Librarians Transform

Because John Shank Knows That New Educational Resources Mean New Opportunities for Learners

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John Shank is Head of the Boscov-Lakin Information Commons & Thun Library at Penn State Berks.  He has been a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). He is the author of "Interactive Open Educational Resources: A Guide to Finding, Choosing, and Using What's Out There to Transform College Teaching (2014)". What is one of the best strategies for achieving change in your library and how have you leveraged it? One of the best strategies that I have employed to create change, improve the perception of the library, and promote the library’s integration into the university's curriculum is to take advantage of existing institutional initiatives. By demonstrating how libraries can contribute, support, and enhance an existing initiative (e.g. higher education's push to create more blended and online courses that enhance student learning), it is possible to create greater momentum and reduce the institutional friction that exists when creating a separate and additional library initiative.

Libraries Transform: Because Carolyn Foote Knows That Technology and Access Are Key to Learning

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Meet Carolyn Foote, district and high school librarian at Westlake High School at Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas. She is a member of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and was named a White House Champion of Change.

What big change are you implementing that is helping your library transform?

Our library initiated a pilot with six iPads five years ago to determine their usefulness in the classroom and library.  We invited students and teachers as well as library users to participate and give us feedback about ease of use for library services, educational functionality, and teacher ease of use. The library served as a Petri dish for testing out a new technology and giving our school community access to it. Now our school district is 1:1 iPads for all grade levels. As we transitioned to 1:1 for each student, the library offered space for a tech support area for students, and redesigned a section of the library named "the Juice Bar" to offer daily tech support for our 1:1 program.

Libraries Transform: Because Andy Plemmons Sees Learning in a Global, Connected Context

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Andy Plemmons is School Library Media Specialist at David C. Barrow Elementary in Athens, Georgia. 

What big change are you implementing that is helping your library transform?

Today, more than ever, we need to share, interact, and collaborate beyond the walls of our schools to connect our learners with a global audience. I share our work on a daily basis through social media, but we also seek out opportunities for students to develop projects that allow a global audience to interact with us. One example is our Barrow Peace Prize project with 2nd graders where students participate in a Google Hangout with me to develop criteria for the prize. They write persuasive pieces about 5 people from history and record themselves via Flipgrid. We invite online voting from people around the world and have a celebratory Skype session with the developers of Flipgrid. One student even designed a peace prize medal to 3D print, which now hangs in the Flipgrid office with their other awards. 

Libraries Transform: Because Junior Tidal Knows That Promoting Place and Community is Essential

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Junior Tidal is Associate Professor and Web Services and Multimedia Librarian at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, New York.

What big change are you implementing that is helping your library transform?

One of the more recent big changes that we are implementing is the incorporation of more Brooklyn-based documentaries into our media collection. The Ursula C. Schwerin Library, serving the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York (CUNY), is located in downtown Brooklyn. It’s a melting pot within a melting pot of sorts. By incorporating films and cinema highlighting local happenings, I feel that students are exposed to issues and events happening in their own backyard that they may be unaware of.