Teacher-Librarian Collaboration

Teachers are encouraged to use the library as a resource for student projects and for their own enjoyment and education.
Keep in mind that the library is the teacher librarian's classroom. The subject which the TL teaches is information literacy. The mission of the library program is ". . .to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information."
There are a few requirements for teacher use of the library.


  • Please send up to five students to the library with a pass. The pass should have the student name(s) in full, the time they left your room, and your name (in readable format). The pass will be returned, signed by a library staff member with the return  time noted. Students who do not have adequate passes will be sent back to the classroom. If you are sending more than five  students you need to sign up for a class visit (See below)
  • Please inform subs that they should not send students to the library under any circumstances without positive authorization beforehand from the library staff.
  • TAs
  • TAs should only be sent to the library when they have a something specific to do for their teacher. TAs are not allowed to use the library as a study hall or any other personal use.

    The library is an invaluable resource for student projects. The librarian and library staff try to provide the resources necessary for student to successfully complete the projects their teachers assign.
    In order to be able to provide the best service to both students and staff we ask that the following be adhered to:

  • Collaborate with the librarian on developing projects.
    The librarian can tell you what resources (print and online) are currently available, what might be purchased, and what can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. The librarian can also offer advice on what instruction is needed for students to best use the resources available for your project. Do not assume students know how to use library and Internet resources. 9th graders are given a basic introduction to library resources but this needs to be followed up on in subsequent assignments throughout their school career.

    Just to help motivate you to work with the librarian keep these ideas in mind (adapted from Toni Buzzeo's Collaborating to Meet Standards books):
  • Reasons teachers don't collaborate:
  • So, then, why do some teachers willingly collaborate:

    See the collaborative planning scenario below.

  • Sign up well in advance for library use.
    The library is a busy place. We average a class a period throughout the school year but some classes have long-term projects which require several days at a time in the library. In order for everyone to have the best chance for use, please sign up well in advance.
    There is a calendar in the library where the librarian schedules classes. Please do not write on the calendar. Ask one of the library staff to schedule your class.
    It is recommended that on block days you be very careful signing up for more than half the period. Students have a tendency to waste time when there is not enough to do.
    Do not bring classes unannounced to the library. Other teachers who have signed up may already be present making it unfair for their students as well as yours. If you are sending more than five students to the library you must sign up for a class visit.

  • Prepare students before bringing them to the library
    Make sure that you have prepped students sufficiently for them to get right to work or have the librarian give them an intro to the resources they are going to use. Don't scrimp on the time for preparation. If you have planned well with the librarian, you will have a good idea about what you can tell the students to get them ready to come to the library and the librarian will be able to most efficiently present the information needed to have students get work most productively.

  • Note: The library's computers are not primarily for word processing
    The computers in the library are primarily for research--not word processing or other production uses. Sign up to use Rooms 182 or 276 if your students need to use computers for other than research. Sign-ups for labs are online so set up an account with Becky or Dave and plan away.


    There is an area set aside for staff use where "professional" materials are located. In the catalog professional materials are indicated by the prefix "PRO" in the call number. There also collections of educational journals and some general reference works in the professional collection.
    Please abide by the "No eating, no drinking" rule of the library. Not only does it model good practice for the students but it also helps preserve library materials and equipment.

    This is not a complete list of every research project. It includes assignments which every student is expected to complete in order to succeed in required classes. 
    9th Grade Social Issues
    Cultures & Geography
    SI--Fiction book assignment (Book cover critique)
    SI--Social issue report
    CG--Two or three regional assignments including travel brief and/or exchange student assignments
    10th Grade World History Topics might include:
    Soviet Union; Holocaust; World War II; French Revolution; Northern Ireland; Russian Revolution; Current conflicts; the Enlightenment; Industrial revolution; Cold war
    11th Grade U.S. History Topics might include:
    Constitutional Convention; Progressive era; 1920s; Great Depression/New Deal; World War II; Cold war; civil rights; World War I; Famous 20th c. Americans; Political cartoons.
    Second semester research paper
    12th Grade Government
    E--Topics might include: Role of government in economy; Local economic issues
    G--Projects include: Mock Senate; White paper on a foreign policy issue; Historical review of Supreme Court; Moot court; Election issues
    9th Grade English 1/2 Classical mythology; background research on texts read in class
    10th Grade English 3/4 Research on the background of various class texts; some kind of general research paper
    11th/12th Grades Electives:
    Literary Walkabouts / 20th c. lit / Immigrant experience / Dramatic lit / Non-fiction / Poetry / Journalism / AP English lit / World lit / Essay/expo / Humanities / etc. 
    Literary criticism paper in all classes
    9th Grade Integrated Science 1/2 (projects in IS may vary from year to year)  Lab reflection and analysis; Space missions; Planet project; preparing for science fair 
    10th Grade Integrated Science 3/4 (projects in IS may vary from year to year)  Energy unit; Products from minerals to materials; Jurassic Park; Island project; Global warming project; Science fair project research

    Collaborative Planning Scenario*

    These are some considerations the librarian makes before beginning a collaborative planning project with a staff member

  • What is the common ground the teacher and the librarian share?
  • Librarian considers what the teacher needs
  • Librarian is adaptable to teacher's needs
  • Librarian helps without dominating the process.
  • Librarian finds out what the teacher means when he/she says "research."

  • Conference
    The Rain Forest Project

  • 1. What is the topic and what kinds of projects can be done? How can higher order thinking skills be incorporated? Get into as many specifics as possible; provide guidance in the structure of the assignment. If you both know what the end products should look like, you'll avoid opportunities for plagiarism. Rain Forest study project topics will be generated by class discussion, student desire, and teacher suggestion.
  • 2. What do you want the students to know and do? What specific Standards does this project address. What Information Literacy Skills are addressed? See Responsibilities section.
  • 3. What resources does the library have? Check library collection in Reference, 500s (science), 600s (technology, inc. agriculture/forestry), 900 (history), Pamphlet files, National Geographic Index, library subscription databases, and other electronic resources for rain forest, biomes, environment, jungles, forests and forestry, and the names of specific plants and animals of the rain forest.
  • 4. What resources can we get from beyond Redwood at the local public libraries and the local colleges? Use the same terms to search the MARINet catalog <http://marinet.lib.ca.us/>. Remember that the MARINet catalog gives you access to all the public libraries in Marin County, the two college library collections and, using Supersearch, an even larger world of library resources. Marin County Free Library also has access to subscription databases which Redwood does not subscribe to.
  • 5. What skills do the students need to complete the assignment? What are the various levels of ability and learning styles which must be accommodated? Who will assess the skills of the individual students? Who will be responsible for teaching basic skills? How will the unit/assignment be introduced? Where will we incorporate re-teaching time and provide the break for mid-course corrections? Who will teach what, and where will the teaching take place? In the classroom? In the library? In the computer lab? Elsewhere? See Responsibilities section.
  • 6. How long do students have to do the assignment? What is the time line?
  • 7. How many days do the students need in the library? Bring library calendar and schedule the time. Also schedule a time at the end of the unit for the teacher and the librarian to evaluate how their plan went.
  • 8. How will we monitor the project? See Responsibilities section.
  • 9. How will students evaluate the experience and their finished product?
  • 10. How will we assess the unit? See Evaluation section.

  • Responsibilities
  • Determined by the teacher and librarian to comply with the school's policy
  • Demonstrates ability to use a variety of resources, print and non-print
  • Produces a project (text, multimedia, video) dealing with some aspect of the Rain Forest to be determined by the teacher and the student
  • Demonstrates ability to cite all sources correctly

  • Teacher
  • Sets the parameters of the assignment.
  • Introduces the unit and sets the expectations for the projects.
  • Teaches the writing process necessary to support student project.
  • Sets and maintains the time line.
  • Monitors student use of the facility when whole class is in the library.
  • Checks for understanding and mastery through the use of section evaluations, student interview and observation
  • Reinforces citation lesson.
  • Grades the final product for content and mastery of the target skills.
  • Ties in the content area Standards.

  • Library Media Teacher
  • Presents a short library orientation to review area(s) specific to student's inquiry
  • Reinforces Internet use policy with students, encourages responsible Internet use including basics of netiquette; provides assistance with Internet access
  • Teaches search skills for text and various electronic and on-line sources
  • Teaches citation of sources/in-class lecture and hands-on in classroom and library
  • Tracks or manages resources for in-class and in-library sharing
  • Monitors student use of facility whole class and drop-in situations
  • Checks for understanding and mastery through the use of section evaluations, student interviews, and observation
  • Reinforces or re-teaches citation form, writing formats, search techniques
  • Introduces new sources or skills as students show a need
  • Evaluates the final product for mastery of the citation form
  • Displays the completed projects in the library

  • Evaluation
  • Periodic conferences between teacher and librarian to monitor student progress and go over "what is going well" and "what we need to do differently."
  • Conferences with students to check for understanding and mastery.
  • Section evaluation sheets.
  • Evaluating the projects, joint conferencing.
  • Joint conference to evaluate the success of the whole project...what went well, what we would do again, what do we need to change, etc.

  • *Adapted from Washington Library Media Association Ad Hoc Committee on Essential Learnings September, 1996

    Created by the Webspinner: June 2001. Updated August 2008.
    ©2001-2008 TUHSD | Tom Kaun, Teacher Librarian--Bessie Chin Library @ Redwood High School, 395 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA 94939 -- 415.945.3662