UPPER SCHOOL LIBRARY 2009-2010 A YEAR IN REVIEW Prepared in June 2010, Submitted in September 2010 by Mario CHIOINI
(Details and explanations follow) CIRCULATION STATISTICS . 3611 items checked out, (Aug. 2009 to May) . 3577 (Aug. 2008-‐May 2009) . 3026 (Aug. 2007-‐May 2008) . 2523 (Aug. 2006-‐May 2007) The ALP membership card was borrowed 19 times to 6 different users since January 2010.
COLLECTION STATISTICS Acquired (replacement & addition) . over 1450 titles Weeded . 353 copies deleted in 2009-‐2010 Lost . 78 items since June 2009 (400 since June 2006) EBSCO DATABASES (our main package of databases) USAGE > to May 2010 . Sessions: 1607 (average 9 per day) . Searches: 25324 > End of Aug. to April 2009 . Number of sessions: 3255 (average of 18 per day) . Number of searches performed: 40012 SCHEDULED CLASSES 134 classes 2009 (end of May) 192 classes 2008 (end of April) 154 classes 2007-‐2008 (end of May) 137 classes 2006-‐2007 (end of May)
UPPER SCHOOL LIBRARY 2009-2010 A YEAR IN REVIEW Prepared in June 2010, Submitted in September 2010 by Mario CHIOINI
DETAILS I LEADERSHIP
1. ENVIRONMENT The library is used by individual students and faculty, small groups, classes and parents. Our teaching area is reserved for quiet study and for large group instruction, the front room for small group work. Individual students make good use of the work tables and the bean bags at their disposal throughout the facility and our computers (4 Macs and 16 PCs) are in high demand. At the end of the year, we’ve encountered some problems with gaming in the library which raised the issue of gaming as a tool for skills development and as an instructional strategy. For now Administration forbids students to play any games on school computers. However, I have spent a bit of time reading professional literature on the value of gaming and would like to pursue the research next year and be able to meet with administration to discuss potential possibilities for our students. There’s been an increase in student use of the library in the last few years, largely due to the results of a newly renovated space. However, outside the usual morning “rush hour”, it is difficult to see a pattern in the traffic partly because of the variables such as the Block schedule and when large assignments such as extended essays, University essays and historical investigations are due , the weather, room availability to work in the school. For next year, it would be interesting to do an informal body count in the library at various times of the day and on different days of the week to monitor the flux and help us plan our services better. Overall, the Upper School Library is alive, a convivial, open and welcoming environment for our users. Trafic is moderate to heavy on a daily basis. Space is used well. Circulation continues on an upward trend. 2. SHARING EXPERTISE I try to share what I know and do about library practices and online literacy in a variety of ways: I network with colleagues from other international schools; this year I gave online literacy workshops to interested faculty members, parents and other professionals through ELSA’s TDD Conference; I was asked to welcome a librarian from the International School of Bucharest to share our vision and practices; and I attended workshops in Munich, Lausanne and Berlin, which were professionally very satisfying. 3. POLICIES/DOCUMENTS Due to the extensive use of online resources, including the Internet, and of our DVD collection, I wrote and submitted an updated selection/challenged materials policy to the Board but it was decided that the one we have had for several years was still relevant. In the same vein, I continued the work started last year on copyright, specifically the issue of public performance rights for our DVD collection. (see COPYRIGHT below under INFORMATION).
The work on developing a Research As A Cross-Curricular Skill document hasn’t progressed this year. This type of document necessitates a school-‐wide discussion and a shared vision. I met with Brian Brazeau and he agrees we need to look at this in the future. I am still in the process of cleaning up the server of the unneeded library files and update our digital policy manual. 4. INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES Integrating technology is encouraged in all facets of our work from using the interactive board and studying the educational applications and impact of new technologies, to providing intellectual and physical access to digital information and studying the appeal of e-‐reading. As e-‐ reading is becoming more and more prevalent with a certain segment of our population, I conducted an online survey on e-‐reading needs and interests. The activity was meant to take the pulse of our users and see if the library should consider investing in the new technology. As most of our readers are still print users and due to the lack of compability between services and hardware at this stage, it was determined that we will wait before developing a digital collection. Experimenting with different e-‐readers and services that provide downloadable e-‐books would be useful, though. The library could purchase a few e-‐readers to experiment with and see how the technology could benefit student learning. 5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT I try to remain current in professional practices & developments through professional reading (library and non-‐library related), networking and attending conferences. I was the school’s representative on ELSA’s TDD Committee, attended the IB Librarian Workshop in Berlin (July 2009), a Follett training in Lausanne (March) and the conference Evolving Schools For A Whole New Mind in Munich (May). I remain an active individual member of the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians. 6. PARTNERSHIP The outcome of the first 6 months (January-‐June) of our new partnership with the American Library in Paris was very positive. A few number of students used the card often, and several others showed interest that didn’t materialize. Our lack of planning orientation visits probably hindered the promotion and benefits of the service. Nex year I will try to organize optional orientation visits for students in grades 8 to 11. 7. ADVOCACY I maintain regular communication with faculty and students through newsletters, informal chats, meetings and workshops. I’m working on having a library site/blog to serve as a one-‐stop informational and interactive portal for users. It is a project that was started last year but was not completed as planned. While I’ve been experimenting with various blog templates and designs, it is obvious that technical support is needed. I hope I can finally create a space where users will find support for their reading and information needs and a place where everyone can collaborate and interact. I’ll try to attend more Coordinators, department, curriculum, IB, advisory meetings next year to get first-‐hand information, understand the needs of my colleagues better and be able to share matters of interest to them. II INSTRUCTION The teaching of library and information literacy skills is done formally through orientation for 8th and 9th grade classes and, more importantly, through Social Sciences classes. Any teacher or student can request instruction at any time. I continued working closely with interested teachers on units of study. For various reasons, it is difficult to collaborate with most teachers. Outside Social classes I worked briefly with a few
science teachers and spent time with Jeanne Salvato, helping develop some teaching strategies for her Social Science class. Overall, though, there was a 30% decrease in the total number of classes from last year (134 classes down from 192). It represents the first drop in 4 years. Maybe there was a different focus in the units of study, or users feel more capacited with their searching skills thus requiring less direct input from me are only a couple of explanations possible. As mentioned above, I offered online literacy workshops to interested ASP faculty members during our May in-‐service, which was similar to the workshop I presented at ELSA’s TDD in March. Finally, like last year, parents requested that I offer two workshops on online searching. Feedback has been positive on all sessions and seems to indicate the need to continue next year. III INFORMATION 1. TECHNOLOGY Information Technology permeates the school and I try to integrate traditional and new technologies in my classes and in our daily work, with the goal of increase student learning and making life a bit easier. Below is an overview of some of the items and discussions I’ve had or having at the moment about technology in the library. E-‐READERS (see above under Leadership) LAPTOPS Due to the large number of students using the library computers and the low, albeit increasing, number of students with their own laptops, it would be good to be able to provide more access. Should the library or the school purchase a few laptops to use in the library? Encourage students to invest in purchasing their own computer? Offer a school-‐wide purchasing program to students and faculty? INTERACTIVE BOARD: A decision must be made as to whether we keep our current Promethean interactive board or to change for another type. Several groups use that area (teachers, students and myself for classes) and regardless of the equipment chosen, it must be readily and easily accessible and in perfect working condition. This means software installed on a dedicated computer, training to teachers to use it and mac and windows compatibility. Interactive boards are becoming an integral part of the teaching landscape at ASP. The Promethean that was installed in the library 3 years ago has helped me in my classes. The only doubt I have about white boards at this time is related to the portability of materials developed specifically for it. I’m afraid that after creating the digital files that I won’t be able to use it once I’m outside that interactive board environment. For example, when I give a workshop outside the school or in a room that has no digital board, how will do I access the material? I’m looking forward to constructive discussions with White Board users. TV ANTENNA: The library TV has no antenna which hinders us from showing important events. Teachers and students have sporadically asked to follow important specials on television. I asked for the last 3 years for enabling a cable/antenna/dish service and have not received any replies yet. 2. COLLECTION I continued working on improving our collection through weeding and ordering replacement and new materials to support reading and research needs. I also try to balance print vs non-‐ print materials to better answer research needs, gain maximum space and increasing the budgetary value.
Analysis Like every year, I perform a collection analysis to see how balanced is our collection and see where there might be weaknesses. While the collection got streamlined to the curriculum better, more work still needs to be done. Here’s a summary of how the collection changed between 2007, when I first arrived at ASP, and 2010. BOOKS TOTAL BOOKS PER PUPIL AVERAGE AGE OCT. 2007 22000 52 1977 JUNE 2009 11000 25 1993
Databases Databases are current, provide reliable information and are financially advantageous. Offering large amounts of reliable information and teaching students how to search efficiently using keywords, Boolean operators, critical and analytical skills, helps them become better users of information and prepares them for their future academic life. Our databases were well-‐used again this year. However, there was a decrease in the use of EBSCO, our main and largest database product. 1607 search sessions were performed this year (for an average of 9 per day) which represents half of the searches done last year. This change parallels the decrease in the number of classes that were scheduled. Maybe teachers changed the number of research projects they give students or shifted the focus of those projects or maybe more work was done using various resources other than online information (incidentally, there is an increase in our books circulation statistics), etc. Despite this, databases still represent an important part of our resources and I intend to order a few new products next year to help balance the topics covered by our info bases. More training will be required. Inventory I conducted an inventory and found that 78 items were not accounted for since June 2009 (400 since June 2006). Approximately 1450 new and replacement titles were added to the collection and weeded 353 books because they were falling apart, superseded, ugly, out of date, showed bias, or irrelevant to the curriculum. The book collection comprises a bit more than 11000 copies. E-‐Reading (Reading survey) I prepared and sent a Reading Survey to Upper School students and faculty about their reading habits and to see if e-‐reading was popular among our users (the link to the results is posted on the Library page on the school web site). Among several things, the results showed that most of our community still prefers to read print formats, but there is a trend toward the new technologies. Due to the lack of standards and to proprietary software and hardware on the market, the library decided to wait a bit before investing in digital reading. Services like Overdrive look interesting but careful analysis needs to take place. The discussion has started. I would like to secure some money to purchase a few e-‐readers to test their value for our users and potential implementation. Streamlining the collection Two years ago, I decided to integrate most Reference books into their subject areas to make them easier to find and increase their use. Next year, I’d like to turn most reference books into circulating items. I’m planning on changing the call numbers of the Biography books and integrate them into their specific subject areas.
3. CIRCULATION rd For a 3 consecutive year our circulation statistics increased to a total of 3611 items checked out (Aug. 2009 to May 2010). The numbers will eventually peak and stabilize but for now I’m tempted to associate the increase to a few factors: a new library layout that highlights the collection, a tighter and younger collection, an increased number of new books, better display, more traffic in the library, and a more convivial space to work and browse. 4. COPYRIGHT I continued looking for legal information about the French copyright law as it pertains to French schools in general and to libraries in particular. My findings have repercussion on what we do at school and in the library. I am now reviewing our acquisition policy accordingly. A general discussion of the issue needs to take place with the new Head of school. 5. BUDGET There seems to be some confusion as to how to proceed to buy materials or equipment other than library resources for students. No provision is given to the library for budgeting lines such as: . Furniture . Complementary PD . Hospitality If the library can not budget such times, then a clear procedure as to how to proceed is needed. Moreover, receiving a detailed monthly budget update would do a lot to avoid misunderstandings when budget discrepencies arise. 6. WEB PORTAL Minimal work was done this year due to limited technical support. Working closely and sporadically with IT next year is needed. To be discussed with Larry Love, our new IT Director. 7. DETECTION SYSTEM After doing a cost benefit analysis, it was decided to not install a new library detection system due to the cost. Taking into consideration the cost of the equipment, installation and of the yearly maintenance contract I found that the total cost was similar to the one of replacing lost books over the same period of time. My decision rests upon these calculations: The life of a detection is approximately 15 years. Let’s assume the library loses 100 books per year (as per the average in the last 4 years). 1) Cost of replacing 100 books per year: 100 books x 21 euros per book (average cited yearly in School Library Journal) x 15 years = 31500 € 2) Cost of a 3M detection system with a single entrance: 29000 € (details below) . System: 11000 euros (only once) . Reader (to magnetize & demagnetize the books): 3500 euros (only once) . Maintenance contract: 1000 per year (yearly) x 15 years = 15000 euros Not having a detection system sends a message of trust, respect and is visually much more appealing and inviting. Doing yearly inventories will help us determine if we should continue without a security system for the library. If things get worse than anticipated, we will review our position.
IV PROGRAM With the funds from The Friends of the Libraries and the organizational help from Maryama Antoine, we were able to invite with great success poet Stephen Thomas from the UK and Heather Hartley, a local poet to work with students on creative writing. Both visits were in conjunction with the launching of INK, the literary magazine. Moreover, and thanks to our partnership with the American Library in Paris, author/illustrator Kadir Nelson spent one day at ASP, sharing his work with students from the three Divisions. We are very fortunate because I was told Mr. Nelson’s does not visits schools anymore. V PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES . Attended the Pre-‐Conference Day about Destiny organized by Follett in Lausanne (11 March 2010) . Attended Evolving Schools for a Whole New Mind – Munich (14-‐15 May 2010) . Was the ELSA’s school representative on the TDD Committee . Supervised afternoon buses all year . Stage Directed and produced the Upper School Musical A Baker’s Wife . Attended Breakfast 2.0 ICT meetings organized by Chris Chater . Offered consulting help on the Faculty Lounge Renovations Project