This is a required course for school library media specialists working for North Carolina certification as part of the MSLS degree program or in the post-master's certification 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 mission of the library media program is to ensure that students ... are effective users of ideas and information." Information Power
"Librarians are teachers whose subject is learning." -- Diane Kester
"I am hurt, but I'm not dead / I am wounded, but I'm not slain
I'll lay me down and bleed awhile / Then rise to fight again." -- Old Scottish Proverb
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 leadership 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.
Return to the Table of Contents
OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE
To talk knowledgeably and persuasively about current educational and social issues and their implications for school library media centers
To 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
To engage in an analysis of a school library collection in relation to specific curricular goals
To use the results of the collection analysis to develop grant proposal for a three-year collection development plan with budget
To plan an organized easily naviagable website that will display the media center's services, staff and resources
To become familiar with the relevant practitioner and research literature
To articulate a philosophy about the nature, roles and functions of the school library media program and the school library media specialist
To develop a plan for marketing the school library media program to specific groups of stakeholders
Return to the Table of Contents
TEXTBOOKS AND OTHER READINGS
Three texts 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. Department of Public Instruction, Instructional Technology Division. August, 2005. Available at http://www.ncwiseowl.org/Impact/ Companion documents and other materials are also available at this website, notably, IMPACT for Administrators, IMPACT for Teachers, IMPACT Model Schools, and a Collaboration Toolkit..
Information Power; Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. Chicago: American Library Association and Washington, DC: Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1998.
Woolls, Blanche. The School Library Media Manager. 3rd ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
In addition, other books and articles are available through reserve, the library's electronic journals, the Internet, and interlibrary loan. A list of recommended readings and useful websites will be provided.
Return to the Table of Contents
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 preparation as a school library media specialist. The class will meet face to face at designated locations in and around Chapel Hill on the following dates: September 1 or 2 (Friday or Saturday); Saturday, October 7; Saturday, November 11; and Saturday, December 9. Class participants are expected to attend at least one day of the NC School Library Media Association (NCSLMA) in Winston-Salem, October 4-6 (see http://www.ncslma.org/Conference.htm for further information). Other meetings will be online via discussion forums, email, and chat room. Class work will be both individual and in small groups and may be accomplished asynchronously for the most part. The instructors are available to you via email, telephone, or appointment, as well as during the four face-to-face meetings 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, user-centered design, and collection planning. Emphasized throughout the class is the leadership role of the school library media coordinator, thus students will be expected to think through unique solutions and persuasive and collaborative ways of gaining support for these solutions.
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 the instructors believe will be important to you in your future professional life.
Return to the Table of Contents
You will have assignments and tasks to do each week. There will always be assigned readings; you will be asked to share your reactions to them on a Discussion Forum on a weekly basis. You are encouraged to add a few pictures of your adopted school library and its ongoing programs and services to allow fellow classmates to participate vicariously in each of the different school settings. 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 the seven graded assignments. You will also be given other short tasks that will count together as part of a participation grade. Your participation on the weekly Discussion Forums is an important part of the course. In an online class, we cannot see you nodding and smiling or frowning and looking confused; you have to make your responses explicit.
- ISSUE PAPER. Read/scan two or three issues of a professional journal that is directed to principals. Make a list of the issues addressed and classify them as perennial or current. Select one issue with broad implications for K-12 education and investigate it further in the literature. Write a paper describing the issue, the arguments that surround it, why it is important, and who the key players are. Conclude the paper with your own opinion and your assessment of its implications for classroom teachers, the school library media program and the leadership role of the school library media coordinator. Indicate how you might use the reading you have done to initiate a conversation with your principal.
- ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS. This assignment is an analysis of the environmental factors -- external and internal - that affect the school library media center. It is an "outside-inside assignment that asks you to collect data about your adopted school on four levels. The first two "outside" levels are the community and the school system. Specific data points to collect for each of the four levels will be given to you.
- COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT GRANT. The State Library of North Carolina offers collection development grants for qualified schools. The purpose of the grants is to help school library media centers highlight the importance of a current, accurate, and attractive collection of curriculum-related papers to support student achievement. Using the call for proposals for 2006-2007, you are asked to prepare a proposal for the school library media center that you have adopted. It will use material from your environmental analysis and will require you to collect data about the library collection and the school's curricular priorities.
- WEBSITE DESIGN - SITE MAP ONLY. The website is an important tool for the school library media center; it provides information, extends services, and markets the library. For this assignment, study a few well developed SLMC websites and then develop a site map showing how you would structure a well-organized and complete website for your adopted media center. The emphasis is not on the appearance of the website but on the content showing the navigational hierarchy for each of the various groups who will use the website.
- BOOK or JOURNAL REVIEW. This is an assignment to familiarize you with the published resources that will help you to do your job long after this course is over. You have a choice of either a review of a book or a review of a journal.
Book Review. Choose a book from the course bibliography or one of your own choice approved by one of the insructors. Read the book and find reviews of it and information about the author. Write a review of the book in which you link key ieas to management of school library media programs and the leadership role of the school library media specialist. Discuss what others have had to say about the book. Summarize the key message you take from it as a likely influence on your future as a school library media specialist.
Journal Review. Select a journal for review. It can be (1)a title directed to either a school librarian practitioner or (2)one directed to a classroom teacher, or (3)a journal focused on educational research. Find and read three recent issues of your selected journal. Select a topic that seems to recur in the issues you have read and see if you can find anything written about it in one or both of the other two types of journals. Write a review of the journal and include your comparison of topic treatments from your search of other journals. Evaluate the journal in terms of its usefulness to you in managing the school library media center and in your conversations with classroom teachers, the principal and others.
- PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT. (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.
- MARKETING PLAN. For this culminating assignment, summarize the strengths and weaknesses of your adopted media center and list the primary stake holders (e.g., principal and staff, opinion leader teachers ("influentials"), school board members, parent-teacher organization spokespeople, etc.) and comment on their attitude toward and understanding of the media center program. Select two of the stakeholder groups (one probably should be the principal) and craft a message for each one (for example, "The librarian is an accomplished teaching partner," or "The SLMC is a busy and productive place of learning," or "The school library media coordinator is a school leader," or ...). For each of your selected stakeholder groups, describe some ways to get your message across. Be specific and realistic in terms of time and resources available. Include a time line for your marketing campaign.
Return to the Table of Contents
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 our interpretation of that grading scale for INLS 744.H - Clear excellence
P - Entirely satisfactory
L - Low passing
F - Failed
IN - Work incomplete
A 100-point scale will be used to grade your work in INLS 744, 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 744, 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 744, 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 744, 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 744, 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: 10 points (5 for first half - 5 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, seven assignments are assigned. Three are worth 15 points each: Environmental Analysis, Collection Development Grant, and Marketing Plan; the other four are worth 10 points each. Class participation includes weekly postings on the discussion forums and face-to-face meeting participation and is worth 15 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 one of the instructors via email or telephone as early as possible to discuss possibilities. We should be able to work something out.
Return to the Table of Contents
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. we 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 unless there is an agreement to work with a classmate or two as a team. 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:
- Weeks will generally begin on a Wednesday and end the following Tuesday. Postings for a session are to be completed during the week but not later than midnight on the ending day of the session.
- 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. You will be asked to post your assignments to a discussion forum for comparison and comment by others but this is your choice.
- Reading on the scheduled topic from the textbooks and other sources should take place before doing the assignments.
- The first and last face to face sessions are required. The middle two are optional but strongly recommended.
Return to the Table of Contents
Contents copyright ©2006, Evelyn H. Daniel.
All rights reserved.
Revised: July 26, 2006.