Image copyright: AASL http://bit.ly/YELsaN
As the recipient of the NCSLMA scholarship to attend the 2012 AASL Fall Forum, I’m here today to tell you all about “Transliteracy and the School Library Program.” (Not really, but I will share what I learned and pondered most.) First, a little about me - this is my first year as a middle school librarian in Chapel Hill, NC. I was previously an elementary school librarian in Urbana, IL, so middle school and the South are both new to me! That being said, the topic of transliteracy was also new to me, and I thought this the perfect opportunity to jump in and learn more.
What is transliteracy?
“Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks” (Thomas et al)
Let me paint you a picture that you might be able to relate to:
I’m sitting on the couch. The television is tuned to HGTV - another episode of Property Brothers is on! One of these days I’ll tackle a home renovation of my own, thanks to the knowledge gleaned from these guys. I’m browsing a knitting magazine or two looking for my next project. I text my sister, asking her what she’s knitting these days (she replies with a photo of her latest creation - a lace shawl). I grab my laptop and log on to ravelry.com, a knitting community where I can keep track of my projects, find new patterns, and interact with other fellow knitters from around the world. I search for projects that use the yarn I just bought. I look through pages and pages of results, hoping to find a new pattern to try. Mind you, I have yet to leave my couch.
Sound familiar? This, I imagine, is not far off from where many of our students are. Change the channel, the hobby, and add a tablet, e-reader, and/or video game system, and welcome to our students’ worlds.
How does thinking about transliteracy impact my practice as a school librarian?
In our Keynote Session, Henry Jenkins spoke about participatory culture in his travels and experiences. This culture can be summed up with the 4Cs - create, collaborate, circulate, and connect. Think about the Learning Commons model so many of our libraries are adopting (see references) as a place to not only read and check out books, but also to create multimedia products, engage in thoughtful discussions, and connect with others. At my school, students are most definitely participating in our library - they are recommending books to me and to each other. They are writing responses on our “Google a Day” bulletin board and talking about their answers. They write notes on our table tops (we cover them in butcher paper for this very reason!). They write reviews for our book blog, and they will soon begin to use DestinyQuest to keep track of their reading and recommend books to each other. Yes, we have a participatory culture! But what does that have to do with transliteracy?
In our next two sessions, Kristin Fontichiaro presented more deeply on the meaning of transliteracy and how to apply it to our practice. Her “nagging questions” were:
If transliteracy is the ability to move in and out of genres, engaging as a reader/consumer, writer/contributor, and if we believe that is valuable, how do we build those skills to ensure a robust future citizenship?
And how do we talk about effective student work and instructional design?
These questions led to some very familiar (and sad but true) examples of integrating technology for technology’s sake. You know the assignments I’m talking about - creating a PowerPoint presentation about a famous inventor or moving the beloved bird unit to Glogster. These types of assignments require very little thought on the students’ part and abandon the notion of critical thinking or academic rigor. But somehow they are justified because we are using technology, and isn’t that the goal? Instead, Fontichiaro insists that we employ standards of good technology use, what she calls “Rigorous Learning with Technology.” Learning with technology should be student-centered, focus on synthesis rather than retelling, authentic, value-added rather than automated, and should show a strong understanding of genre/format. When we collaborate with teachers to incorporate technology into their lessons, are we pushing ourselves to these standards?
In our last session, Barb Jansen asks another BIG question:
How can school librarians ‘bridge the gap’ by connecting the informal learning occurring in the participatory culture to formal educational experiences?
The answer? Collaboration, of course. In its many forms, collaborating with teachers is the best way to make sure that students are able to move seamlessly across formats and genres. Moreover, we focus on moving between traditional print-based media to electronic and interactive media, where students are creating their own digital content with just as much (if not more!) academic rigor. Jansen shared many personal examples of her successful collaborations with teachers (see references).
All in all, it turns out I knew more about transliteracy than I thought - I just didn’t know what it was called. Now, I can share my newfound expertise in “Rigorous Learning with Technology” with teachers, and we can co-plan assignments that challenge students and use technology to its maximum potential. It won’t be easy to shift some mindsets, and it might be completely new to some teachers, but this is where we really ought to be leaders in our schools, and I’m ready for it. Are you?
Smith Middle School
Durham Academy Upper School Learning Commons
North Carolina State University Learning Commons
Transliteracy: Crossing divides by Sue Thomas, Chris Joseph, Jess Laccetti, Bruce Mason, Simon Mills, Simon Perril, and Kate Pullinger
First Monday, Volume 12 Number 12 - 3 December 2007
Transliteracy, libraries, and participatory culture : Research 2 Practice by Barbara A. Jansen
Transliteracy: The Word is Not Enough, Part 1 by Kristin Fontichiaro
Transliteracy: The Word is Not Enough, Part 2 by Kristin Fontichiaro
-Posted by Natalie Sapkarov, NCSLMA Fall Forum Scholarship Recipient
Everything in a school needs to have relevance to the world. I’ll go a step beyond that comment by asserting that true education doesn’t just relate to the world, it encompasses the world. When my school library providing its best educational opportunities and services, the students are not limited by time and space. They see portals, opportunities, and windows to the world -- through print, non-print, electronic, and interactive experiences and resources. To accomplish this learning environment, I believe in bringing the community into the school as much as I do providing connections for our students beyond our walls. When students see their parents, community leaders, practicing professionals, and other adults actively engaged in school activities and events, it helps them to understand the value and importance of literacy in living a rich, meaningful and productive life. Moreover, the community members we invite to engage in our program are often amazed at the richness and value of the modern school library and what it means to a student’s educational journey. It’s the very best form of advocacy I’ve ever experienced.
One way we build community in our school and beyond is to offer our “Ages & Pages: Family Literacy Program.” Our students and their families are invited to read common text (this year we offered two selections: Donald Davis’s Tales from a Free-Range Childhood and Paul Fleischman’s Seedfolks). Working with a committee of teachers, parents, students and community representatives, we created a program that launched with an author visit (Donald Davis) at storytelling concerts for the students during the day and the school community and families at night. Over 300 people attended the evening event, which included a chili supper, author meet and greet, digital storytelling information station, and family discussion guides and optional projects for students to work on with their parents. We invited local business partners and potential partners to join us, believing they would appreciate the opportunity to participate in an engaging school event without being asked to contribute to the event in any way. Currently, over 100 students are now reading and working through the project guide with their parents. In the spring, we will showcase the best family projects at the culmination event. We will also use the culmination event as a forum to recognize at least 50 additional students for reading accomplishments, such as book review blog posts and top passport readers in our incentives program.
Since the kick-off of “Ages and Pages,” we have recruited new business partners, received direct donations to our library, had several community groups request tours and observations of our library in action and made connections with alumni from our original high school graduates (class of ’62 in particular). Over half of the students participating in this program are truly at-risk in one regard or another. The parents who attended our kick-off event had an opportunity to evaluate the activities of the event: 100% gave the event an A or a B. 98% of the parents said that the school would benefit from reading programs and activities that engage parents in reading books with their children. In a middle/high school setting, I have to say we were overjoyed with this feedback. After kicking off the program, the students involved have apparently shared their enthusiasm with their peers. Each week, we have additional students come in to enroll in the program so they can be a part of the literary buzz.
I think the most important element of building community within and beyond the walls of a school library is keeping a sharp eye out for opportunities to let people shine. Whether that be showcasing student’s multimedia projects, inventing an awards program, inviting professionals to share their expertise with students, giving students an authentic audience to share their findings in a research project, asking community members to help judge contests or to give input into the design of a new initiative, there is so much value to fostering a sense of sharing and pride in a school environment. With the library being the heart of a vibrant school, the sky is the limit on how these opportunities can look. Each time I challenge myself to find a new way to expand our reach, I realize what comes back to our students benefits them far beyond what I could ever dream.
Posted by NCSLMA Member Gina Webster
School Library Media Coordinator
Walkertown Middle-High School
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
I’m the first to admit that I have a problem…and being an officer for NCSLMA has only made this problem worse. Hi, my name is Sarah, and I am an author stalker. I’m not sure how it happened, but I can definitely tell you when it started. My stalking started in November of 2009 at the AASL conference. During the NCSLMA conferences, I would always find the young adult author who was headlining and get them to sign my books. But, it was really no big deal because that conference would usually have only one author that I was interested in. At AASL, suddenly I was rubbing elbows with authors at every turn. It was amazing! Intoxicating! Addicting! And it only got better from there.
In 2010, I was elected President-elect of NCLSMA and my stalking became a full-fledged addiction. One of the perks of being President-elect and President of NCSLMA is that you are also the North Carolina delegate for AASL, which means that you must (absolutely must) attend ALA midwinter and ALA annual. And not only do a whole bunch of crazy librarians go to ALA…a whole bunch of awesome authors go too!
My first ALA mid-winter was like book geek heaven. In the exhibit hall, authors are on every corner signing books that haven’t even been published yet and most of the time, those books are FREE. And most of the authors are more than willing to pose with a tongue-tied fan! Deborah Harkness’ Discovery of Witches
? Had it three months before it came out and became a bestselling sensation—and my copy is signed. The sequel to Cinder
by Marissa Meyer? Scarlet
is on my signed and read shelf right now (and it’s an excellent sequel). Copies of all of Carrie Ryan’s books? Signed and shelved. I think I returned from that ALA conference with more poundage of books than body weight. During my 3rd and 4th ALA stalkings, I was very grateful to April Dawkins for bringing a luggage scale!
When this summer rolled around, I knew it was my last hurrah for author stalking, so I made sure to go out with a bang. My one regret is that I didn’t have a chance to get close enough to Stephen King to get an autographed book (or touch him). But, I did get to experience his final concert as a Rock Bottom Remainder, so I think I can halfway mark him off my bucket list.
And now, my time for easy author stalking has come to an end. I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to search out those author events and find other ways to stalk them. I’ve already got a few events from the Asheville bookstore Malaprops on my schedule and a new Brevard native, young adult author is being introduced to us in January and I’ve got her on my radar. I can’t go cold turkey! But in the meantime, I hope you’ll sit back and relax and enjoy my Animoto of my greatest stalkings. I’m offering a prize for whoever can name the most authors. Email me at email@example.com
with your guesses!
Globalizing your Media Center
As we begin to implement the new Standards for School Library Media Coordinators
, we will all need to take a look out how we have been running our programs and our media centers. I work in one of the counties that will be piloting the new rubric, so as I write for the blog I’ll be focusing on some ideas that can be used to meet the standards.
Standard 2 includes components focused on the learning environment and meeting the needs of diverse learners:
“School Library Media Coordinators incorporate a global view and multiculturalism in library services, programming, and collection development to meet the personal interests and learning needs of a diverse student population.”
Last spring, I was fortunate to attend a workshop at World View
(part of UNC-CH) about creating a Global Media Center. The experience was very helpful and gave me many of the ideas I have now begun to implement in my own media center. If you are interested in attending, the workshop will be held again in April 2013. Here’s the registration form.
One of the most significant ideas I took away from the experience was to partner with the African Library Project
. This organization partners groups with schools and communities in Africa that need collections to create a new library. Our school book club and National English Honor Society is sponsoring a new library at St. Catherine’s High School in Maseru, Lesotho. We collected 1100 books and with the help of the NC School Library Media Association, we raised $575 to cover shipping costs. The books will ship out next week!
One School, One Book Program
You might consider beginning a school-wide reading program like One School, One Book. We began this program two years ago at my school. As we began to talk about implementing the Common Core, our teachers wanted to move away from fiction as our required summer reading. Instead we wished to incorporate more non-fiction and a global perspective, so we decided we wanted to look at memoirs. Also as part of the initiative, our teachers participate in year-long activities to help them integrate the book in their curriculum areas. They are also eligible to earn a Literacy CEU credit.
For the 2011-2012 school year, we chose, A Long Way Gone
by Ishmael Beah. This memoir tells of Beah’s experiences as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. This year, we are incorporating Where Am I Wearing?
by Kelsey Timmerman. This book tells how Timmerman, a journalist, traveled to the countries where his clothes were made to explore working and living conditions.
This year a group of our students were able to visit a nearby university to hear Timmerman speak. If you’d like to read a student’s perspective on the talk, visit my school’s website
I have had the opportunity to work with a number of teachers to tie in our school-wide read with classroom research projects. Currently, I am working with a math teacher. For the project, each student chooses a favorite article of clothing and determines where it was made. This becomes the springboard for a research project about that country. The students will be creating five different graphs from data that they will gather from their research.
As a result of our new focus on global issues, our school’s clubs and classes have undertaken several international service projects including collecting shoes for Souls4Soles, and raising money for MANA, a NC-based organization that provides nutrition for starving children.
Need more ideas?
Another source for ideas is the current issue of Library Media Connection
(Nov-Dec 2012). It contains articles focused on Global Students.
Original Image by Jennifer LaGarde
The Professional Standards for NC School Library Media Coordinators
are the foundation of our practice. As NC school library media coordinators, we can be confident that our practice is built on a solid foundation because our standards correlate with other standards and guidelines including AASL, ISTE, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians, CCSSO's Model Core Teaching Standards, NBPTS, the 2011 NC State School Technology Plan, IMPACT Guidelines, and State Board of Education priorities and policies. Our first professional standard focuses on the school library media coordinator as a leader and expands our circle of influence from our library media programs to our schools and school communities. National and state research continues to demonstrate that school library media coordinators positively affect student achievement especially when we are strong leaders in our schools. School library media coordinator leadership activities particularly noted to impact student achievement include school library media coordinators regularly meeting with principals and faculty, collaborating with teachers to both plan and deliver instruction, and providing professional development for teachers (Lance
). As leaders in our school communities we are problem solvers, curriculum specialists, advocates, collaborators, instructors, technology experts, resource providers, and ethical models. Although it is challenging to fulfill these leadership roles, as school library media coordinators we will meet that challenge because we know that our students’ success depends on our success. Credits:
Harvey II, Carl. No School Left Behind: Leadership, School Improvement, and the Media Specialist. Columbus, Ohio: LinworthPublishing, Inc., 2008. Print.
Lance, Keith. Chapter 4: School Library Characteristics that Affect Student Achievement. 2010. Video. Vimeo Web. 21 Nov 2012. <http://vimeo.com/16517124>.Resources to Consult:
An Essential Connection: How Quality School Library Media Programs Improve Student Achievement in North Carolina http://www.lrs.org/documents/impact/NCSchoolStudy.pdf
Change in School Librarian Staffing Linked with Change in CSAP Reading Performance, 2005 to 2011http://www.lrs.org/documents/closer_look/CO4_2012_Closer_Look_Report.pdf
Additional Research Studies http://www.lrs.org/impact.php
-Posted by Kathy Parker, NCSLMA DPI Liaison and NCDPI School Library Media Consultant
Now that you’ve met NCSLMA’s 2012 Media Coordinator of the Year, it’s time to feature our 2012 Media Administrator of the Year. Each year NCSLMA provides media coordinators across the state an opportunity to nominate administrators who go “above and beyond” in their support of the school library media programming. This award is supported by Hart, Inc., with a $1000.00 gift certificate for the recipient’s school. But even more importantly, it allows our organization to illustrate just how significant administrative support is to a strong and thriving school library media program.
NCSLMA is proud to recognize Bob Grimes as our 2012 North Carolina Media Administrator of the Year. Mr. Grimes is currently an Assistant Superintendent at Brunswick County Schools and previously was the principal of North Brunswick High School. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Grimes’ nomination, expressing his personal philosophy for school libraries:
“The school library media center reflects the school’s culture and should be the hub of the school. It takes a collaboration of administrators, media specialists, teachers, parents and community to create and sustain a media program that will make a difference. I truly believe that effective media centers make an impact academically as well as socially in the lives of our students. Media centers should not be considered add-ons to the instructional program. They must be an integral part of every student and teachers academic and home life.”
Some of his contributions to library media programming include: proposing a budget initiative with the goal to bring all district media center up to the outstanding level based on collection age and books per student, instituting a middle school reading that promotes self-selected reading, and supporting summer programs involving summer circulation and online book discussions. In his nomination one media coordinator stated “He's actually the principal who taught me to be a media coordinator, to truly promote a love of reading in students, to make the media center a place where students want to be.”
Hats off to Mr. Grimes for his outstanding support of school libraries and media programs! NCLSMA members, if you know an administrator who exemplifies noteworthy support of your library media program, please consider nominating that person in the coming year. Nomination forms for the 2013 awards will be available on the NCSLMA website in the spring.
Each year NCSLMA receives many wonderful and deserving nominations for Media Coordinator of the Year, so this year the board decided to recognize four regional finalists from among the many outstanding candidates. Take a few minutes to get to know this year’s regional finalists and learn a little bit about what makes them great school library media coordinators. For each honoree, a brief excerpt from their nomination follows. First let’s meet our 2012 Media Coordinator of the Year Award Winner:
Natalie Strange, Piney Grove Elementary School, Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools, Piedmont West Region
Natalie tells us in her nomination, “A strong media center is the place that everyone in the school immediately thinks of if they have a question. It shouldn’t be, “let me Google ideas on planning a lesson on writing informational texts for 2nd grade”. Instead, the teachers should think, ‘I want to talk with the school librarian to see what we can plan together.’ Similarly, the administration should think of the library media center first when looking for a place for discussion and finding answers. The media center provides support for all aspects of school life, enriching the community.”
As the winner, Natalie was presented a $1000 gift certificate from Follett Library Resources and a beautiful plaque at the NCSLMA conference. The other regional finalists received a $325 gift certificate from Mackin and a $150 gift certificate from Perma-Bound Books.
Now, here are our other regional honorees:
April Benton, Hertford Grammar School, Perquimans County, Eastern Region
In April’s nomination she shares that she believes in “giving the students access to the tools and instruction the students will become problem solvers, collaborators, and creators. The media center also needs to be a fun place where students meet characters that spark their appetite for books that keeps them hungry for more.”
Andrea Lyons, Sycamore Creek Elementary, Wake County, Piedmont East Region
Andrea’s nomination states, “I teach that 21st Century Skills are not only a vital part of our lives, but can also be an amazing journey in which they can “meet” fictional characters beyond their imagination and non-fictional characters who may add to their own dreams and longings in life.”
Jennifer Northrup, Flat Rock Middle School, Henderson County, Mountain Region
Jennifer believes “A Media Center should be an interactive environment where students and teachers are a part of the everyday landscape. Through promoting library services and serving as a collaborative partner the media center and my role have become integral parts of the school’s function to help students learn and be successful.”
Congratulations to each of these media coordinators, who represent our profession so well! If you know of an outstanding media coordinator, please check back in the spring when the nomination forms for next year’s awards will be available.
Welcome back to NCSLMA’s blog! We are re-launching the Hanging Out in the Library Blog this week with plans for new postings each week. We are hoping that we help you get ideas and stay informed about what is happening in the school library world. Look for postings about Common Core and the new NC standards for School Library Media Specialists.
So, I will be contributing the first posting each month dealing with big themes. Here’s my plan for the year, so you can check back –
- December – Globalizing your Media Center – Report on the African Library Project
- January – Resolutions for a New Year and revitalized Media Center
- February – Report on ALA Mid-Winter Meeting (Seattle)
- March – Report on the 8th Annual Librarian to Librarian Networking Summit @ ECU
- April – Celebrating Libraries
- May – The Annual Media & Technology Report – And Making Reports Your Principal will READ!
- June – Not sure about this one yet – any ideas, anyone?
- July – Report on ALA Annual Conference (Chicago)
- August – Starting the new school year right
- September – Conference news
In addition to my postings, you have the opportunity to contribute. Members of our executive board and committees will also be posting about upcoming events, awards and scholarships, and book competitions. But you can contribute too!! Are you doing an innovative research project with your students? Got a great idea? Read a book you love and want to share it with the rest of NCSLMA? This is the place to do it. Contact Jennifer LaGarde to get on the schedule at jennifer-at-librarygirl-dot-net.
April M. Dawkins, NCSLMA President
Follow me on Twitter - @aprldwkns
NCSLMA is sponsoring a $500 scholarship for one NCSLMA member to experience school librarianship's national staff development experience. The 2012 AASL Fall Forum titled "Transliteracy and the School Library Program" will be held in Greenville, SC on October 12-13, 2012.
In order to be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must:
1.) Be a current member of NCSLMA.
2.) Be a current member of AASL.
The 2012 AASL Fall Forum Attendee Scholarship covers the cost of registration, travel, hotel, and meals up to $500. Approved travel expenses will be paid through reimbursement according to the travel guidelines on the NCSLMA website. In exchange for this sponsorship, the attendee agrees to share his/her learning with other NCSLMA members by completing the following tasks:
1.) submit a schedule of events/sessions attended.
2.) present a conference session at the 2013 NCSLMA annual conference or at a 2013 Regional Spring Refresher
3.) write 1 post for NCSLMA's blog.
4.) contribute to a virtual professional development opportunity (webinar) for NCSLMA members.
Your attendance schedule and blog post must be completed by December 31, 2012. We are eager to hear about your experience and to have you share your learning with other NCSLMA members!
To be considered for this opportunity, please complete this form
& submit it no later than September 1, 2012. A committee will review all applications, make a selection, and notify the recipient no later than September 6th, 2012. Once notified, the recipient is expected to register for AASL before the deadline for advance registration ends on September 12th. Applicants who were already planning to attend AASL and have already preregistered are also eligible for this scholarship. Click here to apply for this scholarship.
If you have questions or need more information, please contact April Dawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was in library school, I thought I would spend my days helping students find books that they would enjoy reading. I really didn't know that much of my time would be spent as a tech trouble-shooter, online research detective, and web 2.0 guru. I think all of us can relate to the days when we don't have the opportunity to talk about reading.
So, when I have a chance to talk about books, it makes my day! I have been fortunate to become involved with the NC Young Adult Book Award in the past year. I was thrilled several years ago when NCSLMA made the decision to begin offering an award for middle and high school books. Becoming involved has made me more aware of what students are reading, the trends in YA fiction, and trying to get books into the hands of more students. Those of you who are middle and high school teacher librarians know how difficult it can be to get students to read for pleasure. In a small way, the creation of this award has allowed me to talk with students about reading by showing them the books that teens and librarians have nominated.
What do I do to encourage pleasure reading?
• display books (often centered around some kind of theme)
• book talk new books
• create book trailers
• bookmarks and handouts with new books
• sponsor a book club
• create a contest for students trying to connect teachers with their favorite books
• get your faculty talking about what they like to read
It is an amazing feeling when you connect a student with a book that they love. One of this year's YA High School nominees is Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill from Wilmington. I recommended the book to one of my students who stops by the library every afternoon on his way out to the bus lot. Pablo reads voraciously, and his question every day is "Did you get any new books in today?". Pablo read the book, loved it, and immediately wanted to know if there was a sequel. I emailed David Gill and he replied that he had just sent off the first draft of the sequel to the publisher.
In September as I was preparing a presentation for the NCSLMA convention, I visited Mr. Gill's website and saw that he had a few ARCs (advanced reading copies) of the sequel, Invisible Sun which comes out in April 2012. I emailed him and asked if I could surprise Pablo by having Mr. Gill send him a signed copy. To my surprise and pleasure, Mr. Gill did! Pablo was thrilled to get a copy "before anyone else has read it!" and sent him a thank you e-mail. Mr. Gill replied to that e-mail telling Pablo that a third book was in the works and asked if he could name a character in that book Hernandez after Pablo. Wow! This is not what I expected to happen when I introduced Pablo to a new author. All of you will have the opportunity to meet David Macinnis Gill at next October's annual NCSLMA conference in Winston-Salem. He has agreed to be one of our featured authors!
By the way, Pablo let me borrow the book to read. As Pablo says, "It was awesome!"
April M. Dawkins, MLS, NBCT
Media Specialist, Porter Ridge High School
President-Elect, NC School Library Media Association
Pablo holding his ARC of Invisible Sun with April Dawkins, PRHS media specialist, holding Black Hole Sun.