The teacher librarian must develop collaborative relationships throughout the learning community. These partnerships are critical to the success of the library media program

group of peopleRunning a library media program involves collaboration with students, teachers, parents, and local community members.

An effective center administrator must coordinate programs and people, in addition planning and managing time, resources, and facilities. They must also be leaders and advocates for learning. These roles all require working with others to build a positive atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect.

What areas of the library media program involve collaboration?

Whether your integrating information literacy into the curriculum or developing a reading promotion, collaboration is essential throughout the library media program.

video clipWatch examples of collaboration from the 2002 Collaboration Grant Projects from the Indiana Department of Education.

(Go to the Real website to download a free player. Scroll to the bottom of the page (or in the upper right hand corner) and download the FREE player, NOT the 14 day trial player. It's available for both Windows and Macs.)

eye means readRead Chapters 1, 2 & 3 - Collaboration and the School Media Specialist by C. Doll. Read the remainder of the text next week.

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How are collaborative partnerships formed?

Think of collaborative partnerships as the process of developing a trusting relationship between two or more professional colleagues. Collaborative relationships are enabled by recognizing the varied roles served by individuals of the learning community (including the teacher librarian), modeling desired practices, acting proactively, and providing personal experience and expertise.

Connecting with the teachers, school administrators, public librarians, and other members of the community help a library media specialist building strong programs. In addition, library media specialist must form relationships with other professional educators and librarians for advocacy, buying power, professional development, and curriculum development.

eye means readBegin with reading T. Buzzeo's Disciples of Collaboration. School Library Journal. Sept. 2002; 48(9), 34. (Access requires login)

Also read these related articles:
Haycock, K. Research About Collaboration. Teacher Librarian, Feb. 2000; 31(2).
Milbury, P. Collaboration: Ten Important Reasons to Take It Seriously. Knowledge Quest, May/June 2005; 33.
Montiel-Overall, P. Toward a Theory of Collaboration for Teachers and Librarians. School Library Media Research, 2005; 8.

Consider making logical connections such as the reading and language arts. Then focus on ways to build inquiry-based activities into other areas.

Read (1) Position Statement on Resource Based Instruction: Role of the School Library Media Specialist in Reading Development and (2) Position Statement on the Value of Independent Reading in the School Library Media Program Development from American Association of School Librarians.

Read Collaboration web modules at Teacher-Librarians . . . Supporting Student Learning from Central iSchool, CA.

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How are relationships formed with teachers?

Some library media specialists find it easy to connect with classroom teachers, while others find this networking difficult. The key is identifying an approach that fits your personality. In some cases, a formal approach of scheduling meetings, structured partnerships, and joint planning is effective. In other cases, teacher librarians are more successful through informal friendships formed in teacher lounges, before faculty meetings, and in the hallways. The key is being receptive and proactive in making connections of all kinds.

eye means readRead Heard It Through the Grapevine by G. Hartzell in School Library Journal, Sept 2003; 49(9), 41. (Access requires login)

Also read America's Most Wanted: Teachers Who Collaborate by C. Brown in Teacher Librarian, Oct 2004; 32(1), 13. (Access requires login) This article identifies the factors that contribute to a successful collaboration between teacher-librarians and classroom teachers.

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What connections can be made with principals?

A teacher librarian and the school principal must develop a strong relationship. The principal must be aware of your interest in being involved in all aspects of the curriculum. Many administrators aren't aware of the skills of today's school library media specialist and their interest in leadership, collaboration, and technology.

Read Principal’s Manual Brochure from American Association of School Librarians (PDF Document). Consider sharing this brochure with your principal; it's a good place to start a discussion.

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How can the school library and public library collaborate?

There are many opportunities to bring the school and public library together.

eye means readRead School and Public Library Relationships: Essential Ingredients in Implementing Educational Reforms and Improving Student Learning by S. Fitzgibbons in School Library Media Research, 3, 2000. This paper explores the range of successful, cooperative relationships between public libraries and school library media centers.

Read Come Together by J. Jones in School Library Journal, March 2004; 50(3), 45. (Access requires login) School and public librarians need to join forces for kids’ sake.

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How do we show that our programs are effective?

We must be able to show evidence of our collaboration, leadership, and use of technology.

There are many ways to collect data. One way is by documenting your work with teachers. Explore some of the following Collaborative Planning Forms:

eye means readRead Does Collaboration Boost Student Learning? by B. Lange, N. Magree & S. Montgomery in School Library Journal, June 1, 2003; 49(6), 4. (Access requires login)

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Words of Wisdom

Whether co-producing an instructional unit or partnering on a reading initiative, collaboration takes planning.

practicitionerRead about the collaborative efforts of one library media specialist:

I've got a collaboration planning sheet that is posted at the Indiana Learns site: IN Collaborative Planning Sheets.

In the September issue 2004 of School Library Journal (Vol 50, Issue 9, p50), you'll find an article (The Rookie) I've written about how young School Library Media Specialists can work with veteran teachers.

Carl A. Harvey II
Library Media Specialist, North Elementary School
& President, Association for Indiana Media Educators

North Library Media Center Webpage

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Check Your Understanding

info powerInformation Power - Learning and Teaching: Principle 3.

The library media specialist models and promotes collaborative planning and curriculum development. (p. 4)

info powerInformation Power: Program Administration - Principle 6.

An effective library media program requires ongoing administrative support. (p. 100, 108)

Describe a project you might coordinate as a library media specialist. Brainstorm the different partners that might be involved with the projects. Discuss how you would you get these people involved with your project. How would you approach the potential partners?

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Make It Real

group teachersExplore the collaborative planning sheets found online. Combine elements of different sheets to build your own form. Be sure to cite the resources you used at the bottom of your form. Create a sample completed form using information from your experiences or a project you find online. If you are currently working in a library media center, try out the form and see what you think. Then, discuss why you think this form would be effective.

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Read More About It

Classroom and Library Collaboration . . . /Collaborationpg1.HTM
Links to several forms for collaborative planning and assessment.

Collaborative Planning in the Community for Library Media Centers and Technology Programs (p. 26-55) from Indiana Learns
Collaborative planning is defined as the teaming of teachers, library media specialists, and technology specialists to create exciting learning experiences that take advantage of the information-rich and technology-rich environment of the school.

Collaborative Planning Guide
from South Carolina Department of Education (Word document) . . ./documents/Collaborative_Planning_Guide.doc

Gustafson, C. If You Give a Teacher a Cookie. School Library Journal, Feb 2003; 49(2), 45. (Access requires login) . . .
Explains a strategy to win the hearts and minds of colleagues.

Joint-Use Public/School Library Standards from State Library of Queensland, Australia

King, S.V. The Job I Really Need to Do. Knowledge Quest, 31(2), Nov./Dec. 2002.

Library Monthly Update from Baltimore County Public Schools
Kevin Finkle of Seneca Elementary developed this form to get input from teachers regarding classroom teacher's instructional plans for literature, science, social studies, etc,

Piazza, S.  Understanding Students' Home Cultures: The Teacher-Librarian as Collaborative Partner. Teacher Librarian, 28(4), Apr. 2001.
Merging understanding of home and school cultures through the PhOLKS project can assist learning.

Policy on Public Library and School Library Cooperation
from Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

Schomberg, J. TAG Team: Collaborate to Teach, Assess and Grow. Teacher Libarian, Oct, 2003; 31(1).

Shayne, R. Teachers and Librarians: Collaborative Relationships. ERIC Digest, ED444605. ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, Aug. 2000.
Defines collaboration, conditions favorable to collaborative partnerships, and references and suggested readings.

Small, R. Collaboration: Where Does It Begin? Teacher Librarian, June 2002; 29(5).

Teacher Librarian Collaboration (TLC). Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander:
University of Pennsylvania Partnership School.

Teacher Librarians . . . Supporting Student Learning. Central iSchool. Saskatchewan, CA.
These modules explore components critical to the role of teacher-librarians as instructional leaders

Teachers & Teacher-Librarians: Effective Partners in Education (PDF document)
This Canadian brochure was written for student teachers, but could be adapted for use with teachers.

McKenzie, J. Reaching the Reluctant Teacher. From Now On, 1999.

Administrator Cooperation

Bush, G. Library Q & A: What Board Members Should Know About School Libraries . . . But Seldom Ask. American School Board Journal, June 2005; 192(6).

Black, S. Research: Reading Room. American School Board Journal, Feb. 2001; 188(2).
Article about libraries and librarians. Note: mediocre... however the articles might be used as reading for a debate on the issues.

School Libraries for Lifelong Learning: A Handbook for Administrators from University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

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