E-Learning in School Libraries
Doctoral student Kimberly Lavoie uses research and experience to address the technology needs of the school library.
Can you tell us about your research? What led you to this topic?
My research interests include teacher-librarian collaboration in the digital age, e-learning platforms and school libraries, and information needs and behavior of young adults. These interests stem from my professional experience working as a high school librarian in urban and suburban districts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Prior to studying at Simmons, I worked as a solo-librarian at a comprehensive high school in Massachusetts, which included college preparatory courses and vocational education, and served over 2,000 students. In this position, I strived to collaborate with teachers, but encountered obstacles and challenges. With the use of technology, I was able to overcome some of these challenges and provide services, resources, and instruction to better serve the students and the teachers in my school.
Several research studies have focused on librarians using e-learning systems for information literacy instruction in academic libraries, but few studies have examined e-learning platforms in the school library environment. My dissertation research will examine school librarians use of e-learning platforms to collaborate with teachers to provide information literacy and digital literacy instruction to students.
How do you hope to support school libraries with your findings?
With my dissertation results, I would like to develop a best practice model to guide school librarians using e-learning platforms for co-teaching and collaboration. My main reason for pursuing a doctoral degree and conducting research is to assist practicing school librarians in their roles and responsibilities, which in turn will enhance student learning and academic achievement.
What is the most exciting opportunities/greatest challenges for school libraries today?
One of the greatest challenges for school librarians is having to advocate for and prove the importance of their role in relation to student learning and academic achievement. Within the next five years, opportunities for school librarians to demonstrate their value to the learning community include professional development and collection development activities. School librarians need to provide information literacy and digital literacy instruction not only to students, but also to teachers.
Additionally, school librarians need to use their expertise and skills to curate e-learning applications and technology resources for students and teachers. School libraries are integral to today’s schools and school librarians will have an important role in educating students if they continue to be adaptable to changes and developments in learning.