Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moving Forward: Creating Library Spaces and Programs that Support Content Area Reading

I've been thinking a lot about content area literacy lately.  Given the emphasis on expository text in the Common Core Standards, it's tough not to think about how school libraries can support the coming shift in the type of texts students will soon be required to pull from our shelves.  What's more, my state was an early adopter of the CCS, so like them ready or not, here they come.

That said, whatever you might think of the new standards, the way I see it, they represent both a challenge and an opportunity for school librarians.  As the new standards roll out, teachers are going to be required to think about literacy differently, to expose students to more and more informational text and to create opportunities for interdisciplinary learning.  To my way of thinking, there's no one in the school who is better suited to these challenges than the school librarian.  However, we've got to be willing to a) step up to the plate b) abandon some traditional library barriers and c) prove our instructional chops.  

And so, it was with all of that rolling around my head that I was asked to create a presentation for the librarians in my district related to the CCS and our role in its implementation.  For this effort, I decided to focus on adapting library programs and spaces to embrace and emphasize informational texts and interdisciplinary literacies.  As always, feel free to use, share and alter my work to suit your needs.


  1. An error message comes up after the second slide which prevents us from seeing the whole presentation!

  2. This is great. I've been working on this myself and will share when I have everything organized. I feel this is a great opportunity for librarians. I asked to attend the training for our ELA teachers, which helped me to get some ideas. I'm putting together mini lessons for our content area teachers right now. My Assistant Principal and I are going to teach these lessons after our state testing this Spring.

  3. Thank you, Jennifer. A thought provoking presentation with lots of ideas to consider. - Marita Thomson

  4. Jennifer, to me, you are brilliant. Thank you for being a forward thinking and an agent for change. With your permission, I'd like to share this with colleagues in my county.