London Intermediate Library News

Librarians: Ann Rennalls & Amber Sullivan

Welcome back to school!

We are so excited to be starting another school year! Your two amazing librarians have been in trainings all summer learning how best to serve not only the students, but you too. We are hoping that this year we can form a true collaboration with all of you. We can be your "go to" people with all questions relating to research and resources that can take your lessons to the highest level. In an academic article, "Is the Library Important? Multivariate Studies at the National and International Level," (2012) by Stephen Krashen, Syying Lee, and Jeff McQuillan, in all the multivariate studies considered, the library emerges as a consistent predictor of reading scores. They concluded that more access to books results in more reading and more reading leads to better literacy development. Although that might not seem super surprising to you, another research article by Keith Lance, "Powering Achievement: The impact of School Libraries and Librarians on Academic Achievement," (2005) reported that school test scores were higher when teachers and librarians collaborated. In fact, Lance suggests that librarians focus on three points in their daily duties, 1) collaboration, 2) leadership, and 3) technology. To begin this collaboration geared releationship, we have put together this newsletter which we will send out every month, or more often as needed, that will give you awesome tips that you can incorporate into your classroom, as well as update you on the library resources that are available to you and your students. We just know that this is going to be the best year yet!

In this edition you will read:

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Here at the Intermediate level, the students are just going to begin learning how to research and write reports. We have a wonderful opportunity to lay the foundation for the rights, and wrongs, of how to conduct research and use that information to create original projects. Plagiarism is defined as the practice of taking someone else's work and passing off the material as your own. With our students being overloaded with information on the internet, it can be an easy mistake to just cut and paste items into their work. Some interesting research by Arthur Sterngold discusses how the assignment itself can either discourage or encourage plagiarism. In Sterngold's article "Confronting plagiarism: How conventional teaching invites cyber-cheating" (2004) he lays out some tips for educators to keep in mind when assigning a paper.

1) Assigning a major paper versus assigning smaller papers over the course of a semester encourages students to plagiarize due to factors, such as procrastination.

2)Not tying assignment topics directly to course materials encourages students to cut and paste un-documented material into their papers.
3)Being reticent to require that students must use familiar (to the instructor) sources may tempt students to cite irresponsibly or not at all.
4)An assignment incorporated into the classroom discussion and assessment over the course of a semester encourages students to work on the assignment over time.
5)Check in with the instructor sessions should be embedded into the assignment. This encourages mastery of the subject and competency in the student.
6)Finally, having students turn in a copy of their cited material along with their written assignment, encourages them to be responsible with their citing.

It is up to us to make teaching our students the importance of not plagiarizing a priority. Think about how you are breaking down your assignments and how you can ensure that the students will be using their own thoughts in their projects. If we as a school feel as though we need more support in teaching the students the importance of checking their work for plagiarism, there is a new Web-based software called Turnitin that can detect suspected plagiarism in student papers. Students submit an electronic form of their work through the software, which then checks for textual match with material in its data base and creates an Originality Report. Students can view their own submissions and originality reports but not the reports of others before they turn in their papers to be assured they have not plagiarized anything. It is a great way for student to check their own work, be accountable, and realize how serious plagiarism is. We can discuss in our next staff meeting if this is a program we would like to purchase for the school.
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Copyright Laws & Creative Commons

As tempting as it is for our students to plagiarize, it is just as tempted for us teachers to break copyright laws. How often have we had a copyrighted workbook and been tempted to make a class set copy of just the pages we needed for our lesson? It happens daily, in every school. We have to remember to practice what we preach though. Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act are constantly being examined in court rulings. To determine whether you are within fair use, the law calls for a balanced application of these four factors:

1) The purpose and charter of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2) The nature of the copyrighter work;

3) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighter work as a whole; and

4) The effect of the use upon the potential marked for or value of the copyrighted work.

Remember that it is a balance of the four factors. You cannot just read #1 and say you are free to break copyright laws because it is for educational purposes. Quantity of your copies as well as the nature of what you are trying to copy comes into play also.

To help determine if you are within the limits of fair use under the U.S. copyright law, Columbia University Libraries created a Fair Use Checklist that can be accessed at this address:

Did you also know that Google images are not just up for grabs? Most of those images are copyrighted as well! To help with internet copyright, Creative Commons offers licenses to the creators, where they can determine how they would like their images, songs, and other works used. Google has teamed up with Creative Commons and by enabling CC- search capabilities in their main search engine, you can be assured that you are only going to get images that are copyrighted for free use, with proper credit to the creators. Again, we must lead by example. If our students see how respected copyright laws are to us, they will begin to model that lead.

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Our Principles & Pledge

As the librarians of London Intermediate, we are committed to doing all that we can to making the library an effective tool for the students and staff. We have committed to the 10 Principles of Learning and Teaching of School Library Media Programs that was developed by the Information Power Vision Committee. The principles are below so that you can see our dedication to this program.

Principle 1: The library media program is essential to learning and teaching and must be fully integrated into the curriculum to promote student's achievement of learning goals.

Principle 2: The information literacy standards for student learning are integral to the content and objectives of the school's curriculum.

Principle 3: The library media program models and promotes collaborative planning and curriculum development.

Principle 4: The library media program models and promotes creative, effective, and collaborative teaching.

Principle 5: Access to the full range of information resources and services through the library media program is fundamental to learning.

Principle 6: The library media program encourages and engages students in reading, viewing, and listening for understanding and enjoyment.

Principle 7: The library media program supports the learning of all students and other members of the learning community who have diverse learning abilities, styles, and needs.

Principle 8: The library media program fosters individual and collaborative inquiry.

Principle 9: The library media program integrates the uses of technology for learning and teaching.

Principle 10: The library media program is an essential link to the larger learning community.

Our Pledge (and hopefully yours too after reading this newsletter)

We, Ann Rennalls and Amber Sullivan, pledge to honor intellectual property. We pledge to honor it as we finish our Master's program in Library Science, in our current jobs as well as our future jobs, and by word and example with all students and faculty that we interact with, for the rest of our professional and personal lives.