Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The debate continues as block scheduling versus flexible scheduling in the library media center was a topic of discussion at the October AASL Conference. Interesting comments on this AASL conference blog: http://www.noodletools.com/aasl/archives/120 ALthough I am in favor of a fixed schedule, I did find this point quite interesting...." collaboration is a method not a goal for the Library Media Specialist." And I do believe that a dedicated LMS can be an effective collaborator even in a fixed schedule. It just takes more creativity and maybe a little more time and effort.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Opinion

I am in favor of a flex schedule for students in third grade and above. A fixed schedule for the younger children works well. My biggest concern and observation is that the students in a fixed schedule do not seem to transfer what they have learned. Learning, that takes place through isolated skill lessons, stays in the library and connections are not made.

Strong Media Centers DO Affect Learning

Interesting article from Education World that supports strong media centers and connects higher test scores with the LMC. Also brings up the point that not only is the LMC important, but the role of the LMS is invaluable to developing our students into life long learners. http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin178.shtml

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Some thoughts...

Working in a school media center that uses a fixed schedule does require some extra flexibility and creativity by the LMS to work on projects that support curriculum and research. In my library, even though it is a fixed schedule, and a flex schedule does sound enticing, we manage to collaborate with teachers and discuss how we can supplement classroom learning in the media center. It also takes some flexibility on our part, being able and willing to change "skill plans" sometimes is necessary. Teachers are extremely busy, as we are, but through email and lunch discussions, we find the time to collaborate.

Monday, November 07, 2005

LMS fed up with criticism of fixed schedule

To be fair, of course, there is another side of the contraversy. This is a quite irate LMS who is in favor of a fixed schedule and includes his points, well illustrated with specifics. Admitting that Information Power is against a fixed schedule, he is determined to get his point across. http://www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/trueflex.html

How to move from fixed to flex

This is a great starting point for Library Media Specialists who are attempting to move from a fixed schedule to a flexible schedule in their library. Administrators are the ones who must be convinced that this scheduling would be beneficial to the students and learning environment. Meeting with district administrators and principals can be a daunting task. The LMS must be well prepared with research and statistics to back up the reasoning. Massachusesttes School Library Media Association offers links from their homepage that provides statistics and findings that will help the LMS to convince their proncipal and administration that a flex schedule will help support and meet the goals of the school. http://www.mslma.org/MediaForum/Nov2002/flexsched.html

Monday, October 31, 2005

Skills in Isolation

Working in an fixed schedule environment puts limits on learning. Valuable research and library skills are being taught in isolation which then do not transfer to curriculum. If library time is used for "prep time" for teachers, the library media center is not available for true research to take place. It is very frustrating for the LMS to teach six library classes each day and still attempt to make the LMC available for research and collaborative projects. Districts need to evaluate statistics that prove that effective use of the LMC comes from having a flexible schedule.

Information Power

Information Power promotes flexible scheduling as a means to develop our students into life long learners. "In a student-centered school library media program, learning needs to take precedence over class schedules, school hours, student categorizations. To meet learning needs, the programs resources and services must be available so that information problems can be resolved when they arise."

Position of AASL on Flexible Scheduling


Benefits the Teachers

Having a flexible schedule un the LMC also benefits the teachers: It allows the LMC to be accessed when needed. Ensures collaboration between the LMS and teacher in developing curriculum units Promotes use of LMC and resources. Gives ample opportunity to teach the research process and information literacy skills. Allows for more one on one assistance.

Benefits the Library Media Specialist

Having a flex schedule in the LMC also benefits the LMS: It allows the LMS to work collaboratively with teachers, students, parents and administrators. Flex scheduling offers the chance to teach and use information literacy skills when applicable. It offers the opportunity to work with and meet the needs of individuals students. Encourages the modelling and teaching of the research process. Defines the role of the LMS as teacher.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Benefits the Students

The benefits of flexible scheduling certainly outweigh the rigidity of a fixed schedule. With the LMC fast becoming a critical component in a school's instructional program, scheduling needs to support curriculum and be available for use by students and teachers. Some advantages of a flex schedule include: Students will be able to use their information literacy skills in curriculum context It allows and encourages independent library use It allows more time and effort on research The LMS is available for guidance It provides for a greater access of information It allows for students to develop their research skills at their own pace

Library Media Center and Scheduling

The LMC has become the information nucleus of the school; a place where information is accessed in a challenging, interesting atmosphere, promoting students to meet their educational goals. Fixed scheduling can have a grave effect on the educational potential of the Library Media Center

Different kinds of scheduling in the LMC

Each school district is responsible for deciding what kind of scheduling will occur in the LMC. Fixed Scheduling - Classes visit the library each week at a specific, time allowing teachers their prep time. Flexible Scheduling - Teachers and classes are allowed to visit the LMC on an "as need" basis, the LMS works collaboratively with teachers.