Final Project- Creating Behavioral Changes in a Vocational Library Media Center
LSC 531 URI w/Dr. Renee Hobbs
The following information will provide details regarding a project I am undertaking at a school library in Franklin, Massachusetts. I will be providing below details regarding the aims, goals, and process of developing this project. It is my hope that the documentation will provide enough background to understand the immense amount of work I have, and continue to put into this project. In the conclusion section I will cover assessment of this project.
The implementation of this project is the outcome of the process I have taken since beginning my journey as a full time substitute library media specialist at the Tri- County Regional Vocational High School in Franklin, MA. Instead of ending my position on the last day of school, June 25, 2014, I was able to secure not only a future position in the school as a full time library media specialist but have 4 weeks in the summer to work towards the continued goals and objectives that will be described below.
How did I get hear and why my wish to stay is directly related with this project?
In February 2014 while completing my practicum I, like others in the program, received an email from Dr. McCarthy regarding an opportunity at this Vocational High School. Up until that point I had limited knowledge of the difference in vocational and academic high schools as related to their set up. While in my practicum at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex (high school) I was given the opportunity to visit the vocational high school in Providence (Providence Career and Technical Academy). I spent an entire day with the library media specialist getting acquainted with the recently (5 years) renovated school and the way it operates. At the time I did not find the library media center set up in any particular way that would support the school differently from what I found in my practicum sites. (I will explain more as this report continues). It’s important to note that up to March 17th, the date I started working at Tri-County, I have been able to view and spend time in several library settings- public, higher education as well as school libraries in elementary, middle school and high schools. When I accepted the position at Tri- County Regional Vocational High School as a full time substitute in the library I did not envision that I would be given, a few months down the road, permission to execute the changes this project set out to accomplish.
On March 17th I was taking over the “driver’s seat” from someone that has shaped this place for 18 years. Being a regional school, Tri County accepts students from 11 communities in Massachusetts: Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Seekonk, Sherborn, Walpole, and Wrentham. There are 1,000 students that have chosen to concentrate their studies in one of these 17 shops: Auto Collision Repair, auto Technology, Carpentry, Computer Information Systems, Construction Craft Laborers, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Early Childhood Careers, Electrical, Engineering, Graphics Communications, HVAC &R, Legal and Protective services, Medical Careers, Metal Fabrication, and Plumbing.
I believe that once you have the keys it is up to the person at the helm to steer the library media center in the direction it should go. If I found problems in the library, they were now mine and it was my responsibility to make it work for the entire school community. My practicum experience was in two media centers that functioned well. Therefore, my first goal was to strive and reach at least the same level of circulation and quality of collection that were at the places I came from. Unfortunately, getting to this point was going to take time and effort due to the reality I faced in my library media center. I purposely bolded the word my to emphasize the fact that even though, at that moment, the conditions were not ideal, it was now up to me, with the knowledge and skills I have gained through my learning and course work at the Harrington School of Media and Communications in the Graduate School Library and Information Studies program at the University of Rhode Island, to get this library media center to be what it is meant to be and serve its patrons in many ways.
According to Destiny, the online library database management system, only 4% of the entire collection was ever inventoried. Tri County only started using Destiny 2 years ago and a very large part of the collection does not currently appear in the database. I will talk more about the initial steps I took to get books processed. At the moment 58.44% have been scanned. Knowing what is in the collection is important but it is not the most important part of the job. As I learned in my studies at URI a library media specialist has 5 roles: Teacher, Instructional Partner, Information Specialist, Program Administrator and Leader. There is no doubt that as I embarked on this large project I was going to be applying all of these roles to create the changes I will describe. The primary reason I decided to remain where I am at the moment is because I am working on something that requires significant effort and provides a stimulating and rewarding challenge. Having respectful and well behaved students in the school provides an incentive and benefit, and I am certain that when all changes are completed they will be the beneficiaries of all the changes described below.
Seeing an opportunity:
When I first applied to Tri County, I realized that the school was looking for someone to bring change to the library. I quickly found out that currently there is no policy and procedure manual for the library media center as we learned about and discussed in Dr. McCarthy’s LSC 520. Not having this as a guide to familiarize myself with the way this library has been operating, I had to see how I would use the school’s mission statement as the starting point. The following is the school’s mission statement: “Through a rigorous, comprehensive program of vocational/technical and academic preparation, as well as a progressive system of individual support and guidance, we strive to maximize the potential of each student for successful transition:
• to full time employment
• to the pursuit of higher education
• to a personal commitment of life-long learning
• to full participation as a creative, responsible, productive American citizen.”
At my interview I shared with the administration that I see the library media center as a hub of the school. Even though the library was centrally located, that reality was not the case since it was not being actively practiced. I have met many students, faculty and staff that have not even walked into the library or use it’s diverse resources (aside from the copy room that is accessible through the library). In simple terms, the library media center was a non functional collection that was not serving the needs of its community. For this and other reasons I decided to focus on the prime objective as my final project.
This project aims to utilize the skills I have gained in my GSLIS program and reach out to various people and organizations (both internal and external) that will provide the support and guidance to enable the library media center to become and serve the entire community (students, faculty, staff, administration, and families) in the way it was designed and is meant to be.
My project goal is transforming the current library and turning it around by creating a functional library media center in this regional vocational technical high school so that it not only meets the needs of its community, but also challenges them to engage with all the available resources, and creates an environment that supports love of reading and life-long learning. Since I started working in this school environment I felt challenged knowing and realizing that the library media center was pretty much obsolete and not being fully utilized by the school community. For this reason researching, designing and executing this project is so important to me. My interest is making an impact and showing the entire community at Tri-County (students, staff, teachers, administrators, families) the wealth of resources and potential for growth by all patrons that the library media center can offer. The second part of this project, which will begin in the upcoming school year, is supporting reading programs as discussed in Penny Kittle’s book. To that end, I have already received a “go ahead” to collaborate and run a pilot program with up to 20 students. I have developed two District Determined Measures that will strive to assess the ability of increasing love of reading and lifelong learning by students who are identified as reluctant readers.
There are various reasons students choose to attend vocational education programs such as those available at Tri County. Often students are focused on career training rather than academic outlook, even though this is not always the case. Vocational schools have unique circumstance and that is why I am in the process of reestablishing collection development that reflects the needs of our mission as a school.
How do I get there from where I started?
Overcoming initial obstacles:
The physical space:
This school library set up has not changed much since the establishment of the facility in 1977. I found a dusty collection (indicating no circulation or weeding) spread over 7 rows of stacks with 3 feet between stacks and very poor lighting conditions between stacks. Under the windows there were shelves filled with outdated periodicals going back to early 90’s. The fiction books were in a few separate sections of the library and were further more divided between hard cover and paperback. A separate broken wood and plastic display featured paperback books that could not easily be removed. In addition there was a separate section just for Science Fiction. Reference books were outdated and collection, except for reference, not shelved according to Dewey system. There were 9 rotating displays that had a mixed selection of fiction titles with no logical order to them. Newest books were displayed on three wire racks as you walked into the library. Periodicals were not being displayed and rotated in racks. The location of these racks did not make logical sense to me. 15 Barnes and Noble digital readers (Nooks) were not displayed and not circulating. Students were not aware of the drop slit for book return. Display posters have not changed in over 10 years. A newspaper rack was filled daily yet no students (except a shop who used the news paper for cleaning car glass surfaces) accessed this resource. The library office cabinets and draws were filled with outdated supplies that were not useful or were outdated( For example dried up glue sticks and cards to card catalog system that has not been used in years are just 2 examples).
An outdated collection:
The school administration shared with me two earlier reports from previous visits by New England Schools and Colleges pointing that the collection is not properly maintained and weeding is crucial. In addition, I have found that there are many titles in the collection that would be more appropriate for the adult readers. I was unable to find works from many authors I have found in the libraries I used during my practicum.
Blocked access to Digital records:
The online school resources featured access to 5 databases that no one had knowledge of school user name or passwords. There was no information left regarding access to the 15 accounts created for the Barnes and Noble Nooks (e Readers).
Limited knowledge of accessing and using online databases:
When I initially started working with students and teachers many were not familiar with the vast access to databases provided by the Massachusetts Library Database through Gale Cengage. This is just one of several free online resource available to our patrons. Many students did not know how to navigate the school website to find these resources.
The New Employee Symptom:
Like many places it takes time to build trust, collaboration and cooperation. Many teachers are set in their ways and are not readily open for someone to come in Mid March and begin making changes to the way they have been teaching or working.
Outreach and connection building:
Since the students at Tri County come from 11 communities, I felt that it would help to start building connections with the public libraries of these towns. Even though I was in the position of a full time sub, I felt this was important to make certain they are aware of the titles our students have for summer reading. This outreach has enabled me to already benefit in building the collection with newer titles I was able to procure in a recent friends of the library bag sale. This community also donated a complete Encyclopedia Britannica that is newer than any encyclopedia in the collection. Several library directors and Children’s/Young Adult librarians in communities I have contacted were very happy to connect with me as they have not had any formal contact with the school in several years. Taking time after work to visit their building and collections enabled me to see first hand what specific resources are available to students from those towns and most importantly, to make a personal face to face connection. I have invited the librarians to come and visit at Tri County and see ways we can collaborate together in the future. In addition to reaching out to the public libraries and seeking their support as colleagues regarding future collection development, I have also reached out to the library media specialist at the Franklin High School. I took this step after noticing that they too are using Destiny to manage, host and maintain their collection online. My initial goal in contacting the school was to see if we might be able to develop an inter library loan. The reason I pursued this was because Tri County Voc Tech HS is the only school in the district and therefor has no ability to have an ILL with any other schools in its district since there are none. Therefor, since the driving time between the schools is five minutes, and since both school are on destiny (they only started using it this past year), I was hoping to see if we could create an inter library loan system.
While visiting that school it came to my attention that they were building an entire new structure. I inquired about the furniture. At that point I was told they will not be taking it. Upon my return to Tri County, after my initial visit, I contacted Mrs. Beckmann, the Academic Director, who is my direct supervisor. I informed her that I believe that the school library can benefit from some of the furniture at Franklin HS. She suggested I go back, take pictures and measurements of what I would like to bring in as well as where I would like to place these items.
At this point I was already moving to see how we can implement the other part of the plan I have been working on as explained further below.
In order to make this library media center work for everyone it was essential that I develop relationships with teachers and students in order to get their inputs. When I tried sending out an email to all staff in order to get their input after I cataloged the biography collection for their suggestions for names they believe should have, and after I received 2 responses out of more than 100 teachers I thought trying a more direct approach. I also invited all staff to provide list of titles they would like to see in the collection. Only 4 forms were returned during a three week period. When reading this you might assume I have not been able to make any gains with staff. This is not the case. I have worked closely with several teachers and have started building relationships. I have attended monthly meetings of the English Language Arts department and have made suggestion and implemented some enhancement to online support for summer reading program. More on this impact as it relates to the project below.
Prior to the GSLIS comprehensive exams at URI I was speaking with another classmate who was taking the exam. While we waited and talked prior to the exam, she informed me that like me she was working at a Montachusett Vocational Technical High School in Fitchburg and suggested that I can get more information for my project from the LIS at her school. We connected and had great exchange regarding collection development. In our conversation, I explained to her that I was researching collections in vocational schools and currently looking to rearrange my collection. I informed her that at the moment I was starting a project on July 14th (during summer school). Part of the project is to physically rearrange the collection so that it will be aligned with the way vocational schools are set up according to our 17 shops.
Similar but different:
During my attempt at finding supporting research I was unable to find current updated supporting evidence looking at collection development in vocational school libraries. The book Developing Library Collections for Today’s Young Adult (Pattee, 2014) is serving me well but does not provide greater details specific to my type of school. Through conversations I have had with over 15 vocational library media specialist across New England I have learned that our students have different needs that may not be met through the typical set up of the current school collection at Tri County. Further more, as I shared with them what I was hoping to accomplish with the shift in the collection, as will be explained below, they as well supported my belief that a much greater emphasis in the collection on shop related titles needs to be implemented. I have heard and seen that students in vocational schools have to contend with a complex shifting schedule rotating between shop and academic. I have found most students are identified primarily, and relate to themselves and their peers, based on their shop.
Braking the Barricades:
Tri County has an Academic Director and a Vocational Director. After having several opportunities to interact with Mrs. George, Vocational Director, I was convinced that I must find a better way to have the students interact it the current collection. It was clear to me that if I were to make an impact on their interaction with the library media center I must be able to have their shop stand out “front and center” from the rest of the collection. Perhaps once they interact with those titles, they will be able to find an interest in other parts of the library.
Up until this point the library media center had 7ft high stacks with 4-5 30 inch shelves. After a few month of seeing both staff, teachers and students not enter the stacks I knew there was a larger problem that required a change. I decided to conduct several one on one conversation with both students and teachers to understand why they do not go into the collection that is in the stacks. (Some of the collection is under the windows). Example of some responses from teachers- There is nothing relevant here. Students – I have no idea what’s here. I decided to borrow from Tolkien’s fellowship principal and to treat the shops as part of the circle that comes together in a common area. I could achieve this with the new design I had in mind. Students would have a book case dedicated to their shops. The double sided book cases, arranged in an inner and outer circle would have students come together in tables or couches in the center of this new area in the library media center. This area will be erected after on top of the area were the stacks stood. Therefore, the new hub and gathering area will be a center of attention in a section of the library where no one wanted to enter. (Even during the initial phase, while many books are on the floor, students in summer school that are in the library, are already hanging out in this newly created space.)
As I mentioned earlier, the library collection was initially divided into several sections:
• Under the windows there were many outdated periodical in bins, small professional development section and outdated reference books.
• Stacks had two sides- collection was broken in sections: Reference, non fiction, fiction hard cover, paperback, fantasy, and science fiction. As I mentioned there were 11 rotating displays that were all clustered next to the tables used in the previous open space (also used by the homework center). They had fiction titles as well as audio books. (In no particular order). 3 black wire frame displays featured what seemed to be new titles.
I knew that change has to occur gradually. Even though I knew that this was not the entire fiction collection, I decided to arrange the books in the rotating displays by alphabetical order of authors. (At this point I still kept the wire display since the students came to the library to use the computers and regularly would pass there). I initially also took all the books out of the plastic display since the books were not accessible because of the broken display.
I decided to just start small and concentrate an area for the biographies. This allowed me to start and realize a large problem that existed with the cataloging. What I discovered is that many titles were not catalogued in a way one would expect. In addition I found errors with titles and last names. Many titles were on the shelf with a bar code but were not in Destiny.
Once I completed this small project that was now housed at the edge of the window shelves for biographies and biography collections I reached out to staff to have their input in increasing and updating this section.
Once I was given permission to remove the old periodicals from the shelves under the windows I was able to create the space to begin placing the entire collection according to Dewey system. So that I can figure the spaces I needed with the shelves, I started at the end of the biography section and worked my way backwards. Needless to say not much time passed, (even though the collection was backwards) and students started check out books and looking at what is there. This might also be to the fact that I placed temporary shelve signs that informed patrons what types of books are in each section.
Once I was done with the non fiction I combined all the fiction titles in the stacks in one area only by authors last name instead of having so many different sections that weren’t at all accessed by the patrons. Once I had non fiction and fiction titles in location under window and in stacks I decided to move the 11 rotating displays to key areas in the library so that the newer titles I have just brought in and processed from one of the local public library could be displayed in these carousels that were now in these strategic places in hopes of serendipity effect:
1. Front of non fiction stack for new non fiction titles just like displays at end of isle in supermarket.
2. Near location where students are used to placing their backpacks.
3. In middle column that sticks out by window display
4. In entrance to the computer section alcove
5. Near the pencil sharpener at edge of window shelving (near computers)
6. Front of second non fiction stack for new non fiction titles just like displays at end of isle in supermarket. (This area is also near entrance to the library media center).
7. Front of fiction stack for new fiction titles just like displays at end of isle in supermarket.
8. Front of second fiction stack for new fiction titles just like displays at end of isle in supermarket.
9. At end of row of computers accessible on both sides of computer workstations where 16 students sit- (There are a total of 40 workstations in library media center)
10. (10 & 11) In middle column that sticks out by window display on both sides. After doing this I notice an increase in circulation.
I felt that the professional development collection be housed near the location that the teachers access most. So at the time I housed that collection in the last stack, near the copy room. The collection also included audio books and visual media.
Another section of the racks I secured for building the audio and visual media collection. I was surprised to find this area in the collection with only a few titles available for student circulation as opposed to the items sitting on the shelves that only staff can access.
I found 4 periodical/magazine displays that were not being functional or updated even though magazines were arriving regularly by mail. I found that some of displays were not great since the periodicals would slide down and the patron could not see the cover or the title. I contacted carpentry shop and they assisted in placing some wood elements. Once this was fixed I created a display near the circulation desk. I used 2 displays back to back with additional 3 black wire racks for the older copies. The goals was to display the latest issue to be read in the library media center and have the back issues available for circulation. The third display I moved across from the copy room to be available right across the stack where I moved the professional development collection. This display was filled with periodicals that were to be seen by faculty who were using the copy room. I found that the larger display was very successful right away since most days I found that the periodicals were returned to the wrong places. That did not matter since I knew they were being used often. It reminded me of little kids room and the mess on the floor. At this point I am not concerned about the right location of the periodical since both current and back issues are being looked at regularly.
As mentioned earlier I was able to make enhancements and changes to the way students are able to understand what books to read during the summer break. Since there are so many titles, and since in the past students would have a 15 minute window of time to choose a title, even though one title is a required book, I thought I would design a library guide. The guide that students can access through the hyperlink in the summer reading PDF on the school website http://www.tri-county.tc/files/uploads/pdf-files/summer-reading.pdf features tabs for each author. On the author’s page the can get a brief summary of the title, access the author’s website, read, listen or watch an interview with the author about their work on this book or their life as an author, read or listen to a book review (I tried mostly to link to TeenInk so that students can get a perspective from kids their own age), and watch a video where the author describes his work or life as an author. http://libraryschool.libguidescms.com/TCRVTHS_SR2014
As part of ordering new titles, especially for summer reading, I decided to implement and increase changes in the digital titles. All new titles I have ordered for Tri County are now accessible both in print and digital. I have mentioned previously that the school has 15 Barnes and Noble Nooks. Since I wanted them to circulate, I created a display for them using the defunct book carousel. Circulation increased. There are a few reasons I moved to the Follett Shelf approach rather than placing more titles on the Nooks. Once a patron takes out a Nook they are essentially also holding hostage all the other titles in that Nook that can’t be circulating. It’s almost as if someone wanted one book on the shelf and was taking the entire shelf when they checked it out. The Follett shelf has several advantages that I felt in the long term would benefit Tri County. Students would be able to login and open the book on any digital device they have that has a browser or web app. When students came to the library media center prior to the end of the year, I ran sessions with them to show them how to access titles in Follett shelf (https://wbb48131.follettshelf.com/shelf/servlet/presentshelfform.do?site=48131) I had students demonstrate the feature with new titles in summer reading. I had students login to Destiny, something they have never done before since the school did not take advantage of the student features in Destiny. My conversations with Mr. Leblanc, Technology Director, allowed me to have an easy addition of this access for the students. Once logged in, a student can open the digital title and highlight and section of the text with up to three colors. Highlighted text can be saved. Students can take notes and save them as well. I explained to the students that after a long summer of reading and taking notes sporadically, all will be there when they are ready to work on it prior to the end of their vacation. One feature that is helpful from the point of the administration is that if a student does not check out the book but only access it, more students can use the same digital copy at different times. (Aside from school wide summer reading, Engineering has their own reading list. Last year only 4 titles were in our collection. I was able to procure 95% of the 30 titles they wanted.)
Also in the area of digital improvement I made certain students had access to the ProQuest Technical and Career Education database.
Working within the five roles:
Teacher: Even though, at the moment, I have not been directly assigned to teach classes (something I have experienced at JSEC) I have managed to find many opportunities to incorporate teaching into my day as relating to my work with Tri County community. I have noticed that teacher sign out time to use spaces where computers are located. Aside from the 40 workstation in the library, there are two more labs. There are binders at the circulation desk where teachers can sign up. What I wanted to find out initially is “in what ways are the computers being utilized to access online resources?” or “what online resources are being accessed and how?” I was unable to get the answer from Mr. LeBlanc or Mrs. Beckmann. Therefore, I thought I would begin working with certain teachers and finding what they have planned and how I might be able to help further enhance the student experience. I started working with a few teachers in various shops and found that their experience working with me was beneficial for the students and the teachers as well.
Instructional Partner: I found it rewarding working with some of the shop teachers since it provided me opportunity to better understand their programs and the goals they have for their students. These experience have already helped me better understand how to plan for the upcoming year with projects I hope to do with the various shops. I believe this will lead to a more interactive and enjoyable experience for the students and how they relate to the space they now refer to as the library.
Information Specialist: Each time I have conversations with students and staff I am able to find and share something they needed. For example, I noticed that an English Language Arts teacher mentioned to me that each year he would do the same project with the students and the previous librarian would pull out certain books for him. I did the same. However, I also showed him and his students a wealth of resources he has not previously tapped into. This resource was available to him and the students for several years previously as well. I have been invited to take part in several meeting including the school Technology committee. Based on follow up feedback from the administration, my comments and input were appreciated and well received. Currently the school is in transition with regards to social media adoption and integration. It is my hope that I will be able to share and use some, if not all of the online tools explored in lSC 531. I have already made notes regarding teachers I believe can gain from using Padlet, Storyfy, flipgrid and more. For the time being my enthusiasm for developing the online collection through Pinterest or creating a library Twitter account to announce news to the school community will have to remain under development even though I continue to inform and bring it to the attention of administration.
Program Administrator: I have found that in the vocational school this learning community has various needs and it requires that I am tuned and attentive to all. I am in the process of establishing processes where I felt they were missing. (For example- students were not permitted to come to library during lunch). A procedure manual for collection development, weeding, and many more topics is all part of items that will need to be worked on as time permits. I look carefully at ways I can stretch my budget and advocate for increased funds in the near future. I want to ensure that the resources I am obtaining for the library media center are stimulating to patrons and are accessible not only through technology but meet the needs of readers of all levels. (Currently I am finding out the a state resource for audio books is not the best for students with an IEP- I am looking at alternate ways to get the regular audio books. I am also looking at obtaining HiLo titles). Each week I have been instrumental in making displays that will attract those who enter the library media center to ask question and take note. (For example I set up displays of all the Maya Angelou books we had, wrote up some facts about her and had an interactive sheet for students set up where the sign in clip board is. Students and staff interacted and recall reading her work).
Leader: It is my gut feeling that the administration realized that I was interested to do much more than just be a full time substitute while I completed my coursework. I am not certain many people would be ready to take on such a lofty and ambitious project that requires determination, ownership and responsibility. I could have ignored the fact that only 4% of the collection is inventoried and up to date or be mindful of books that have not been cataloged. The Franklin high school has 2 additional staff people where I am trying to do everything myself. I believe that the best example I can set for myself is leading by example in the relationships that I will develop with students and staff. I have already done this and feel that as time goes by, others will come to see what it is I am trying to create fro the benefit of the entire Tri County community. Leadership requires finding a balance as well. (For example- currently I am trying to make changes in the way we purchase periodicals. My challenge is that I can subscribe individually and save 50% of cost than going through the jobber. However, the jobber said I can’t do that for digital access. Perhaps they do not want to have one less client. One other challenge I have is the fact that there is no organized list group for vocational tech librarians where we can come together and discuss unique issues we face since our students spend one week in academic and then next week in shop. Perhaps setting u such a list is what I will end up doing as well if I wish to lead in this area. At times decisions about accepting additional responsibilities are not easy.
Preparing for phase 2:
One of the challenges in moving forward to make the physical changes I envisioned was measuring and sizing everything. This quickly became a learning opportunity for the Engineering students after my brief exchange with Ms. Batt. When I came in to borrow a tape measure she offered here entire class measure the entire library and provide detailed measurements. What happened next is that I explained to the class what I wanted to do, and they took it from there. In the documentation you will find some drawings from the initial designs. I wanted the students to get credit for their work and present it to additional decision makers prior to me having the custodial staff tear up these stacks. After Mrs. Beckmann approved my idea, we both went and tagged the items that will be needed in the school. On a side note- since Tri County is its own district and we were not buying the items, Mrs. Beckmann was able to speak with the principal to have the items donated to us once no other schools in their district wanted them. Last phase was clearing the plans with Mr. Shanahan, facilities manager. I did have a slight hiccup a few weeks back and wanted to keep the last stack, just in case. However, Mr. Shanahan insisted that I must keep to the plan he signed off on. Sometime between June 25th and July 14th the items that were tagged were picked up from the Franklin high school. Pictures were taken and I made sure our custodial staff knew that a minimum number of shelves had to come with each of the units.
What was collected from the other school?
These items are based on an email I sent to Mrs. Beckmann June 6th, 2014. The 2 wall units were added after my follow up meeting with Mr. Shanahan in which we decided to eliminate the last stacks.
The following are the measurements for the proposed books case units available at Franklin High School that can serve in implementing a new direction at the library media center here at TCRVTHS.
All the units being proposed to be brought in to Tri County have the same 35 inch shelf length as the majority of our current shelving units (Stacks).
3 units to be used as part of furniture housing the fiction collection. Their proposed location can be seen in the diagram attached.
Fiction unit -measurements: 3.5x 12.2 Ft. 3 The unit has double sided storage capabilities. It is divided into 4 sections. Each approx 3 Ft with 35×35 shelf space with 2 shelves, allowing 3 row shelving.
8 units to be used as part of furniture housing the nonfiction collection. Their proposed location can be seen in the diagram attached.
Fiction unit -measurements: 5 x 9 Ft. The unit has double sided storage capabilities. It is divided into 3 sections. Each approx 3 Ft shelf space with 3 shelves, allowing 4 row shelving. 54X35 inch
1 over sized flat book display table with 5 shelf capability with open access on 2 sides. Measurements: 39x27x33
2 clear magazine holders approx 5 ft with 5 spaces for individual display
Stacks are listed as A, B , C D, E, F
Explanation of drawing and steps:
( Please see PDF file for layout)
First step would be to break down stacks A, B , C, D. Since stack F is across the copy room, it will remain there for the staff professional development. Stack E will be used to house visual and audio media that are currently in stack C
The fiction 3.5 ft displays are proposed to be, 1st- perpendicular to apple monitors, 2nd- in center of current tables, 3rd- in front of table, where stack A is currently. You can spread more the current 14 tables.
The 8 9 ft nonfiction stack will be strategically placed in current stack areas A-E giving lots of open space. I propose to move stack F further back, perpendicular to copy room and moving stack E sideways providing more open space to allow future plans for more comfortable sofas or nooks for teens to hand out using mobile computer or just reading or doing other work in this open space.
*2 double sided book cases measuring 3.5 ft high and 12 ft long will be used a part of the new fiction section that runs down where the periodical display was before. The drawings have it in a different place though after thinking about it, I did not want to close off access to that open area.
*2 double sided book cases measuring 3.5 ft high and 6 ft long. Each section has a least 2 shelves. One unit will be integrated into the circle as to allow view into the circle from the circulation desk where the library media specialist can see everyone. The other will be at the tail end of the window/ shelving unit that helps to create a seamless flowing movement of books throughout the entire library media space.
The following are links to 78 pictures on Flickr that capture each stage of this project. Each picture has an explanation in details of picture,
Stage 1- 1-35 (35photos) https://www.flickr.com/photos/125828471@N08/sets/72157645991128566/
Stage 2 – 36-59 (23photos) https://www.flickr.com/photos/125828471@N08/sets/72157646089871913/
Stage 3 – 60-74 (15 photos) https://www.flickr.com/photos/125828471@N08/sets/72157645635054959/
Stage 4 75-78 (4 photos) https://www.flickr.com/photos/125828471@N08/sets/72157646039889152/
The following page has sketch of initial plan
Tear down and assembly:
On July 14th, with the beginning of summer school I returned to Tri- County to continue this next phase of the project. This is where everything had to come together and where I previously wrote that I wanted to keep the last section but could not. (Now, after the fact, I understand why). The tear down could not begin prior to having all the books off the shelves. As can be seen in the documented pictures, my previous work in clearing the stacks and organizing the collection has enabled several stacks to be ready on day one for tear down.
The tricky part was taking print media off the shelves and keeping it in some sort of order. I was able to accomplish this by placing the books in piles against most of the outer perimeter of the library. One shelf was most likely broken up into two piles. I had help from summer school students who were waiting for another session to help in some of the moving and scanning of books. Scanning started as soon as we had some piles. To know what pile goes next to what pile, and to keep the collection manageable, each scanned pile was marked with a number. Although some piles did fall over and the helpers confused some piles when they brought them over, the markers helped keep books in a relative order.
The first week of summer school involved clearing the shelves, tearing down the racks and scanning the collection. (As we scanned, we found more than 100 titles that did not scan and or did not have a bar code. They will be added to books that need to be cataloged). On a side note- From March 17th through June 25th I have cataloged over 600 books. The majority of them were never cataloged. Week 2 started with getting the replacement furniture in position. Once it was staged I called my supervisor to approve what was already approved on paper. It was at the point in time that I realized that I did not take into account the fact that I would need to look into the circle from where the library media specialist is located at the circulation desk. Another thing I did not consider was the fact that the facilities manager would not allow the new circle formed to pass the line of where the first stack existed. With some inventive creativity, I was able to bring into the circle one of the 3.5 x6 ft book shelves. This solved the issue and made entire layout be approved by the academic director, principal and facilities manager on 7/28. By Tuesday July 29th the collection was approaching the 60% scan mark for inventory and books were starting to go into their new home. Many of the new titles I have ordered in June have arrived, been prepped and ready to be added to the collection.
There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. In the library office there are 4 carts that are overflowing with titles that need to be catalogued. Mrs. Mallon, the principal does not want me to wait on weeding until after I develop a weeding policy that will need to be approved. I believe there is just so much one can do with only 4 hours of time during summer school when also supervising students in the library.
The pilot project:
As part of the teaching staff I am required to have two District Determined Measures for the upcoming school year. These are the criteria that are asked of me for this and the description I have provided to briefly explain how the measurement will occur:
Subject 1: Assessment of work completed by students using prompts produced through collaboration of library media specialist and classroom teacher based on online research and collaboration.
Subject 2: Based on conversation with Adele Sands, work with Johanna Griffith on identifying core group of students who will participate in reading program designed through collaborative efforts of library media specialist and Mrs. Griffith.
Subject 1: Media Literacy Subject 2: Student Services
DDM 1 Name: Media Literacy DDM 2 Name: ELA- Reading
DDM 1 Sources: In house DDM 2 Sources: In house
DDM 1 Type of Assessment- Other DDM 2 Type of Asessment- Hybrid
DDM 1 Item type- Student Work Sample DDM 2 Item type -Two or more
DDM 1 and 2- Revision from previous assessments
I know my end goal for the short term, start of academic year 2014/15 is getting the collection weeded to phase #1 (initial weed, already weeded periodicals kept back to 2010) and processing all the new books. Getting the rest of the signage up will help me and the patrons know how to find everything. I am waiting for the start of the school year to better answer the question of what can be achieved by the end of the school year. I know that circulations numbers will increase only if I continue to work diligently with staff and students to find their passion and have them build a personal relationship with the resources that I am providing for them. I believe that establishing a new relationship for each student with the library media center and how they look at it is what I hope to accomplish by end of this school year. These are the parameters that I set for my project. I am still looking into the research that was done for reading programs, collection development and any literature on Voc Tech libraries. Since my project is not focused on the research part, I have not included here the sources I have already investigated. Should you want, I would be happy to provide them.
My thoughts and new plan assessment: One might take a look and say that all I did was place items in a different location. As I see it, I believe that by providing a more centralized shop based collection, the student will be able to relate better to the resource provided for continuous growth. I have already seen the space utilized during the summer school period. Additional plans include putting in YogiBo bean bags to go with the additional 30 chrome books I have received. If students and staff build a new relationship with the library media center and use it more often then I believe there will be a behavior change. The DDM’s are built and designed to provide measurements. If Mrs. Griffith and I are successful with our pilot project perhaps we can run it the following year on a larger scale.
Evaluation and Assessment:
Creating change in a school where students are not accustomed to using the library media center on a regular basis for circulation requires hard work, determination and patience. I am not a believer in the motto: “If you build it they will come”. I will be actively working with each and every teacher, going into classrooms and shops, meeting with staff and administrators daily and weekly to create the library media center to become what I would like, and believe it can become.
John Lennon’s famous words from the song Imagine “ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” sums up for me my continued belief in these initial steps that I am taking in pursuing the reluctant reader’s challenge as well as making the library media center become a hub. I feel that if I do not, my role will become obsolete.
Assessment can be seen in statistics numbers but can also be seen in attitude of students and other patrons. I believe that pursuing this project allows me to show that I have met or working on meeting the following learning outcomes of LSC 531:
1. By being aware of the collection needs and patterns of the students at Tri county I am showing that I understand the changing nature of adolescent and young adult literacy practices resulting from the rise of Internet culture. I embrace it and work on adapting to changes I can implement here.
2. By creating more opportunities for growth in the library media center I am embracing opportunities and challenges in the high school. I will continue to work with administration and teachers to seek out better ways to process and engage with students access, analysis and use information for their assignments at school and homework.
3. I believe that my DDM goals prove that I am working towards of instructional practices that support student literacy learning in formal and informal learning settings.
4. This course has been a stepping stone for me as I continue to gain knowledge of specific approaches to collection development and management of young adult collections. As we have discussed, we must be lifelong learners and be flexible and adapt as we find changes in society and the workplace.
5. As a regular user of Twitter and other online forums, I plan to continue keeping an eye on issues, trends and factors that are affecting the instructional use of media, technology and library resources in schools.
6. Today’s workplace requires us to use all of our social networking skills to ensure collaboration, problem-solving and advocacy.
7. I must admit that I consider myself knowledgeable when it comes to new technology. However I felt I learned many new online tools that I have and will continue utilizing in the journey ahead.