School Librarians’ Online Resource Collections
You’ve undoubtedly heard of the amazing INFOhio site. It is a wonderful collection of resources designed by school librarians that supports educators across Ohio. Several other states offer similar efforts, such as Connect, Create, Lead from New York City School Library System and the Massachusetts Virtual School Librarian.
Now that august group is joined by School Library NJ.
Welcome to School Library NJ!
SLNJ is a group effort coordinated by Dr. Joyce Valenza, a luminary in the school librarianship firmament. Dr. Valenza recruited members of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL) representing various grade ranges of students. You might recognize one of the smiling Bitmojis of the creators–I was fortunate enough to be able to pitch in on the effort!
Generous support from Springshare made this network of interconnected LibGuides possible, with assistance from the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and the blessing of the New Jersey State Library.
There’s No Replacement for a Certified School Librarian
The group effort resulted in the creation of an ever-expanding LibGuide. It offers resources and information to collections of education stakeholders–students, parents, school librarians, teachers, and administrators. The goal of the LibGuide is to offer support, particularly to those who do not have access to a school librarian.
But SLNJ does not replace actual school librarians. Indeed, the landing page of the site, as well as the home page of each sub-section, reminds users that a website is no replacement for the services of a certified school librarian.
The site also offers a wide variety of information and resources for school librarians across the state– and beyond!–to review and use.
Serving All Stakeholders
The site provides students with literacy tools, research skills, and basic information literacy. School librarians from each grade level assembled their grade level sections. Their common goal: to provide the same virtual supports they offer their own students.
The Parent section helps them deal with some of the particular difficulties that arise during remote learning. Chief among the many resources are educational tool tutorials, guidance for digital citizenship, and suggestions for helping students with research needs.
The Administrator section is a particularly important area. It helps administrators understand the importance of school librarians. It also helps them find strong candidates to hire that can help support learners and educators effectively.
By far the most extensive section is that for school librarians. It features nearly two dozen sections. There are various literacy and information resources, AASL Standards, employment and job boards–even virtual field trips!
SLNJ Is Still Growing
This is a resource meant to help everyone within a school. And it’s still evolving! Users are invited to share their feedback about the site via Padlet. Users can also contact the designers, who can be reached via email through the site.
SLNJ serves as a resource for New Jersey educators and learners. But the creators also hope it will inspire other school librarians to build their own resource sites to meet the needs of their own learning communities.
You are invited to check out School Library NJ! Use the tools, review the resources, share with colleagues and students, and provide feedback. You can also read more about the project from Dr. Valenza herself via the January 13 post on her blog Neverending Search.
Working on SLNJ has been a wonderful experience! Getting to work with talented school librarians to collaborate on a project of this magnitude was truly inspiring. The entire SLNJ crew hopes the site works for you as a resource, as a model, and as an inspiration!
Author: Steve Tetreault
Steve has been teaching for over 20 years, mostly middle school English Language Arts. He has earned an M.Ed. (2006) and an Ed.D. (2014) in Educational Administration and Supervision, and completed an M.I. degree in Library and Information Science (2019). He is certified as a teacher, school library media specialist, supervisor, and administrator. He is an old dog constantly learning new tricks!