By Mirah Dow
On June 23-24, 2010, 90 school librarians from Kansas, Colorado and Missouri gathered at Emporia State University for the 14th annual Kansas Summer Institute for School Librarians. The theme, “New Tools for New Generations,” opened workshop-style discussions of viable teaching and learning innovations. The Institute provides educators with instruction and inspiration for teaching today’s elementary, middle and high school students.
This event is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Education; School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University; Northeast Kansas Library System; State Library of Kansas; and, the Kansas Association of School Librarians. School librarians serving on the Institute planning committee are: Loretta Arnold, Yates Center Elementary-High School, Yates Center, KS; Tonya Davis, Swaney Elementary School, Derby, KS; Terri Snethen, Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park, KS; Carmaine Ternes, Emporia High School, Emporia, KS; Angela Vietti-Okane, Pioneer Ridge Middle School, Gardner, KS; and Susie Whittaker, Perry Lecompton High School, Perry, KS.
Mirah Dow, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the School Library Media Licensure program at SLIM, ESU, said, “I have never seen school librarians more inspired and confident than they were this year. Student learning and achievement are increased when there are state-licensed school librarians in each school building. The school librarian stands in the middle – often at the heart of a struggling school – using the roles of leader, instructional partner, information specialist, teacher and administrator, advocate and professional member of the learning community to empower students, teachers, and administrators. School librarians understand that all students are innately creative, curious, and motivated.”
Jackie Lakin, Educational Consultant and Information Manager, Kansas Department of Education, delivered updates from KSDE. Dr. Lakin pointed out that the American Association of School Librarian’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner are consistent and aligned with published expectations of the state-led efforts by the National Governors Association for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers in writing the K-12 standards, Common Core State Standards.
Featured guest, Buffy Hamilton, school librarian at Creekview High School, Canton, Georgia, captures the attention of educators worldwide with her school library blog, The Unquiet Librarian. Dr. Hamilton uses computer programs, new technological platforms and Web 2.0 applications to teach English and Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Information Management and Technology Skills to high school students. Dr. Hamilton also blogs for ALA Learning and the Georgia Library Media Association.
Mark Crilley, featured author and illustrator, has been voted one of the “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment” by Entertainment Weekly. A former English teacher, Mark splits his time between Japan and Michigan. A popular guest author in schools, Mark uses words and pictures to teach reading, writing, and storytelling. He is the author of the popular Miki Falls series. His new books include Akiko: Pieces of Gax; Akiko and the Missing Misp; Akiko on the Planet Smoo; Miki Falls: Winter; Miki Falls: Autumn; and Akiko’s Flight of Fancy – The High Flying Expanded Edition.
In addition, expertise from avid readers of graphic novels informed and entertained the audience. Mickey Coalwell, Library Consultant at Northeast Kansas Library Association, Lawrence, KS, and Royce Kitts, Tonganoxie Public Library Director, Tonganoxie, KS, make clear the importance of library collections in multiple formats, and maximizing local resources and services by developing collaborative relationships between school and public librarians.
Plans are being made for 2011 Summer Institute, which will be held at Emporia State University on June 14-15.