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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.
Do you have ways you have worked to globalize your media center?  Please share what you are doing by commenting on this blog post!
Thank you,
April Dawkins
NCSLMA President

Image sources:   African Library Project logo – Original Photograph by PRHS student LMC Cover -
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