A recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program examined how school librarians can be partners with teachers to improve students’ literacy levels.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Karen Nourse Reed, an assistant professor in MTSU’s James E. Walker Library, first aired Sept. 18 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation above.
Reed and Dr. Eric Oslund, an assistant professor of elementary and special education in the College of Education, created and administered a professional development series to study its impact on school librarians’ knowledge and perceptions.
They found that the librarians learned a great deal about methods and strategies for improving students’ literacy and were largely amenable to accepting enhanced roles in literacy instruction.
However, Reed and Oslund also discovered that most school librarian preparation programs in Tennessee don’t enable pre-service school librarians to teach strategies for reading comprehension. Reed believes school administrators must take the lead.
“It’s at the discretion of the principal whether the school librarian will receive that training,” Reed said. “That’s very upsetting because school librarians … want to work at a higher level with their colleagues, and they need the tools to be able to do it.
“They’re paid like classroom teachers. They go through the same licensure as classroom teachers. But it often depends on how their principal perceives their role at the school as to whether they’re fully included at the level of a classroom teacher.”
Reed and Oslund’s research, titled “School Librarians as Co-Teachers of Literacy: Librarian Perceptions and Knowledge in the Context of the Literacy Instruction Role,” was published in Volume 21 of “School Library Research,” the peer-reviewed journal of the American Association of School Librarians. You can read it here.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.