Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Susan Gauthier, Director of Library Services, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools (LA)

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Susan Gauthier, Director of Library Services, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools (LA)

Article excerpt

Gauthier is completing her first year providing support for the school libraries and librarians of her district's 87 schools. Previously, she was the library media specialist working with teachers and students at a middle school in Baton Rouge. Gauthier has also served as an educational technology consultant who developed and supported PD programs for the Louisiana Department of Education, and as a classroom math teacher. She was awarded the 2014 School Library Media Specialist Award from the Louisiana Association of School Librarians.

* THE Journal: How do you see the role of the school library in enhancing student learning?

Susan Gauthier: We talk a lot about the importance of addressing digital literacy, and to me that's the secret sauce: It's bringing in today's world for the student. So, for example, I'm working on bringing makerspaces into our middle and high school libraries and coding in the elementary libraries. We're using LiveBinders to develop portfolios for our librarian compass rubric, and we're piloting a fiction e-book project. Anyone can check in and check out a book, but it's about going a step beyond and bringing a different venue to the students.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* THE Journal: What have you done with makerspaces?

Gauthier: To me we've always had this tool; they just weren't called makerspaces. They were book clubs, crafting clubs, enrichment clubs ... a makerspace to me is just labeling this cool space for you to go in and get in touch with your creativity. For nearly all of our middle and high schools, we are sharing what they're doing to inspire ideas. Many of our schools don't have a lot of resources, so we're going to create MOMs--Makerspaces on the Move--with crates that the librarians can check out, bring in and use as something like a pop-up makerspace, whether it's for physical items or for great apps.

* THE Journal: How is this advancing student learning?

Gauthier: You might say it sounds like play time, but I see this eventually evolving into a curriculum connection: having that librarian talking to the science teacher and saying, "You are covering forces in motion? What's something I can do with these Hot Wheels cars and tracks to reinforce that lesson?" You always hear teachers say that they're so tied to the curriculum they can't do the fun stuff; this brings that in.

* THE Journal: Given the resource constraints, what else are you doing to "go a step beyond"? …

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