It has been great to come back to the Woodville and see your friendly faces. Thank you for all of you compliments on the library. I’m in a bit of a strange position--I’m not quite new, but my position is brand new. If we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I’m Julia Sparano and I am the Library Media Specialist for Woodville and Walton. Perhaps we have met, but you’re wondering what the a Library Media Specialist is/does? Maybe you’re wondering why the library looks different (or what a learning commons is?). Below, I’ve tried to answer some of the questions I’ve been asked recently. I hope this adds some clarity to my role at the Woodville and the changes made to the library space. Please feel free to ask me any other questions you may have!
What is a Library Media Specialist?
LMS’s help empower students to become enthusiastic readers, lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and skillful users of information and technology in the 21st century. To read a much longer, more well written answer about the role of the school library program and school librarian created by the American Association of School Libraries, click here and here.
Are you teaching technology this year?
Not exactly. Classes will come to the library during their scheduled Library Media time. During that 40 minute period, we will be doing a lot! The library curriculum includes “traditional” library skills and book check out. However, that is just one piece. We will also be examining and strengthen information literacy skills, research skills, digital literacy skills and technology skills. Students will learn how to utilize digital tools to examine and explore, deepen their understanding, and share knowledge. So, it will not be straight up technology.
Will you go into classrooms?
Right now, I will be filling in at the Walton school and helping to get their Library Media Program up and running. That means I won’t be available to come into classrooms to do the technology integration piece. That doesn’t mean we can’t collaborate! Please come to me with your educational technology questions, recommendations for digital tools, or if you need help getting a digital tool set up.
What is the Learning Commons?
It’s another name for the library. I once heard it said that “teachers become what their students need them to be.” The same can be said for the school library--the changes made to the physical space are meant to better serve teachers and students. The newly redesigned Learning Commons allows more than one class to use the space for reading, researching, and collaboration. There are now two teaching spaces with projector access, as well as the story steps (on the Woodville Links). Please feel free to bring your classes to the Learning Commons whenever you would like!