| 800 Soule Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Bill Harris, Principal
Frequently Asked Questions about the Media Center
Each class has at least one weekly ILT class. ILT is our name for classes taught in the media center and stands for Information, Literacy, and Technology. These classes are a combination of traditional library and computer lab classes. During these sessions with the students, we do a variety of things including reading stories; teaching lessons on research, library skills, genres of literature, technology skills etc.; doing exploratory activities; and having students check out books. For more information about the Ann Arbor Public Schools Library Media program, click here.
Reading aloud is important for several reasons. We are modeling reading fluently and with expression, showing how that helps make meaning. we make connections to the text and elicit connections from the students as we read. That demonstrates to the students what readers think about when they read. We model how to read for information when we read a nonfiction book together. And, of course, the easy part - we model that reading is just plain fun.
Lessons could be about particular literary genres, how to find materials in the Media Center, how materials are arranged, how to use a particular reference work, how to search, how to write a bibliography and much more. We try to make the lesson relevant to what students are working on in their classrooms. Research in the field of school libraries shows that students learn information skills best when they are taught at the point of need.
We teach students about computer hardware, software applications, electronic research resources, educational internet applications, and working in a server-based computing system. Second, third and fourth graders also may use a program called Type to Learn to work on their keyboarding skills. Lessons are based on the Michigan Educational Technology standards and every effort is made to coordinate their technology units of study with their classroom units of study.
All students are encouraged to check out books every week. Students who forget their books for one week may take out only one book. If students have books that are more than a week overdue they may not check out any new books until they bring the overdue books back. Students who have overdues may save a book in their class hold box for a week. First through fifth grade students may check out one video and/or one magazine at a time which counts toward their total checked out items.
You have probably heard the term Just Right books from your child and your child's teacher. As part of our Balanced Literacy program, we expect students to spend time reading books at a level that is neither too hard nor too easy. We support that program by encouraging students to check out Just Right books each week. Eberwhite also supports Just Right reading for grades K-2 through the TREE program.
When the library is not staffed by a media specialist, it used for activities such as World Language, Instrumental Music, use of the laptops by classes, and meetings. Open library time -- unscheduled media center time when a certified media specialist is present and available to assist with or instruct individual students, small groups, and whole classes -- is virtually nonexistent in the AAPS. We use other unscheduled time (contractually mandated "planning time") to fill requests by teachers, such as pulling materials to use in the classroom. We also use it for library management, which covers a myriad of activities necessary to running a school media center such as equipment repair, maintaining the book collection, and ordering and processing new materials.
Much research has been done in the area of school libraries' impact on student achievement. These studies have shown again and again that school libraries are important to student achievement. They are most effective when a school has a full-time, credentialed media specialist, an annual budget to maintain the collection, and sufficient clerical support. Click here for more information.