Ugghh, help, I can’t keep up! With easy access to websites, blogs, online PD, webinars, YouTube, workshops, and social media, finding digital resources is not hard to do. Organizing what we find, however, for efficient access when we need it, might not be so easy.
What educator wouldn’t love:
- a person who helped them organize top quality resources?
- efficient access to resources customized for their needs (grade, content area, unit, project)?
- a “go-to” person to provide multiple points of access to credible resources for teaching and learning?
- an instructional partner who will work with you to seek, find, and share great digital resources?
Your solution? Your school librarian! School librarians can lead the way with all of the above. School librarians can help curate what you need, model how to use them, and deploy them in a way that makes for efficient sharing. School librarians are poised to gather, purchase (as needed), and connect resources to users for teaching and learning.
Resources appropriate for student use are key, as well, and access to those both on and off-site provide students and families with the tools they need to be successful beyond the school day. School librarians can develop resource guides/portals, provide necessary passwords, and deliver overall support on the content and integration plan.
Creation of resource guides that are available in a variety of formats is key. There needs to be varied approaches to access and promotion. Librarians can’t wait to be asked to provide these tools, it must happen routinely and in a variety of formats. Likewise, teachers and administrators should expect this of the librarian and ask as needed.
Use a range of strategies for deploying quality resources to a school community throughout the year (some samples and resources are linked):
- Paper flyers, posters, table tents, bookmarks (many available from vendors)
- Links/portal on library website
- Links/portal shared on classroom web pages, Google Classroom, teacher resources
- Link added on email signature
- Connect access to resources to Noodletools or other research guides
- Promotion at meetings-department, staff, curriculum, PTO, EdCamps, and more
- Digital newsletters like SMORE, Mailchimp, Canva and others
- Embedded modeling (show within class lesson plan, not in isolation)
- Student created tutorials like Screencastify, Explain Everything, Flipgrid and others
- YouTube Channel with training videos
- LibGuides, Padlet, Symbaloo
- Listserv emails and targeted mailings (specific teams, content areas, teachers)
- Social media for promos, tips, and potential connections
- Summer programs
- Share with public library partners
- PTO meetings, mailings, and communications
- Conversations, coffee chat, and happy hour!
Librarians can (and MUST!) connect users to quality digital resources in a way that increases awareness, efficiency, interest, and impact. For more information on the leadership, role librarians must take in the area of curating digital resources and tools, empowering students as creators, and building instructional partnerships visit Future Ready Librarians and follow #futurereadylibs on Twitter.
Sue Kowalski is the librarian at Pine Grove Middle School in the East Syracuse Minoa School District. Sue is passionate about empowering student voice and leadership in and through the library. As an active member of professional organizations (NYLA, NYLA-SSL, CNYSL, AASL, ALA), Sue’s mission to is to #leadoutloud about the exponential impact of strong school library programs in every school community. Follow her @spkowalski