Friday, July 17, 2009

Professional Resources

I began my search in my elementary school library. I was lucky that the school’s librarian orders Book Links and The Horn Book Magazine. I was able to obtain 3 copies of Horn Book and 2 copies of Book Links. Needing only one more serial, I checked the online catalog of my public library. It indicated that they carried Book Links, Media & Methods, and VOYA. All could be found at the main branch. A quick trip downtown proved fruitless and unsuccessful. The collection consisted of outdated issues on microfiche. After consulting with a librarian, I headed for my local university library. UTEP carries an extensive collection and I was able to locate 3 issues of Booklist. Although it did take some legwork, I became acquainted with where I could turn to for resources.

Vol. 105 No. 7 12/1/08
Vol. 105 No. 8 12/15/08
Vol. 105 No. 9/10 1/1/09 and 1/15/09

Booklist is a serial where book reviews can be found. As you open to the first page the serial begins its reviews immediately. Upfront: Advance Reviews contains reviews of fiction and nonfiction books. This section also includes an area titled Chat Room that discusses what is going on with the online version. The other sections in the serial are categorized by adult, youth, media, and reference reviews. These are regular features found in the three editions that I browsed. One of these editions focused on the 2008 Editor’s Choice list. It contained top editor’s choices from Booklist’s regular sections. The other two editions had spotlights on particular subjects. A section entitled Core Collection offers a variety of reviews on a particular subject. One edition spotlighted Sci-Tech and the other Crafts & Hobbies. The content of each of these editions was specifically geared to spotlight these subjects and to focus on different aspects. The Sci-Tech edition contained reviews on new books and top ten picks. It also contained two Core Collection sections, one on Darwin & Evolution and the other on Science-themed Youth Novels. Reference and database support reviews were also included. In the Crafts & Hobbies edition, videos and professional reading was highlighted. The purpose is to provide reviews of books, media, and references. The book reviews include a synopsis of the book and sometimes a picture of the front cover. The review also includes the publication date, number of pages, publisher, and price. The reviews on youth books also include the grade level. Video and reference reviews are separated into adult and youth sections. Youth sections are given grade levels. When appropriate, spotlights include database support snapshots. To facilitate the ordering of new publications, in either print or video format, librarians can use Booklist. The information provided within the pages of Booklist gives a clearer picture of what a publication is about. The reviews can be used to make informed purchasing decisions. The online version of Booklist gives much of the same information as the print version does. Browsing of the current print issue is also available. You can browse the spotlight and features, but a subscription is required to browse other sections. There are however, some specific differences with how to access reviews. Reviews can be searched independently or can be browsed. One way these searches can be used is to search by title, author, ISBN, keyword, content, or section. There is a web exclusive section that is not found in print and links to award lists.

The Horn Book Magazine
September/October 2008
November/December 2008
January/February 2009

The Horn Book Magazine is a serial that contains book reviews, literary opinion, articles, and poems that reflect on today’s literary world. Columns on varied topics are also included. As the magazine is opened, the reader encounters an area where starred books are featured. Titles, authors, and the number of pages are included. A regular feature is the editorial column. Editorials are written on books, technology, and general reading. One of the purposes of this magazine is to provide reviews on literature. The reviews are not organized in any noticeable manner. Included in the reviews is a synopsis of the book, the review, title, author, and appropriate reading level. Another purpose of this magazine is to provide a venue for thought provoking articles. Articles written by contributors give the reader a viewpoint other than one’s own. Librarians can use these thought provoking articles as a springboard to literary discussions. The online version of Horn Book is easily navigated. A reader can browse through the current issue. Web extras include current articles not found in the publication. Subscribers to the Horn Book Guide are able to search the Guide’s database online. A newsletter is also available. Awards that are given nationally, regionally, and internationally can be browsed through. The major difference with the printed version and the online version of this magazine is the inclusion of resources online. Various resources can be found by searching through the appropriate link.

Book Links
Vol. 18 no. 2 November 2008
Vol. 18 no. 3 January 2009

Book Links is a serial magazine designed for classroom teachers and librarians. Its regular features include What’s New, Classroom Connections, and Book and Authors. A regular poetry column appears regularly. Each issue seems to have a specific focus. The two paper copies that I was able to obtain focused on Social Studies and Multicultural Literature. Book Links likes to publish its magazine with a thematic approach. Reviews on books are linked to the magazine’s theme. Articles are also focused toward this thematic approach. When available, curriculum guides are published for a particular book. The purpose of this magazine is to provide teachers and librarians with information that can be readily used with students. Curriculum guides can be used to create a literature circle in class or in the library. The thematic organization of the magazine creates a place where a person working with children is able to quickly find references and material. The online version of Book Links was not what was expected. The focus of the magazine is the printed version and not online. The ability to browse current issues is available to subscribers. There is a sample issue that can be browsed. There is a link where web connections to the magazine can be looked through.

In looking through these sources I found that there is a variety of outlets that a librarian can look through for information. One serial is not necessarily better than another because of its content. There was a considerable amount of difference with the way each magazine presented and provided information. It would be difficult to decide which one would be more useful. To keep abreast of current thinking and opinions, I would read Horn Book. Booklist would be my choice for reviews and to make classroom connections I would read Book Links. These are only three that I was able to find in printed form. It would be interesting to continue my search of serials to find what information is contained in the others. To conclude, I believe that one source of information is not enough and as a future librarian I need to be aware of several serials to make an informed decision on which would be best to provide my campus with or recommend.

Integrated Lesson

Part One:

One of the school district’s goals is for students to be more familiar with the process of research. In order to do this schools must teach students how to research topics. Currently, teachers are expected to have students create a model with artifacts and a research paper. Students in the gifted and talented program will be expected to present the projects during a showcase scheduled in May. For students to be able to research their topics they must be introduced to a variety of tools and shown how to use them. One of the tools students need to know how to use is the encyclopedia. Because student must cite different sources, research begins with the basics. Students must be shown how to write questions to investigate. They need to know how to use their own knowledge of a topic and take notes without plagiarizing. This process has already begun. For this reason, I chose to do a lesson that introduces the encyclopedia as a research tool. Since our school also has a fully certified computer lab teacher, she will continue the lesson with the online version of the encyclopedia.
As a classroom teacher with a class of my own, I first did the lesson with my students. I have a set of encyclopedias in my room and did not need to schedule library time for it. I wanted to gauge the amount of time my lesson would take because I was only allotted a 45 minute time slot that would include checking out books as well. This also better prepared me to plan with the librarian, classroom teacher, and computer lab teacher. Planning was difficult at best. None of us have a common planning time. After school tutoring is mandatory for the entire staff Mondays through Thursdays. The only available day that was left to meet was Fridays. This meant that time was short and very valuable. Decisions about the lesson would need to be made quickly. Luckily, the preparations were done in advance and I was able to make minor adaptations to the lesson because the class was a grade below the one I usually teach. According to Loertscher’s Taxonomy, we did level 8 planning; scheduled planning in the support role. The TEKS that were addressed fall within the English Language Arts under writing/research. TEK 20 states: The student uses writing as a tool for learning and research. The student is expected to: (A) write or dictate questions for investigating, (B) record his/her own knowledge of a topic in various ways such as by drawing pictures, making lists, and showing connections among ideas, (C) take simple notes from relevant sources such as classroom guests, information books, and media sources, and (D) compile notes into outlines, reports, summaries, or other written effort using available technology. In order to do this, the students need to learn how to find the information first. The classroom teacher will continue the lesson by teaching the students how to take notes after they find their information.

Part Two:
TEK: 2.20 The student uses writing as a tool for learning and research.
Loertscher’s Taxonomy: 8 Scheduled Planning in the Support Role
Audience: 2nd grade class
Objective: The student will locate given information in the encyclopedia.
Materials: Encyclopedia set, Look It Up booklet, pencil
Content: English Language Arts
Procedure: Pass out Look It Up booklets to students. Ask students if they ever had to look up something. Ask students what they had to look up. Ask students where they looked up their information. Tell students to turn to page 1 of their booklets. Point out the dictionary on the page. Read and discuss what kinds of things you look up in a dictionary. Point out the telephone book. Read and discuss what information is found inside of a telephone book. Point to the encyclopedia. Read and discuss what things you look up in an encyclopedia. Discuss the arrangement of the encyclopedia. Explain that like a dictionary, an encyclopedia is arranged in alphabetical order. It tells us about important people, places, and things. Explain that each book of the encyclopedia is called a volume. Encyclopedias come in sets and they are lettered and numbered. Ask students if they ever looked anything up in an encyclopedia. Discuss the process of looking things up. Explain how to look up topics, names of people, and names of places. Guide students with given set of topics. Ask what volume they would use to look up the topic oceans. Continue with topics until students grasp the concept. Tell students to turn to the next page in their booklet. Explain that they have a set of encyclopedias on that page and some topics and names. Tell students that they need to write the volume number of the encyclopedia they would use to find the information next to the topic or name. Give time for all students to finish. Conclude the lesson by reviewing what was learned and why it is important to know where to look for information in the correct spot.

Part Three:
I felt the lesson went fairly well. Students participated well and supplied plenty of answers when asked questions. For most students, it was their first experience with an encyclopedia. Time was a large factor in cutting the lesson short. I had intended to have the students look up topics inside of the encyclopedias. Given only 45 minutes to do the lesson and leave enough time for the students to check out book was challenging. As a classroom teacher, my schedule is flexible and I could take extra time on a lesson if need be. As a future librarian, I will need to learn to cut lessons to make them shorter. In hindsight, I should have taken a timer. The class barely had enough time to check out their books and we found another class waiting to come in. I will need to work on this and find solutions so that no classes are left waiting.

Color in School Libraries

Color Psychology
It has long been believed that certain colors affect people psychologically and emotionally. Blues tend to have a calming effect while reds stimulate the senses. “Surprisingly, little theoretical or empirical work has been conducted to date on the influence of color on psychological functioning . . .” (Elliot & Maier, 2007,). Yet, colors and their meanings remain. Decorators and interior designers take this to heart. Why? Color does have an impact. It can make a room appear larger or smaller than it actually is. It can be manipulated to hide imperfections and enhance positive aspects of a room. Lighter colors make a room seem larger. Dark colors have the opposite affect. They can make a room seem smaller and bring down a high ceiling. Painting vertical stripes also make a low ceiling appear higher. Vertical stripes can create the illusion of a larger room by drawing the eye across.
Color can create a mood or a feeling. It has the ability to change a dreary, boring, and uninviting space into a friendly, stimulating, and exciting one. Color has the capability to transform, reshape, and renovate. “One warning—too much color can give anyone at any age an old-fashioned headache. Librarians working in an atmosphere of unrelieved intensive color may be subject to eyestrain and too much emotional stimulation” (Cohen & Cohen, 1978).

Color in the School Library
From the books on the shelves to the flooring at their feet, color surrounds students as they enter the school library. It is found in posters, signs, and walls. But is it an appealing and welcoming space? “The colors used in a school library should make it a warm, inviting place where children will want to come and actively participate” (Scargall, 1999). Young students need a place that is bright and cheery. The colors chosen for walls, carpets, and signage should reflect the excitement of childhood. Bright, bold, primary colors create a space that stimulates young children to use the library. For older students, color should reflect the transition from childhood to young adult to adulthood. Color can be infused the decorative elements in darker shades to give a more studious tone. Whichever the case may be, color can be utilized to make the school library a central place for studying and learning.

Color Remodel
There are a myriad of ways to incorporate color into a school library. Even with a small budget, a library can still be transformed. Creating a focal point wall by painting it with a bright color can create excitement. Bulletin boards can also create enthusiasm. Using bulletin boards with colorful displays to introduce new developments in the library will generate anticipation and make students want to visit the library.
Budget conscious librarians can add color to the library by doing simple things. Throw pillows can be placed on furniture. Chair pads or coverings can brighten wooden furniture. Curtains and other wall coverings can also be used.
An overlooked space to put color is at the back of a bookshelf. Backs of bookshelves can be covered with color to create a pattern or emphasize collections or series. There are several ways to do this. Wallpaper, paint, or fade resistant paper can be used. It is an inexpensive and easy way to add color to library shelves. Adding color does not need to be expensive or difficult, just creative.

Visual Stimuli
It has been known by educators that most students are visual learners. Creating charts and other displays can aid students greatly. “Right-brained students have color-sensitive brains, and color-coding solidifies their learning. Colorful videos, posters, transparencies, and diagrams are more meaningful than extensive lectures” (Brown, 2000). Numbers, sequential order, and academics are left-brained thinking. These are all prevalent in the library. Left-brained thinkers feel at home and at ease. They are able to find what they need quickly and easily. While right-brained thinkers return time and again to get the right number to find the book that they are looking for. Color-coding shelves can alleviate this problem. The color added to signs, posters, or shelves can aid right-brained students in finding what they need.

Colorful Help
Designing or remodeling a library or any room, whether personal or job-related, can be a daunting task. Looking to other sources can facilitate the decoration or redecoration. Getting input from students can be invaluable. Students can bring imaginative and innovative ideas to décor. “Students bring an uninhibited, fresh outlook to design considerations” (Brown, 1992). Consulting students seems to be a natural step in the design or redesign of a school’s library. As an added bonus, students take ownership of the project and are able to truly call it their library.

Design vs. Program
There are dozens of libraries that one can visit to get inspiration from. Pictures abound on the Internet of ways that libraries have been decorated. Many are spectacular feats of architectural design and expertise. “Does the room make the library program, or does the library program make the room” (Coatney, 2005)? Library evaluations often focus on the program and not the library design, room, or décor. Students focus more on the collection. A beautiful library can have the best furniture, lighting, and color. It can be inviting and a wonderful place to visit. But, if it is not backed up by and equally exciting program it becomes just another room that is pretty to look at.

Annotated Bibliography
1. Brown, D. (2000, November). Libraries can be right-brained. Book Report, 19(3), 19. Retrieved May 2, 2009, from Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text database.

The article gives information on the differences between left-brained and right-brained learners. It also gives tips on how the library media center can adjust lessons to address the needs of students.

2. Brown, R. (1992, February). Students as partners in library design. School Library Journal, 28(2), 31. Retrieved April 28, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

This article discusses the advantages of getting students to participate in the design of the library. It also gives tips on the use of space, technology, and decorations. It is written from the point of view of a Senior Associate in an architecture and urban design firm.

3. Clark, R. (2008, October). Impact library access with bold use of color and space. Library Media Connection, 27(2), 16-18. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

This article tells how to accomplish better access by making a few changes that cost a few dollars and are easy do-it-yourself projects. It includes photographs as examples.

4. Coatney, S. (2005, October). Does the room make the library program, or does the library program make the room?. Teacher Librarian, 33(1), 60. Retrieved April 28, 2009, from Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text database.

The article discusses the experience of the author when working in a beautifully decorated library. She also describes her experiences when visiting other libraries.

5. Cohen, A. & Cohn, E. (1978, February). Remodeling the library. School Library Journal, 24(6), 30-34. Retrieved April 28, 2009 from Academic Search Complete database.

This article gives information on how to remodel a library. It focuses information on color, lighting, flooring, and noise level reduction.

6. Elliot, A. & Maier, M. (2007). Color and psychological functioning. Psychological Science, 16(5), 250-254. Retrieved April 24, 2009 from Academic Search Complete database.

The article discusses the lack of research done with the influence of color on humans. It gives background information of previous work done in 1942. Its main focus is on the color red research done by the authors. It briefly mentions other colors.

7. Hirko, B. (1991, January). Colorizing the library. American Libraries, 22(1), 94-96. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

This article talks about free access and how books binds in color aid in the location of the book. It explains that the color of the binding should also be included in the MARC tag.

8. Hurst, C. (1991, March). Rainbow reading. Teaching Pre K-8, 21(6), 81-82. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

This article gives ways of adding color to the school library through the use of bulletin boards. It gives specific examples of using color throughout the year.

9. Lowe, L. & Cummings, R. (2009, Winter). Small spaces, small budget, big results: creating a user-centered learning space on a budget. Georgia Library Quarterly. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

The article gives information on how to create a space within the means of a small budget. It tells to get a needs assessment first and then gives tips on some of the things that can be done, which includes adding color.

10. Scargall, H. (1999, November). Color. Library Talk, 12(5), 11. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

The article gives information on color in the school library. It gives information on how different colors affect students.

11. Woodward, J. (1999, April). Countdown to a new library: a blueprint for success. (cover story). American Libraries, 30(4), 44. Retrieved April 29, 2009, from Education Research Complete database.

The article mentions some important things to keep in mind when decorating a school library. It gives information on color, floor, and furniture. At the end of the article there is a compiled list from librarians on things that may be overlooked.