Verdugo Hills High School Library & Research Center Monthly Report
Lisa Cheby, Teacher Librarian
Days Open: 33
- Total items: 1026
- Computer use (not counting class visits): 483
- Headsets: 63
- Fiction: 221
- Database page views: 1,900
Student and Class Visits
- Student Visits (students who visit library with a pass during class):112
- Class Visits: 67
- Reasons: Library Orientation, Check Out Books, Research and Information Literacy Instruction, Poetry Lessons, Personal Essay Workshops, Digital Portfolios
Resources: Accessibility and Management
This year collection development started with cataloging about 300 new YA fiction titles (and a few non-fiction) that were donated as part of my participation as a reader for a YA fiction award. I had to first catalog all the titles and then have my student and a volunteer from leadership help with labeling and covering all the books. We are about half way to having them all shelf-ready.
Additionally, I have another cart of non-fiction books from given to us by ILTSS which need to be cataloged and labeled for circulation.
Meanwhile, I am using fines money and money that was said to be allocated to the library for books to update our non-fiction collection and to fill in high-demand titles in fiction. I recently submitted an order to update our collection of books about congress members and supreme court justices. I also ordered books to provide more personal and updated materials about genocides, a topic that is covered in literature and history classes and that students want to read more about. Particularly, with a large Armenian population in Los Angeles and our school in particular, we needed to have more books about Armenian history and the Armenia genocide. It is encouraging that when I put out new book displays, I usually need to replace books in the display within the week as students check them out.
This school year the LDNE is piloting a new professional development approach for teacher librarians, who are often the sole member of their department on campuses. During banked PD time, LDNE teacher librarians are meeting at various libraries to share best practices in information literacy instruction, literacy advocacy, and library management. In October, VHHS library hosted 18 teacher librarians.
With an increase in teachers collaborating on research units and the shorter semesters in the fall, the literary assembly will take place in February.
Technology and Instruction
This term Mrs. Heerman, Dr. Norton, and I continued implementing the level 1 of research with 9th, 10th, and 11th graders from both the STEMM magnet and the residential schools. We still don’t have enough students to jump into Level 2 with a class, but see the momentum building.
Mrs. Heerman immediately launched her 10th and 11th grade classes into Level 2, which allowed me to really start to develop this second level, merging some of the steps and adding in more depth to search strategies in order to build independence and resiliency into their research process. It is exciting to see students choose topics and use the databases to find credible information to answer their own questions.
For Mrs. Heerman’s Advanced ELD Class I had the opportunity to develop new ways to better differentiate the research unit for these students. It is a mixed grade level class so the material needed to allow student more time to engage with each skill more often and to see us model more as they also still are developing the vocabulary for academic tasks. Rather than moving into level 2, we stepped back to develop digital literacy vocabulary in interactive games that allow students to also develop collaborative skills and language.
Second term, I also started to work with Ms. Shin, our new English teacher, in delivering the research unit. She liked the lessons developed with Dr. Norton and Mrs. Heerman. However, her 11th and 12th grade students had a much more mixed level of skills and experience with writing and research. In order to allow for more independence and support in acquiring the skills, we chose to deliver lessons using blended learning techniques I developed when working with Mr. Berg on his master’s thesis. Delivered through Google Classroom, students had access to videos and narrated slide presentations to complete activities, culminating in a presentation of their process and research. This strategy improved participation which was resistant at first and in our last session, though all at different stages towards completion, students were engaging with questioning, query building, and searching of the databases using self-selected topics. As the semester winds down, I will start to formalize and refine an information literacy scope and sequence that I hope will eventually be adopted by the campus.
I continue to work with teachers to set up student digital portfolios. The upperclassmen seem less invested in the project, so I will focus on getting 9th and 10th graders set up with portfolios and hope our coordinators will encourage teachers to have students add projects each term to these portfolios.
If you are logged into your LAUSD account, you may see the portfolios by clicking here.
CSLA SR Fall Workshop
As a member of the California School Library Association Southern Region Board (CSLA SR) I helped to organize and attended their fall workshop in Long Beach in October. The day consisted of four concurrent sessions and time in between to network with other teacher librarians around Southern California. Sessions I found particularly interesting included one on incorporating graphic novels into the core curriculum and another on teaching how to spot fake news, but sparking some new ideas about how to tackle such a large issue.
Update Verdugo Reads Committee
While the Verdugo Reads Committee met after reading contenders over the summer and selected a title, the budget for providing books school wide exceeds the resources of our school and the community grate I hoped to apply to for funding. At this time, we are exploring alternatives to implement a reading program on a more limited and affordable scale.