The New York Library Association (NYLA) and the Section of School Librarians (NYLA/SSL), in partnership with New York State Education Department (SED), mounted a two-day School Library Summit held in Albany, at the State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York, 12234, on Monday and Tuesday, July 7 and 8, 2014. Collectively, the SED, NYLA/SSL, NYLA, and the School Library Systems Association (SLSA) sponsored the event.
The mission of the summit was to enable all New York State students to be college and career ready by strengthening the critical role of school librarians in teaching and learning. In addition, the event would serve to plan actions to support increased student achievement within the context of school library services as they relate to curriculum, instruction, assessments and professional development and the proposed Regents Research Requirement for graduation.
As a result of the Summit, consensus was established around a set of mutually agreed, detailed recommendations and supporting action steps, presented to NYSED Senior Managers, to be implemented within 6 to 18 months following the Summit. The desired effect of a NYSED/School Librarian Summit 2014 was to raise the visibility of school library support of student achievement with NYSED Senior Managers, to obtain the necessary NYSED resources if possible, and to accelerate progress towards accomplishing the agreed upon action steps.
Participation in the Summit was by invitation only, recruiting invitees based on participants’ demonstrated leadership and the NYSED Curriculum Team’s pre-established structure for committee representation.
Divided into five core strand working groups, the participants collaborated via conference call in advance of the Summit to establish essential questions and directives. The core strand working groups focused on:
These working groups provided a structure to the conversations at the Summit, leading to recommendations reached by consensus
The Summit culminated with the presentation of the Summit recommendations to NYSED senior staff and Regents including:
2014 SCHOOL LIBRARY SUMMIT (SLS14)
Enable all New York State students to be college and career ready by strengthening the critical role of school librarians and school library programs in teaching and learning.
Through a partnership of professional library associations, school library systems, state education offices, educators, and community members, a framework and plan will be created to ensure all students have access to quality school library programs, relevant resources and a highly-skilled, certified school librarian in every school.
The framework is divided into six sections, each with a statement of purpose, recommendations and action steps. Click here for a timeline of the recommended action.
I. Collaborations & Partnerships
The 2014 School Library Summit (SLS14) participants value working together with the State Education Department (SED) to ensure all students have access to relevant resources and information and digital literacy instruction through a quality school library program and a certified school librarian in every school. This collaborative partnership is critical to student success.
Foster ongoing conversations among SLS14 lead organizations and multiple offices and departments at SED, for dialog on school librarians, high quality school library resources and excellent information literacy programs can contribute to achievement.
II. Development & Distribution of Resources
School libraries and school librarians play a critical, central role in teaching and learning. In order to ensure that every student has access to a quality school library program and a highly skilled school librarian, it is important that the performance of both school library programs and school librarians be continuously nurtured and assessed. The library community has developed, and continues to refine, a number of powerful tools for the implementation, assessment and evaluation of quality school library programs and highly skilled school librarians. These tools include:
The support and assistance of SED in the broad promotion and distribution of these powerful tools will assist school leaders and school librarians in the further improvement of high-quality school library programs across the state.
SLS14 lead organizations will partner with SED on a series of action steps intended to continuously develop and promote materials and resources that aid in the improvement, assessment and evaluation of school library programs and school librarians via multiple channels. The action steps below are intended to ensure that all students will have access to a quality school library program and a highly skilled school librarian.
2.1 Action: The Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (IFC) will be prominent and accessible on EngageNY, as well as on the newly developed Exemplary School Library Program webpage of the Administrators’ channel of NYSED's website.
2.2 Action: Creation of an "Exemplary School Library Media Program” web page on the School Administrators’ channel of the NYSED website with a list of key resources to assist administrators in developing and assessing strong school library programs.
2.5 Action: Update the Essential Elements on the SLMPE Rubric to reflect current practices in school library programs including Common Core Learning Standards and the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum and develop a toolkit to support the use of the SLMPE Rubric by every school district which will be prominent and accessible on EngageNY.
III. Research & Data
A key component in the improvement of a top quality school library programs is the availability of quantifiable data to benchmark the impact of these services on student outcomes. The data should be online, easy to access, current and comprehensive.
The SLS14 lead organizations will partner with SED to review and update Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) Question 21, which provides critical data annually for multiple audiences about the status of New York State school library programs, resources and staffing.
3.1 Action: Revision of BEDS (Question 21 – Library Program) to reflect current practices and to make easily accessible key data that demonstrates the impact of school library programs and school librarians on student learning.
IV. Resources for Professional Development & Assessment
The school library community recognizes the need for ongoing, quality professional development to ensure that practitioners are continuously refreshed on the most current research and skills to further the delivery of their programs. Further the community understands that providing opportunities for learning about school library programs to other segments of the education ecosystem is key to increasing awareness of critical role of school library programs and school librarians in advancing teaching and learning and in enabling all New York State students to be college and career ready.
The SLS14 lead organizations will come together to advance top quality professional development, evaluated using a consistent format, to be delivered to a wide array of constituents, including pre-service and in-service school librarians, teachers and administrators.
4.1 Action: Develop and implement plan for coherent and sustained development of school librarian competencies, leadership and confidence.
V. Marketing, Communication & Outreach
School library programs led by highly-skilled, certified school librarians play a critical role in enabling New York students to be college and career ready. But, is every school leader in New York State aware of the positive impact of school librarians and school library programs on student achievement? Do school board members understand the impact of school librarians with strong school library programs on students and communities? Is every teacher aware of the incredible knowledge, skills, expertise and resources a school librarian can provide that will help students succeed? Is every school librarian able to communicate clearly the importance of the library and its resources to student success to students, parents and the school community?
The SLS14 lead organizations, partnering with SED where appropriate, will develop materials that clearly and concisely demonstrate these concepts and deliver that messaging via a wide array of vehicles and channels.
5.1 Action: Promote quality school library programs staffed by certified school librarians as essential to the implementation of the NYS Common Core Learning Standards through curriculum development, technology integration, and assessment.
VI. Funding and Legislation
As with so many things, funding is an essential ingredient for strong libraries. As part of NYS’s education infrastructure, State education funding and legislation can significantly impact school library programs.
NYLA and the school library community will provide support to SED in advancing a recommendation for the increase of School Library Materials Aid, as well as other legislative actions that will improve school library programs.
6.1 Action: NYLA, working in partnership with SLS14 lead organizations and SED, will review current school librarian and School Library Materials Aid data, assess needs, and formulate a proposal for an increase in School Library Materials Aid.
2014 NYLA/SSL/SLSA/SED SCHOOL LIBRARY SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS
Sara Kelly Johns, New York Library Association President, 2013-14
Cassandra Artale, Beatrice Baaden, Susan Bartle, Katie Bertrand, John Brock, Michael Cambria, Carol Desch, Judi Dzikowski, Mary Beth Farr, Richard Hasenyager, Melissa Jacobs Israel, Paige Jaeger, Jeremy Johannesen, Sara Kelly Johns, Susan Kowalski. Jill Leinung, Bernard Margolis, Susan Polos, Carlos Ramirez, Frances Roscello, Karen Sperrazza, Barbara Kay Stripling
WORKING GROUPS (FACILITATORS AND RECORDERS)
Administrative Support Group (Sara Kelly Johns, Susan Kowalski)
BOARD OF REGENT MEMBERS AND NYSED SENIOR MANAGERS
James C. Dawson, Board of Regents
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