Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Teaching Media Literacy

De Abreu, Belinha S. Teaching Media Literacy: A How-to-Do-It Manual and CD-ROM. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2007. ISBN 1-55570-596-0

Can you list the 5 core concepts and questions for media literacy? Have you heard of the TAP model? Have you ever combined media literacy skills with a history or science lesson? If you answered no to any of these questions, consider reading this valuable resource. -- Jen

Booklist Review:
Media literacy is gaining attention as information literacy is being parsed into various components. The term is actually short for mass media, as opposed to multimedia or mixed media, and focuses on discerning the message and agenda of producers. The ultimate intent is to help beginners become savvy consumers as well as learning how to create media messages. To this end, De Abreu explains (mass) media literacy, discusses its significance in the lives of youth, and describes the current status of media literacy education. The majority of the book includes basic lesson development and seven sample topical lessons on television, music and radio, advertising, media production, and more. Each lesson includes a brief overview and several mini lessons. Following the lessons is a section providing a glossary and lists of resources. The accompanying CD-ROM repeats the lessons, handouts, and glossary. This is a practical “package deal” that will help beginning librarians and educators. --Lesley Farmer

Creating a Comprehensive Information Literacy Plan

Burkhardt, Joanna M., Mary C. MacDonald, and Andree J. Rathemacher. Creating a Comprehensive Information Literacy Plan: A How-to-Do-It Manual and CD-ROM for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-55570-533-2

Although the bulk of the examples are for a college audience, this resource includes a running example from a K-6 school and would be valuable for secondary librarians as well. Many books focus on teaching information literacy skills, but not many hold your hand and offer step-by-step guidance about building an information literacy plan. This one does, and it provides plenty of worksheets and real-life examples along the way. -- Jen

Library Journal Starred Review:
Transform[s] a monumental endeavor into a manageable task by removing most of the guesswork in creating an information literacy program...This is an essential resource, highly recommended for those needing to launch an IL program...there is practical information and a model plan for grades K-6.

Making the Writing and Research Connection with the I-Search Process

Tallman, Julie I., and Marilyn Z. Joyce. Making the Writing and Research Connection with the I-Search Process: A How-to-Do-It Manual, 2nd ed. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2006. ISBN 1-55570-534-0

The I-Search approach to research begins with students selecting topics based on personal interests. The process builds inquiry skills and includes several stages of reflection, both of which help the student grow as a researcher and writer. This book can help you learn and teach the I-Search process. -- Jen

School Library Journal Review:
Tallman and Joyce's first edition (1997)concentrated on training middle and secondary students to employ I-Search, a research and writing process that challenges learners to have a "stake in the topic" of study. What's new with this edition is the generalization of the process to expand application to learners of all ages, abilities, and personalities across the curriculum; what is unchanged is the assumption that learning is more intimate when students pursue inquiries within their scope of interest. In addition to a revised restatement of the I-Search process, this new volume offers feedback and changes based on reactions from teachers who followed the original. It uses the very evolution of the process and of instructional technologies to engender fresh application of I-Search, and it responds to national standards conceived since the first publication. An accompanying CD-ROM contains downloadable files of all of the figures and charts from the manual that include outlines, handouts, worksheets, and sample student projects. The flexibility of this edition is particularly welcome, as it suggests how to apply the I-Search process to any area of education.—Jodi Kearns, University of Akron, OH

A is for Almanac

Garvin, Susan L., and Annie Weissman. A is for Almanac: Complete Lessons to Teach the Use of Reference Sources in Grades K-6. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2008. ISBN 1-55570-623-1

The product description provides a good summary of what this book offers: Chock-full of [almost 200] librarian-perfected lessons and worksheets, this book and accompanying CD contain ready-to-go lesson plans, worksheets, activities, and more for teaching students how to use both print and electronic atlases, almanacs, dictionaries, online catalogs, and encyclopedias. You'll find lessons for each grade level, emphasizing either science or social studies. And each lesson has been developed using Madeline Hunter's EEI (Essential Elements of Instruction) lesson plan format. Lessons are well scaffolded for grade-to-grade continuity and the authors have even included high-interest games and contests to engage and motivate students. Designed to encourage collaboration between librarians and classroom teachers, the lessons can be easily correlated to state and district standards. The accompanying CD includes all of the worksheets, games, and contests, as well as posters for your library…all of which can be customized for your own collection, library layout, call numbers, and curriculum.

Library Media Connection Review:
This is a valuable turnkey teaching tool for media specialists -- especially those with little time to prepare lesson plans. Highly recommended.

The Plagiarism Plague

Bowman, Vibiana, ed. The Plagiarism Plague: A Resource Guide and CD-ROM Tutorial for Educators and Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2004. ISBN 1-55570-501-4

Having problems with student plagiarism, whether students flat out call someone else's work their own or don't cite sources properly? This comprehensive title can help. It is aimed at high school and college audiences and covers everything from understanding how and why students plagiarize to offering approaches and resources to curb the problem. -- Jen

School Library Journal Review
This compilation of chapters by various contributors runs the gamut from philosophical musings to practical tips and advice. The writings in Part I deal with understanding the problem, its causes, and challenges in a technological society in which paper mills and other easy fixes are readily available to students. A special focus on the challenges for ESL students is included. Part II supplies ideas for combating plagiarism. Instructional, administrative, and cultural changes within the academic community are suggested. Techniques for teaching citations, the principles of academic honesty, definitions of intellectual property, and an annotated bibliography of professional resources are included in Part III. Each chapter concludes with a "Works Cited" section of current resources. An accompanying CD-ROM provides a quick way to access the numerous Web sites listed in the title, a way to view and use the sample tutorials, and the ability to insert the files provided to create new materials. This excellent title will appeal to educators at both the secondary and post-secondary levels who are interested in better understanding the problem and taking the practical strategies needed to combat it.-Beth Jones, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY

Monday, April 27, 2009

Copyright for Teachers and Librarians

Butler, Rebecca P. Copyright for Teachers and Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2004. ISBN 1-55570-500-6

Scenario 1: You send an email and someone else posts it on a listserv. Does that violate copyright?

Scenario 2: You teach science and run across a website with a great list of links about the weather. Can you copy that list for your students, or does that violate copyright?

Scenario 3: You get a new student today, but the math workbook you order for him will not arrive for at least a week. Can you copy the pages from another student's workbook in the meantime, or does that violate copyright?

For straightforward answers to these questions and clear definitions of such concepts as fair use and public domain, read this book. -- Jen

School Library Journal Review:
If you've been looking for a thorough but easy-to-figure-out handbook on copyright law and how to do your job and stay legal, you may hereby shout, "Eureka!" Butler has succeeded in classifying, clarifying, and demystifying every conceivable type of situation you might find yourself in and then provides answers, in simple flow-chart form, for handling them. The five chapters in Part I are thorough reviews of copyright law, the concept of fair use, determining what is in public domain, how to obtain permissions, and other general guidelines on such topics as licensing, loaning, penalties, plagiarism, and exemptions. The bulk of the book is in Part II, which deals with specific applications, such as Internet and public access, videos and DVDs, television, software, music, multimedia, distance learning and–oh, yes!–print! Each chapter follows the same format (including end notes and references), providing clarity and ease of access, and more than 60 flow charts provide pathways to follow in various situations. In the unlikely event your situation is missed, you'll find out how to find it on any of the Internet sites provided for further research. An indispensable addition.–Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA

Friday, April 24, 2009

Securing Library Technology

Securing Library Technology : a how-to-do-it manual: by Paul Earp and Adam Wright. New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2009.

A must-have preparedness handbook for every library and information center, this nontechnical guide offers you comprehensive strategy for protecting your library's technology assets against the growing array of threats--from viruses and worms to hackers, system failures, and natural disasters. Here is a step-by-step, easy-to-implement guide for securing servers, systems, and networks against both internal and external threats. Beginning with the fundamentals, the authors will guide you through the steps necessary to build a comprehensive security plan. You will learn how to take a detailed inventory of your library's many technology platforms and identify the threats specific to each. Next is a detailed how-to for performing a thorough needs assessment leading to clear and detailed written policies, and finally, an appropriate recovery action plan. The authors explain the relevant technologies, security measures, and available software and hardware tools in simple terms, allowing you to see the big picture and create an effective security plan without getting bogged down in the technical details that are the province of the IT department. A carefully chosen collection of model plans and a glossary of technical terms round out this invaluable guide.

Core Technology Competencies for Librarians and Library Staff

Core Technology Competencies for Librarians and Library Staff: a LITA guide, edited by Susan M. Thompson. New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2009.

When it comes to technical know-how, do you and your staff measure up? Given the rapid pace of change in technology and library services, it is challenging to maintain the technology skills that librarians and library staff need. What are the best ways to measure and develop competencies to ensure your library is ready to support the next new technical system? If you’re ready to hire a new systems librarian, which requirements should you specify in the job description? If you’re looking for the answers, then this latest LITA Guide is just what you need.

Ideal for public and academic libraries, Core Technology Competencies for Libraries provides an excellent starting point for you to define and evaluate the right inventory of technical skills and management attributes for yourself and your staff. Lita experts share their experience on technical competencies expected of all libraries and library staff; technical competencies needed by specialists like technology managers, or systems and IT librarians, and success stories about meeting performance standards that will show you how major libraries have demonstrated best practices in technology competency. Employing the skillenhancement tools in this book will help staff that work hard to also “work smart”, and take advantage of technology to improve collections and service. Extensive appendices include core competency lists, personnel assessment checklists, job descriptions, and training curricula.

Digital Consumers

Digital Consumers: reshaping the information profession, edited by David Nicholas and Ian Rowlands. London : Facet, 2009.

The information professions - librarianship, archives, publishing and, to some extent, journalism - have been rocked by the digital transition that has led to disintermediation, easy access and massive information choice. Professional skills are increasingly being performed without the necessary context, rationale and understanding. Information now forms a consumer commodity with many diverse information producers engaged in the market. It is generally the lack of recognition of this fact amongst the information professions that explains the difficulties they find themselves in.

There is a need for a new belief system that will help information professionals survive and engage in a ubiquitous information environment, where they are no longer the dominant players, nor, indeed, the suppliers of first choice. The purpose of this thought-provoking book is to provide that overarching vision, built on hard evidence rather than PowerPoint Ôpuff'.

The authors of the acclaimed CIBER Google Generation study, and an international, cross-sectoral team of contributors has assembled together for this purpose. Key strategic areas covered include:

  • the digital consumer: an introduction and philosophy
  • the digital information marketplace and its economics: the end of exclusivity
  • the e-shopper: the growth of the informed purchaser
  • the library in the digital age
  • the psychology of the digital information consumer
  • the information-seeking behaviour of the digital consumer: case study - the virtual scholar
  • the Google generation: myths and realities about young people's digital information behaviour
  • trends in digital information consumption and the future
  • where do we go from here?

No information professional or student can afford not to read this far-reaching and important book.