Library Annual Report 2020-2021

Pen Argyl Area High School Library

Compiled by:

Laura Cipriano-Kohser, BSEd, MLS

Pen Argyl Area High School Librarian

Instruction & Information Specialist

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Mission Statement

The Pen Argyl Area High School Library Media Center is a flexibly scheduled, multiple-use resource center of the school, serving PAASD staff and 9th-12th grade level students. The library media center provides access to a varied collection and presents instruction in information literacy, academic integrity, and literature appreciation. The Pen Argyl High School Library Media Center is a place where everyone feels welcome, intellectual curiosity is supported, collaboration happens, and learning takes place.

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Collaborative Projects

September 2020:
  • English 9 Library Orientation - Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Capri
  • Hispanic Heritage Month - Foreign Language Department
  • Banned Books Week
  • Library Card Sign-up Month
  • Technology Troubleshooting for Teachers and Students (all year)
  • APA Formatting and Science Research - Mrs. Goyette

October 2020:

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November 2020:

  • General Election Ballot for School Mock Election - Social Studies Department
  • eBooks and Audiobooks - English Department
  • Google Meet Waiting Rooms
  • Narrative Poetry - Ms. Kresge
  • Senior Mythology Projects - Mrs. Hance
  • Veteran's Day Display

December 2020:

  • Victorian England Research - Mrs. Hance
  • Algebra Lesson Brainstorming - Mrs. Gower
  • Third Annual Festival of Literary Trees - Winner: Mrs. Roche and Physical Science
  • Ugly Sweater Contest - Winner: Mr. Oakley
  • Discover Databases

January 2021:

  • Act 80: Shared Google Folders for Collaborative Assignments
  • Element Superheroes and Villains - Mrs. Chromey
  • English 9 Research Projects - Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Capri

Element Villain: The Bismuth Beauty

February 2021:

  • English 12 Medieval Research Projects - Mrs. Hance
  • Literary Criticism
  • Inspirational Person Research Project - Mrs. Capri
  • Skim and Scan for Research
  • Black History Month

March 2021:

  • Women's History Month
  • Research Process Folders - Mr. Hinton
  • Parent/Teacher Sign-Up Genius
  • Tech Session - Destiny Collections: Like Pinterest for Teachers

April 2021:

  • Civil War Projects - Mr. Hinton
  • National Library Month
  • National Poetry Month - Ms. Kresge
  • Poem in Your Pocket Day - Mrs. Capri and Mrs. Hamm

May 2021:

  • Gas Laws Application Research - Mrs. Chromey
  • Mental Health Awareness - Mrs. Sofronie and Mrs. Campbell
  • Curriculum Planning and Resources - Mrs. Hance, Mrs. McCarty, Mrs. Capri, Mr. Gerenscer, Mrs. Cesare
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Mrs. Capri and Mrs. Hamm created the eye-catching displays for Poem In Your Pocket Day for the whole school to enjoy and to share poems.

Database Usage Statistics

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Our students are researching! Properly!

And not just while they are IN the library and IN our school building!

Our students conducted 51,127 searches in research databases from September to March this year! Those are searches NOT done on Google or in addition to Google! Students engaged with the databases in 23,547 sessions and retrieved 6,435 resources to analyze and to potentially use. During this same time frame in the last two school years, students had conducted 10,535 searches with 4,505 retrievals. That is an 80% increase in usage during a pandemic year! We can attribute this to meeting virtual students' needs in research while at home, teacher emphasis and requirements of authoritative and academic resources, increased instruction across the curriculum in research skills, and increases in inquiry- and project-based assessments.

Research database use is an information literacy skill that students will use in post-secondary education and it reinforces the idea that reputable sources are necessary for minimizing bias and relying on fact (a real world skill in the age of the 24/7 news cycle).

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Library Services

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Research Pathfinder
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Library Special Events

Chris Adams Interview 03-15-2021

Expanding the Realm of Research

Not only did we as teachers and learners become more comfortable with the use of meeting through online video platforms, so did the rest of the world! Mrs. Capri, English 9 teacher, and I used that to capitalize on research opportunities for our students in order to explore endless resources (especially primary) through interviews.

The above video is a powerful example of how a student in a rural school district connected with a British inventor's son to learn not only about his discovery, but also about the greater impacts of collaboration, teamwork, stamina, and perseverance. It’s a small world, after all - and it is worth your time to watch!

School Librarians are not JUST "managers of materials" or "keepers of the books".

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Goals for the 2021-2022 School Year

  • Research and provide solutions to decrease academic dishonesty across instructional modalities.
  • Increase eBook and eAudioBook promotion and circulation.
  • Continue to build relationships with teachers in order to collaborate and co-teach across the curriculum.
  • Continue to add project- and inquiry-based assessments and assist teachers with creating rubrics, differentiating instruction, and grading.
  • Continue to model best practices in co-teaching and collaboration.
  • Develop library curriculum to reflect current AASL standards and to boost standardized assessment scores.
  • Increase overall circulation and database usage statistics.
  • Update Art resources collection.
  • Use creative approaches to sharing information about library promotions, events, and new materials.
  • Build presence as a transformative librarian and instructional coach and get into classrooms.
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Vision for the Pen Argyl Area High School Library

  • The school curriculum is implemented by lessons that are resource-based and planned by a team of teachers and a qualified full-time professional library media specialist.

  • Concept-based units allow a blurring of discipline lines as objectives common to many areas are accomplished by researching in a well-stocked library media center.

  • The library media specialist teaches research skills, not in isolation, but as they are needed by the students for their projects. It is expected that students will become independent and self-reliant as they learn to locate, access, and use the resources necessary to solve their problems.

  • Working together with the library media specialist, teachers require students to use resources in their assignments so that the students will be able to apply their research skills to other situations.

  • The librarian, as an instruction and information specialist, works collaboratively with teachers to design and conduct lessons and projects and develop electronic and multimedia presentations.

  • The school media specialist is a leader in the school, providing staff development on literacy, professional growth, instructional strategies, and instructional technology integration where appropriate.

  • The Pen Argyl Area High School Library exists as not only a resource for students, but also as a resource for the community, in providing a well-stocked collection for lifelong learning, personal development, and increased literacy.

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Want to help students get back on track? Look to your school librarians.

Students, parents, teachers, and administrators have embraced the reopening of schools in Pen Argyl Area School District with both anticipation and a tremendous sense of responsibility—to advance academic progress and student well-being, to deepen engagement with all members of the learning community, and to ensure that inequities exacerbated by the rapid shutdown of schools last spring are addressed once and for all.

Pen Argyl’s librarians are at work supporting those efforts, and the district now has an opportunity to expand that work to the benefit of students and communities.

That sepia-toned image of school libraries as repositories of books was shattered during the early days of the pandemic. With reading and literacy as the very foundation of learning, school librarians did get books—in a variety of formats—into the hands of readers. They also distributed laptops, mobile hotspots, and other devices; prepared teachers to work with high quality digital resources; co-taught classes and led research across content areas and grade levels; implemented online clubs and learning opportunities to keep students connected to their learning communities and to each other; and partnered with community organizations to engage and support families.

The empirical evidence is supported by more than 60 library and education studies from across the nation that highlight how effective school library programs transform teaching and learning and boost student success, not just in the classroom but in future educational pursuits, in the workplace, and in society. School librarians have the unique privilege to support academic growth over a period of years and empower learners to thrive and contribute to their communities locally and globally.

There remains much to be done and one thing is certain: there is no “going back” to the way things were before. The need to ensure that students develop a continuum of literacies as well as strong digital citizenship skills is undeniable, yet there is new urgency for Pen Argyl Area School District to confront the challenges of today and to prepare students for the opportunities of the future.

Please support efforts to properly fund and staff our school district's libraries. An allocation from The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 can help restore our programming and add additional resources and programming to address the learning loss associated with the pandemic. The future of Pen Argyl Area School District's children is the future of our communities. School libraries are undeniably at the center of education and facilitate the movement forward.

Professional Accomplishments

  • Presentation on "Expanding the Realm of Research" to Now What EDU: Statewide Educators' Professional Learning Community
  • Invitation for membership in The Global Association of Women Leaders and Executives
  • Provided professional development to PAAHS staff in instructional technology, student engagement strategies, academic integrity, and authentic assessment
  • Completed course work for EdD in Educational Leadership and Administration at East Stroudsburg University
  • Completed administrative internship in educational leadership at East Penn School District
  • Currently interning at Nazareth Area School District with the assistant superintendent
  • Began writing dissertation: Educational Leadership Perspectives of Pennsylvania School Librarians as Instructional Coaches
  • Developed high school mathematics and foreign language curricula as a consultant for a local school
  • Edited a local author's novel for publication
  • Coordinator of social media communications for The Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem
  • Continued fundraising and establishment of There In A Heartbeat: The Kayla Crocker Bereavement Travel Foundation, a charity in honor of my sister