Mission and Goals of the School Library Media Program
The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. This mission is accomplished:
- by providing intellectual and physical access to materials in all formats
- by providing instruction to foster competence and stimulate interest in reading, viewing, and using information and ideas
- by working with other educators to design learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students.
--Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs (1988), p.1
The mission statement for Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs is as relevant today is it was in 1988, and so it remains the mission statement for the information literacy standards for student learning as well and for Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning. Although changes in society, education, and technology have transformed many of the challenges facing library media programs during the past decade, the mission itself remains the same. Today, this mission focuses on offering programs and services that are centered on information literacy and that are designed around active, authentic student learning as described in the information literacy standards for student learning. The goals of today’s library media program point to the development of a community of learners that is centered on the student and sustained by a creative, energetic library media program. These goals are as follows:
To provide intellectual access to information through learning activities that are integrated into the curriculum and that help all students achieve information literacy by developing effective cognitive strategies for selecting, retrieving, analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, creating, and communicating information in all formats and in all content areas of the curriculum.
To provide a physical access to information through
- a carefully selected and systematically organized local collection of diverse learning resources that represent a wide range of subjects, levels of difficulty, and formats;
- a systematic procedure for acquiring information and materials from outside the library media center and the school through such mechanisms as electronic networks, interlibrary loan, and cooperative agreements with other information agencies; and instruction in using a range of equipment for accessing local and remote information in any format.
To provide learning experiences that encourage students and others to become discriminating consumers and skilled creators of information through comprehensive instruction related to the full range of communications media and technology.
To provide leadership, collaboration, and assistance to teachers and others in applying principles of instructional design to the use of instructional and information technology for learning.
To provide resources and activities that contribute to lifelong learning while accommodating a wide range of differences in teaching and learning styles, methods, interests, and capacities.
To provide a program that functions as the information center of the school, both through offering a locus for integrated and interdisciplinary learning activities within the school and through offering access to a full range of information for learning beyond this locus.
To provide resources and activities for learning that represent a diversity of experiences, opinions, and social and cultural perspectives and to support the concept that intellectual freedom and access to information are prerequisite to effective and responsible citizenship in a democracy.
Excerpted from Chapter 1, "The Vision," of Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning. Copyright © 1998 American Library Association and Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
Resource Based Teaching
Resource-based teaching is a cooperative teaching method between the classroom teacher and the LMC Director. The purpose of resource-based teaching is to integrate library and information skills as well as literature appreciation activities into the classroom curriculum. The library is not a separate subject area and should not be treated as such. Rather, the library supports the curriculum. Library skills taught in isolation are not meaningful for students. Information literacy skills and literature appreciation activities become meaningful for students when related to a unit of study or interest.
Flexible scheduling is the method of scheduling used in conjunction with resource-based teaching. Classes are not scheduled on a fixed basis for a set period of time each week. With flexible scheduling, lessons are scheduled at the point of need. For example, a class studying the solar system may want to come to the LMC during their scheduled science time to do some research.
Cooperation and communication are key to the success of the resource-based teaching method. The LMC director will meet with grade level teams on a monthly basis for planning purposes. During a scheduled monthly LMC planning meeting, this team will develop lessons and discuss support materials for the coming month. Other informal planning meetings with the LMC director can also be scheduled as needed.
The district's language arts and technology curriculum will dictate the basic goals to be reached. Areas for planning will include information literacy skills, research assignments, literature support, curriculum support, publishing, technology skills, reading incentives, programs, literature appreciation activities, etc. Instruction will be delivered using a team approach, therefore, classroom teachers will remain with their class when a whole group lesson is planned. The LMC director will meet with whole classes, small groups, or individuals depending on the lesson.