As a librarian, careful consideration must be given when information, resources and materials are evaluated. In order to preserve the integrity of information consumers while research is conducted, the librarian needs to take the time to become familiar with some of the many facets of the patron being served. Each artifact in this section was centered upon the user experience and the understandings that relevance and ease of use go a long way toward ensuring information needs are met.
For the Reference Database assignment I critically evaluated Britannica School by conducting sample searches as well as browsing and examining the tools featured on the site from a young user’s perspective and that of an educator. I was impressed by the ease of use and navigability of this resource as I began this database analysis task. Utilizing the built in overview video, autocomplete searches, and lexile ranges it became apparent that Britannica School was designed as a one stop shop for online research, inquiry, curation, citations, and lesson design. Consulting professional reviews in order to make a more sound judgment about this database proved beneficial and served as an additional layer of necessary research.
The role of the teacher librarian is to promote and develop a global view and multicultural approach to collection development to meet the language, learning, social, and cultural needs of a diverse population by evaluating materials for children according to standard criteria. To this end, the Collection Development Plan, artifact 2, serves as evidence in this area as I researched and identified the current demographics of the geographic area surrounding my school and the population of students served as well as the staff members employed. Close inspection of the school’s mission statement and omission of a library mission statement coupled with the school’s user needs, I dove into the data collection process eager to confirm what I already knew-that the collection was extremely dated and 44% of the books sampled for the collection analysis needed to be repaired, replaced, or weeded, but the proof was in the statistics. The result of the collection development plan was that more emphasis needed to be placed on the school library program with specific attention being called to non-fiction and the impact this program could have on the success of the student population if adequately funded by school administration.
Switching gears from the curation of physical content to the realm of digital content curation, I was charged with researching several curation tools and asked to make a recommendation for the one tool that met my informational needs most. The assignment connected as artifact 3, exposed me to a variety of curation tools such as ScoopIt, Bitly and Listly each containing unique features but when evaluating, conducting, and applying current research and thought in library and information studies simplicity of use and strengths emerge as key criteria. Ultimately, the advantages of ScoopIt reigned supreme as it had two major strengths as far as students were concerned, the commenting and sharing features. Students would be motivated to use the comment feature as they would seek feedback from peers and teachers. Creating and sustaining feedback between students and teachers and among students is critical and I learned that this digital tool could cultivate a quest for more knowledge.