Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Library Journal: Should Kids Get eBooks in School?

My second piece for Library Journal is now up. Here's the beginning:
Searching for information is NOT like trolling for fish. You know the saying: "Give a man a fish and you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for life." Answer someone's question, and most likely they'll go away for today. Teach someone how to search for the answer, and they'll continually hunger for more.
What didn't fit into the article was more of Doug Achterman's story. He's the Teacher-Librarian at Hollister High School in California who did his Ph. D. dissertation on his work unraveling the data on how school library staffing affects student performance. This year, his school library has had its staffing slashed. This year, it will be staffed with a half time professional, (Achterman) and an 80% time clerical worker. This is for a high school with 3000 students in an economically mixed community. The other half of Achterman's time will be spent teaching English.

It's ironic that Achterman will be witnessing the negative side of his conclusion that school libraries require adequate staffing to have a positive impact on student performance; he'll be doing his best to prove that conclusion wrong, at least in one California high school. Despite very strong community support for the school library at several school board meetings, the budget cutting axe could not be averted.

Despite his library's unenviable budget situation, Achterman was upbeat. He emphasized that he viewed his most important role was working with other teachers. He has a long term goal of creating tutorials, videos and other resources for his teaching colleagues. Take a look at his library's web page if you need inspiration for what a dedicated library professional can do in a school library, budget cuts be damned.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Contribute a Comment