Finding the information you need in the digital age

Theme 3 looked at a variety of reference works, from databases to dictionaries, from encyclopedias to atlases, and how to select reliable and current versions of each of these works in order to build an effective reference collection in your library. When thinking about this topic and reflecting on this course as a whole, I have realized that digital reference resources are more and more prevalent. Even the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica stopped printing encyclopedias six years ago and has completely transitioned to online publications. In light of this evolution of the reference collection, a large part of our role as teacher librarian will be to teach students the skills to navigate large amounts of online information. Riedling (2014, p. 116) states, "there will be an increased need for experts, school librarians with skills in searching, accessing, using, and evaluating information efficiently and effectively. In addition, students will now, more than ever before, need to b…

Assignment 3 - Modernizing our reference services

For reference label, photo by Holly Broadland
Analysis of the Reference Collection

In order to develop a plan to evaluate the reference services at my school, University Hill Elementary, I first analyzed the reference collection, both print and digital. In doing so, I kept our school population in mind. We have approximately 360 K-5 students with 40% English language learners (Vancouver School Board, 2017). I am currently a classroom teacher at the school, so I interviewed our teacher librarian to learn more about his priorities for the reference section. His comment was that he leans heavily on digital resources such as the World Book suite and other databases the Vancouver School Board has made available. This made me curious to learn more about how these databases are purchased and selected. I spoke with our district principal of learning technologies and learned that in order to take advantage of cost savings, our district purchases subscriptions to various databases through the BC …

Assignment 2: Collaborating to evolve teaching practice

Collaboration It is widely acknowledged that there are huge benefits to collaboration in school libraries. The Canadian Library Association's Leading Learning document states, "The library learning commons plays a key role in cultivating and facilitating collaboration to provide rich experiential learning opportunities. It provides not only a physical space to develop skills and engage learners, but is also a portal to virtual connections, both local and global. It is important to acknowledge the diverse needs and contributions of all players within the school learning commons community, both in terms of resource formats and access to information and collaboration opportunities." (Canadian Library Association, 2004).

My current position is as a classroom teacher in a primary class. Unfortunately, I am not able to collaborate with my teacher librarian during school hours because his schedule is fully booked with prep coverage on the days I teach. In order to get some insi…

Teacher librarian as connector

As I am currently a classroom teacher anticipating my first days as a teacher librarian, I look at the role of the teacher librarian with idealism and optimism. In past courses towards my teacher librarianship diploma, I have focused on the relationships a TL develops with students, teachers, admin, parents, and other teacher librarians as one of the major aspects of the role. I see the TL as the connector between people and knowledge.
I continue to believe that being able to develop relationships with the school community is an essential aspect of the job. If no one likes the librarian, people aren't going to want to go to the library and collaborate!

I created a Padlet in LIBE 462 entitled Collaboration in the Library. It includes my thoughts on how to encourage collaboration, and links to videos and articles on working with classroom teachers. I honestly believe that food can be a way to connect with others and I've had good luck with my Grandma's chocolate chip cookie…

Assignment 1 - Where in the world can I find an atlas?

At University Hill Elementary, we have a well-stocked reference section that includes both print and digital resources. As our digital resources are purchased on a district level and teacher librarians don't make the decisions about which online resources we select, I have chosen to look at our school's print materials. The resource I decided to evaluate is The Nystrom Atlas of Canada and the World. When I assessed our collection this resource stood out as an outdated book and our teacher librarian agreed that it would be a priority to update our atlases. At our library, we have a class set of the 2005 edition of this atlas. As Reference Skills for the School Librarian by Riedling states that "a world atlas that is five years old portrays enough obsolete information to be considered only for historical purpose" (Riedling, p 81) and our books are now thirteen years old, I believe it is time to look at updating this resource.

I chose five criteria to analyze and evalu…

Proud member of the Oregon Trail Generation

As the name of my blog suggests, the library is my happy place. I love being surrounded by books and having the time to browse the shelves and find new resources. I can't see myself ever giving up print books. However, I also do a significant amount of information gathering online and am comfortable searching digital resources for the answers I need. It likely won't surprise you to know that I was born in 1977, the year that Riedling declares as the generational divide in our text, Reference Skills for the School Librarian. I have one foot in the print world and one foot in the digital world. I can remember using card catalogues and microfiches and I also use online databases and have been blogging for over a decade. I was amused when I read that my generation was dubbed the Oregon Trail Generation in a Social Media Week article by Anna Garvey
I can't be the only one who remembers playing this game in elementary school!

I'm comfortable using both print and digital r…

LGBTQ Resources for Primary Grades Padlet

For my final learning curation in LLED 462, I created a Padlet with a selection of LGBTQ resources for the primary grades.