Your Library Is the Answer

Demonstrating Relevance to Tech-Savvy Learners

by Christina T. Russo and Cathy Swan


Lessons that necessitate creativity, curiosity, collaboration, and innovation: these are the learning experiences today's K–12 students need to excel at college and in the global marketplace.

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Cover image for Your Library Is the Answer

January 2015

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 223
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Librarian's Instructional Role/Curriculum and Instruction, K-12
  Librarianship: Philosophy, Values, and Issues/Advocacy and Lobbying

Today's tech-savvy and digitally connected students present a new challenge for today's school librarians. This book offers the 21st-century tools and know-how necessary for educators to appeal to and challenge students to learn—and to want to learn.

What are the best ways to motivate students to become engaged and develop a passion for learning? Can appealing to their desire for socialization and constant communication—attributes of their lives outside of education—via the integration of cutting-edge technologies and "new media" in the library or classroom serve to ignite creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking? This book shows how you can make use of non-traditional tools such as popular social networks, collaborative technologies, and cloud computing to teach information and communications technologies integrated with the school curriculum to improve student learning—and demonstrates how these same technologies can help you measure skills and mastery learning.

The book provides an easy-to-follow blueprint for using collaborative techniques, innovation, and teaching for creativity to achieve the new learning paradigm of self-directed learning, such as flipping the classroom or library. Readers of this book will find concrete, step-by-step examples of proven lesson plans, collaborative models, and time-saving strategies for the successful integration of American Association of School Librarians (AASL) standards. The authors—both award-winning teachers—explain the quantitatively and qualitatively measurable educational value of using these technologies for core curricular and information and communications technologies instruction, showing that they both enhance student learning outcomes and provide data for measuring their impact on learning.


  • Includes innovative, practical lesson plans designed to promote problem solving skills, flexible thinking, and metacognition as well as an extensive bibliography of additional resources
  • Addresses how to analyze quantitative and qualitative data to perform the assessment necessary to improve learning outcomes
  • Provides essential information and guidance for K–12 librarians, technology integration teachers, and educators as well as school administrators
  • Addresses key aspects of learning such as critical thinking, inquiry, learning spaces, blended learning, engagement, motivation, and Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
Author Info

Christina T. Russo, MLS, is the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) librarian at the New Canaan High School, New Canaan, CT. She is corecipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Cutting-Edge Technology in Library Services Award and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National School Library Program of the Year Award. Her published works include "Learning that Sticks: Engaged Educators + Engaged Learners" in School Library Monthly; "Healthy Collaboration is Good for All: Coteaching Team at New Canaan High School Helps Students Track Personal Wellness" in Knowledge Quest; and "Considerations in Planning and Implementing an Automated Circulation System: A Small College Experience" in Computers in Libraries. Russo holds a sixth-year degree and a Master of Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University.

Cathy Swan is a Google Certified Teacher and world language consultant. She was formerly technology integration and world language teacher at New Canaan Public Schools, New Canaan, CT, and corecipient of the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) Technology Innovation Award Recipients: Media Specialists SIG. Swan holds a bachelor's degree from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree from Southern Connecticut State University. Her published works include the article "Being Social: How Social Media Can Transform Your School Classrooms " in Tech & Learning magazine.

Table of Contents


  • Introduction
  • Part I: Advocate and Manage Chapter 1: Leadership Chapter 2: Mission and Core Values
  • Part II: Socialize and Engage Chapter 3: Environment: Culture and Climate Chapter 4: Social Bookmarking / Participatory Learning / Collaborative Research
  • Part III: Communicate and Collaborate Chapter 5: Collaborative Technologies and Cloud Computing Chapter 6: GAFE: Google APPS for Education Chapter 7: Online Blended Learning
  • Part IV: Network Chapter 8: Establish Professional Learning Network
  • Part V: Use Standards Chapter 9: Common Core
  • Part VI: Instruct Chapter 10: Instruction Chapter 11: Assessment Chapter 12: PLCs
  • Part VII: Search Chapter 13: Google Search: Strategies and Protocols Chapter 14: Literacy: digital, reading, writing, numeracy and inquiry
  • Part VIII: Create Chapter 15: Creativity and Curiosity
  • Part IX: Digitize: Publish and Produce Chapter 16: Plagiarism Chapter 17: Copyright and Intellectual Property Chapter 18: Cybersafety
  • Part X: Innovate and Adapt Chapter 19: New and Emerging Technologies
  • Conclusion Bibliography Index



    "If you have a question about school librarians and online learning, try this resource. There is a lot to like in this book, whether you're a working librarian, a student preparing to be a librarian, a tech-savvy teacher, a school administrator, or an interested parent or school board member. . . . It also serves as a guidebook to help longtime professionals evaluate and improve their programs and offers new librarians a rich resource for what lies ahead. . . . Overall, this book can be a worthy addition to your collection to help you stay up-to-date with online learning in schools and especially in school libraries."Marketing Library Services

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