Zmuda and Harada explore the increasing number of job descriptions in schools for learning specialists with the accompanying difficulty in effectively leveraging these roles to positively affect student learning. School librarians have been one of these learning specialists for decades. The ranks have expanded in recent years to include many other content area specialists. Grant Wiggins' foreword emphasizes the relevance of learning specialists is grounded in their ability to deliver results on mission-critical measures.
This title incorporates quotations, exemplars, and findings from experts in both mainstream and librarian-focused education literature in an inclusive approach making the text accessible and credible for any leader charged with improving the system's ability for improved student achievement.
There are an increasing number of job descriptions in schools for learning specialists - certified teachers with specialized areas of expertise whose job it is to improve student performance. While these positions are attractive ideas in theory, there are real challenges in effectively leveraging such roles to positively affect student learning. School librarians have been one of these learning specialists for decades. The ranks have expanded in recent years to include reading specialists, literacy coaches, writing coaches, technology specialists, mathematics specialists, science specialists, and teachers of English Language Learners. References included throughout the book incorporate quotations, exemplars, and findings from experts in both mainstream and librarian-focused education literature. This inclusive approach makes the text accessible and credible for any leader charged with improving the system's ability for improved student achievement. Grant Wiggins' foreword emphasizes the premise that the relevance of learning specialists is grounded in their ability to deliver results on mission-critical measures.
"After Zmuda, an education consultant, and Harada, a professor of library and information science, met in 2006 as keynote speakers at an American Association of School Librarians Forum on Assessment, they decided to write a book based upon both their specializations. The result is a must-read for both school administrators and library media specialists. Organized into five chapters, the book discusses the necessity of an articulated mission statement; the need for librarians to become learning specialists; the ways to use current research to design instruction; the necessity for assessment and feedback; and finally, planning for student informational needs in the twenty-first century. Team this thought-provoking title with Daniel Pink's New Frame of Mind (Riverhead Trade, 2006), and be prepared to rethink the way you are doing things."
"Zmuda and Harada explore how the media specialist can work together with school administration and other educators to help students reach their full learning potential. They discuss how media specialists must work on a mission statement to fit both the needs of their job and the school. The book gives a nice breakdown of how to give effective instructions to students… The authors provide an excellent reference tool for the media specialist who is just getting started in the field or one who has newly acquired educational duties."
"The book examines the necessity of a mission-centered mindset and changing the role of a library media specialist to a learning specialist. Curriculum design based on current research findings, adapting instruction for diverse student populations, the importance of assessment and feedback, and using this feedback for effective teaching are also addressed. Written for both school administrators and librarians, the well-documented book gives a workable framework for collaboration. The authors make a good case for opening the doors between classroom and library and provide tools for doing so. With so many school administrators focused only on test scores, this book may provide an impetus and rationale for more authentic learning."
"[A] scholarly guide for librarians to not become obstacles in quenching the thirst for knowledge, but instead facilitate their patrons' search. Helping librarians put on their teaching hat, Librarians as Learning Specialists: Meeting the Learning Imperative for the 21st Century is highly recommended for community library science collections."
"Simply the best professional book of the year for teacher-librarians who must push into the center of the teaching and learning in their schools."
"Zmuda and Harada have written the best professional book for teacher-librarians of 2008! Zmuda, a member of the ASCD cadre, and Harada, who is retired from the University of Hawaii, give a central piece of advice to teacher-librarians who want to move into the center of teaching and learning. Bottom line: If you have not yet seen or encountered this book since it was published, order it today and the minute it comes, concentrate on its message."
"The book is intensely packed with topics ranging from reform in our schools to the role of Learning Specialists. Also included are instruction designs and how to apply them to diverse learning styles."