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Katie Menges

SLM 501 Summer 2016

3 July 2016

Mission Statement

Current: Gerstell Academy's Carolyn B. Smith Library is a place where students can enjoy

literature, dare to dream, and think for themselves.

New: Gerstell Academys Library Program ensures students are effective and ethical users of

resources by authentically engaging all students to demand evidence and think critically as they

investigate personal and curricular interests.

Librarian Interview

I have the distinct privilege and honor of claiming Jan Nies as a mentor and fellow

Library Media Specialist. Jan is both an instructor for the SLM program at McDaniel and the

head Library Media Specialist at Parrs Ridge Elementary school, which is located in a

moderately wealthy area of Carroll County. This school currently has approximately 450

students enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade. Library classes at this school occur

on a fixed schedule, with additional checkouts at teachers discretion.

Jan focuses on building positive relationships with other teachers and is very involved

within the school, both with curriculum planning and with technology. She provides material for

classroom teachers to augment their lessons with both books and media, and encourages students

to read further about topics of interest provided by their classroom teacher. Because she has been

with the school since it opened, she is in a unique position to build strong relationships with new
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faculty and families and to maintain the strong bond formed with original teachers and veteran


When our discussion turned to budgeting and library advocacy, Jan said that projects are

a great way to get others involved and excited about the library. She runs her own book fairs and

uses 100% of the profits to augment her regular budget, which has never fallen into danger

because she maintains a very positive relationship with her administrators and makes them

continually aware of the work that is going on and into the Media Center. She pointed out that

when students are happy and high-achieving, every member of the school and community

benefits, and that making the connection to happy and high-achieving students to the library is

key. By ensuring that there are always new and interesting library materials that are age-

appropriate, Jan ensures that students, teachers, parents and administrators are eager and willing

to support her library program.

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Advocacy Plan
Part I: Assessing Your Message
The Agenda
Middle and Upper School Students The Library Media Center
What is important to target audience? What is important to the LMC goals?
Friends Meeting AASL and MDSE standards
Grades Filling patron requests
Quickly and easily accessible materials Meeting the diverse needs of our
for projects
community of learners
What is foremost in their minds? Meeting curricular goals for literature,
Friends as well as research-based subjects
Reading for pleasure How can you fulfill LMC goals by linking to
Meeting class requirements (grades) their agenda?
Getting information needed for By adding Kindle technology, we gain
assignments - especially at the last a unique ability to remain current with
minute new releases while saving money on
How can you link up to their agenda? the list price of books.
By using curriculum maps, we will
By purchasing Amazon Kindle books,
have an idea of students academic
needs material is purchased once and
We can provide additional resources available on several linked devices.
through Amazon Kindles and a Many classics and out-of-copyright
streamlined system for approving materials are available as free books, or
materials by request are highly discounted.
We can provide information on fun What services can you provide?
events and digital content available The LMS can provide training for the
from the public library
Kindle app and physical Kindle use
What can the LMS do to help move their
agenda forward? Speedy purchase of requested books
Purchase and provide kindles will allow instant downloads onto the
Provide clear directions for requesting requested kindle(s)
materials Kindles could be used for synchronized
Provide approved books at request (on reading for a class or book club, with
demand) minimal copies required for purchase
Suggest titles to read and discuss as a The LMS can provide readers advisory
group suggestions for future reading, based
How can you benefit them and their needs? on class requirements or personal
By providing Kindles and on-demand interests
materials, the LMC becomes instantly What resources do you have?
current and considerate of student Library electronic, multimedia, and
needs at any given moment. book budget
By taking advantage of multiple GAPA (the Gerstell Academy Parents
Kindles working on the same account, Association)
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the LMS can encourage groups of What benefits can you provide?
students to read together for pleasure or We can increase access to both
for a class. technology and electronic resources
We can increase technological equity
for all students
We can expedite student access to
materials of interest
We can increase incidence and depth of
student standards being met, which will
benefit the LMC and classroom

Assessing Your Message and Reporting Guide

The Agenda: purchase kindles for MS/US student use, for free-reading and for informational
Middle and Upper School Students Library Media Center
Students need immediate access to a wider The LMC wants students to be
range of curriculum-related texts for classwork Effective and ethical users of resources
and homework, and need access to more niche- and information - technology allows for
interest books for personal reading. more effective use of information
Authentically engaged - catering to
student interests will help this
Able to investigate both personal and
curricular interests
Enthusiastic lifelong learners
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Meet more AASL and MDSE standards, i.e. reading for pleasure, reading to gain
knowledge, and the ability to pursue personal interests.
Technological equity will be improved: students who might otherwise have trouble
accessing the required materials for assignments will be able to instantly access materials
via Kindles. When reading extra-scholastic materials, students will be practicing reading
using technology, familiarizing themselves with different formats of information.
Students who would not otherwise have access to technology will gain technology
experience and comfort with digital platforms
Services provided:
Last-minute project needs are met
Student interests are fulfilled on- and off-campus
Digital equity is encouraged throughout the student body

How do you know the plan has been successful?
Circulation data: if all kindles are checked out, then the plan is currently being utilized
Overall efficacy may be calculated by considering the school weeks per year to calculate
the number of weekly checkouts possible: the percentage of total checkouts will directly
correlate to success rate. For example, if we have 5 kindles and 41 weeks of school, then
we have the potential for 205 total checkouts. If we see 195 actual checkouts, then the
program was 95% successful; if we see 130 actual checkouts then the program was 63%
Reviews from students, parents, and faculty: positive reviews and comments indicate that
the program is benefitting the target group.

How do the desired outcomes show a strengthening of the advocates and supporters?
Teachers of literature are benefitted by immediate access to materials.
Parents will save time and energy when their children have immediate access to both
informative and fun reading materials.
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Students will benefit from digital and technological equity among peers.
Students will benefit by having their intellectual and imaginative needs more
immediately met by the library.

Last Step: What is your key message? Are benefits included in the message?
Equity: enabling less economically privileged students to access and master technology that they
would otherwise not encounter on a daily basis.
Academically, reading on-level for recreation improves reading retention, vocabulary, and even
critical thinking skills.

Part 2: Advocacy Plan

Section 1: Setting Your Goals
Action Step #1: Determine you key issues.
Equity in access to technology
Timely access to material of academic interest
Timely access to material of personal interest

Action Step #2: Determine your goal.

The goal is to increase student access to materials of personal and/or academic interest while
providing technology for students who might not otherwise have access to technology.

Section 2: Strategies for Developing Your Message

Action Step #3: Name your key audience.
1. Zero in on your audience: Middle and Upper School Students
A. What groups or individuals are important supporters of the library program? What key
decision-makers in your school or library would you like to have on your side? What other
groups would you like to reach with your message?
Gerstell Academy Parents Association (GAPA)
Student Government Officials
Middle and Upper School teachers
Administrators all levels
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B. Why are your issues important to them?

My issues are important to these groups because they are all benefitted by students
information and recreation needs being met. Teachers and parents both benefit from increased
academic success through increased access to materials, while students benefit from access to
curricular and personal interest materials and technology to access this material expediently.
Administrators benefit from all aspects of this plan, because student performance and happiness
are being supported.

C. List three supporting points:

1. Equity of access to technology
2. Immediate access to information
3. Niche interests are represented through requests

2. Determine your key messages.

ACTION STEP #4: What are your key messages?
1. The need for technological equity among students
2. Accessibility of new and current literature
3. Technology affords the ability to link students together for group work or book clubs
4. Encourage a lifelong love of learning

Section 3: Developing your talking points.

Develop the Story: Many students do not have full access to technology from home, even when
they use computers and tablets all day at school. Most of our Middle and Upper School students
have highly specialized and well-defined interests that are impossible to keep up with by
traditional means, and most students report needing material for a school assignment at the last
minute. With our new Kindle initiative, we fix all of these issues: students may request
materials for purchase, and many curricular materials are discounted or (in the case of out-of-
copyright materials, often free). This helps student fulfillment and achievement, while saving
parents time. Everyone benefits from this innovative solution to the traditional book ordering
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Section 3: Strategies to Get the Message Out
Who: Students, Teachers, and Parents will all benefit from the librarys newest technology
addition: the Kindle program.
What: New books available on Kindle e-readers: sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, history, you name it!
The newest books are up to you; what are you in the mood for?
When: Coming in September!
How: The media center will keep a collection of Kindles on hand. The librarian will approve and
purchase materials by student request, to meet student needs.
Why: To increase reading for fun, provide additional curricular material, and provide additional
access to technology for students who would not otherwise have access. This plan also saves the
very limited space in the physical library.

ACTION STEP #5: Strategies

Create book trailers for recently added titles; eventually form a library of book trailers on
the librarys website
Send newsletters regularly with information on new titles and how to request titles of
personal interest

Section 4: Team Building

ACTION STEP #6: Name Your Network
ACTION STEP #7: Staying Connected
Write down three things youll do when you get home to strengthen relationships with the
members of your network named above.
1. Create a template to send out with basic Kindle instructions, with an FAQ
2. Send an email to solicit feedback and/or questions
3. Ask for topics of interest from teachers and/or parents, to encourage student
extracurricular growth
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Tactics for Success: Creating a Coordinating Committee

What is the main goal of the committee?
The main goal of this committee must be to spread awareness and garner support
for the Kindle program and other digital materials available through the library.
What specific tasks should the committee complete?
o Fundraising
o Awareness - newsletters, word of mouth, social media
o Assess success of the program
o Identify strategies to improve
Who might serve on the committee?
o Leadership department chair
o English department chair
o Student Government Officials
Who will serve as Chair?
o Librarian

Send out a Google Form questionnaire to assess student interests and needs, including a
wish list box for title requests
Send out a Google Form to assess parent and faculty ideals and concerns regarding
student reading
Assess data gathered through Google Forms and share findings with the school
Introduce the Kindle Program and pre-load classics and top 3 student requests
October- May
Provide training as needed via one-on-ones with students
Discuss the program and electronic reader use at faculty meetings and PTA meetings
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Assess the overall success of the program
Share successes and additions to the e-book collection
Send out a Google Form questionnaire to assess student interests and needs, including a
wish list box for title requests
Send out a Google Form to assess parent and faculty ideals and concerns regarding
student reading

Campaign Materials
Newsletters highlighting new titles added each month, with positive quotes from
members of the school community.
Book trailers created by students, faculty, and Library Committee members can
encourage students to read additional materials that have already been purchased.
Example Book Trailer.
Book Webs with suggestions of new reads - these might be all currently purchased books,
or some purchased and some books that would need to be requested. This would increase
student requests. Example Book Web.
Circulation statistics, published as a percentage out of 100% indicating how much the
Kindles are circulating.
Create a web interface once the library website is fully functional, where students may
request titles and queue up for Kindle use.

Other Advocacy Ideas

1. Start a library website to highlight research tools and resources for upcoming student
projects. This site can grow to include project ideas and links to subject-specific sites.
Although not live, a reference resource site like this could be a good starting place.
Stakeholder letters to the library could be published electronically here, alongside
feedback for library-related projects and incentives. This would help guide students with
less well-developed online research skills, and would allow students to work from home
or school, as long as they have access to technology. This will also help stakeholders to
see the library as a current and technologically savvy entity.
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2. Collaborate with classroom leaders to create online websites for class projects like
this that students can access from home or school. This will prove beneficial because the
library staff would need to help collect resources for classroom leaders regardless; rather
than only sharing with the teacher, this format of displaying information allows students
and teachers to include parents in the learning dialogue. This furthers the idea of the
library as a place of learning in multiple formats, as a media center rather than a book-
exclusive room.
3. Create and decorate a suggestion box for Lower School students to utilize. This will
include all members of the school community in the selection of new materials, since the
Middle and Upper School students will be participating in the Kindle program. The LMS
should purchase one new student suggestion per month, to keep younger students feeling
as though they have a sense of agency and excited about new materials. This could be
advertised on a bulletin board outside of the library to encourage students to participate
and look at our new book selection.
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Works Cited

"AASL Learning Standards & Common Core State Standards Crosswalk." AASL. AASL. Web.

28 Jun 2016.

Empowering Learners, Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. Chicago:

American Association of School Librarians, 2009. Print.

Nies, Jan. Personal Interview. 21 June 2016.