3.1 Efficient & Ethical Information-Seeking Behavior
Candidates identify and provide support for diverse student information needs.
Essential in the application of information literacy skills to the creation of a life-long learner is the student’s success in achieving independence in the school library. This independence, however, must be gradually acquired. In the interval between direct guidance and information independence, the student looks to the school librarian to provide supplemental resources and information that will keep him on the right track. A school librarian must, of course, be prepared to write lessons and provide instruction based on a specific teacher’s request, but it is also important that the library provide research aid that would be applicable to any assignment, even if the school librarian has never seen it. In order to best provide support for a school population’s diverse student information needs, I created three pages on my school library website devoted to student resources. I identified a wide variety of student information needs across content area curricula to develop the helpful resources included on these pages.
In creating the “Catalog and Databases” page, I provided quick links to both our school-based catalog system and also our subscription databases. With an extensive print collection and database options ranging from Gale Student Resource Center to CultureGrams, a wide variety of information needs can be met. Additionally, I provided links to both the public library catalog and their annotated list of databases. This would direct students with more unique information needs to a wider bank of resources that might be helpful to them. As I newly consider the need for me to provide information support even when I am not interaction with a student directly, I identify one major revision that I would like to make to this page. I feel that it would be imperative for me to include my own annotations for each of the school library databases. In this way, the students would have a clear idea of which databases would be most appropriate to their specific information needs before ever accessing any of the sites. Having just given an inservice on the Destiny catalog program, I would also like to incorporate a section devoted to using the catalog to access approved, reliable websites.
On my “Research Process” page, I tried to outline, thoroughly but succinctly, the progression of the research process using the Big 6. For each step, I provided a brief description of that stage in the research process, as well as helpful links and tutorials where applicable. For instance, under the “Location and Access” heading, I provide another link to the “Catalog and Databases” page. I also incorporate a link to a checklist to be used for evaluating websites for academic use and links to help with Cornell Notes and Annotated Bibliographies. All of these tools feature annotations detailing their possible application. At the 2011 MASL conference, the keynote speaker, Kristin Fontichiaro spoke about a different method for the research process – the Stripling Inquiry Model. I found that it seems less clunky than the Big 6, and I think that if I was to restructure this page, I would set it up according to the Stripling method instead of the Big 6.
For classes requiring more specific guidance for their research needs, I created a page for “Pathfinders and Webquests” created at the request of the classroom teacher. Currently present on this page is a pathfinder for an eighth grade unit on the Holocaust. The pathfinder includes suggestions for key word searching, call numbers for some of the most applicable collection titles, and links to excellent websites on the subject. Having gained increased experience with other technological forums, I would also provide links on this page to resource lists created in the Destiny catalog and to Diigo bookmarks.
Whatever a student’s specific information needs, he would be able to use these three pages on the school library website as a starting point for conducting research. The tools included in the “Student Resources” section of my school library website are applicable to the most formal academic research (catalog/databases), but also provide guidance on selecting websites for times when the criteria is not quite so stringent. A student could use these materials to conduct independent research for personal information needs even aside from those mandated in the classroom.
School Library Website:
Student Resources Page
Catalog and Databases
Pathfinders and Webquests