Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Collaborative Library Research Projects: Inquiry That Stimulates the Senses

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Collaborative Library Research Projects: Inquiry That Stimulates the Senses

Article excerpt

Volkman, John D. Collaborative Library Research Projects: Inquiry that Stimulates the Senses. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. 196 pp. 35.00 USD. ISBN-10: 1-59158-623-2; ISBN-13: 978-1-59158-623-4.

The incorporation of active learning principles and instructor/librarian collaboration in course design are two things upon which librarians involved in the delivery of information skills sessions should be focused. In Collaborative Library Research Projects: Inquiry that Stimulates the Senses, Volkman provides a suitable framework for active learning and collaboration and provides many engaging sample units for school librarians working with high school students and those in the upper elementary grades.

In the first chapter Volkman explains the design concept behind the units he presents. In order to engage students actively, the units are designed around various "stations" that allow students to interact with the material, and appeal to the preferences of different learning styles. Volkman also provides tips for librarians on ways to initiate and structure collaboration with teachers.

In the next four chapters Volkman presents detailed lesson plans for station units on World War II, the Holocaust, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, George Orwell's Animal Farm and Shakespeare. For each unit Volkman provides detailed lists of materials needed; tips for construction and placement of the stations; suggested books, web sites, songs, etc. for inclusion; reproducible student worksheets; and even suggested grading scales.

In the seventh chapter Volkman switches gears to introduce another type of collaborative unit. He acknowledges that the detail and complexity of the station units may not be realistic in many situations, and, as such, he outlines the basics of more traditional research-based units. The emphasis of these units is on learning to utilize effective note taking practices, the use of a variety of source materials, and proper citation of sources.

The final 10 chapters include sample research units on drugs, alcohol and smoking; evil characters in history; Edgar Allen Poe; Linda Crew's Children of the River; decades of the 20th century; constellations and the zodiac; rocks and minerals; Hispanic Americans; Greek heritage; and nations of the world. …

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