The District Library Supervisors Roundtable met today for the fall meeting for the 2007-2008 school year. Thirty supervisors/coordinators gathered at the SCASA Building in Columbia to engage in discussion, networking, and getting updates on some very important topics.
We heard about the new ADEPT GBE guidelines. I was very pleased to see the R & D section that asks a practicing educator (classroom-based teacher, library media specialist, school guidance counselor, speech-language therapist) to engage in action research or informed reflective practice. This concept is something that we’ve been recommending for school library media specialists to do for the past three years. Besides giving a media specialist data to help him or her make informed decisions about activities and instructional practices in the media center, this practice will provide some real world data about what’s happening in South Carolina school libraries that directly affects student learning and student achievement. This real world data when used in conjunction with the facts and figures data from the LMS Annual Survey should give all our stakeholders and decision-makers a good picture of what’s happening in our school libraries, why they are important, and what we need to do to provide even greater support for these major instructional areas in our schools.
I am excited at the prospect of action research in our school libraries. However, I am very realistic in thinking about the huge task we have to ensure that all continuing-contract library media specialists know and understand how to write realistic goals and engage in the reflective practice of action research. Sounds like topics for future staff development sessions in districts around the state as well as for conference presentations.
The group also heard about the 2007 ELA standards and the support documents that are being written for these new standards. Of the six standards, 3 of them directly relate to what library media specialists should be teaching in and through the library media center. Standards 1 and 2 spell out what students should be doing in reading for recreation (literary texts) and for information (informational texts). Standard 6 is the standard for research and communication. This standard could be used by library media specialists to open a dialogue not only with ELA teachers but other teachers to ensure that the information literacy (process) skills are integrated into the classroom curriculum.
One topic of concern for this group was how to get greater attendance at these meetings. Of the 86 school districts, I have a contact in only 60. Of these 60 districts only 30 were represented today. Hopefully as this Roundtable moves forward and makes connection with other such groups (e.g., Instructional Leaders, Superintendents) we will see greater emphasis on having a district library supervisor/coordinator.
The group also discussed the South Carolina Lexile Framework. One supervisor has created a beginning framework so we only need to supply him with additional titles to make this framework truly one for South Carolina. We want to make sure that we have South Carolina authors (children and adult authors) and South Carolina topics are represented on this framework. Once we have all the information Metametrics will format the framework for us.
A chairperson was selected and I’ll be working with her to set the agenda, lineup special speakers, arrange for lunch, etc., for future meetings. I get to be the library media specialist for this Roundtable. We decided that the winter meeting should be in January after the mid-winter break. In the time between formal meetings, members of this Roundtable will use the district library supervisors listserv for information sharing and receiving updates.