Sunday, April 27, 2008

Reference Materials- What do our students need?

Library 2.0- Print resources and web resources for student learning- What do we really need?

I recently attended a professional development day designed to help us spend our allocated funds on research materials for our school libraries. I work in the private sector and I do not have the luxury of having a librarian so the day was informative and it did get me thinking about evaluating and maintaining our library. It also raised some very important questions about today's school library which I hope you will help me to answer. In this particular instance the allocated funds had to be spent on print resources and so in choosing those books I struggled with what our students needed.

What do today's students need?

What is the balance between print and web based resources? Is there a balance? Does it matter? What if any print resources do you think are essential? I have a nice chart from the workshop that breaks down by percentage and Dewey categories the rough proportions a elementary or secondary library should follow in building their collection but it does not address the questions I have about print resources.

Please don't misunderstand. I am not against books, in fact an avid reader. But I need you to help me think aloud here... What are essential tools for research for our students and how much of the budget should go to print resources?

We have set a goal to ensure our students are effective researchers* but now I have to considerer and evaluate what tools we need to make sure this happens.

Please share your insights...

*Specifically we state: “St Elisabeth Students will demonstrate effective research and information fluency by developing original conclusions, re-evaluating and interpreting their assumptions, and assessing the reliability and validity of their sources.”


mmw said...

We are just starting to address this issue in my district. In the past few years, the print reference materials have been used less and less. We have several online databases and some reference e-books. In the future, we will not be buying print reference, opting instead to add to our collection of e-books and databases.

Barbara said...

That would be my direction also but some of the funding for library resources requires print purchases. They want to see a tangible result of the spending that will last beyond a yearly subscription.

Sam said...

Very Informative and nice blog.

Keep Writing.

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