Two Taxonomies of the School Library Media Program

(from David Loertscher's book of same name, Libraries Unlimited, 1988)

1. The Library Media Specialist's Taxonomy for the Library Media Program

  1. NO INVOLVEMENT -- The Library media center is bypassed entirely.

  2. SELF-HELP WAREHOUSE -- Facilities and materials are available for the self-starter.

  3. INDIVIDUAL REFERENCE ASSISTANCE -- Students or teachers retrieve requested information or materials for specific needs.

  4. SPONTANEOUS INTERACTION AND GATHERING -- Spur-of-the-moment activities and gathering of materials occur with no advance notice.

  5. CURSORY PLANNING -- Informal and brief planning with teachers and students for librarian and library media center involvement -- usually done in the hall, the teachers' lounge, the lunchroom, etc. (Ex., "Here's an idea for an activity and some materials to use." "Have you seen ?" "What are you doing with your 6th grade? Can I help?")

  6. PLANNED GATHERING - Gathering of materials is done in advance of class project upon teacher request.

  7. EVANGELISTIC OUTREACH -- A concerted effort is made to promote the philosophy of an integrated library media center program.

  8. SCHEDULED PLANNING IN THE SUPPORT ROLE -- Formal planning is done with a teacher or group of students to supply materials or activities for a previously planned resource-based teaching unit or project.

  9. INSTRUCTION DESIGN, LEVEL I -- The library media specialist participates in every step of the development, execution, and evaluation of a resource-based teaching unit. Librarian and LMC involvement is considered as enrichment or as supplementary.

  10. INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN, LEVEL II -- The LMC staff participates in resource-based teaching units where the entire unit content depends on the resources and activities of the LMC program.

  11. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT -- Along with other educators, the library media specialist contributes to the planning and structure of what will actually be taught in the school or district.





2. Teacher's Taxonomy of Resource-Based Teaching

  1. SELF-CONTAINED TEACHING -- The teacher uses texts and workbooks or instructional packages with no perceived need for library media center facilities or materials.

  2. TEACHING WITH A PRIVATE COLLECTION -- The teacher collects/purchases materials of all types to form a permanent room collection. There is little need to interact with the school library media center (SLMC).

  3. TEACHING WITH A BORROWED COLLECTION -- The teacher borrows material from the SLMC, the public library, and/or other sources for use in the classroom during a unit of instruction.

  4. USING THE LIBRARY MEDIA STAFF AS AN IDEA RESOURCES -- The teacher relies on the library media specialist for ideas and suggestions for new materials to use, activities to pursue, training on the use of audiovisual, computer, and print media, reference information, what materials are available (when, where, and how) and professional materials and information.

  5. USING THE LIBRARY MEDIA STAFF AND SLMC RESOURCES FOR ENRICHMENT OF A UNIT - The teacher uses the SLMC facilities, materials, activities, and staff to supplement unit content -- to provide the "icing on the cake" for a unit.


    SLMC materials/activities are integral to unit content, rather than supplementary in nature. Students are required to meet certain objectives while using library media materials.

  7. TEACHER/LIBRARY MEDIA SPECIALIST PARTNERSHIP IN RESOURCE-BASED LEARNING - The teacher and library media specialist work as teaching partners to construct a unit of instruction that will use the resources of the SLMC fully. Joint activities include:

  8. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT -- Teachers consult with library media specialists as curriculum changes are being considered. Advance planning for changes and their impact on SLMC materials, facilities, and activities are considered.

Jan. 31, 2002
Evelyn Daniel