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Sarah Merrill

LIS 6455 - Spring 2019

Evaluation Plan - Bayside High School

The librarian at Bayside High School is very engaged with other teachers and their
curriculum. He often uses techniques of information literacy to co-teach courses, primarily those
that deal with career resources and real-world financial information. For example, students
practice using popular job-search websites such as Indeed and Monster. Administering a
summative self-assessment after lessons would help the teacher and librarian both understand
how students are progressing. The students would describe what they learned about job hunting,
which part of their search they were most proud of, and determining the next steps in their search
process (Donham, 2013). Self-assessments would be extremely helpful for Bayside’s students in
particular, as one of the media center’s goals are for students to be self-motivated and curious
learners, and self-assessments give students a sense of responsibility for their own inquiries
(Donham, 2013).
Currently, the school librarian does not use what could be considered a systematic
instructional development or information search process when working with teachers. This is
partially in the interest of flexibility based on student needs, but a process could be developed, to
streamline lessons on information literacy and better weave it into educators’ curriculum.
Bayside’s librarian is not a member of committees in regards to curriculum development.
He is a member of FAME, but within the school, he primarily works one-on-one with
administration and is not involved on the district level.
The policies in place at Bayside do give both students and teachers access to the library
space and the librarian throughout the day, but one way to evaluate the amount of access they’re
given is through the utilization of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). From both Bayside and
comparative local schools, the librarian could compile accessibility data such as the hours open
before or after school, amount of qualified staff, and availability of staff to work with educators
and students. Providing statistics of availability and usage as compared to similar school libraries
is a great way to display to administrators and those on the district level that Bayside’s library is
providing a much-needed service to the school community (Discala & Subramaniam, 2011).
Bayside’s librarian maintains that students’ intellectual freedom and privacy is of the
utmost importance. The collection development work that their tight budget allows reflects
current students’ interests and goals, while also ensuring diverse viewpoints are shared and
appreciated. A method to assess the collection and ensure it is meeting student needs is to utilize
student interviews, wherein the librarian gains information about how how students feel about
the library’s collection (both digital and print) and where they feel it is lacking (Donham, 2013).
The environment at Bayside as a whole, but particularly with its librarian, is also very
inviting, flexible, and safe. They work hard to develop trusting relationships with students in
order to create a learning environment that encourages them to return day after day, until they hit
their goal of graduating.
Physically, the layout of Bayside’s library was arranged by the librarian when it was first
built, so the space and furniture placement is designed to be barrier-free, but Bayside’s website
could be more inclusive for students with visual impairments (eg. larger font size, greater
contrast in font color). A tool that could be used to assess the library’s accessibility would be to
go through both the library’s physical space and its digital space (the library website, online
catalog, etc.) and use a checklist method to compare against guidelines for UD and UDL such as
those outlined in Blue’s article in Knowledge Quest (2010).
Bayside’s library, though it is a special school with a small population, has the requisite
one full-time certified school librarian.
Bayside is in the Pinellas County school district, which utilizes the “Information Literacy
Standards for Student Learning,” from the American Library Association to evaluate each
school’s professional staff (1998). These standards are based on students’ progress with
information literacy, thus evaluating the library professional’s work while instructing students in
the library and within collaborative teaching environments. Other than these standards, there are
few district-wide benchmarks for school librarian evaluations.

Bayside’s librarian is very eager to work with students and other teachers, planning
lessons alongside teachers in other departments and assessing student work alongside the
educators’ curriculum goals. A good way for the librarian to assess student work is to use the
SAILS method, which would test students’ information literacy and technology skills at the
beginning of their time at Bayside, then again at graduation to gather data of student progress
(Seymour, 2007).
Bayside’s library sees a good amount of collaboration, and many of its creative problem-
solving activities are based on real-world experiences that its students will encounter after
graduation, whether that’s going through trade school, college, or entering the workforce.
The only suggestions given at the library from students and staff at this time come from
casual verbal comments to the librarian about whatever suggestion they have about the library
and its policies. One easy way to integrate suggestions, primarily from the student body, would
be a suggestion box at the front desk. The anonymity of the comments could allow the librarian
to gather an honest assessment of the current state of the library and glean what students and
staff would ideally like to see from its policies and procedures (Farnum, et. al., 2011).
Bayside’s librarian does work with other teachers, but is rarely involved in decision-
making or school improvement outside the library. This is something he would like to improve in
coming years.
The library has a district-approved collection development policy in place, which does
include a procedure for challenges to items in the collection, as well as the procedure for
weeding materials and other types of collection evaluation.
The librarian tailors the collection development policy to the current needs of their ever-
changing student body, but they could be more inclusive of the different teaching styles within
the school. One way of evaluating this would be to conduct interviews with teachers and
encourage them to suggest items that cooperate with their classroom activities and teaching
styles (Donham, 2013).

Bayside’s librarian is passionate about students’ right to privacy and open access. Their
circulation policy reflects this, keeping information about students’ checkouts and inquiries
confidential. A way to test Bayside’s sense of confidentiality against other libraries would be to
use local data (Andrews, 2012). To get a sense of how other libraries protect patron
confidentiality, the librarian could search comparable schools (even public libraries) and review
their circulation policies, focusing on borrower privacy policies and intellectual freedom.
While there are late fees, Bayside’s circulation policy ensures that students are still able
to use materials in the library, even if the student has overdue fines on their account.
Additionally, the library’s digital resources are open to all, regardless of account standing.
The library has its own website, which is accessible through Bayside High School’s
website. It links to a wide array of digital resources that are useful school-wide. For example, it
includes resources for parents, free multimedia resources, as well as test preparation and useful
links for teachers.
Bayside’s library is a hub of learning, particularly when collaborating with other teachers
and their classes, which happens almost daily. Students are invited to participate in the
discussion, which often focus on roleplaying and using online resources to do research about real
scenarios in their lives, post-graduation. A method of determining how these techniques affect
students’ academic progress would be to invite students to keep a journal of their research
progress. For example, they would write about choosing where they hypothetically wanted to
move, then found information on that area’s cost of living, job opportunities, housing, and so
forth. This method could keep them accountable and on-track during the research process, while
teachers stay informed on where students may be struggling (Donham, 2013).
Flexibility is the prime model of teaching at Bayside High School, and since the student
population is so small, they can afford to tailor their instruction to the needs of each student. A
way to make sure their instructional methods are working to improve students’ academic and
personal growth would be to utilize qualitative research methods: in small focus groups, the
librarian and students could discuss the library’s current teaching methods and how the students
feel they might be improved, based on a user-focused “willingness to return” evaluation
(Shenton, 2011).
Bayside’s librarian utilizes the technology available to him (a SmartBoard, iPads, and
laptops) in order to involve students in his teaching. Additionally, he utilizes the school’s TV
studio, which has specialized recording and editing technology with which students can express
themselves creatively.
Bayside’s website has links to various digital resources that are available 24-7 to
students, teachers, and parents, supplementing with resources he discusses in the media center, or
resources that students might find interesting or engaging.
The librarian has a great understanding of copyright and fair use laws, and utilizes them
in his work with students. As Bayside has many older students, some of whom will be
transitioning into college, instruction on copyright and academic integrity is vital. One way he
best explores the topic of copyright law is through his work with the TV studio: all media they
use in their projects must be considered fair use or through Creative Commons to avoid
copyright infringement.
Intellectual freedom is one of the school librarian’s core values, and he protects his
students’ right to access all viewpoints on an issue, as well as the right to be curious about any
and all subjects. This advocacy for intellectual freedom also coincides with the school’s goal of
engaging students with their education, no matter what topic might spark their interest.
Bayside’s librarian is a member of FAME, but doesn’t interact much with other
professional organizations. He’s expressed a desire to interact more with other school library
professionals, both across the state and nationwide. Collecting and analyzing data on how access
to professional development opportunities affects both librarian and student performance could
be a way to advocate for extra funding for such opportunities (Andrews, 2012).
Though the librarian does an excellent job of utilizing the library’s existing technology
into his collaborative efforts with teachers and other staff, educating staff on new technologies is
often left to the IT personnel at Bayside. However, the librarian does step in if the opportunity
presents itself. One way to assess how the librarian encourages staff to explore new educational
technology is to use districtwide to nationwide data, where applicable, as a benchmark to
discover what emerging technology is present in high school libraries, and how that affects
students’ performance both within the library setting and in the classroom (Donham, 2013).
The librarian shares district collection development policies primarily with faculty and
staff, and may also share them with students or parents upon request. However, he makes certain
to educate students and staff on their rights and responsibilities as members of a globalized
online community, as both consumers and creators of knowledge.

American Library Association. (1998). Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning.
Andrews, S. D. (2012). Power of Data : An Introduction to Using Local, State, and National
Data to Support School Library Programs. American Library Association.
Blue, E. V. (2011). UD and UDL: paving the way toward inclusion and independence in the
school library. Knowledge Quest, (3), 48.
DiScala, J., & Subramaniam, M. (2011). Evidence-based practice: A practice towards leadership
credibility among school librarians. School Libraries Worldwide, 17(2), 59.
Donham, J. (2013). Enhancing teaching and learning (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: ALA.
Farnum, C. M., Baird, C., & Ball, K. (2011). Can I Make A Suggestion? Your Library’s
Suggestion Box as an Assessment and Marketing Tool. Partnership: The Canadian
Journal of Library & Information Practice & Research, 6(1), 1–21.
Harper, M. (2012). Awesome Assessment Tools for Advocacy in the School Library. Ohio
Spectrum, 64(1), 32–34.
Seymour, C. (2007). Information Technology Assessment: A Foundation for School and
Academic Library Collaboration. KNOWLEDGE QUEST, (5), 32.
Shenton, A. K. (2011). Two pupil-centred approaches to the assessment of school libraries.
Performance Measurement and Metrics, (1), 38.