School Librarian’s Bible… or maybe just cookbook…

Assessing for Learning: Librarians and Teachers as Partners, by Violet H. Harada and Joan M. Yoshina (2010)

This book will only be of interest to my fellow librarians/librarians-in-training/educators, but I felt the need to mention it here, because of how impressed I was by it.

As many of you know, I’m currently getting my masters in library science, with the intent of becoming an elementary school librarian. This summer, one of my classes was The School Library Media Center: Curriculum, Collaboration, and Connections, which is basically an 8-week crash course on my future career. Let me tell you, there are a whole mess of things I didn’t even realize I’d be responsible for as a school librarian, and assessment was one of them. This required text for the class brought me up to speed on all I’ll be expected to do assessment-wise in the most helpful way possible. Examples after examples after examples.

The text is split up into sections discussing different tools used for assessment (a chapter on rubrics, a chapter on student portfolios, etc.), different areas in which students need to be assessed in the library (critical understanding, dispositions, tech-integrated learning), and finally a thorough example from each school level (a chapter for each elementary, middle, and high school assessments).

Jumping into this book was scary. The first chapter tells me all the stuff I have to do that I had no idea about and why it’s so important to do it. But the rest of it was EXTREMELY practical, easy-to-navigate, and relevant, that I know I’ll use it all the time throughout my career. I think any teacher or school administrator would find it really helpful as well, as much of it is not just library focused. The assessment tools could easily be altered to accommodate a classroom setting.

This will definitely be one of those few textbooks that I keep, not just because I think I should, but because I KNOW I’ll use it. A valuable investment, for sure.

2 stars (I mean, it’s not keeping me up at night….)

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