CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 18 . . . .May 12, 2006
As the editors of this title, Doiron and Asselin bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the importance of providing for the literacy needs of today's students. Their considerable experience as teachers, teacher-librarians and academics, combined with several other highly regarded contributors, help to spotlight the significance of guiding students in reading, writing and research in the digital world.
This advice is offered in nine chapters on topics ranging from connecting classrooms to the school library, the collaborative process, to using children's books and the use of online resources. The introduction informs readers of the changing role of school libraries and the professionals who staff them, (a dying breed in many of our provinces,) the important role of technology, and the need for strong literature programs. Certainly none of this is astonishing information.
The first three chapters devote space to the school library, its program, and the collaboration needed in "literacy partnerships' with the classroom teacher. Examples are given how this partnership can evolve and help students’ success and efficiency as they conduct research. There is also a sample unit on a "bridges" project that is well explained with a variety of appealing activities. Those of us who advocate for the role of the school library in learning and the importance of collaboration through cooperative program planning and teaching (CPPT) will agree heartily to the benefits of CPPT. But much of the information provided at this point is based on previous literacy research, studies, articles and books on this very topic that have been seen many times before. Even the importance of selecting and using information books as read alouds and exposing students to different text structures has been explored before. So, about one-third of the way into this book the question arises - is there anything fresh or enlightening in this title? I am happy to report that there is!
The chapter on “Exploring Diversity, Culture, and Social Issues with Children's Literature" is noteworthy, particularly in its suggestions regarding the library collection, the school environment and outside resources, with some wonderful resource lists of outstanding children's books to help teachers and teacher-librarians to address important issues.
The other strength of this title is in the sections dealing with the use of "Online Resources" and "Online Learning Environments". Although these topics may not seem especially new, there are some interesting ideas, original project suggestions, and web sites offered. The benefits and challenges of these activities are also covered.
Reesa Cohen is an Instructor of Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.