Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘MediaSpecialists

 

In the years leading up to World War II the German government destroyed millions of books considered undesirable to the Nazis way of thinking and how others should think or what they should  learn.   Throughout the book burning era,” 37 archives,  402 museums, 531 institutions and 957″ libraries were destroyed.  Americans and institutions such as the American Library Association took action by organizing efforts to provide books for the growing number of Americans serving in the military who lacked the basics, including reading materials at military bases.   Author Molly Manning provides an interesting (and sometimes humorous) account of what transpired in  When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped us Win World War II.  (Houghton-Mifflin, 2014)

The initial goal of the Victory Book Campaign (VBC) was collecting 10,000,000 hardbound books through country-wide book drives.  Hardbound books proved cumbersome and donated books were not always “suitable.”  A newly formed group, the Council of Books in Wartime, led efforts to first purchase paperback books and the eventual  publication of Armed Services Editions from 1942 – 1947.  Millions of these small-sized editions representing popular and classic words of fiction and non-fiction were distributed to American military personnel throughout the world. Some titles such as The Great Gatsby and Tree Grows in Brooklyn remain at the literary forefront; others such as the popular Chicken on Sunday  and Our Hearts were Young and Gay have faded from our reading tastes but provided enjoyable reading to thousands.  The VBC and the ASE  are credited with providing entertainment and comfort for members of the military. The projects also helped soldiers become readers and later college students under the GI Bill.

School library media specialists will relate to the familiar situations of  attempted censorship of “hot” titles such as Forever Amber (always on a waiting list), limited funding, and  unsuitable donations. The New York Telegraph explained, “too many people looked upon the voluntary campaign  an opportunity to get rid of books that nobody would want.”  There were also political issues.  One senator thought the female ALA president was incapable of managing the  VBC; another opposed the government’s involvement in publishing books with political overtones.

Manning’s book is an interesting and informative narrative. She become interested in the ASE and VBC when she discovered letters servicemen wrote to authors.  Berlin’s Bebelplatz has a memorial to the 1933 book burning; there is not a memorial to the ASE and VBC in the United States. Manning hopes her book “may serve as a memorial to those efforts.” (Afterward)

This not too widely known aspect of life on the homefront during World War II  is a unique topic for student research.  Some suggested resources for student researchers are:

Photo:  Victory Book Campaign. Soldiers of Fort Myer, Virginia, in Statuary Hall of the Capitol, receiving books donated by members of Congress for 1943 Victory Book Campaign

catalogA delightful display greets visitors arriving at the home of a Minnesota Media Services and
Instructional Technology Program Director. Click the photo to view these reminders of school library media center things past in more detail! How many of these artifacts do you remember?  How many were part of your career? Are some things puzzling?

Enjoy. . . reminisce. . .  think about how much school media centers and technology have changed since 1980.   Change is sometimes hard to see when we are part of it!  Celebrate!

Jane Prestebak, the owner of this collection, would like to know if anyone  has a book that held the cards that one checked magazines in with?  “What’s it called?”  She hopes someone “can part with one of those magazine thingys.”

A picture really is worth a thousand words!

 

Internet@Schools

On My Mind! The NEW MEDIA CENTER, Internet @Schools, Dec/Nov. 2013


I just wanted to thank you for your article in this months Internet @ Schools, “Questions, Musings, and Other Things On My Mind”.  It was fantastic and I couldn’t agree with you more about what you said about library media specialists and our jobs. I have been the LMS at my school for two years now and feel that libraries in schools are vital to the life of our schools. Though we have clerical duties as you pointed out in the article, our main focus should be on the students and staff in this building—helping them.  
Keep up the great work.  Sincerely,
Kimmie Vogt, Library Media Specialist, Hastings Middle School

Interacting with History; Teaching with Primary Sources, edited by Katharine Lehman.   It was a lot of fun writing the chapter bookcover Discovering Local History in your own Back Yard.  The types of local history treasures like those I’ve written about on this blog are included along with  stories of how media specialists and teachers are bringing local history resources and activities into their schools.  Other chapters are by Sara Suiter, Sherry Galloway along  with contributions by Library of Congress American Memory Fellow and an introduction by Barbara Stripling.  Other selected content: Overview of the Library of Congress Resources ~ Teacher Pages Resources ~ Professional Development Materials  and Lessons ~ Teaching with Primary Resources Partners ~ Interacting with History is available from ALA , Spring 2014. 

BOOKCOVER_CCS

I recently participated in a discussion with a group of media specialists who met virtually to engage in some conversation with a few HS librarians who are actively teaching to the CCS with their teachers.  Sharing was facilitated by author/speaker and former school media specialist Toni Buzzeo.

School media specialists want to be involved and work with teachers, but many are overwhelmed. They want to know how to collaborate with teachers and what to do to get started.  Several shared what they are doing. Examples include focusing on standards, what resources will support them, and meeting with teachers. Others are updating media center web sites to meet new needs, aggressively updating collections, and acquiring more resources to meet the CCS informational text requirements.

Throughout our discussion I thought of how this is not that different from what we’ve long been doing– collaborating with teachers to integrate and infuse information literacy throughout the curriculum. I would apply my “work with the living” philosophy and reach out to those who are interested in trying new things and using new resources such as digital primary resources from the Library of Congress.

But, what may be familiar is not all the same.  High stakes testing and the emphasis on accountability in the classroom and media center place a greater importance on successful and educational meaningful collaboration and integration.  The CCS standards are more complex and more far-reaching than the  others.

After our discussion ended I came across The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded, Grades 6-8. It’s a very practical book that makes CCS very understandable.

I am impressed with this book! It clearly depicts the alignment/integration of Common Core Language arts standards in reading, science/technical subjects, speaking/listening and writing.  Many clear examples, including several involving technology are included.  The format and layout clearly shows the cross-disciplinary nature of CCS.  The easy-to-read bulleted text and generous note-taking spaces are a plus. I shared the book with a social studies teacher/future media specialist. She instantly saw its potential as a tool for her own teaching and as a PLC leader.

I examine many books as a reviewer for LMC magazine; this one stands out! Debbie Abilock said Burke’s a pro – his teaching strategies and student-focused instructions are a proactive, intelligent approach to synthesizing and integrating information while avoiding plagiarism.

 References

(Originally published as a guest post on  A Media Specialists Guide to the Internet,  Julie Greller’s Award Winning Blog!)

Addressing a statewide group of media specialists, my former principal said, I have two simple wishes for my school–that when the students wake up in the morning they want to go to school, and when the staff wakes up in the morning they want to go to school.  He also talked about the importance of technology, staff development, and media specialists partnering in the school and beyond. Scott Hannon wanted the media center to be a place where kids wanted to be, where things were happening; joked that something was wrong if it was too quiet. I was fortunate to work with him; I miss middle school as I hear about exciting possibilities for today’s media specialists and for our students.

And, something is on my mind. Why are so many people still entering the field because they love books? One administrator told me she would not hire that person. I love books, too. That is not enough for today’s media specialist. Why do I read comments such as, I didn’t know technology and advocacy were part of my job. Do you mean I have to learn how to use all of this technology?

A soon-to-be media specialist now teaching third grade knew the teachers she worked with did not know how to access electronic books for their iPads. She knew the current media specialist would not help. She saw this as an opportunity to provide staff-development sessions; she recognized that staff development is always an important role.

Why, moving towards our third decade of Internet access in the schools are so many media centers lacking enough technology for even one class to do 21st century research? Why are there concerns about giving up shelving for more technology? Why are so many educators, including media specialists, not aware of the wealth of free database resources provided to their schools by their states? Why are still discussions about when to close for inventory? Technology has long made that unnecessary. A university professor said it well. I’ve visited many media centers; the thing teachers dislike the most is when the media center is closed at the end of the year for inventory.

The other day I caught a bit of a public radio discussion about accessing information. A panelist shared a discussion between two children. A boy said, I go to our school library and they only let me check one book out. His friend replied Why don’t you just steal? Why do people who want students to read put up barriers? It saddened me to hear this public dialog from non-educators. Perhaps the public airing will do some good. It saddens me that after many years of profound change in our careers I still hear about media centers that are unwelcoming and underutilized. It’s a wonderful opportunity for a new media specialist to make change.

When I discussed plans with Scott he often said, Do what’s best for kids. Along those lines, a few lost books are the cost of doing business. Teach responsibility, but fight problems that are worth fighting.

A few other nuggets of wisdom from administrators and other educators have stuck with me for years:
1. If people see you doing clerical tasks that’s what they will think your job is. (Yes, some of it needs to be done; some does not.)
2. It’s all about relationships.
3. We want a media specialist to help us with technology. We can take care of the literature.
4. Just do it; that’s why we hired you.
5. You can have any kind media program you — or you and principal — want to have!

Now nearing retirement as the district Superintendent, Dr. Hannon said,  It’s just a pleasure coming to work every day . . . and trying to do good things for all of the students in the district. **

I hope that all media specialists love going to work every day, are good things, and making your media center a place where kids – and teachers — want to be.

November/December Internet @Schools column, THE NEW MEDIA CENTER: Questions, Musings, and Other Things On My Mind  (Full Text)

Dr. Scott Hannon, Minnesota Educational Media Organization Conference, October 1996
Winona Daily News, Winona Area Public Schools begins search for new leader

Absolutely! A media specialist just asked about the logistics of using Library of Congress professional development resources to deliver professional development in her own school!  The Teachers Page Build and Deliver materials and the Interactive Online Modules were both developed for that very purpose.

The PDF Build and Deliver files, along with the highly interactive multimedia materials, will help teachers and media specialists learn how to search and use The Library of Congress American Memory Collections effectively.   Both PD formats have  extensive selections of professional development resources that educators can use individually or to teach others. These resources are ready to use and free!

Engaging Students Through Photos, my guest post on Julie Greller’s  Media Specialists Guide to the Internet blog, describes adult learners participating in a photo analysis activity using Lincoln’s Pockets, a Build and Deliver Module.  You will also learn a bit about ready-to-use Primary Source Sets and Primary Source Analysis Tools.  The Power of Primary Sources tab above has journal articles on these PD  tools.

LOC_ProfDev

Educators looking for digital primary resources representing world history and cultures will be excited to learn about a growing collection of significant, multilingual resources accessible through the World Digital Library, a Library of Congress global partnership resource.

World Digital Library MapAn interactive  world map on the launch page has thumbnails representing 9 geographic regions. Each image invites browsing through thousands of manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.  Search by topic, region, time period or in one of 7 languages.  Over 40 world languages are represented in the artifacdts.  WDL is a great source for discovering resources for world history and cultures, foreign language, United States History and world literature.  Click the map to begin exploring.  It’s that easy!

How can I  use primary resources like these in the media center and classroom or to support Common Core Standards?
Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources 
See what former students have to say

Hist_PrinceBoo

The Interesting History of Prince Lee Boo, Brought to England from the Pelew Islands

 
The book tells the story of Captain Henry Wilson’s shipwreck on Palau and his subsequent encounter with the Palauan people, one of whom, a young prince named Lee Boo, later came to England with Wilson. Prince Lee Boo was one of the first Pacific Islanders to visit Great Britain, and his life and untimely death, only five months after his arrival in London, captured the imagination of the British, and wider European and American, audiences. This work was so popular that between 1789 and 1850, more than 20 English and a dozen foreign-language editions were published in different countries.  Listen to information about this artifact! View the book and Bibliographic record
 
World Digital Library: http://www.wdl.org
About the WDL:  http://www.wdl.org/en/about/

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