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Springfield Township High School Library Annual Report—June 2011 Highlights of 2010/2011 • Recognized on AASL’s national Vision Tour • Helped plan and host visit from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors • Migrated pathfinders and instructional tools to LibGuides/SpartanGuides platform • Planned and hosted three art gallery openings and two OneBook,OneSpringfield programs

Celebrating our library!

• Selected as TEDxPhillyEd speaker • Blogs, wikis, & networks nominated for nine 2011 Edublog Awards and a Salem 2011 Library Blog of the Year • Selected as one of 10 Most Influential People in Online Education (GetDegrees) • Hosted three student teachers • Continued integration of Web 2.0 tools and digital storytelling into curriculum and introduced new research tools and learning strategies • Encouraged learners to produce, publish, and share creative work • Library functioned as hub for research, production, and presentation: a learning commons We continue to explore new options for communicating the results of student research and publishing student products. Our collection continues to grow in new directions, evidenced by the continual circulation of cameras, headsets, tripods, and e-readers. Through our websites, blogs, and my professional activities, our work with learners was appreciated internationally.

This report is meant to be viewed online. Please visit our Virtual Library (http:// springfieldlibrary.wikispaces .com) for easy access to

the print and the video versions!

This year our library was honored to host nationally prominent visitors. We were honored to be the Pennsylvania stop on the American Association of School Libraries’ Vision Tour, to be a big part of the ISTE Board’s visit, and to help plan programs with the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Outside visitors to our library, and its virtual counterpart, continue to note its energy. During a single block, in our library/learning commons, you will see our students working in groups or independently, as they: write traditional research papers, tell digital stories, explore new search tools, search scholarly journal databases and real-time search tools, read e-books, document sources with online citation generators, present the results of their research, describe their newly installed art work, post in curricular blogs, build research wikis, participate with experts in online teleconferences, produce media, and collaborate using online applications.


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Curricular Highlights I work closely with our students and faculty integrating both the AASL and ISTE NETS standards into our curriculum. This involves introducing learners to a broad search toolkit, coaching them through the research process--from questioning; through identifying and using the best sources; through creating and publishing their knowledge products. Student teacher Jenni Stern recently helped me create posters to remind learners of the skills we expect them to master. And, reflecting on my own practice, I developed a poster-style list of the most important skills I teach. This poster will be published and distributed at the AASL Conference next fall.

Because communication is ideally the end product of successful research, we continue to emphasize communicating effectively--from a renewed presentation reform effort to publishing students’ writing online. As students prepare products for publication, we emphasize the growing Creative Commons movement, using images, video, and music from portals of more liberally licensed intellectual property and work with learners to develop understanding into daily library instruction. This year we introduced a variety of new search tool options. Our Google search poster continues to highlight Google’s more hidden treasures. We introduced Mashpedia as an option for real-time search and SortFix as a strategy for developing better search logic. Students now regularly use tools like Google Squared for comparisons, Google’s NewsTimeline for contemporary history research, and Google’s WonderWheel (visible after search) for brainstorming and building new content area vocabulary. I happily discovered LibGuides as a platform for curating content for student research and instruction. This application allows me to push out all the resources I use for teaching and to better organize research tools, databases, and pathfinders for learners and teachers. With our new Spartan Guides, I can truly scale out my practice and reach learners even when they are not in our library. Our four multi-page Spartan Guides are in continual use: • Database & Research Portals (highlights databases, reliable Web portals, and tips for research across the curriculum), • Research Tools (instructional tools to guide learners through the entire research process, from inquiry through communication), • New Tools (a huge collection of applications for teaching, learning, communicating, and collaborating), • Tools for Teacher Librarians (designed to support me and my colleagues all over the world). Digital storytelling tools like VoiceThread, Animoto, Glogster, and ToonDoo, were commonplace strategies for presenting the results of student research. Students used digital publishing tools to share more traditional writing products. In the fall, I worked with Senior Seminar teacher Kristin Ward to develop new rubrics for assessing these new knowledge products. Digital projects help students develop traditional skills--careful research, analysis, synthesis, writing and scripting, as well as effective communication strategies. Unlike traditional papers, these products are made to be shared and require learners to consider the impact of their writing on real audiences. In most cases we archived and shared the artifacts of student work and gathered them on the Virtual Library. Several of the best of our students’ digital stories were celebrated in the District’s Digital Storytelling Festival on May 24th.


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A few instructional highlights: With both Jeff MacFarland and later Patrick Coady’s US History 2 classes, we discovered that the course textbook left off a decade too soon. Both classes researched and created Chapter 37. The resulting anthology of wikis demonstrated our learners’ varied perspectives on what is historically important. Both semesters’ history research culminated with a libraryhosted historical museum. Len Arlen’s Global Studies classes studied selected countries by creating online Mixbook scrapbooks of a simulated Peace Corps experience, allowing the learners to develop fluency with our history databases and to use their technology skills to create media, and to share their products more broadly, while continuing to address the course’s essential questions. Eric Gershman, Christine Settino, and I migrated 10th Grade Language Arts projects into digital space. We explored and presented research surrounding symbolism in Catcher in the Rye in interactive Glogster posters. Students’ research about the background of the play Master Harold and the Boys found new expression in Animoto videos exploring specific events in the history of Apartheid in South Africa and the civil rights movement in the United States. Marlene Thornton’s Creative Writing classes, regular library visitors and presenters, published their children’s books and their song parodies in a variety of media in a wiki anthology. We hosted special milk and cookie receptions for the picture books’ debut. Publishing makes a difference. I am so impressed with these students’ eagerness to write! A growing number of students, most notably those in Senior Seminar, used Google Forms to construct and analyze survey instruments as they conducted original research. Senior Seminar research this year continued to be transparent and interactive as student researchers shared all of their progress in wikis. I continued my instructional collaboration with tech coach, Ken Rodoff. With Ken now working across the District, my role supporting the integration of instructional technology became increasingly important to the high school. With the number of laptop carts in use in our building, the Virtual Library and our new Spartan Guides are critical strategies for scaling my practice, as well as library resources. I continue to make instructional house calls to content area classrooms. To generalize the instructional trends, we are using new tools for research; exploring effective, ethical, and authentic media production; continuing our efforts in PowerPoint reform; exploiting the storage and collaborative features of cloud computing; and engaging students in careful writing, scripting, design, and effective communication strategies. Whenever possible, we encouraged students to create written work and media that has authenticity, and is of interest to audiences beyond their teacher’s eyes only.


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About Reading We launched a successful student Book Club this year and hosted several well-attended meetings. Students selected the readings and led the discussions. Among the titles: I am the Messenger, Paper Towns, and Maus. We hosted two successful One Book, One Springfield events this year. On November 18th students, teachers and members of the community met for a lively discussion of The Help. The event was well attended and led by students from our Voices of Excellence club. On April 13th we hosted a discussion of Water for Elephants, led by junior James Gordon and other members of our student Book Club. In other reading news, in the fall, we purchased and piloted the use of three Kindle e-readers with a PTA mini-grant. A spring mini-grant allowed us to purchase an Amazon gift card with which we can now buy needed titles. The Kindles are now loaded with classics, reading list and lit circle titles, along with popular fiction. They circulate regularly. A new Young Adult book display featuring the names of popular YA authors proved useful in promoting books. The most popular non-curricular fiction titles this year were Catching Fire, Mockingjay (Hunger Games trilogy sequels), and Water for Elephants.

A total of 2513 books and media circulated this year. Of our borrowers, the 10th and 11th graders were the heaviest borrowers. The loss of the 8th certainly affected our circulation statistics this year with a drop of 906 items borrowed. But circulation statistics do not represent the full picture of our library’s action. We were happy to discover that our three new Kindles were in continual use. Books supporting current projects fill our many carts in the library and are frequently delivered to classrooms. We do not measure this substantial use of books.

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Class Visits and Usage Patterns 1461 classes visited our library this school year, an increase of 170 over last year. This increase is impressive in light of the loss of the 8th Grade to the Middle School. We continued to deliver carts of books and other materials to classrooms. Use of the school’s laptop carts impacts physical library visits for some classes, but it is not unusual for me to make house calls to rooms with laptops. The library was again heavily booked this year. We often serve four or five classes during a single block. Some trends: Library use and influence is not bounded by physical space. Students in classrooms using laptops continue to use library services through our collaboratively-developed units and pathfinders and Spartan Guides, through our databases, and the other resources our Virtual Library provides. I receive and answer frequent remote reference questions from students while they are at school and from home. Heaviest class use came from English (30%), Senior Seminar (27%), and Social Studies (23%) classes. September, October, March, April, and May were our busiest months. A number of clubs call our library home, among them: Art Gallery, Interact, Ski Club, Senior Class Officers, Lacrosse, Literary and Arts Magazine, and the Gay and Straight Alliance. The Library was also the exciting hub for Yearbook distribution. In addition to visiting classes, an average of between 100 and 125 students visit the library each day on their own time--before and after school, and during lunch. Most of the students scheduled for Study Support, spend that full block of time in our library. Wednesday night usage continued steadily with a total of 287 students taking advantage of Honor Society tutoring and available library resources and technology--an increase of 33 over last year’s number of visitors. We are grateful to Casey Arlen for staffing the library on Wednesday evenings.

Class Visits

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About our collection We now offer students and faculty 32,832 items. In June 2010 we weeded fiction, nonfiction, video and reference and sent 1077 items from our collection to the Middle School to serve the 8th graders who would make better use of those titles. This needed weeding allowed us to add approximately the same number of new titles (1019) to our shelves. We continue to make use of PaperbackSwap as an effective strategy for addressing student and faculty requests. The service is free and efficient and allows us to quickly meet student needs. Our notion of collection has expanded over the past few years. We offer streaming media subscription services, audiobooks, e-readers, databases, pathfinders, and assorted supplies and equipment. Cameras, cables, headsets, tripods, and flashdrives continually fly across the circulation desk, as well as supplies--lots of index cards, highlighters, and tissues. The library is the go-to place when a student needs anything. Student work, both on- and offline are also part of what we consider collection. And the PTA’s generous mini-grants for three Kindles and an Amazon gift card allowed us to supply students with hundreds of recreational and curricular titles on one device. As the headquarters for the Pennsylvania Young Adult Top Forty Committee, we processed $106,664 worth of new titles and shared them with librarian Committee members around the state. Our participation again resulted in a bounty of new titles for our own readers. This source of new books allows us to focus spending on areas of critical need and to support our subscription database and ebook collections. This year we requested 84 items from other participating ACCESS PA libraries. We loaned 41 of our own items to other libraries. Students continued to make use of public and university library collections through interlibrary loan. At the beginning of their Senior Seminar classes, we reintroduced all seniors to the ACCESS PA database. Circulation ranged between 47 (June) and 436 (October) books per month. September, October, December, and March were the months of highest activity. Highest areas of circulation were: fiction, history, the arts, literature, and the social sciences. With a growing online collection, we can no longer accurately measure use or student reading by circulation statistics alone. Our declining circulation statistics reflect national trends, and are indicative of our students’ increasing use of our online collection and Web resources. (See our statistics on Database Use and Interface.)


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Our Interface and Online Services Our Virtual Library is now a true mash-up of embedded, interactive Web tools. The homepage offers access to our dynamic pathfinders, library services, databases, tools for production and communication, news, video, e-books, our weekly calendar, our Flickr galleries, reading lists, and so much more. If we are to effectively reach students where they live, play, and work, our library’s services must be virtual. Our library must be able to guide and instruct learners in their laptop classrooms, as well as when they are at home. Our virtual efforts have impact! Our pathfinders, guides to specific research tasks, represent both implicit and explicit instruction, presenting students with their information choices and tools for analysis, synthesis, collaboration, production, and communication. They supplement the face-to-face instruction presented to visiting classes, making library at STHS a truly hybrid experience. Because we shifted platforms midyear, our statistics are scattered, but nevertheless impressive. Our Virtual Library Homepage was visited 66,868 times; our Pathfinder Menu (launching pad for student research) 25,857; our Google Search Poster 11,268; and our Search Poster 2,448. Our pathfinders for productivity use were even more heavily used, suggesting the success of our focus on digital storytelling and media production in our library and throughout our building. These pathfinders were also likely used outside of our District. Our Copyright Friendly Pathfinder, was the featured wiki in the Wikispaces Blog in October. We began to move many of our pathfinders and resources to the LibGuide platform in late February. Our Spartan Guide to Research Tools--with its pages on the research process; copyright and fair use; search; thesis and question development; organizing and synthesizing materials, writing, etc--was visited 14,233 times. The selecting and evaluating sources page was viewed 6,857 times. Our quickly-growing Spartan Database and Pathfinder Guide was viewed 13,777 times since its introduction in February. Pages used most frequently within the Guide were the General Databases Homepage (6,766 views) and our Lit Crit Page (1,914 views). Our New Tools Guide (to Web 2.0 resources) was viewed 10,340 times. The Playing with Images, Avatars, and Fonts and the Digital Storytelling guides were the most visited pages. The most recent Guide for Teacher Librarians is seeing steady use and was viewed 3,016 times since is debut in April.


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Database Use Our rich collection of subscription databases provides learners with much of the content they need for their research and personal information needs. These databases offer high quality sources in in a variety of formats--journals, magazines, newspapers, e-books, video, etc. They prepare our learners for the type of energetic, academic research that will be required of them at the university level. This year, we added Shmoop to our database collection to support research and student preparation for the PSAT, SAT and AP Exams. Though book circulation may be down a bit, the data reveal heavy database use. Our Gale databases, especially the cross-disciplinary Student Resources in Context and Opposing Viewpoints, and Literature Resources--heavily recommended by our Language Arts teachers--are student favorites. The eLibrary database experienced 14% more use than last year.

JSTOR, our database of exclusively scholarly content, is another clear student favorite, particularly among our upperclassmen. Among the JSTOR journal titles accessed most heavily by students were American Historical Review, Foreign Affairs, African American Review, American Anthropologist, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, American Journal of Nursing, American Journal of Philology, Mind, and American Journal of Political Science. Our new Spartan Guides platform allows me to better highlight our database and e-book collections by discipline and by assignment. I am eager to create more Guides over the summer and next school year. We continued to exploit the mobile nature of databases. I shared widgets for databases like JSTOR with students and teachers. We continued to promote use of Gale’s AccessMyLibrary mobile app for iPhone and iPad, offering students convenient access to the Gale products subscribed to by any local library, as well as our own. Budget cuts in Harrisburg seriously impacted the offerings on the Access PA POWER Library. With fewer databases available free from the state system, maintaining our own budget is even more critical.


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Staff, student teachers, and volunteers! Our library is fortunate to be staffed by able assistants Casey Arlen and Patty Gee. Casey and Patty manage our behind-the-desk operations, the collection, the budget, and our heavy communications with publishers for the Young Adult Top Forty initiative. They make every learner feel welcome and they are largely responsible for our library’s warm atmosphere. Because of their efforts, I am able to spend far more time working directly with teachers and learners and to visit classrooms. Casey keeps our library open on Wednesday nights. During these valuable two hours, National Honor Society students tutor any other students who sign up for help. This year we were lucky to have even more volunteers. During the Spring semester, Miranda Koch spent C Blocks with us reviewing software, creating a variety of new media, and helping us migrate our pathfinders to the LibGuide platform. Rhoda Gansler (former teacher and a grandmother) helped create and maintain our pathfinders, process new materials, create displays and promotional materials, and test out new tools for instruction. Practicum Students We hosted three student teachers this school year: Nora Neumann and Jennifer Stern from Arcadia and Lisa Morein from Pittsburg’s graduate library science programs. Both Nora and Jenni continued to volunteer well after their required time with us was over. Jenni was particularly helpful in creating our new standards posters. Nora helped our students plan and lead a One Book One Springfield event. Nora and new volunteer (and soon-to-be practicum student), Kathie Jackson, also helped substantially with our PSLA Top Forty preparation and presentation this spring. Library Hero of the Day and Other Unsung Heroes One busy day in January, it occurred to us that we didn’t fully recognize the regular contributions of our students during the course of an average day. When James shared that using Google Chrome as a browser solves the missing plug-ins issue, we put his name on our white board in the front of the library. What followed were many more helpful contributions recognized publicly in the front of the library. Students aspired to be Library Hero of the Day.

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Other Services Our regular Current Awareness Service, managed by Patty Gee, allows teachers to keep up with new developments in their fields, through quick access to tables of contents from their favorite journals. It is also a full-text copying service for those articles teachers request. I regularly email individual teachers and departments announcing new resources and emerging Web search and instructional tools. Many of these wonderful tips come from my extensive PLN (personal learning network). Most mornings I start the day sharing relevant tips and links from my Twitter and Diigo colleagues as well as posts from my School Library Journal blog. Our Google Doc Library Use Calendar, reminds teachers of sign-up times and allows them to check availability for spontaneous classroom visits. Our Library maintains a photographic record of everything Springfield through two Flickr feeds on the Virtual Library homepage. Students are continually drawn to images of themselves at work and play on the Springfield Township High School gallery. We highlight the work of our student artists in our physical space as well as in our Springfield Flickr Gallery. Artists install and critique their work in our library. And student curators manage both the physical and online galleries. The library serves as event central. We host many evening and after-school receptions, meetings, and events, including wedding and baby showers.

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Major Events: Visits from AASL & ISTE! On December 6th, the Springfield Township High School Library was honored to be the Pennsylvania stop on the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Vision Tour. AASL President Nancy Everhart's vision is to visit a school library in every state in the U.S. “in order to bring to the general public visual models of what good school libraries offer students and communities.” School libraries visited on the Vision Tour were selected by state AASL Affiliates as examples of school libraries that are “dedicated to empowering every student with the skills needed to be a lifelong learner inspired by ‘AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner.’” The December 6th event celebrated our vibrant, student-centered, and notso-quiet library program. Students, administrators, teachers, colleagues, and friends shared their appreciation of the central place libraries play in a school’s learning culture. Distinguished visitors included High School and District administrators, School Board member and former president, Malcolm Gran, District librarians, PA State Rep. Larry Curry, and a representative from Vincent Hughes’ office. The event included speeches by students, colleagues, and friends. Dr. Everhart listed the criteria for selection for Vision Tour libraries. The school library must have an outstanding program that affects every student; it must have a diverse student population; it must be visually stimulating; and the school librarian must be a member of AASL. Dr. Everhart noted that Springfield Township’s program was an “appropriate choice.” STHS library is “held up as a model for libraries across the country, if not the world, to be emulated.” She advised Springfield students to “take advantage of everything you have here. What you learn here will take you very far in life. You’ll be able to tackle everything you encounter in school and out of school. You’ll know how to be effective users of ideas and information.” The event, in all its video glory, is archived on the Springfield Vision Tour Wiki http://springfieldvisiontour.wikispaces.com/ The Board of Directors of ISTE made Springfield Township High School one of its three stops on its visit to Philadelphia on February 25. The other schools were the Science Leadership Academy and the High School of the Future. Our Live in Your World, Create in Ours wiki documents the event and highlighted student work. Dan Meder and I began preparing for this event early in the fall semester. We posed the problem to his media class: If distinguished visitors were coming to our school for one hour, how might we best show off our creative use of technology? What followed was a Mad Men-inspired planning session. Students examined and deconstructed current effective commercial media campaigns. They planned, wrote, and produced spots highlighting various tech-infused learning spaces and linked them together using the Mad Men frame. They (actually Mike R.) came up with the tag line: Live in your word. Create in ours. The ultimate student response took the form of a video promotional campaign. Each component of the feature length video was linked to with a QR code and became part of a student-designed scavenger hunt. Tammy Pirmann’s classes added a game interface and robot building components to the event. We engaged teachers and students from our music, art, creative writing, drama, social studies, language arts, and many more classes in preparing for the visit. Students manned stations across the school, sharing artifacts of their own work and pointing to learners in action. Lina, Rafiat, Matt, and Rehema shared their culminating research projects (created for Kristin Ward’s Graduation Project Class) in so many glorious new formats. Nina and Maya did a fabulous job demonstrating what our library means to our learners in both its virtual and physical presence. They shared their own excitement about research and communication tools and skills and they shared what it means to be a good digital citizen. I was so proud! (See a full reflection on the event on my blog.)


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Other Visitors On April 15, we hosted ISTE President Holly Jobe and visitors from the Penn Museum who sought advice relating to technology integration, distance learning opportunities, and curriculum. Teachers and librarians from other schools regularly stopped in to observe and discuss our efforts. Visitors this year came from: and Pottsgrove School District, South Philadelphia High School, Friends’ Central, Germantown Academy, York School District.

Professional accomplishments Professionally, this has been another rewarding year. My blogs force me to continually reflect on my practice and make new discoveries. Most of what I discover and share impacts Springfield’s library program. This year, the NeverEndingSearch blog was nominated for Best Library Blog, Best Individual Blog, Most Influential Blog Post, five of my wikis, as well as my #tlchat hashtag were nominated for the 2010 Edublog Awards. I was also nominated for Lifetime Achievement Award. My post, Things I think teacher librarians should unlearn (20 & counting) took first runner-up honors. I spent a week this summer at the Library of Congress in the Teaching with Primary Sources Mentor Program and served on ALA’s Office of Information and Technology Policy Committee. I also planned and hosted a webinars for the TLCafe.

Committees, networks, publications Over this school year, in addition to my blog post for School Library Journal and Technology & Learning, I published the following chapters and articles: Valenza, J.K. With Jenni Stern. (2011). “The Best Animation Tools.” School Library Journal. 1 June. Valenza, J.K. With Doug Johnson. (2011). “See Sally Research: An Environmental Scan.” (Edited by Chris Lehmann and Scott McLeod) Jossey Bass Wiley. Valenza, J.K. With Denise Agosto and June Abbas. (2011) “Looking Closely at Teen’s Use of Social Networking.: In Teens, Libraries, and Social Networking. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited. 13-28. Valenza, J.K. (2011). “My Perpetual Pursuit of the Perfect Pathfinder Platform.” VOYA. April. http://www.voya.com/ 2011/03/18/tag-team-tech-april-2011/ Valenza, J.K. (2011) “Opening the Gates: On Celebrating Creative Commons and Flexing the Fair Use Muscle.”Library Media Connection. Jan./Feb. 2011. 30-31 & 50. Valenza, J.K. (2011) Fully Loaded: Outfitting a Teacher Librarian for the 21st Century. School Library Journal. Valenza, J.K. (2010) Tag Team Tech: Manifesto for 21st Century School Librarians eVoya, Oct. I continue to manage the TeacherLibrarian Ning, an international social networking site for teacher-librarians, now with more than 5858 members and the LM_NET wiki, an online document annex for the popular international electronic mailing list. Together with a small group of colleagues gathered at the AASL Conference in Charlotte, I launched the TLCafe, a monthly series of online professional development for teacher librarians, as well as the School Library Websites wiki. In the Springfield school community, I coordinated One Book One Springfield, served on the Foundation Committee, presented as a Local Gem for the Foundation on November 10th, worked with the Springfield Historical Society on developing its online presence, sponsored the Straight and Gay Alliance and Student Book Club, co-sponsored the Student Art Gallery, the Senior Awards Committee and served on the Academic Integrity and Technology Committees.


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Presentations and workshops I was asked to present at several national and international conferences this year. These included: leading a Smackdown at ISTE’s SIG_MS (Media Specialist Special Interest Group) session and also participated on a panel on filtering at ISTE. I presented a full-day preconference and two sessions at Alan November’s Building Learning Communities conference, hosted the new Trailee book trailer awards and speaking about e-books at the School Library Journal Summit in Chicago. I presented a webinar at Library Journal’s e-Book Summit. I presented and keynoted at several regional and state conferences, including the St. Louis Independent Schools Conference on October 15, New York City Public Schools Librarians Conference on November 3, edCamp NYC on December 4, the Vermont ASCD on December 11, at Educon in Philadelphia on January 29th, at the Rhode Island Educational Media Association on March 26. I keynoted at PETE & C in Hershey on February 12. I spoke virtually with the Calgary School Library Association and virtually introduced the Hawaii Association of School Librarians conference, At the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA), I chaired the annual Top Forty Books session. In May, I was honored to be asked to keynote at the European Council of International Schools’ Library Conference in Istanbul. That experience allowed me to develop international connections that I hope will extend the walls of our library in the years to come. Throughout the year, I presented virtually at a variety of other state and regional conferences via such telecommunication tools as Skype, Elluminate, and Second Life. I worked with Ken Rodoff on a Digital Storytelling Summer Academy and led and helped with the Teacher Librarians and the Academic Integrity Academies. After my presentation in Istanbul in May, a colleague in the audience, was inspired by our students’ work and wrote, I recently saw your production of The Wizard of Apps at the European Council of International Schools Librarians’ Conference in Istanbul. I was stunned! What talents are alive and well in your school! Singing, dancing, the script, the costumes, creativity abounding on all fronts. And the theme was right on target. You should be very proud of this achievement. It was a brilliant way for Dr. V to share your work and her work with 250 international school teacherlibrarians. This coming summer I will again present sessions at the national ISTE conference in Philadelphia, the IFLA Conference in Puerto Rico, and will do a five-city speaking tour of New Zealand and Australia.

Issues Incidents of plagiarism continued this year. We hope to complete a draft of an Academic Integrity Policy at a Summer Academy. Because many members of our current teaching staff were not around for the whole-school research initiative implemented several years back, we may need to conduct a school-wide conversation regarding the importance of inquiry and inspiring challenging, original student work. Though the Tech Department has been incredibly responsive to our needs and requests this year, our computers are beginning to show signs of age and are often frustratingly slow to load. After nearly eleven years, our facility itself is beginning to show signs of wear. We should replace the damaged computer chairs in the Pod and Strip areas and replace the carpet squares that are now soiled and worn.


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Plans and goals Over the course of the coming 2011/2012 school year, I will continue to encourage a Springfield reading culture, by highlighting new titles, growing the student Book Club, and promoting attendance at our One Book One Springfield events. I will continue to migrate our pathfinders and resources to more stable and attractive LibGuides platform and to encourage student and faculty collaboration across grade levels and content areas. These tools are our most effective strategy for leading students to quality content for research and for modeling the research habits we would like them to adopt at the university and as citizens. I will be working on the American Association of School Librarians Technology Sub-committee for the November AASL Conference in Minneapolis and on the Young Adult School Library Association’s Research Committee. I will also continue to chair the PSLA Top Forty Committee. While book borrowing and actual class visits may have declined a bit, our Virtual Library is a vibrant learning space and our physical space buzzes with production and creativity, a hub of the school. And, as last year, I plan to encourage more visits by the departments underrepresented in our statistics, by suggesting new ideas for projects and by sharing more about compelling curricular resources and library services! As I look around our space this last week of school, it is clear to me our learning commons continues to morph and grow. Our facility is really the largest classroom in the school--it is a libratory. As I watch our students and teachers use our Virtual Library and imagine the use I cannot see--at all hours of the day, wherever our students are working and creating--it is also clear to me that our users enter our space through both its front doors. Library at Springfield Township High School is a dynamic, hybrid experience.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Kasman Valenza


Springfield Township HS Library Annual Report 2011