When my youngest students introduce me to their parents, they often say “this is my library teacher”. They understand that when they visit the library, they are learning. October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month. I thought this would be the perfect time to explain what, and how exactly, school librarians teach!
If you are information literate, you have the ability to efficiently and effectively locate relevant, accurate information from a variety of sources. You have a “tool belt” of sorts that includes strategies that help you ask good questions and evaluate information that you read, see, and hear. You are a critical thinker and a problem-solver. You can construct and communicate your own information and ideas in a variety of formats. That’s huge. It’s so big that it needs to be integrated across the curriculum in all content areas. That is why school librarians work as partners with classroom teachers. It is the best way to embed information literacy skills for all students.
Our youngest students are taught through the library program to locate and use information in multiple formats. They learn how to access print and digital media using a variety of tools such as DestinyQuest and BookFlix. They learn how to think critically about what they read, see, and hear by participating in literature groups and the Red Clover Book Award Program. They learn how to use multiple platforms such as KidBlog to share what they know with the world.
Older students learn to refine these basic skills. Over the past few weeks I have visited 8th grade USkills classes to teach strategic searching skills, and to compare and contrast information retrieved from a variety of formats. I am excited to be meeting next week with our 6th grade teaching team to plan the integration of science, social studies, and literacy skills with effective research strategies. Stay tuned for other Information Literacy related news over the next few weeks!