The school library media program supports and strengthens the curriculum, bridges the digital divide, and puts state and national standards into action. The school library information specialist is a teacher, an instructional partner, an informational specialist, and a school library media program administrator. School library media specialists directly affect student achievement by collaborating and planning with teachers, teaching information technology literacy, designing assessment procedures, and providing supplemental curriculum material (Lance, 2005).
The mission of the Barrington Community Unit School District Library Program is to provide a resource-rich environment that empowers students to become effective users of information and technologies, fosters a love of reading, and prepares students for a productive role in a global society.
Each school contains a comprehensive library media center staffed by a full-time certified teacher librarian and equipped with a wide variety of print and non-print materials. Our libraries are evolving into learning laboratories with librarians ensuring continuous access to a wide range of learning tools and resources in school and at home. All district libraries provide open access to the information tools and content for 21st-century learning – books, eBooks, computers, laptops, handheld digital devices, online content libraries and databases, videos, educational software, online search tools, and other digital learning tools. Along with access to the digital learning tools and content, teacher librarians provide instruction and guidance on how to use tools safely, appropriately, and effectively.
Middle school library programs work within curriculum areas using flexible scheduling. Middle schools use a team approach enabling the library media specialist to teach in a truly integrated fashion. The library media specialists work cooperatively with the technology assistants to demonstrate to students how technology and the world of information strategies and libraries go hand in hand.
The high school library program also employs a flexible schedule, and teachers bring individual classes to the library to meet curriculum requirements. Teachers and the library media specialists work cooperatively to meet state standards and enhance the learning process in a real world approach using various learning and teaching styles. Students are instructed in our online databases, digital reference resources, print materials and Internet searching strategies. In addition, students have access to technology resources such as SMART Boards, interactive response systems, video and audio technologies, Web 2.0 tools, Moodle, interactive video conferencing and much more.