develop a budget, devise ways of working with staff, design a schedule, and set policies for the use of SLMC materials and services.
- Write a materials selection/deselection policy and understand the process for reacting to material challenges.
- Plan public relations events and activities for the SLMC.
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TEXTBOOKS AND OTHER READINGS
Four books are required, one of which (the Guidelines) many of you will already have. These texts are:IMPACT; Guidelines for Media and Technology Programs. Public Schools of North Carolina, September 2000. Available at www.ncwiseowl.org/impact.htm. A useful companion guide is also available directed to administrators and focusing on program evaluation and effectiveness. See www.ncwiseowl.org/admin/adminimpact.htm.
Information Power; Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. Chicago: American Library Association and Washington, DC: Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1998.
Wilson, Patricia Potter and Josette Anne Lyders. Leadership for Today's School Library; A Handbook for the Library Media Specialist and the School Principal. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.
Woolls, Blanche. The School Library Media Manager. 2nd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1999.
In addition, other books and articles are available through reserve and interlibrary loan. A list of recommended readings will be provided.
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The class is offered as a web-based distance education program, one of a series of courses offered in this manner to enable students seeking initial certification as part of an MSLS program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or as a post-MLS student who now seeks prepartion as a school library media specialist. The class will meet face to face at Chapel Hill on Saturday, August 24, for an all day initial workshop (9-4). Subsequent meetings will be online via discussion forums, email, and chat room. A final face to face meeting at Chapel Hill is planned for Saturday, November 30. Class work will be both individual and in small groups and may be accomplished asynchronously for the most part. Monthly electronic gettogethers are planned -- dates to be set -- where the class can interact in real time. The instructor is available to you via email, telephone, and the occasional meeting throughout the course.
CONDUCT OF THE CLASS AND COURSE REQUIREMENTS
During the course the general content will flow from a general consideration of the social and educational environment to a more detailed analysis of a particular school system and a particular school library media center. Students will be asked to "adopt" a school media center and use it as the basis for their practice in the techniques of community analysis and user-centered design. The draft manual will either be a revision of an existing manual or a first cut at a manual for the selected school.
A series of assignments and weekly entries on the various Discussion Forums will occupy your time throughout the semester. Most of the assignments will be practical exercises that I hope you will find helpful in your future professional life.
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You will have assignments each week. There will always be assigned readings and you will be asked to share your reactions to them on a Discussion Forum on a weekly basis. I hope you will want to add a few pictures of your adopted school library and its ongoing programs and services in addition. You will be asked to create a simple web page for the class and to link your assignments (insofar as possible) to the web page. We will use time on the workshop day to provide you with a template for a web page and a space on the SILS server for you to use. Each assignment will be detailed more completely under the session where it is assigned. A duplicate copy of all the assignments will appear in the Assignments section of Blackboard. The following are some of the activities that will be assigned. You will have choices and will not be required to do all of them. I have marked the four that are required. The rest are optional but you will need to select four of them. You may also suggest an alternative to any assignment if you think it might meet your needs better.
Draft assignments may be submitted to me for feedback before the final to-be-graded version. I'll do my best to give you comments and suggestions for improvement. It may depend on time availability.
- ISSUE PAPER. (Required) Read/scan one or two issues of a professional journal that is directed to principals, superintendents, or classroom teachers. Post an entry on the "Educational Issues" Discussion Forum summarizing your findings about the journal, its audience, and the kinds of educational issues discussed. Consider the implications of one of the ideas for the school library media program and the leadership role of the school library media coordinator. Describe how you might use the reading you have done to initiate a conversation with the intended audience.
- COMMUNITY ANALYSIS. (Required) This assignment is an analysis of the environmental factors -- external and internal - that affect the nature of the school (External factors might include location, demographics, characteristics of the work force, the educational land socio-economic level of the population, the politics and governmental structure, community facilities and organizations, presence of any academic, public or other types of libraries, presence of any private schools; internal factors will include a description of the school system and its history, demographics (number, age, and gender distribution of students and teachers), level of overall academic achievement (performance on tests), a brief summary of members of the board of education, a profile of the schools in the system).
- SCHOOL DESCRIPTION. (Required) This assignment follows from the Community Analysis. It requires a detailed analysis of your adopted school - its history, number and kind of students and teachers, administrators and other staff, curriculum overview (briefly) and extracurricular activity options, structure of the schedule, parental attitudes. Describe the role of the media specialist(s) within the school and how teachers interact with him/her/them. Provide a detailed description of the media center - enumerating the staff, their backgrounds and responsibilities; the quality, size, and overall content description of the collection and equipment; the physical facility and hours of operation; circulation statistics and actual budget; policies (like loan periods, fines, student access, materials challenge, teacher/librarian planning) and procedures (selecting and acquiring materials and equipment, cataloging, processing).
- WRITING A GRANT. (Optional) Using a typical (or actual) call for proposals, you will be asked to prepare a proposal for the school library media center that you have adopted. It should use material from the community analysis and the library description.
- FACILITY PLAN. (Optional) Using your adopted school library, assume you have been given the opportunity to redesign the space any way you would like (including enlarging the facilities if need be). Draw up a plan showing how you would organize the space. Add explanatory notes, as needed.
- LM_NET. (Optional) LM_NET is a national listserv (http://ericir.syr.edu/lm_net/). It has become a key source for adding school library media center management issues. Subscribe to this service and monitor the discussion for two weeks. Also check out the archives using a topic that interests you. Document your findings and relate them to our class discussions. Post your comments on the "LM_NET and Other Listservs" Discussion Forum.
- ANNUAL REPORT. (Optional) Although most school library media specialists do not provide an annual report, it can be a powerful tool to influence positive support and to expand resources. Consider what information elements might be valuable to include in a report. Attend to the format and illustrations and illustrate a page or two of what the report might look like and comment on how it might be used for difference audiences and in different formats. Post your ideas and attach your mock-up to the "Annual Report" Discussion Forum.
- BOOK REVIEW. (required) Select a title from the list provided or another of your choice that you and I agree would be good. Read the book and find reviews of it and information about the author. Write a review of the book in which you link key ideas to management of school library media programs and the instructional role of the school library media specialist. In some cases, these links will be obvious and in others you may have to reach a bit. Discuss what others have had to say about the publication. Summarize the key message you take from the book as a likely influence on your future as a school library media specialist.
- MAJOR NAMES IN THE SCHOOL LIBRARY FIELD. (Optional) You will occasionally hear me say or read a comment from me about one of the authors of an article or book, "This is a name you should remember. It would be good to read more by this person as he/she has had a great deal of influence on school library media education." Some of the names are listed below; you may find another to run by me. Read a couple of articles or skim a book by the person you choose and discuss his/her major contribution to the school library field. Some possible people: Dan Bergen, Danny Callison, Mike Eisenberg, Nancy Everhart, Ken Haycock, Carol Kuhlthau, James Liesener, Marilyn Miller, Delia Neuman, Ruth Small, Barbara Stripling, Phil Turner, Blanche Woolls, Nancy Zimmerman. Post your comment on the "Famous Names" Discussion Forum.
- Philosophy. (Optional) Drawing from class readings and discussions, the national and state guidelines, and materials you have read, compose a philosophy statement in which you describe your personal goals as a school library media specialist.
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Graduate students may receive the following grades: H, P+, P, P-, L, F. Although pluses and minuses are used in the internal grades awarded by the school, only H, P, L, and F will appear on the official transcript. Pluses and minuses on the internal record are used to determine class rank and Beta Phi Mu candidacy. The SILS grading policy is based on the University Grading Policy. SILS uses the graduate grading scale, which is defined as follows:To provide some additional guidelines for this course, here is my interpretation of that grading scale for INLS 241.H - Clear excellence
P - Entirely satisfactory
L - Low passing
F - Failed
IN - Work incomplete
I will use a 100 point scale to grade your work in INLS 241, as follows:
- H - Outstanding achievement. Student performance demonstrates full command of the course materials and evinces a high level of originality and/or creativity that surpasses course expectations. In INLS 241, this means the student has contributed on a regular basis on the discussion forums with insightful comments supported by professional literature beyond that provided by the basic required readings. Command and understanding of the literature is shown in major written assignments and is documented clearly. The H student initiates issue discussions, leads in summary and conclusions, and shares knowledge with classmates. Leadership and initiative are demonstrated throughout the semester.
- P+ - Excellent achievement. Student performance demonstrates thorough knowledge of the course materials and exceeds course expectations by completing all requirements in a superior manner. In INLS 241, this means the student has command of the basic required readings as well as many of the supplemental materials and demonstrates this through class and listserv discussions and in both written assignments. The student participates in issues discussions and shares ideas with classmates.
- P - Satisfactory work at the graduate level. Student performance meets designated course expectations, demonstrates understanding of the course materials, and performs at an acceptable level. In INLS 241, this means the student demonstrates understanding of issues across the entire semester and supports this understanding with the required readings. The student participates in discussions with relevant comments.
- P- - Marginal work. Student performance demonstrates incomplete understanding of course materials. In INLS 241, this means the student seems to have read most of the required materials, but fails to provide meaningful discussion, fails to raise questions of merit or to think beyond personal experiences and needs. Basic requirements for the written assignments are met, but there are few signs of critical thought or creative vision.
- L - Unsatisfactory work. Student performance demonstrates incomplete and inadequate understanding of course materials.
- F - Failing. Student may continue in the program only with permission of the dean.
- IN - Incomplete. A grade of incomplete may be taken only because of illness or special circumstances and only with the permission of the instructor.
Each of the graded assignments will be accompanied by a statement of how the assignment will be evaluated. As an example, below is the evaluation criteria for participation in the Discussion Forums.95-100 = H
90-94 = P+
80-89 = P
73-79 = P-
60-72 = L
Below 60 = F
Discussion Forum Participation: 20 points (10 for first half - 10 for second)
Evaluative Criteria: The student will earn high points if he/she
An excellent to outstanding posting on the discussion forum will follow the criteria above and consist of at least 200 words.
- Initiates questions about issues
- Shares observations that are relevant and documented through the readings, especially professional literature beyond that listed as required
- Attaches still pictures, video and audio clips of adopted school illustrating program and facility aspects.
- Summarizes discussions and highlights points learned and understood for others; clearly ties observations to those of fellow classmates, field professionals, and literature.
- Participates on a regular basis, at least twice a week on average (but not more than four times per week), on the discussion forums.
In addition to your weekly task of adding comments to the discussion forum, ten assignments are proposed; some are required and some are optional. Each assignment is worth ten points and are intended to be completed in a week. Four assignments are required (40 points). Of the six optional assignments, you are to select four to complete (40 points).
If you wish to make a suggestion for one or more alternative assignments as a substitute for either a required or an optional assignment, please speak with me via email or telephone as early as possible to discuss possibilities. We should be able to work something out.
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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a student-administered honor system and judicial system for over 100 years. Because academic honesty and the development and nurturing of trust and trustworthiness are important to all of us as individuals, and are encouraged and promoted by the honor system, this is a most significant University tradition. More information is available at http://www.unc.edu/depts/honor/honor.html. The system is the responsibility of students and is regulated and governed by them, but faculty share the responsibility and readily commit to its ideals. If students in this class have questions about their responsibility under the honor code, please bring them to me or consult with the Office of the Dean of Students. The web site identified above contains all policies and procedures pertaining to the student honor system. I encourage your full participation and observance of this important aspect of the University.
CLASS POLICIES AND HONOR SYSTEM
Your assignments are to be done individually but collaboration with your classmates is highly desirable and encouraged. Sharing your work and giving and receiving assistance from others in the class is valuable. My major interest is in your learning which will best take place as all of us share questions, answers, and experiences.
Class policies that you should be aware of include:
- After the initial all-day session, each week a new session will begin on a Tuesday and end the following Monday.
- Postings and assignments are to be completed at some point during the week but not later than 10 pm on Monday.
- An open atmosphere in which members of the class share their work with classmates and comment in helpful ways on each other work is encouraged.
- Reading on the scheduled topic from the textbooks and other sources should take place before doing the assignments.
- A scheduled time each month for a synchronous chat session will be set. These sessions are not required. They are an opportunity for you to ask questions and make suggestions.
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Contents copyright ©2002, Evelyn H. Daniel.
All rights reserved.
Revised: July 15, 2002