The Instruction and Outreach Department manages and coordinates library research instruction for students, faculty and staff through course-related workshops, outreach activities, personal consultations, research guides and other instructional materials.

Our blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds.
If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Making the K-16 Connection

There comes a point in the career of every instruction librarian who teaches first year students when you throw up your hands in frustration and kvetch, “What do they teach these kids in high school?  What are those high school librarians doing?”   First year college students aren’t hatched out of a science fiction pod when they arrive on our campuses – they’re the product of twelve years of schooling and (we hope) many visits to their school libraries.  Connecting with our school library media center colleagues is a real eye-opener.  We can look fondly on the terrific standards developed by AASL (21st Century Learner) and ISTE (NETS) for K-12 information literacy, but we need to understand the reality of school libraries in this era of budget cuts, staffing shortages, and standardized testing that takes away from research and library time.

That’s why we’re so pleased that Tim Johnson is volunteering with Instruction & Outreach this summer.  Tim is the library media specialist, information technology support, and webmaster (whew!) at Western Alamance High School in Elon, North Carolina.  Tim wanted to learn more about what goes on in an academic library, and he also wants to understand what skills his students need when they arrive on a college campus.

We’re taking advantage of Tim’s presence to pick his brain about what happens in high school.  What kind of research assignments are students doing?  What skills do they need, and how do they acquire those skills?  What typically happens in a high school media center?

While he’s part of Instruction & Outreach, Tim will be working on a number of projects (for example, looking at how academic libraries provide language learning materials) and meeting with folks throughout the Libraries.  He’ll also give a presentation for library staff on what’s happening in high school libraries. 

Making the K-16 connection is an important outreach effort for instruction librarians.  And maybe K-16 isn’t enough – when I was working on statewide academic integrity efforts in Maryland, we used the term “P-20” (preschool through grad school).  The more we know about our students the more successful our instruction efforts will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment