Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning
Graduates of the SLIM Master of Library science degree program will be able to:
Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning by participating in professional development activities and disseminating new information to colleagues and patrons.
I attended the Kansas Summer Institute for School Librarians in June 2014, and I earned 1 hour credit through LI755: Special Topics. The Institute’s topic was “Dive into Literacy: Developing Resource Sets,” and I was thrilled to discover that I could use the information I gleaned not only in my future career as a school librarian, but also in my current career as a high school English teacher. Throughout the two days, particular emphasis was placed on Frey & Fisher’s (2013) five access points for comprehending complex texts, Dow’s (2013) effective use of Merrill’s (2007) first principles of instruction, the Kansas State Board of Education’s (KSDE) model for developing resource sets, and commitment to and excitement for selecting rigorous reading materials for students.
The Reflective Essay describes what I learned from each of the topics listed above and outlines how I will use that knowledge in the present and future. One of the most practical applications I described was in connection with the Kansas State Department of Education’s Resource Sets discussion. We talked about how to build resource sets by beginning with a resource that would engage students. The example was the poem “The Spider and the Fly.” As we discussed the moral of the story, I began to think how the concepts would apply to teaching Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to my high school junior students. I collaborated with an aspiring librarian next to me, and we came up with a great plan for introducing the idea of the moral contradictions seen throughout The Crucible via “The Spider and the Fly” and the Milgram Experiment. This example is just one of many I detailed in my Reflective Essay.
I desired to attend the Summer Institute because I wanted to meet librarians from across the state and become familiar with the kinds of professional development I would be encountering when I am actually a librarian. The Institute is definitely something that I would like to continue attending in the future because it is a great way to network, keep up with the school library trends and practices, and commit to lifelong learning. Another feature of the Institute that I find particularly appealing and that was not mentioned above is the author guest speakers. We got to hear two children’s/young adult authors who write primarily historical fiction novels: Steve Sheinkin and Deborah Hopkinson. It was very interesting to hear their stories of how they came to write about the various topics of their books. Overall, the Institute was a wonderful experience, and I cannot wait to attend again!