About KSD Libraries
The library is run by specialists and clerks who utilize the space with empathetic knowledge of students from diverse backgrounds (both racial and economical); contains content and programs related to both academic and socioemotional learning; and inspires a creative, brave space for students to engage with their ideas and one another.
Teacher librarians are leaders, teachers, instructional partners, informational specialists, and program administrators (AASL, 2018) working to help students with their information and media needs.
Teacher librarians are certified educators and have the advantage of hosting programs that are related to both academic and socio-emotional learning. Using knowledge of students' academic, college & career, and "soft skills" development, teacher librarians host programs, workshops, and events geared toward student interest and development.
Additionally, the library program works to meet standards insuring students have access to informational materials and are trained how to be discriminating users of information (Iowa Code). They are taught about the access and resources available to them through the library and how to use the information provided through that access.
Because TLs are leaders, they work to promote those on the fringes--the minorities. As Judy Krug (2009) aptly noted: “We have to serve the information needs of everybody, and that includes people on the fringes, and they can be economic fringes" (ALA) among many others. As such, TLs must have empathetic knowledge of their student-base but also the world at large in order to keep themselves and students abreast of knowledge and information for and of diverse backgrounds.
Regardless of background or race, students should find the library to be a space of equality of information. The American Library Association interprets the Library Bill of Rights (2014a) to remind TLs that “all students [should] have equitable access to library facilities, resources, and instructional programs” (ALA, 2014a). The TL will assist both parties without regard for their access outside the boundaries of the library; within, each will be given the same access.
A huge advantage to teachers working within the classroom is the aforementioned certification of teacher librarians. Some TLs have a background in English, still others have history or communications; all are certified in one field or another. At KSD, Ms. Westermeyer will be “working with the classroom teacher to establish learning objectives and goals … [and] implement[...] assessment strategies before during and after assigned units of study” (AASL, 2009). As such, she can assist with a unit before, during, or after it happens.
Because of TLs unique background and certification, they can assist teachers in many ways within their classrooms and in the library itself.
“School librarians provide the all-important human connection between students and information, as well as between teachers and information,” (Arbanel, Davis, Hand, & Wittner 2013). TLs work hand in hand with faculty and students to not only provide information but also detail how to use it in a helpful manner. Many think that students do not need help with information; after all, can’t anything they need be found online? Yes and no. With the information overload that is the internet, TLs are needed to help sift the credible from the fake, the useful from redundant.
Beyond that, “TLs curate collections that support a sense of wonder at the breadth of possibility in the world … lift[ ] information access from a rote and random activity to purposeful, meaningful learning” (Arbanel, Davis, Hand, & Wittner 2013).
TLs keep spaces that foster a love of learning and a love of reading. Our library is no different in working toward this goal.
Our teacher librarian and clerks work to insure the space, staff, and programs of the school library align to provide equitable access to all students. This equitable access may include flexible scheduling (AASL), defending challenged resources in one’s library collection (ALA, 2017b), budgeting for new technology to keep students digitally competent (ISTE, 2018), advocating for more clerks and paraprofessionals to keep Learning Commons setups to assist more students (Moreillon, 2017), and so on.
As a program administrator, Ms. Westermeyer works to keep information available through staffing, budgeting, programming, co-teaching, community outreach, and face-to-face service with staff and students. This work is to encourage students to be creative and have brave engagement with content, knowledge, and one another in an open access environment.
AASL (2014). Position Statement on Flexible Scheduling (2014). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/advocacy/resources/statements/flex-sched. American Association of School Librarians (2018). National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. Chicago: ALA Editions. American Library Association (2014). Access to Resources and Services in the School Library: An Interpretation of Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved from:http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations/accessresources. American Library Association (2017). How to Respond to Challenges and Concerns aboutLibrary Resources. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/respond. Arbanel, E., Davis, S., Hand, D., & Wittner, M. (2013). The New School Library. Retrieved from https://www.nais.org/magazine/independent-school/summer-2013/the-new-school-library/. International Society for Technology in Education (2018). ISBE Standards for Students. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students. Introduction: Iowa Code (2016). Teacher Librarian 101. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/a/uni.edu/drkarlakrueger/teacherlibrarian101/iowa-code. Krug, J. American Library Association. 2009, April 21. Judy Krug Memorial. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD6kfKAsRWQ&feature=relmfu. Moreillon, J. (2017). The Learning Commons: A Strategic Opportunity for Teacher Librarian Leadership. Teacher Librarian, 44(3), 21-25. Retrieved fromhttp://web.a.ebscohost.com.proxy.lib.uni.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=14a8d68c-64ca-4267-a942-3fe5ba4e1092%40sdc-v-sessmgr01. Stevenson, C. (Photographer). (2018, September). Book Talk. Westermeyer, A. (Photographer). (2018, Sept./Oct.). Book Tasting, Scholarship Workshop, Teen Read Week.