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EdTech Update





With apologies to Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink likes to share examples of "Emotionally Intelligent Signage" on his blog. This one probably doesn't meet his standards, but it sure made me smile as I drove by it in Willmar, MN today...


13 Point Checklist updated

If one dog year is equal to four human years, then one Internet year is equal to at least ten human years. Let's face it - information simply ages more rapidly online.

That makes my little checklist below about 70 Internet years old, since the original 1996 "12 Point Checklist" was last updated in 2002 for an article in Principle Magazine, Getting the Most Out of Your School Library Media Program. At a recent meeting, I caught flack for "not keeping stuff up-to-date." Guilty.

Here is my first stab at an update to this tool that has seemed to be useful for librararians and school administrators...

The finished tool is here <>.


A 13 Point Library Media Program Checklist for School Principals (2003) (2009)

Rapid changes in technology, learning research, and the library profession in the past ten 20 years are creating have created a wide disparity in the effectiveness of school library media programs. Is your school's library media program keeping current? The checklist below can be used to quickly evaluate your building’s program.

1. Professional staff and duties

  • Does your library media center have the services of a fully licensed school library media specialist (SLMS)?
  • Is that person fully engaged in professional duties? Is there a written job description for all library media personnel: clerical, technical, and professional?
  • Does the SLMS understand and practice the changing roles of the SLMS as defined described in Information Power II Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs?
  • Does the SLMS offer staff development opportunities in information literacy, information technologies, and integration of these skills into the content area?
  • Is the SLMS an active member of a professional organization?
  • Is the SLMS considered a full member of the teaching faculty?

2. Professional support

  • Is sufficient clerical help available to the SLMS so that she/he can perform professional duties rather than clerical tasks?
  • Is sufficient technical help available to the SLMS so that she/he can perform professional duties rather than technical tasks?
  • Is there a district media supervisor, director, leadership team, or department chair who is responsible for planning and leadership?
  • Does the building principal, site leadership committee and staff development team encourage the library media personnel to attend workshops, professional meetings, and conferences which will update their skills and knowledge?
  • Does your SLMS participate in a Professional Learning Community and Personal Learning Networks?

3. Collection size and development

  • Does the library media center’s book and audio visual collection meet the needs of the curriculum? Has a baseline print collection size been established? Is the collection well weeded?
  • Is a variety of media available that will address different learning styles?
  • Have electronic and on-line resources been added to the collection when appropriate? Is Are there sufficient hardware and Internet bandwidth for groups of students to take advantage of these resources?
  • Has a recent assessment been done that balances print collection size and electronic resources? Have some print materials been supplanted by on-line subscriptions? Has space formerly used to house print matrials been effectively repurposed?
  • Are new materials chosen from professional selection sources and tied to the curriculum through collection mapping?

4. Facilities

  • Is the library media center located so it is readily accessible from all classrooms? Does it have an outside entrance so it can be used for community functions evenings and weekends? Can computer labs be reached directly from a hallway instead of through the library media center?
  • Does the library media center have an atmosphere conducive to learning with serviceable furnishings, instructional displays, and informational posters? Is the library media center carpeted with static-free carpet to reduce noise and protect electronic devices? Is the library media center climate-controlled so that materials and equipment will not be damaged by high heat and humidity, and so that it can be used for activities during the summer?
  • Does the library media center contain a computer lab, multi-media workstations, and TV production facilities as well as general instructional areas, a story area (in elementary schools), and spaces for individuals to work?
  • Is the library media center fully networked with voice, video and data lines in adequate quantities? Does the library media center serve as the "hub" of these information networks with routers, file servers, video head ends, and technical staff housed there?
  • Does the library maintain a useful, up-to-date online presence with resources for students, staff and families?

5. Curriculum and integration

  • Is the SLMS an active member of grade level and/or team planning groups?
  • Is the SLMS an active member of content curriculum writing committees?
  • Is the SLMS a part of grade-level or content area professional learning communities?
  • Are library media center resources examined as a part of the content areas’ curriculum review cycle?
  • Are library media and information technology skills taught as part of content areas rather than in isolation? Are the information literacy skills of evaluating, processing and communicating information being taught as well as accessing skills?
  • Is the safe and appropriate use of online resources a part of the information and technology literacy currriculum?

6. Resource-based teaching

  • ·Does the SLMS with assistance from building and district administration leadership promote teaching activities that go beyond the textbook?
  • Is the SLMS used by teachers as an instructional design and authentic assessment resource?
  • ·Does flexible scheduling in the building permit the SLMS to be a part of teaching teams with classroom teachers, rather than only covering teacher preparation time?
  • Is a clear set of information literacy and technology benchmarks written for all grade levels available? Are these benchmarks assessed in a joint effort of the SLMS and classroom teacher? Are the results of these assessments shared with the student and parents?

7. Information technology

  • Does the library media center give its users access to recent information technologies such as:
    • computerized library catalog and circulation system for the building collection
    • access to a computerized union catalog of district holdings as well as access to the catalogs of public, academic and special libraries from which interlibrary loans can be made
    • full on-line access to the Internet
    • a wide variety of computerized online reference tools like full text periodical indexes, electronic encyclopedias, electronic atlases, concordances, dictionaries, thesauruses, reader's advisors and almanacs
    • a wide variety of computerized productivity programs appropriate to student ability level such as word processors, multi-media and presentation programs, spreadsheets, databases, desktop publishing program, graphic creation programs, still and motion digital image editing software
    • access to collaborative learning tools such as wikis, blogs and other onling sharing programs
    • production hardware such as multi-media computers, still and video digital cameras, scanners, and LCD projection devices.
    • educational television programming and services
    • access to desktop conferencing equipment opportunities and software
    • a wide range of educational computer programs including practices, simulations and tutorials that support the curriculum
  • ·Are the skills needed to use these resources being taught to and with teachers by the SLMS?

8. Telecommunications

  • Is the school linked by a telecommunications network for distance learning opportunities for students? Are there interactive classrooms in the building?
  • Does the library media program coordinate programming which can be aired on the local public access channel?
  • Does the library program cooridnate in-house video broadcast programming?

9. Reference, Networking & interlibrary loan

  • Does your SLMS have the expertise needed to provide effective and timely reference services to the building students and staff?
  • Is your school a member of a regional multi-type system or library consortium?
  • Does the SLMS use interlibrary loan to fill student and staff requests which cannot be met by building collections?
  • Does the SLMS participate in cooperative planning opportunities with other schools, both locally and distant?

10. Planning/yearly goals

  • Does the library media program have a district-wide set of long-range goals?
  • Does the SLMS set yearly goals based on the long term goals that are tied directly to building and curriculum goals in collaboration with building leadership?
  • Is a portion of the SLMS’s evaluation based on the achievement of the yearly goals?
  • Is the library media program represented on the building technology planning committee? The district technology planning committee?

11. Budgeting

  • Is the library media program budget zero or objective based? Is the budget tied to program goals?
  • Does the SLMS write clear rationales for the materials, equipment, and supplies requested?
  • Does the budget reflect both a maintenance and growth component for the program?
  • Does the SLMS keep clear and accurate records of expenditures?
  • Does the SLMS write grant applications when available?

12. Policies/communications

  • Are board policies concerning selection and reconsideration polices current and enforced? Is the staff aware of the doctrines of intellectual freedom and library user privacy? Do these policies extend to digital resources?
  • Does the district have a safe and acceptable use policy for Internet and technology use?
  • Does the SLMS serve as an interpreter and advocate of copyright laws? Does the SLMS help others determine the rights they wish to put on their own intellectual property?
  • Does the SLMS have a formal means of communicating the goals and services of the program to the students, staff, administration, and community? Is the library's web presence professional, easy-to-navigate, current and useful?

13. Evaluation

  • Does the SLMS determine and report ways which show the goals and objectives of the program are being met and are helping meet the building and district goals? Does the SLMS create an annual library report for staff and parents that included qualitative and quantitative measurements?
  • Do all new initiatives involving the library media and technology program have an evaluation component?
  • Does the district regularly evaluate the library media program using external teams of evaluators as part of any accreditation process?
  • Do the SLMS and school participate in formal studies conducted by academic researchers when requested?

OK, brilliant minds in SocialWebLand, what works here and and what's missing?

Original checklist image from <>

Building influence with community groups

Leaders of our state library/technology organization, MEMO, met last week to strategize a little. One of the tasks put to us was to create some guides for members for building advocacy.

One source of school library and tech support I see rarely suggested is plain old community support. In our area, fewer than 25% of households have children in the public schools. So how does the rest of the population learn enough about our programs and what they so for young people to speak on our behalf?

So here are some of our intitial thoughts - preserved on the BS mainly so I can find them again!

Building influence in the greater community

MEMO working group, July 28, 2009 - Gina L, Leslie Y, and Doug J using Etherpad.

A positive view of school libraries and technology by the non-school community can influence decisions made by school leaders. A community that values its libraries and educational technology will advocate on behalf of those programs, both formally and informally.

School librarians and technology specialists can help the greater community learn more about their programs in a number of powerful ways...

1. Presentations to community groups.

One means of building support for school libraries is to give short talks to community groups. These groups may include:

  • Kiwanis
  • Rotary
  • Sertoma
  • Lions
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Neighborhood Business Groups
  • Public library boards/Friends groups
  • Boards of other professional organizations
  • Community foundations

Many groups meet regularly and include a short (20-30 minute) program of interest to their members. A call to one of the organization's current officers will let you know how to get on the program. Most groups are very interested in information about education and your proposal will be welcome.

Your presentation might include:

  • a short overview of skills needed by future workers/citizens, including summaries ISTE Standards, AASL standards, and/or Partnership for 21st century skills
  • a multimedia presentation with photos and/or videos of your library and students engaged in learning activities
  • a review of the library/technology curriculum
  •  ancedotes about individual students and their successes in the library
  • your work with staff members and interesting collaborative projects
  • computer programs and books that are currently popular with students
  • online resources students find useful

Think of your presentation as the chance to expand your "elevator speech" from 20 seconds to 20 minutes!

2. Hold open school library nights and work with Community Education to offer adult education classes in your library.

Demonstrate databases and other library/technology resources, have study time or babysitters for students while parents view attend these classes. Make it known that community groups are welcome to use your library for meetings and activities.

3. Invite the press into your library for special activities, lessons and events.
If your district has public relations director, work with him/her to find ways to let others know about your program.

With any community communication effort stay positive, stress the importance of the library to students, and be brief.

The Royal Order of the Water Buffalo is not dead! ->