ASSIGNMENT 2: LITERACY ACTION PLAN

For Assignment 2, I chose to outline a workable plan to transition our library to a library learning commons (LLC) over five years with a focus on literacy. Currently, our library has started this transition; however, we have not formalized any goals, success indicators, timelines, or gathered any feedback from the school community. In 2013 and 2014, we were given a Learning Commons Grant for new flexible and comfortable furniture, we received a Technology Grant for new iPads, and our computer lab was upgraded. We are off to a good start, but we could definitely use more direction and collaboration in our efforts.

I really like how the document Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada by the Canadian Library Association (2014) lays out 5 standards of practice, key steps with planning documents, and specific growth stages for making this transition. This document got my brain thinking about returning to work from my maternity leave and carving out time to make a formal five year plan. In September, our district announced Inquiry Grants to provide people with release time to improve an area of their practice. At the urging of our District Library Technician, I applied for and received an Inquiry Grant for our library. I am hoping to return to work in February using this assignment as a workable plan to dive into our inquiry question: How can we transition our school library to a Library Learning Commons to lead learning and literacy as outlined in Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada (Canadian Library Association, 2014)?

Since there are five standards for our five year plan, I would like to focus each year on one of the standards of practice. Linking to my Essential Question from Assignment 1, How can a school Library Learning Commons foster literacies to empower life-long learners?, I would like to focus the 2016/2017 school year on making our library a centre for literacy. Reflecting on the course readings, there are many creative ways in which we can inspire our students to be life-long readers. For example, in the article Reading in the wild, Kelley and Miller (2013) discuss several ways to get the message out about reading to students and parents by: including book recommendations in newsletters, on the announcements and in email signatures, creating book lists for vacations, having “I am Currently Reading” signs on the principal and other staff members’ doors, creating a reading graffiti wall where students and staff can put up book quotes, and creating book commercials. We want our library to be a centre for literacy where students and staff come to read, be inspired by book recommendations and displays, and give book recommendations to others. Kelley and Miller (2013) remind us that “building relationships with other readers sustains a student’s interest in reading because it reinforces that reading is an acceptable and desirable pastime” (p. 98).

Part of our literacy action plan will involve improving our reading collection. Serafini (2012) discusses the need to expand our definitions of literacy beyond print based books to include many different multi-modal forms of text. Serafini (2012) reminds us that the “disconnect between the text students encounter in school and the texts they encounter in their lives out of school must be broached to prepare students to be successful in the new millennium” (p. 32). Our library currently has some eBooks and eReaders, but our circulation statistics on these resources are low. We also co-teach information literacy skills on evaluating information we find online with certain teachers, but we have not reached out to the whole school. Further, our district subscribes to several online film streaming sites with excellent educational clips and films; however, not all staff know how to access these resources or how up to date software to play online content. While our library has a robust print collection, our literacy action plan will need to address these other areas of literacy.

Further, in the article Love that book: Multi-modal response to literature, Grisham (2013) discusses how technology and media can support struggling readers by engaging different modes, such as images, sounds, video, etc. He suggests that students personalize literature by creating digital books and book trailers, or retelling the story from the perspective of one of the characters using Web 2.0 tools, such as Voice Thread, Garage Band, and iMovie (Grisham, 2013). I am excited to work with the LLC Leadership team to use many of these suggestions at our school to make our library a centre for literacy.

Another key part of our action plan will be to gather feedback from the school community, including teachers, support staff, administrators, and students. In the assignment below, I have included a rough draft of a staff survey. I plan to post this survey online using the district’s Survey Monkey Account so that responses are anonymous and the data can be easily collated and analyzed. As a LLC Leadership team, we will also modify this survey to gather feedback from other school community members. As indicated in the action plan, we will meet with 6 staff members and several student volunteers face to face to get specific feedback on our five year plan and the literacy themes: literacy leadership, engaging readers, information literacy, critical literacy, digital literacy and citizenship, cultural literacy, and literacy partners (Canadian Library Association, 2014). A key piece of the Inquiry Grant has been securing funding to get release time for collaboration and feedback from our school community. I am curious to see what our community thinks about our LLC and how we can improve.

Using page 17 and 18 of the Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada by the Canadian Library Association (2014), we have set specific goals for improving literacy at our school in the 2016/2017 school year as part of a five year plan to transition our library to a LLC. While the details of our literacy action plan will not be developed until we meet as a LLC leadership team in February, I have laid out below a workable model to follow as we build those plans to improve our library. I am excited about returning to work and starting this project to engage our whole school in the development of our learning commons to better support teaching and learning in the 21st century. I full heartily agree with the article Why our future depend on libraries, reading, and daydreaming, when Gaiman (2013) states, “We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up rung by rung into literacy” (para. 14). On that note, here is the plan: …

Action Plan-Working Document

 

Who Library Learning Commons (LLC) Leadership Team: Rita Cavaliere (MSS Special Ed/Library), Val Kynoch (District Library Technician), Lia Moyes Larson (MSS Library/Science)
What Literacy action plan as part of a five year transition plan to a LLC
Target Audience Merritt Secondary School- approximately 600 students and staff from grades 8 to 12 in the small town of Merritt, BC
Timeline As part of the LLC five year transition plan, starting in 2016/2017 school year with a focus on literacy (five standards over five years)
Rationale The LLC Leadership Team is in the process of transitioning our traditional school library to a Library Learning Commons, as described by Hayes (2014) as, “the hub of the school, where teachers and students collaborate, inquiry-based learning is promoted, and teacher-librarians provide instructional support to every teacher in the school while fostering a thriving reading culture” (p.1). One of our essential questions driving this transition is: How can a school Library Learning Commons foster literacies to empower life-long learners? Using the document Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada, we would like to target specific areas of our library program to improve upon in order to address multiple literacies to better support students and staff with 21st century teaching and learning (Canadian Library Association, 2014).
Goals To improve literacy and life-long learning at MSS as part of a whole school transformation from a traditional library to a library learning commons, as outlined on page 17 and 18 of the Leading Learning Framework for Fostering Literacies to Empower Life-Long Learners (Canadian Library Association, 2014). Specifically, the Library Learning Commons Leadership team would like to improve our program from the “evolving” to “established” transitional growth stage in the areas of literacy leadership, digital literacy and citizenship, and literacy partners (Canadian Library Association, 2014, p. 17). Further, we would like to improve from the “established” to the “leading into the future” growth stage in the areas of engaging readers, information literacy, critical literacy, and cultural literacy (Canadian Library Association, 2014, p. 18). Page 17 and 18 Literacy Goals
Definition of Literacy We will be working towards a learning commons program that supports “transliteracy”, as defined by Thomas, Joseph, Laccetti, Mason, Mills, Perril, and Pullinger as “The ability to read, write, and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks” (as cited in The Canadian Library Association, 2014, p. 28). We will focus on the following themes of literacy: literacy leadership, engaging readers, information literacy, critical literacy, digital literacy and citizenship, cultural literacy, and literacy partners (Canadian Library Association, 2014).
Resources Needed We will be using the document Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada by the Canadian Library Association (2014) as our main resource. We applied and were accepted for an Inquiry Grant from our school district (see attached). As part of this grant we will get four half days of release time to work on our five year learning commons   transition plan with a focus on improving literacy in the 2016-2017 school year. We were also approved to do a Staff Survey for input on our LLC transition and literacy goals using the district’s subscription to Survey Monkey. We will also apply to PAC again this year for funds to run programing in the library

Letter to PAC 2015 2016

Support People LLC Leadership Team has requested and been approved for release time for school community members to provide input on library/literacy plan (roughly one hour each). Ideally we would like one grade 8 team member, the First Peoples English teacher, one senior grade teacher, the principal, the literacy helping teacher or district staff member, and a support worker.
Workable Model- Key Steps 1.       Apply for Inquiry Grant to get collaboration time to plan learning commons transition and literacy action plan (see application attached)

2.       Apply to PAC for money to run learning commons programs, such as literacy promotion, and purchase more graphic novels (multi-modal forms of text) (see letter attached)

3.       Meet as a LLC Leadership Team (meeting #1 of 4) to put together an outline of the key steps for the transition from traditional library to LLC, including: developing a library team, creating a vision, integrating the school development plan, reviewing existing resources and programs, developing an action plan, aligning the Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada, and celebrating our successes (Canadian Library Association, 2014, p. 22). At this meeting, the team will completed Appendix 3 (see attached), looking at all of the standards of practice, where we are, and where we want to go (Canadian Library Association, 2014, p. 32).

4.       Meet as a LLC Leadership Team (meeting #2)to improve literacy by formalizing a literacy action plan by completing modified version of Appendix 2 (see attached) from the Canadian Library Association (2014, p. 31). The team will brainstorm and select one large or several smaller literacy promotion programs to run in the next school year.

5.       In order to move forward, we will gather input from the school community, students, staff, and administration team on transitioning to a learning commons and improving literacy at MSS through an online survey (see attached).

6.       The team will also recruit and schedule a meeting (meeting #3) with school community members to provide input on the specifics of the library/literacy plan in person (roughly one hour each release time has been approved). Ideally we would like one grade 8 team member, the First Peoples English teacher, one senior grade teacher, the principal, the literacy helping teacher or district staff member, and a support worker.

7.       Meet as a LLC Leadership team (meeting #4) to collate all of the feedback from the survey/ in person meetings and incorporate the input into library transition and literacy action plans. Finalize the plan using Appendix 4 (see attached) from the Canadian Library Association (2014, p. 33).

8.       Prepare short summary of LLC transition plan and literacy action plan in visually stimulating way using a Web 2.0 tool– e.g.: Powtoon, Prezi, Glogster, etc.

9.       Present plan at year end staff meeting for implementation starting in 2016/2017 and present to the district at the Inquiry Grant final meeting on June 3, 2016

Obstacles
  • Long term plan over five years = hard to stay focused year to year
  • Need volunteers (students and staff) to gather input both online and in person
  • Need to schedule coverage for meetings with volunteers in person
  • Need to get school community on board with the LLC model (cannot do it alone!)
  • New administrator, new District Technology Coordinator, and librarian (me) on Maternity Leave = cannot rely on previous relationship building and LLC program reputation in the past, starting over takes time and energy
  • No Literacy Coordinator at district level (on medical leave with no replacement)
  • New curriculum coming down the pipeline, but not fully completed at secondary level = some guess work at how LLC can support these changes

Attached documents:

Page 17 and 18 Literacy Goals

District-Inquiry-Grants-Application-2015

Letter to PAC 2015 2016

Appendix 3,2,4 Action Planning

Staff Survey

References

Canadian Library Association. (2014). Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada. Ottawa:ON. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/2014/05/diversity/everyday-diversity-a-teacher-librarian-offers-practical-tips-to-make-a-difference/

Gaiman, N. (2013, October 15). Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming?CMP=twt_gu

Grisham, D. (2013). Love that book: multimodal response to literature. The Reading Teacher. 67(3), 220-225.

Hayes, T. (2014). Library to Learning Commons. Retrieved from http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/library-learning-commons

Kelley, S., & Miller, D. (2013). Reading in the wild: The book whisper’s keys to cultivating lifelong reading habits. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Serafini, F. (2012). Reading multimodal texts in the 21st century. Research in Schools. 19(1), 26-32.

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