- A University of Southern Mississippi librarian's national presentation
on the critical role school libraries play in academic achievement
is now available on the Internet via webcast.
Beth Applin, information services librarian at Southern Miss' Cook
Library, along with a group of other librarians from across the
country, presented "Information Literacy for Educators: Models
for Integrating Information Literacy Instructions into Pre-Service
Education for K-12 Teachers and Administrators, "at the April
meeting of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
research and presentation emphasized the critical role libraries
in secondary and elementary school systems play in the academic
development of students. Applin said that with school budgets across
the country suffering cutbacks, often a school's library is the
target of cuts to make up for funding losses, a move that she and
other researchers believe is adversely affecting student performance.
a result, many school libraries now lack support staff to help students
use a library's resources, and teachers too often lack the training
to fill the void.
made our presentation unique is each of us working with teachers
and school administrators on how important information literacy
is (with regard to school libraries)," Applin said. "We're
one of the few (groups) addressing the issue."
presentation includes descriptions of model academic programs that
have been developed to effectively integrate information literacy
critical for effective use of library resources into preservice
teacher and administrator education.
and two Southern Miss professors - Dr. Thelma Roberson and Dr. William
Schweinle - conducted a statewide survey that found correlations
between student achievement and whether their school libraries had
a full-time librarian available to provide assistance to students
to access the library's resources, and to teach information literacy
to the school's faculty.
element of the survey measured perceptions to determine a correlation
between teachers and librarians' ability to work together, and what
type of experience teachers had previously with libraries that could
affect their attitudes and perceptions.
whole push now (in education) is accountability and making sure
that students are achieving, and there are surveys out there now
that demonstrate the effect (of libraries) on student achievement,"
Miss University Librarian Kay Wall praised Applin's presentation
and the team's research efforts. "Mary Beth has distinguished
herself as a leader in area of academic libraries and information
literacy," Wall said. "Her expertise and methods for engaging
students in the information classroom has added to the success of
our instruction program at Southern Miss."
presentation can be accessed at http://acrl.telusys.net/webcast/session.html.