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Check out books? Just the start for school librarians

Joy Harvey, School Librarian, Adams Elementary School

Some believe librarians only check in and out books, but their belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Librarians are teachers. I am one of two part-time librarians teaching at Adams Elementary School. 

Currently, we teach classes of kindergarten through fifth-grade students. We teach students how to navigate, evaluate and learn from the vast amount of digital, print, and visual information available to them. We give them the opportunity to learn collaboratively and share their learning creatively. 

LPS librarians have planned and prepared essential lessons that scaffold this learning through each grade level. It’s important work that will prepare our students for the media and information-rich world we live in.  

Teaching as a librarian is quite similar to classroom teaching. We both deliver instruction that meets the learning goals for our students. We assess students’ progress toward meeting our objectives and provide feedback. We use research-based approaches to deliver instruction. What makes a librarian’s work unique is we have the opportunity to support and extend classroom learning.

We collaborate with classroom teachers to plan lessons that align with classroom curriculum. By working collaboratively, our instruction is seamless and the students can immediately apply information literacy skills to classroom content and learning. For example, when third-grade students are researching states, we will teach them how to use our databases like CultureGrams to find information to answer their questions, and we will teach them how to read and take notes from the database. 

We recently, taught fourth-grade students strategies for getting the best search results from Google and how to choose the best websites for answering their research questions. Earlier this year, we taught fifth grades students how to evaluate the reliability of information on a website.

Essentially, we teach students how to use the resources available to help them learn independently, so they can be informed and productive citizens.


Published: December 29, 2016, Updated: December 29, 2016

Essentially, we teach students how to use the resources available to help them learn independently, so they can be informed and productive citizens.

Joy Harvey, School Librarian, Adams Elementary School