The National Library Power Project

By Haycock, Ken | Teacher Librarian, December 1999 | Go to article overview

The National Library Power Project


Haycock, Ken, Teacher Librarian


Research Finding:

Leadership, compatible policies, professional development, a positive professional culture, new and sustained funding and outside support, all matter in implementing improved and integrated school library programs.

Comment:

The national Library Power project, a major initiative resulting in $65 million for 700 schools in 19 school districts, working with public education foundations, provided full-time teacher-librarians, flexible scheduling, renovated space, new print and electronic collections and professional development for teachers, teacher-librarians and principals.

Among the results:

* more collaborative work environments and instructional programs focusing on interdisciplinarity, inquiry and problem-based learning;

* improved collections, resulting from increased funds, invited greater teacher interest, and these collections better reflected school curriculum;

* refurbished facilities allowing school libraries to accommodate more users and different kinds of activities; more cheerful and welcoming facilities encouraged more visits by teachers and students;

* implementation of flexible scheduling led to more frequent visits to the library;

* greater instructional collaboration with shared responsibility for teaching;

* professional development focused on how to integrate library and other information resources into teaching and learning;

* changes led to more engaging and educationally rich learning activities for students;

Faithful adoption of Library Power's core practices, along with widespread acceptance of these practices, can lead to permanent change; similarly, as similar policies are implemented elsewhere institutionalization of these practices is more likely. …

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