In September, I had the opportunity to take part in a three day professional development seminar titled “How Library Media Specialists Can Support Literacy.” The program was created by the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT). It was the first program that they have provided specifically for library media coordinators.
The main goal of the program was to answer the following questions:
- Why is it important for all teachers, regardless of the subject they teach, to provide students with literacy lessons?
- What are key teaching strategies library media specialists can use to support literacy across the curriculum?
- What are the barriers we have to overcome to support how library media specialists can explore literacy across the curriculum?
- What are the best strategies for using digital tools to support literacy across the curriculum?
- Is there support within the professional standards for the evolving role of library media specialists in the delivery of professional development to classroom teachers?
There were fifty attendees who participated in this program. We broke into groups to discuss these questions and to provide suggestions for how we could support different literacy strategies. A wiki was created for input from all members of the group at the seminar and also for us to continually support throughout the year. It was a good beginning to what we all hope will be a useful tool for us to use in the library with our students and to provide support to our teachers, especially those in subject areas who do not normally focus on literacy strategies as our English/Language Arts teachers do.
If you had the opportunity to participate in such a seminar how would you answer the above questions? Do you see a question missing from this focus that should be included? Do any resources come to mind that you would suggest for teaching literacy strategies across the curriculum?
I would also be interested in hearing from anyone who has provided literacy across the curriculum professional development for their teachers either on their own or in conjunction with their English/Language Arts teachers.
If you would like to take a look at the wiki we started, send me an email.
Author: Joann Absi
I am the media coordinator at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, NC. I have had positions at elementary, middle and high school libraries during my career. I am a past president of NCSLMA. Currently I am serving as the Communications Chair for NCSLMA and a member of AASL/ALSC/YALSA School/Public Library Cooperation.