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School Library Research


Educating Pre-Service School Librarians for the Instructional Partner Role: An Exploration into University Curricula


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Description

In Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs (2009), the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) identified the instructional partner role of school librarians as the most critical role for the future of the profession. To determine the extent to which school librarian preparation programs prepare pre-service school librarians for this role, this mixed-methods case study examined program ranking responses and questionnaires from nine universities and colleges that prepare these candidates for practice. Instructors who teach courses in school librarianship submitted a program of study document on which they rated the percentage of readings/viewings and assignments that focus on the instructional partner role in

courses offered exclusively for pre-service school librarian candidates. Participants were invited to complete follow-up questionnaires that asked for details regarding readings, textbooks, and assignments. The findings of this case study demonstrate a tendency for school librarian preparation programs to assign different priorities to the five roles identified by AASL; developing the instructional partner role was not ranked first for most of the programs under study. These programs also integrate into their courses various textbooks, book chapters, articles, and other resources focused on instructional partnerships. The results of this case study suggest that the academy does not teach with a unified voice when it comes to helping preservice school librarians prepare to practice the instructional partner role.

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