Published on April 26, 2014
Executive Summary Media Center Overview: The media center is centrally located inside the Union Elementary School. The school houses approximately 650 students from Pre-K to 5th grade. The center provides resources to staff including but not limited to books, periodicals, curriculum support materials, 21st century carts and Balanced Literacy Kits. The Media Center Specialist acts as the technology coordinator as well as librarian. Observations and interviews convey an overwhelming sense of upheaval and change for the Media Center and school staff. Organizational Chart
and collection development. Stakeholders for the Media Center include students, teachers, administrators, guardians and the surrounding business and community members. Job Title & Description: Media Specialist Use planning calendar to schedule media center activities. Inform and update teachers of media resources. Collaborative plan with teachers to provide appropriate literacy skills that are integrated with curriculum. Promote reading for pleasure through activities such as read-alouds, book talks, etc. Encourage individuals and small groups, as well as entire classes, to use the media center. Maintain Spectrum catalog system including resource and patron records. Purchase new media resources. Process, catalog, shelve and weed collections as needed. Provide copyright information expertise and classroom support materials. Provide instruction to staff regarding new resources and technology. Assist the Technology Specialist with technical support in classrooms. Maintain and update school and technology inventory twice a year. Media Center Clerk Check in and out media materials using specified software. Run overdue notices weekly. Shelve materials according to the Dewey Decimal System. Check shelves regularly for order. Return all unshelved materials to their proper place. Update periodicals as they arrive. Assist individuals in finding materials when needed. Assist Media Specialist in processing new materials for circulation. Assist with projects as requested from administration. Media Committee Develops procedures for implementing the system’s instructional media
and equipment policy. Establishes media program objectives and priorities based on instructional goals. Develops long range plans for media center. Assesses available media resources as related to instructional needs and recommends priorities for media budget proposal. Recommends media policy revisions. Assists in identifying and planning media or technology related staff development activities. Center Activities Book Fair - Scholastic Book Fairs are held at the school in the Fall and Spring. Parents are invited to shop along with their students to purchase materials appropriate for their reader. Barnes and Noble Reader Appreciate – Coordinate the annual reader appreciate night at Barnes and Noble Book Store. Students perform a Christmas program in the children’s reading area of the store. A portion of the proceeds from the night will be given to Union Elementary. American Education Week - Coordinate guest speakers for a week long tribute to education. Invitations are extended to honored volunteers and veterans. Special attention is afforded to science and math speakers. Dr. Seuss Week - Coordinate guest speakers from the Macon Mentors Project to read Dr. Seuss books to grades Pre-K through 2nd grade.
Mission and Goals: Mission: The mission of Union Elementary School Media Center is to produce discerning, information literate problem-solvers who are prepared to succeed in the 21st century; to promote reading through collaboration with teachers and other staff members; to provide age appropriate resources and meaningful learning experiences. The mission of the media center is for each student to have strength of character and to be college ready. Goals are to provide students with reading comprehension skills, understanding and use of research skills, assimilating critical thinking and technology skills. Personnel: The media center is staffed by one full time Media Specialist and one part time Media Clerk. Evaluation: The Media Center is presently going through a process of change from old to new. The previous Media Specialist retired after 17 years in the position. The current Media Specialist has been in a middle school setting for the past 7 years. Assimilation to an elementary school setting has not been simple or easy as the books and technology are outdated. To help assimilate patrons to the “new” Union Media Center, a cosmetic update was performed. Freshly painted walls, decorative curtains and a faux tree have been placed in the media center creating a “new” feel. The media center is currently not meeting its mission and goals. Because of the overhaul, students do not have access to the media center as intended. Recommendations: The center and the Media Specialist would benefit from a bi- weekly schedule for student visits. In the middle school setting, students are more apt to visit the center in small groups. Elementary students, especially K-2, need to visit as a group. Also, an orientation session at the beginning of the school year would be appropriate, especially for K and 1. The center would also benefit with more communication and interaction with staff as teachers are not aware of the new policies and procedures of the Media Center. Many technology issues are not resolved in a timely manner, which falls on the responsibility of the Media Center but is largely out of their control. Technology is lacking due to the outdated infrastructure of the building. . 99
Evaluation Based on my research, the center is meeting its goals and mission. It provides resources to teachers and students to aid in the overall learning experience. The technology available to staff and students is adequate and its resources are widely used throughout the school. However, there are areas that the media center could improve upon. Providing Resources: The center does a very good job in providing resources to staff and students. The center has CPS kits, camcorders, DVDs, listening centers, and many other types of instructional materials that can be checked out and utilized in the classroom. Students are able to request books and other resources to help update the center with new high-demand items.
Technology Management: Most technology issues are resolved by the media center paraprofessional. In his interview he stated that, “The media center is the frontline for technology issues.” Teachers can come to the media center whenever they are having issues with technology in their classrooms. The media center’s paraprofessional get between ten and twenty requires for support every day. The issues are generally basic and only involve simple troubleshooting, fixing audio issues, Promethean board connections, and projector issues. If the media center’s paraprofessional cannot resolve the issues, a work order gets submitted to the district’s IT department help desk. The majority of teachers are unhappy with the effectiveness of the IT department’s help desk. Many of them stated that it took weeks for a technician to arrive and fix the issues. In some cases, no one ever came. Recommendations Providing Resources: I learned through my interviews with teachers that many of them didn’t know about the types of resources that were available to them. One teacher had mentioned wanted some instructional materials for a lesson on the weather cycle and wasn’t aware that the media center had Bill Nye the Science Guy and Science Court DVDs on the topic. There was also an issue with keeping track of some of the available resources. One teacher came to the media center to checkout a camcorder and tripod, but the equipment could not be located. I recommend sending out a monthly email or creating handout that provides teachers with information about the resources that are available to them and their students. Instructional materials should also be managed in a way that allows staff to locate them more easily. If materials are already checked out, there should be a log that provides information on who checked it out and when. Technology Management: Many teachers skip the media center’s help and go straight to the district’s help desk for support with technology issues. There is a common misconception that this is system policy. Many of them would save time
and frustration if they would check with the media center first. The school has several new teachers who are unaware of the process they should take when trying to troubleshoot technology. I recommend conducting a new teacher orientation to inform these individuals on the support that is available to them. More needs to be done about the response time of the IT department’s technicians. However, this is a district issue and does not affect the evaluation of the media center.
Appendix A Interview Questions for Media Specialist and Paraprofessionals: 1. What is your title/position? 2. What are your responsibilities? 3. What is the mission of the center? 4. What are the goals of the center? 5. Who are the stakeholders? 6. What role do you have in technology at the school? 7. What support do you provide with technology resources? 8. What activities are carried out by the center? 9. How many students do you work with on a daily basis? 10. What types of technology related activities/centers are provided to students? 11. What types of special events has the media center been involved in? 12. What type of support is required for you to be productive at your job? 13. What is your favorite part of the job? 14. What former experiences have prepared you for your current position? Interview Questions for Teachers: 1. What types of resources are offered to you by the media center? 2. How long does it normally take to get a tech issue resolved? 3. What types of activities or centers have been provided by the media center this year? 4. What is the best strength of the media center? 5. What would you consider a weakness of the media center? 6. Has the media center provided you with any training this year? 7. What types of technology do you use the most in the classroom? 8. How frequently do you have technology issues that need to be resolved?
References Three-Year Technology Plan. (2012). Retrieved November, 11 2013 from http://www.docoschools.org/technology/CompleteTechPlan2012-2015.pdf Sherwood Acres Elementary. (2013). Retrieved November, 11 2013 from http://destinylms.docoschools.org/common/welcome.jsp?site=111
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