Teacher librarians often lament the fact that classroom teacher preparation programs rarely train future teachers to expect to collaborate or coteach with their librarians.
Many teacher librarians wish that their colleagues would seek out collaboration rather than the librarian having to constantly reach out to entice classroom teachers to coplan, coteach, and co-assess students' learning experiences with the teacher librarian. Given this situation, what would you do if you had the opportunity to provide a presentation or workshop for preservice classroom teachers to influence their practice of classroom-library collaboration? What would you include in such a workshop? How do you think these future teachers would respond to your input?
Innovations in best practices in teaching cannot spread throughout a learning community if educators remain separate in their classrooms, labs, and libraries or isolated in their various disciplines. As Williamson, Archibald, and McGregor (2010) note, "We know that [teaching] in isolation doesn't tend to improve practice; teachers working together improves practice enormously" (pp. 26-27). Educators who teach in collaboration with one another improve preK-12 student learning (Church, 2008,2010; Lance, Rodney, & Schwarz, 2010; Loertscher, 2014; Todd, Gordon, & Lu, 2011). Coteaching educators also create professional development learning opportunities for each other and for themselves (McGregor, 2003; Moreillon, 2012, 2013a). While research shows a positive correlation between classroom-library collaboration for instruction and students' standardized test scores, particularly in reading (Achterman 2008; Library Research Service, 2015), very few classroom teachers and school administrators are exposed to this information during their preservice education (Hartzell, 2002; Levitov, 2009; Roberson, Applin, & Schweinle, 2005).
Changing the paradigm of teaching as a solo activity to one of a collective endeavor is no small task. In the past decade or so, many school reform initiatives have centered on building collaborative cultures. Professional learning communities are one example in which the entire school faculty organizes professional development around collaborative work, and educators enact school improvement based on data and collective decision-making to achieve shared outcomes (DuFour & Eaker, 1998). In the practice of teacher librarianship, the learning commons model supports the concept of the library as a space for educator improvement, as well as for student learning (Loertscher & Koechlin, 2012). Peer coaching is another such activity in which classroom teachers engage in job-embedded professional development with literacy, reading, instructional, or technology coaches (Atteberry & Bryk, 2011; Jewett & MacPhee, 2012). All of these endeavors seek to bring educators into various types of instructional partnerships.
This report focuses on the outcomes of a workshop for 165 preservice student teachers that included four areas of a teacher librarian's expertise reflecting best practices in teacher librarianship: classroom teacher-school librarian coplanning, collaboratively integrating Web 2.0 tools, teaching within copyright and fair use guidelines, and coteaching reading comprehension strategies. The objectives of the workshop were to encourage preservice student teachers to talk with their mentor teachers, librarians, and principals about working collaboratively with the teacher librarian and to seek instructional partnerships during their student teaching experience.
SITUATING THE WORKSHOP IN RESEARCH
Few studies or articles have been published that describe presentations or workshops specifically designed to influence preservice classroom teachers' understanding and practice of collaboration with teacher librarians. Thus the need for this workshop was based on evidence that suggests teacher librarians can play a key role in the academic program of the school if librarians and classroom teachers enter into collaborative instructional relationships (Kachel et al., 2011; Library Research Service, 2015; Loertscher, 2014; Small, Shanahan, & Stasak, 2010; Todd, 2008). The workshop also builds on research related to how educators learn their craft. Interventions such as those provided in this workshop are necessary because classroom teachers' perceptions of what teacher librarians can offer are often limited and do not align with standards currently accepted as best practices in the school library profession (Church, 2008).
While some classroom teachers understand the potential of classroom-library partnerships, a lack of understanding can be a barrier to teacher librarians enacting this role and supporting the instructional practice of teachers. Prior knowledge affects what preservice teachers learn in their preparation courses: "Preconceptions come from years and years of observing people who taught them and using this information to draw inferences about what good teaching looks like and what makes it work" (Hammerness, Darling-Hammond, Bransford et ah, 2005, p. 367).
Changing teacher attitudes toward collaboration should begin in teacher preparation programs (Conderman & Johnston-Rodriguez, 2009). Library and information science (LIS) teacher librarian educators, in cooperation and collaboration with colleagues in colleges of education, can create a greater demand in the classroom-teaching field for classroom-library collaboration for instruction. Ray and Cassidy (2014) conducted a qualitative study of nine undergraduate teacher candidates and five graduate library school candidates who engaged in a collaborative WebQuest assignment in order to experience classroom-library collaboration. Some of the preservice teacher candidates in that study learned the value of librarians as a resource and appreciated their support as they learned to search for specific information.
Two longitudinal studies have been reported on in the literature. Moreillon (2008) followed the development of fourteen undergraduate preservice classroom teachers through their preparation program, student teaching, and first year of classroom teaching to learn how they developed a value for classroom-library collaboration. Moreillon provided interventions throughout the 2.5-year-long study in order to predispose the candidates toward practicing instructional partnerships with their teacher librarian. Another longitudinal study by Dow, Davis, and Vietti-Okane (2013) investigated how a university-based K-6 preservice classroom teacher course that teaches classroom-library coteaching strategies could improve the participants' perceptions of teacher librarians' involvement in teaching reading and research skills.
Modeling by university faculty during preservice education is essential (Friend & Cook, 2010; Latham, Gross, & Witte, 2013). If extended interventions or a complete course are unavailable to preservice teachers, another strategy is to provide workshops to share collaborative practices that show preservice classroom teacher candidates the benefits of working with teacher librarians (Moreillon, 2013b). The workshop on which this report is based was a concerted effort on the part of LIS faculty and school librarian advocates to provide preservice classroom teachers with information and hands-on experiences during student teaching in order to prompt them to consider how coplanning, coteaching, and using the expertise of the teacher librarian could help them better meet their preK-12 students' learning needs and make their own teaching practices more successful.
After an opening session that included a classroom teacher-school librarian coplanning role-play, student teachers rotated through three 35-minute breakout sessions in which they were exposed to three areas of expertise in teacher librarianship (see Appendix A for the workshop agenda). The author and a doctoral student developed an evaluation form to determine the participants' responses to the opening session and each of the breakout sessions (see Appendix B). The workshop participants had only a few minutes to fill out their evaluation forms between each session. The author was unable to follow up with the total participant population after the workshop day. The long-term impact of this information is unknown.
WHOLE GROUP: OPENING SESSION AND COPLANNING DEMONSTRATION
There were two objectives for the opening session and coplanning demonstration. From the information shared and the classroom teacher-school librarian coplanning role play, participants were to be able to cite the benefits to students and educators of classroom-library coplanning and coteaching. A practicing classroom teacher who is a former teacher librarian and the author, an LIS educator serving as teacher librarian, began the role-play by sharing an instance of classroom-library cooperation. This involved two educators meeting in the hallway, a brief exchange about a curriculum topic, and the teacher librarian's offer to check out a cart of resources and deliver it to the fifth-grade teacher's classroom.
The subsequent scene of the role-play involved the two educators in coplanning a unit of instruction. Before meeting with the classroom teacher, the teacher librarian reviewed the state curriculum standards for social studies and English language arts at that grade level; the standards were projected for the workshop participants. When the educators sat down to plan the unit, they reviewed the standards, determined the goals and objectives for the lessons, talked about primary and secondary sources, reviewed the print resources on a book cart, and discussed how student learning would be assessed. They ended by making a plan to meet again to further discuss the assessment rubric and the unit.
After the role-play, one presenter provided a summary of the differences between cooperation and collaboration and asked the participants to talk with one another regarding the benefits to students and educators of classroom teacher-school librarian instructional partnerships. The presenter shared a few slides related to research that suggests the efficacy of this best practice and then briefly described this as job-embedded professional development in which educators learn with and from one another on the job, in real time with real students, curriculum, resources, supports, and constraints. The opening session ended with all the participants collectively reciting a two-voice poem that reinforced the benefits of this practice. The presenters' PowerPoint is available at http://tinyurl.com/weptsk-0314.
SMALL GROUP: COLLABORATIVELY INTEGRATING WEB 2.0 TOOLS INTO LEARNING AND TEACHING
An instructional technology specialist from a local school district and an LIS doctoral student who is a former teacher librarian shared concepts and techniques regarding the use and implementation of Web 2.0 tools in learning and teaching. The overarching goal of the presentation was to reinforce the idea that a tech-savvy teacher librarian can assist classroom teachers in applying these tools. The presenters shared 15 different tools and examples with applications to curriculum standards. Throughout this breakout session, the presenters offered opportunities for the participants to ask questions, make comments, and respond to their learning on Today's Meet. Their presentation is available at http://tinyurl.com/cwitlt.
SMALL GROUP: PRACTICING COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE
An LIS educator provided practical guidance with copyright and fair use laws in this breakout session. She informed the participants of copyright and fair use definitions, as well as the consequences of infringement. During the presentation she provided participants with opportunities to respond to their learning with polling questions. The participants gained valuable information on the use of different media and about the materials protected under these regulations. The presenter guided preservice teachers to use their teacher librarians as an expert resource and to understand their own responsibilities for following and coteaching copyright and fair use guidelines. The presentation is available at http://tinyurl.com/pcafu.
SMALL GROUP: COTEACHING READING COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES
The objectives for this session were to give these student teachers hands-on experience with coteaching practices and to demonstrate how comonitoring guided practice is beneficial to learners. The author and the practicing classroom teacher, both former teacher librarians, built on their opening coplanning demonstration to develop this session. They began with a 2-minute video that showed classroom teachers and teacher librarians coteaching reading comprehension strategies. They involved student teachers in a discussion about the importance of these strategies to students' academic learning and life success. The presenters followed with a cotaught reading comprehension strategy demonstration lesson using think-alouds. After modeling, student teachers practiced the strategy with a partner while the presenters co-monitored their guided practice. The presenters' PowerPoint is available at http://tinyurl.com/crcs-0314.
EVALUATION FORM RESULTS
On the workshop evaluation, 124, or 76%, of the preservice teacher candidates said they plan to apply what they learned from the opening session coplanning demonstration to their instructional practices. Only 8, or 5% of the respondents, said they would not apply coplanning in their teaching. Table 1 shows the responses to a question regarding with whom they would most likely discuss classroom-library collaboration. Most respondents selected more than one person to whom they would reach out to share coplanning information.
It is interesting to note that 15% of the respondents said they had already planned to seek out their librarians before attending the workshop. After the workshop, 63% planned to do so in the future. A slightly larger percentage, 69%, said they would share this information with their mentor teacher, which seems logical since that person is the student teacher's guide throughout the student teaching experience.
Table 2 shows these student teachers' responses to the relative impact of the coplanning session on their understanding of the support coplanning with the teacher librarian can provide for their teaching and for preK-12 students' learning. Unfortunately, not all participants completed the evaluation form for these two questions.
These student teachers understood that teacher librarians can offer instructional support through coplanning. One hundred thirty-three participants, 86% of those who responded to this question, "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that coplanning with the teacher librarian can improve their teaching. One hundred fifty-four, 94%, "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that coplanning can support preK-12 students' learning. Table 3 shows the student teachers' perceptions of teacher librarians' support for their teaching in each of the three breakout sessions.
The student teachers' responses show very strong support for the teacher librarian's role in supporting their teaching in all three of these areas of a teacher librarian expertise. One hundred sixteen, or 70%, "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that collaboratively integrating Web 2.0 tools would benefit their teaching. One hundred thirty-eight, or 85%, felt similarly about the teacher librarian's knowledge of copyright and fair use. One hundred thirty-one, or 80%, indicated agreement that coteaching reading comprehension strategies with their teacher librarian could improve their teaching.
Table 4 shows the student teachers' perceptions of teacher librarians' support for their preK-12 students' learning in each of the three breakout sessions.
Once again, these student teachers indicated a high level of confidence that working with their teacher librarian in these three areas could improve their preK-12 students' learning. One hundred seventeen, 71%, "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that collaboration for integrating Web 2.0 technologies could benefit their students. One hundred thirty-five, or 84%, noted the support for their students in terms of the teacher librarian's knowledge about copyright and fair use. One hundred thirty-eight, or 84%, acknowledged the benefit to their students when classroom teachers and teacher librarians coteach reading comprehension strategies.
SESSION THAT MOST POSITIVELY INFLUENCED STUDENT TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS
Unfortunately, only 129 out of a possible 165 student teacher participants responded to the final question on the workshop evaluation form. (Its placement on the form seemed to present a problem.) Although it would have been ideal if 100% of the participants had answered this question, the information is still useful (see Table 5).
According to these data, "Collaboratively Integrating Web 2.0 Tools into Learning and Teaching" was the session that most positively influenced the participants. However, this result does not correspond with the data collected after each individual session. Web 2.0 tools was not the session that participants "agreed" and "strongly agreed" would most influence their teaching or most impact students' learning (see Tables 2, 3, and 4). It could be that many of the participants had had little exposure to these tools in their coursework or student teaching, so this session was the most memorable to participants. There is a strong appeal to learning how to implement Web 2.0 tools, so this could have been the most novel breakout session offered in the workshop.
The data collected after each session is likely more reliable in light of the reduced response rate to the final question on the evaluation form. Those results shown in Table 2 indicate that the coplanning session was the most influential in terms of the student teachers' perceptions of the potential of coplanning with the teacher librarian to positively influence their teaching as well as to support their preK-12 students' learning.
SUGGESTIONS FOR USING THIS WORKSHOP REPORT
The purpose of the workshop was to encourage preservice teacher candidates to seek out their teacher librarians during their student teaching internships. The author wanted to determine if the workshop content encouraged the student teachers to connect with their teacher librarians. From the data collected, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the overall effectiveness of individual breakout sessions, but the evaluations for all of them were very positive.
The "What Every Preservice Classroom Teacher Candidate Should Know about Working with the School Librarian" workshop was targeted at a specific group of preservice classroom teacher candidates and was facilitated by a specific group of LIS educators and school librarian advocates. Participants from different universities may respond differently to specific interventions. Facilitators from other universities or teacher librarians who have the opportunity to present information to student teachers may have selected different interventions in order to influence preservice teachers' predilection to seek instructional partnerships with teacher librarians.
Since this workshop is not based on any previously published information about the presentations or workshops designed specifically for preservice classroom teachers, the facilitators made their best guesses for topics that reflected areas of teacher librarian expertise; topics that could be addressed in short breakout sessions; and topics that could influence student teachers' understanding of classroom-library collaboration for instruction. It is therefore unknown if other interventions would have made a greater or lesser impact.
Workshops similar to this one could be conducted by LIS educators at other universities or practicing teacher librarians who have similar opportunities to influence preservice classroom teachers. Adapting the workshop agenda could provide additional results for consideration by the profession. Those who are committed to reaching out to education faculty colleagues and candidates in preservice classroom teacher preparation programs could use these results as well as the research cited herein to recommend and implement similar workshops.
From this workshop, the author learned that the majority of preservice teacher candidates saw the benefit of seeking out their teacher librarian for instructional and student support after attending all sessions. Observing a coplanning demonstration helped clarify for student teachers what could be involved in such a session and how it could help them improve their teaching and students' learning. This suggests that practicing teacher librarians should make every effort to offer a coplanning session during a preservice teachers' student teaching experience. As Lee and Klinger (2013) found in their study of exemplary school library programs in Ontario, Canada, "the efforts of the librarian to demonstrate the benefits of collaboration to new teachers makes the program an exemplary one even though the amount of collaboration may be low" (p. 85).
Educators of preservice teacher librarians and preservice classroom teachers should make concerted efforts to demonstrate the value of classroom-library collaboration for instruction during preservice teachers' preparation programs. Still, it is up to practicing teacher librarians to reach out to student teachers and make sure that mentor teachers are given extra attention while they are guiding the student teaching experience. Not only does this improve the teacher librarian's coplanning and coteaching practices, but it is also a way to pay it forward.
All preservice teachers should graduate from their student teaching having experienced classroom-library collaboration for instruction. School librarians who coteach with student teachers can help them establish coteaching as a best practice. When first-year classroom teachers enter the profession with positive collaborative experiences and an expectation for coteaching, they will be more prepared to successfully collaborate with teacher librarians.
The author would like to acknowledge the above workshop facilitators: Dr. Jennifer Richey, assistant professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman's University; Rebecca McKee, classroom teacher and former teacher librarian; Tammy Austin, instructional technology specialist; and especially Ruth Nicole Hall, former doctoral student, who helped tabulate the evaluation form responses.
APPENDIX A: 3-HOUR WORKSHOP AGENDA
What Every Preservice Teacher Candidate Should Know about Working with the School Librarian
Purpose: To engage preservice classroom teachers in strategies to coplan and coteach with their school librarians and integrate the librarian's knowledge and resources of the library into their teaching during student teaching and throughout their teaching careers.
8:30-8:40 Welcome and introductions.
8:40-9:15 Role-play and background information; sample classroom teacher-school librarian collaborative planning session (introduction to classroom-library collaboration). Note: In the first breakout session, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about what they saw/heard in the role play.
9:15-9:30 Break and move into groups. Participants will be divided into three groups. Once in their groups, they will stay in one location and the facilitators will rotate among the three groups. Facilitators will provide 30-minute hands-on learning activities on the topic of their choice. In the last 5 minutes of each session, the participants will complete a brief evaluation of the breakout session.
Breakout Times: 9:30-10:05, 10:10-10:45, and 10:50-11:25
11:25-11:30: Facilitators provide closure at the end of the final session. Each participant will be given a copy of a school librarian magazine in exchange for their evaluation sheet.
Breakout Sessions: Integrating Web 2.0 Tools, Copyright Basics, and Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies: Using Think-Alouds and Graphic Organizers
Appendix B: Workshop Evaluation Circle or check all that apply. I am conducting my preK-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 student teaching in: I intend to teach preK-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 at these grade levels: I have observed when I was a in my in previous I have two educators K--12 university TWL) (or never seen coplanning: student. field work. other this before university) today. course work. I have been a when I was a in my in previous I have student where two K--12 university TWU (or never seen educators were student. field work. other this in coteaching: university) practice. course work. The coplanning demonstration I viewed this morning  will encourage me to reach out to the librarian in my school for coplanning and coteaching when I conduct my student teaching.  will encourage me to talk with my mentor teacher about coplanning and coteaching with the librarian.  will encourage me to talk with my principal about coplanning and coteaching with the librarian.  did not influence my behavior; I already planned to reach out to the librarian.  did not influence my behavior; I have no plans to work with the librarian. The topic of was totally was somewhat was something I coplanning and new to me. familiar to me. have already coteaching: applied in my teaching. I will apply this yes no maybe information in my teaching. This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my teaching. This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my students' learning. Collaboratively Integrating Web 2.0 Tools into Learning and Teaching The topic of was totally was somewhat was something I collaboratively new to me. familiar to me. have already integrating Web applied in my 2.0 Tools into my teaching. teaching: This demonstration helped me see the yes no maybe benefit of seeking out my school librarian for support with integrating technology tools into the curriculum when 1 student teach. This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my teaching. This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my students' learning. Practicing Copyright and Fair Use The topic of was totally was somewhat was something I copyright and fair new to me. familiar to me. have already use: applied in my teaching. This demonstration helped me see the benefit yes no maybe of seeking out my school librarian for support on these issues when 1 student teach. This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my teaching This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my student's learning Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies The topic of was totally was somewhat was something I coteaching reading new to me. familiar to me. have already comprehension applied in my strategies: teaching. This demonstration helped me see the benefit of yes no maybe seeking out my school librarian for coteaching reading comprehension strategies when 1 student teach. This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my teaching. This presentation strongly agree somewhat disagree strongly helped me see how agree agree disagree the school librarian can support my students' learning. Of these four sessions, which ONE MOST positively influenced your thinking about coplanning and coteaching with your school librarian: Coplanning Collaboratively Practicing Copyright Coteaching Demonstration Integrating and Fair Use Reading Web 2.0 Tools Comprehension
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Dr. Judi Moreillon is an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Studies. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Judi Moreillon, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman's University, P O. Box 425438, Denton, Texas 76204-5438. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Table 1: Student Teachers' Plan to Share Information from the Coplanning Session (N = 163) Evaluation Form Item Number (%) Seek out school librarian 103 (63%) Seek out mentor teacher 112 (69%) Seek out principal 44 (27%) Already planned to seek out school librarian 24 (15%) No plans to seek out school librarian 7 (4%) Table 2: Teacher Librarians Provide Support for Teaching and Learning Through Coplanning Strongly Agree Some- Disagree Strongly Agree what Disagree Agree Support for 81 52 21 0 0 Teachers (N = 154) (53%) (34%) (13%) Support for 86 68 10 0 0 pre K-12 Students (52%) (42%) (6%) (N = 164) Table 3: Student Teachers' Perceptions of Teacher Librarians' Support for Their Teaching Session Strongly Agree Some- Disagree Strongly Agree what Disagree Agree Collaboratively 65 (39%) 51 36 7 (4%) 6 (4%) Integrating Web 2.0 (31%) (22%) Tool into Learning and Teaching (N = 165) Practicing Copyright 74 (45%) 64 22 2 (1%) 1 (1%) and Fair Use (39%) (14%) (N = 163) Coteaching Reading 70 (43%) 61 31 2 (1%) 0 Comprehension (37%) (19%) Strategies (N = 164) Table 4: Student Teachers' Perceptions of Teacher Librarian Areas of Expertise as Support for preK-12 Students' Learning Session Strongly Agree Some- Disagree Strongly Agree what Disagree Agree Collaboratively 65 (39%) 52 35 6 (4%) 6 (4%) Integrating Web 2.0 (32%) (21%) Tool into Learning and Teaching (N = 164) Practicing Copyright 68 (42%) 67 20 5 (3%) 1 (1%) and Fair Use (N = 161) (42%) (12%) Coteaching Reading 72 (44%) 66 24 2 (1%) 0 Comprehension (40%) (15%) Strategies (N = 164) Table 5: Workshop Session that Most Influenced Preservice Teachers' Thinking (N = 129) Session Number (%) Coplanning Demonstration 37 (29%) Collaboratively Integrating Web 2.0 Tools into 40 (31%) Learning and Teaching Practicing Copyright and Fair Use 29 (23%) Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies 22 (17%)