Research Empowering Practice Sessions

Research is critical to enhancing the school librarian’s role as a leader who transforms teaching and learning. The Research Empowering Practice (REP) session strand informs best practice in the profession by sharing quality research with practitioners. Date and time of sessions will be released in July 2021.

Apply Research to Practice with the NxtWave Scholars

Do you know how to take research to make decisions and improvements in your school library based on evidence? Join the NxtWave scholars (all current or former school librarians) in analyzing published research to extract data and insights to support your practice. In this interactive session, the presenters will share how to break down peer-reviewed research using examples from their own research and publications and lead a discussion of how to use research to improve practice.

Presenters: Dr. April Dawkins, Assistant Professor, UNC Greensboro; Dr. Angela Branyon, Assistant Professor, University of West Georgia; Dr. Sara Churchill, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Omaha; Dr. Rita Soulen, Assistant Professor, East Carolina; University; Dr. Lois Wine, Adjunct Professor, Old Dominion University; Dr. Stephanie Burdic, Teacher-Librarian, Millard North High School

 

School Librarianship: Evolving or Declining? Findings from an IMLS Grant Project

What factors impact school librarian staffing and how might roles be changing to meet district decision makers’ expectations? An analysis of national data, state requirements for school librarians, and perspectives from school administrator interviews are presented as gathered for an IMLS grant project, SLIDE: The School Librarian Investigation—Decline or Evolution? Attendees can share how school librarian staffing is impacting equitable learning opportunities for K-12 students in their regions.

Presenters: Deb Kachel, Affiliate Faculty, Antioch University Seattle; Dr. Christie Kaaland, Core Faculty, Antioch University Seattle

 

Professional Practice

Is This What We Signed Up For? Librarians’ Discourse around Access during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We will share research and discuss the discursive practices of school and youth librarians in blogs written in fall 2019 during the COVID-19 pandemic. We used discourse analysis to study multi-author blogs published by AASL, ALSC, and YALSA. Among the findings were that the librarians’ language indicated they value access to library services; they believe young people want and need services such as book borrowing; and that libraries are social goods, essential in a pandemic.

Presenters: Dr. Rebecca Morris, Teaching Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Jenna Kammer, Assistant Professor, University of Central Missouri

 

Where Personal and Practical Meet: Reading Habits of School Librarians and Classroom Teachers

This session will present data related to research conducted to examine the reading habits of teachers and school librarians. The research relates to how teachers and school librarians impact the reading motivation of their students as well as how they make selections for their school libraries and classroom libraries.

Presenters: Dr. Kevin Powell, Assistant Professor, University of Central Arkansas; Dr. Jeff Whittingham, Professor, University of Central Arkansas; Dr. Erin Shaw, Assistant Professor, University of Central Arkansas; Dr. Amy Thompson, Assistant Professor, University of Central Arkansas

 

Research into Practice: Professional Practice

One in five children has or will have a serious mental illness. Often, communities lack accessible, acceptable, and appropriate mental health supports. This project intended to determine current efforts among school libraries and communities to promote mental health literacy and to determine rural school libraries’ capacity to promote community health literacy. Findings of an IMLS-funded study will be shared in addition to how they align with the CASEL SEL standards.

Presenters: Kerry Townsend, PhD Student, University of Missouri; Dr. Denice Adkins, Professor, University of Missouri; Dr. Beth Brendler, Professor, University of Missouri

 

Advocacy

Don't Worry, Be Awesome!

When the human attention span is now shorter than a goldfish, how can school librarians communicate effectively? In “Don’t Worry, Be Awesome!” former school librarians now professors Jenny Hill and Jane Prestebak will lead audience members through their journey of understanding how school administrators view the role of the school librarian based on survey research. Attendees will gain some practical ideas of how to communicate effectively to all stakeholders within their communities.

Presenters: Presenters: Dr. Jennifer Hill, Assistant Professor, St. Cloud State University; Dr. Jane Presteback, Assistant Professor, Minnesota State University Mankato

 

Show Your Stuff: Performance Evaluation Rubrics as Advocacy

Consider your performance evaluation rubric for professional growth and as an advocacy tool. Researchers share findings from a study of state-level school librarian-specific performance evaluation rubrics. A new conceptual framework emerged: the “Inquiry Learner” described by typologies – Inquiry Researcher, Library User, Reader, and Accomplished Learner. See how Student Inquiry Moves (SIMs), aligned to the AASL Shared Foundations, can inform your performance evaluation and increase awareness of our unique role.

Presenters: Dr. Mary Moen, Assistant Professor, University of Rhode Island; Dr. Deborah Lang Froggatt, Director of Library Services, Boston Public Schools

 

The Influence of Standards on School Administrators’ Priorities for School Librarians

Are you curious about how exemplary school administrators understand the roles and responsibilities of school librarians? In this content-analysis study based on artifacts administrators co-created, researchers discovered the extent of the influence of AASL Standards on their priorities for school librarians. Presenters will engage program participants in strategizing how the findings can be applied in professional learning and practice by school librarians, administrators, and others.

Presenters: Dr. Pam Harland, Program Director, Plymouth State University;  Dr. Judi Moreillon; Anita Cellucci, Library Director

 

Evidence

The Convergence of Intrinsic Motivation and Career Pathway Opportunities through Media

Imagine a game where students are empowered to navigate through and embark on a career quest, draw on elements of their personal character, and illustrate how these elements tie into their future career goals. Through interactive game play, students assemble their story. Game quests and challenges help them determine a career path in which they reflect on how their personality matches their career choice. They get to know better their character strengths and understand how they shape their future.

Presenter: Ariel Dagan, Library Media Specialist, Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical

 

Evidence-Based Practice: Using Data to Improve Practice and Demonstrate Value

Do school librarians matter? Of course! Do your administrators know that? YOU can make a difference! Learn about the results of a multi-state investigation of school librarians’ evidence-based practices. Identify the domains where librarians have successfully implemented evidence-based strategies and those where they struggle. Explore strategies for engaging in different types of data collection and walk away with a plan to target your own practice and apply evidence-based strategies.

Presenters: Dr. Maria Cahill, Associate Professor, University of Kentucky; Dr. Jennifer Moore, Associate Professor, University of North Texas; Dr. Jeffrey DiScala, Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University

 

Enough Juice for the Squeeze? Evaluating Professional Learning Digital Badges/Micro-credentials for Quality and Rigor

Digital badges, or micro-credentials, are a cost-efficient, convenient, and evidence-based professional learning design. Participants in this session will explore a research-based framework and rubric to evaluate the quality and rigor of digital badges as a professional learning design. Participants will review the explanatory framework and rubric then use the rubric to evaluate a digital badge for quality and rigor.

Presenter: Kristine Woods, ABD, University of West Georgia

 

Standards & Literacy

Does It Count as a Book? A Study of the Attitudes of Teachers and School Librarians Toward Graphic Novels

This session presents the findings of a study related to the equitable access to graphic novels. The debate over the viability of graphic novel use in the classroom continues. The researchers of this study questioned not only the attitudes of school librarians and classroom teachers towards the use of graphic novels but also equitable access to graphic novels.

Presenters: Dr. Jeff Whittingham, Professor, University of Central Arkansas; Dr. Erin Shaw, Assistant Professor, University of Central Arkansas; Dr. Amy Thompson, Assistant Professor, University of Central Arkansas; Dr. Kevin Powell, Assistant Professor, University of Central Arkansas 

Secondary Student Information Literacy Self-Efficacy vs. Performance

Although students have grown up as digital natives, they are often weak when it comes to implementing information literacy (IL) skills. School librarians know this anecdotally, but other school stakeholders may not. In this session, you will arm yourself with data that shows evidence of these discrepancies and participate in a discussion on ways to present these data to multiple stakeholders as well as how to increase instructional teacher-librarian collaborative partnerships in the area of IL.

Presenter: Dr. Jen Spisak, Assistant Professor, Longwood University

 

Enabling School Librarians to Serve as Instructional Leaders of Multiple Literacies

This session will present research that was conducted to explore how school district leaders can foster the development of an effective school library in which school librarians serve as instructional leaders in multiple literacies. Implications for practice will be shared regarding the specific types of support needed by building-level school librarians and district leaders to establish effective school libraries. Strategies for advocating for this support will be discussed.

Presenter: Dr. Melanie Lewis, Assistant Professor, University of West Georgia

 

High School/College Transition

First-Years Meet the Frames: What Do Non-Novice Researchers Take to College

Does our work make a difference? The First-Years Meet the Frames research team interactively shares data exploring the value of certified librarians providing resources and instruction to bridge gaps relating to information inequity. We followed 200 alumni from high schools identified as having effective programs according to AASL’s Position Statement and compared their responses with a broader statewide sample of first-year students. Learn how they stacked up.

Presenter: Dr. Joyce Valenza, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

 

Transitioning to College: Impact of High School Librarians

What relationship exists between the presence of a high school teacher librarian and freshmen college students’ academic success? To answer this question, this study examined 5 years of a large university’s freshmen data about their GPA and their graduating high school. The study found that having a high school librarian employed at least 1/2 time is significantly correlated with college freshmen’s GPA, although SES impacts success. High school/academic librarian collaboration can impact college students’ success.

Presenter: Dr. Lesley Farmer, Professor, California State University Long Beach

 

AASL Research Grants

2020

  • “School and Public Library Collaboration: A Phenomenology of Working Together” by Dr. Jenna Kammer and Dr. Denise Moreland, University of Central Missouri
  • “Rethinking Curation in School Libraries and School Library Education: Critical, Conceptual, Collaborative” by Dr. Jenna Spiering and Dr. Kate Lechtenberg, University of Iowa
  • “Application of the Teacher Citizenship Behavior (TCB) Theory to the Extra-Role Work of School Librarians” by Dr. Karen Reed, Middle Tennessee State University

2021

  • TBD

225 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601