New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Homework APP Garners Shubert Award

This year’s Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award has been awarded to The New York Public Library (NYPL) for their project entitled Homework NYC.  This award-winning project provides homework help with an interactive Dial-A-Teacher App. The project was funded by a three-year federal National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and was headed by Shauntee Burns, Outreach Specialist. Ms. Burns worked closely with youth services staff in NYPL, Brooklyn and Queens libraries, as well as the New York City Department of Education, to produce a high-quality web presence for students, teachers and parents.

Four nights a week, the online program connects students and teachers in real time through a secure digital whiteboard. A student types his/her question, uses a mouse or stylus to draw a math problem (for instance) on the screen or imports documents such as a scanned page of homework to the whiteboard. A teacher instantly sees the problem and provides feedback by typing a suggestion, adding to the drawing or pointing the student to other web sites.
Students played a role in the creation of the App, providing librarians with information about their homework needs and practices and made suggestions about how libraries could better support them. Focus groups of teens were held in all five boroughs and students were encouraged to complete online and paper surveys.

The Homework NYC web site provides information for librarians, teachers, parents and students. Information on Homework NYC is also available on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TeacherTube. Ms. Burns has demonstrated the project at schools, libraries and community centers across New York City.
Members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries 2011 Shubert Award Committee were Sara Kelly Johns, Chair; Louise Sherby and Mary Muller. The Committee was uniformly enthusiastic in its decision to honor The New York Public Library’s submission as an excellent example of the “spirit of the Shubert award.”  

The award was officially presented at New York Library Association Conference.  The Shubert Award winner, The New York Public Library received $1,000, which is graciously donated by the Friends of the New York State Library.