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Organizing

In the organizing process, collaborating with teachers is logical because school library media specialists have full knowledge of the curriculum, the way teachers teach, the assignments they give and the activities they plan in classrooms, and the media center support teachers will require” (Woolls, 2008. p. 78).

Librarians perform a variety of roles in the library program, from consulting to fully collaborating with the design and implementation of classroom units. While organizing and collaborating, the librarian and classroom teacher must agree on who should do what work, the activities that will be incorporated into the project and what facilities are available to accomplish the task. The activities are often allocated between the classroom and the library and the planning should involve matching the planning with the library schedule.

There are three main steps in the organizing process that Wooll outlines:

1. First, the librarian should prepare a list of materials to be used in the project. The teachers should review the materials, particularly if they are new and provide feedback. The librarian should review websites for availability, continued relevance and usefulness and then provide links for the teachers so they are familiar with their content and are prepared to help students navigate the information. The usefulness of every item, both new and existing should be assessed and recorded so that those that worked well can be reused in the future.

2. Next, the librarian must review the unit to see what activities will involve the library staff. Some of the jobs that may need to be completed by the library staff are:
  • Purchase supplies if they aren’t readily available.
  • Decide which materials to place on reserve, which materials to send to the classroom, and which to circulate to students.
  • Do a database search for resources and information available on the web, and place links on the library website for the teachers and students.
  • Locate and review any additional materials that must be obtained from outside the school.


3. Finally, the librarian and classroom teacher must decide how to divide the teaching of the unit. Some questions that must be considered are:
  • When will the assignment be introduced?
  • How many sessions will students need in the library?
  • When will the assignment be due and how will it be evaluated?
  • What research skills are required and in when will they be taught?
  • What reference sources and materials will be used and how will they be distributed?

References
Woolls, Blanche. (2008). The school library media manager. (4th edition). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.