MassCUE: Library Space Revival

23 10 2014



  • LibGuides:
  • 123D Design:
  • Explain Everything:
  • Online Newsstand:
  • Library Reports:
  • Putting Dewey on a Diet:


Are Your Students Research Ready?

8 09 2014

Our students need to be ready to find, evaluate, manage, and use information in a whole new way. The avalanche of information and misinformation in a simple Google search on any given topic is overwhelming to all researchers. According to SINTEF, 90% of the world’s data (good or bad) has been generated in the last two years and this mind-blowing growth shows no sign of slowing.

research studentsWhether your students are preparing for college, a career in a skilled trade field, or to advance into middle school or high school, it is imperative that they learn the critical thinking skills embedded in independent research. We call today’s students digital natives – indicating that they have grown up surrounded by connected devices and never known the world without the boundless resources available on the Internet. However, these digital natives are not necessarily self-assured and capable researchers. They often make unreliable assumptions about sources, rarely go beyond the first page of Google results, and tend to develop their own inexact self-taught methods for evaluating websites (Project Information Literacy). It is our job to teach accurate methods for research and to help them understand these skills are transferable across curricula and into their real lives outside of school.

At Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston NH, we have created a school-wide research rubric that we use in all content areas for a variety of research. We consistently use the same criteria for explaining and scoring research skills from lab researchlibguidereports to literary criticism. As the librarian at the high school, I work with all of the faculty on integrating research skills into courses. I created two research guides for our students to use: Research @ Sanborn ( for all students to use and Research Made Easy ( specifically for Special Education students. Each guide is filled with videos, templates, links, and instructions to simplify the research process for our students.

I believe through repetition, consistency, and practice our students will become more familiar with high level research skills that they can use beyond our classrooms and throughout their lives.

Works Cited

“Project Information Literacy.” : A Large-Scale Study About Early Adults and Their Research Habits. University of Washington, 1 Apr 2011. Web. 07 Sept. 2014. <;.

SINTEF. “Big Data, for Better or Worse: 90% of World’s Data Generated Over Last Two Years.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2013. Web. 07 Sept. 2014. <>.

I will be speaking at MassCUE on October 22 and 23, 2014 about integrating research across the curriculum.

Yikes! I’m running for AASL District 1 Director

31 08 2014

I am running for AASL District 1 Director and we were asked to write a Statement of Professional Concerns. It was a nice practice in slowing down and thinking about my real goals as a librarian, educator, and member of this professional community. This is what I came up with:

One of my real goals is to help school librarians flourish and become essential contributors to our education system. Librarians have an unprecedented opportunity to be leaders through curation of resources, collaboration with teachers and administrators, and integration of research skills across the curriculum.
It is obvious that the needs of our student populations have changed over the last decade. I believe it is vital that we empower today’s librarians to have the tools, resources, and most importantly, the MINDSET to effectively serve our student and faculty stakeholders.
If elected, I will work hard to ensure that we are all equipped to contribute effectively to the needs of our users even as those needs change.

Let me know what you think and if you have ideas that you would like to share with our professional librarian community.

My Knowledge Quest Guest Editor Adventure

8 03 2014

This morning my podcast interview was posted on the Knowledge Quest website. I began to reflect on the whole experience and wanted to share it. I was invited to be the Guest Editor of the March/April 2014 Library Spaces issues of Knowledge Quest (KQ) in January of 2013.

My first assignment was to begin contacting librarians and inviting them to write for the issue on a subject related to Library  Spaces. I contacted 17 librarians and had 17 article proposals by spring 2013. Our deadline for finished articles was November 2013, so I asked my authors to submit articles to me by August. Most of them came in on time. A few needed several reminders. One needed an extension (and I was glad to have the time to allow it). Some of the authors needed some slight revisions.


Next, I wrote my guest editor article based on the inspiration of the articles I received. It felt empowering reading the articles from librarians all over the country focused on student learning and needs from different perspectives.

When all articles and images were submitted I found out that we had too much for a single issue- so I chose several high-interest articles to create as exclusive online content. Those articles will be indexed with the issue.

I also worked with the manager editor for KQ and the KQ board in creating a Twitter hashtag. I realized that anytime I’ve ever gone into a library I’ve always seen at least one great idea on a way to create library spaces. I’m hoping that librarians will share their own brilliant library spaces with the rest of us on Twitter using the #aaslkq hashtag.

The last two steps happened quickly: I suggested 5 librarians to do the 30 seconds on leadership video clips for the online issue and then I was interviewed for the podcast.

I’m most proud of the number of NH librarians featured in this issue. Some of the most exciting articles are written by Jessica Gilcreast, Ray Palin, and Caitlin Ahearn. I hope everyone enjoys the issue and tweets some fun library space ideas to #aaslkq.

Let me know what you think of this issue!

Hello Seacoast, Goodbye Mountains!

24 06 2011

I am pleased as punch to have accepted a position at Sanborn Regional School District in Kingston NH. I will be the librarian at Sanborn Regional High School. I’m looking forward to meeting the students and the faculty and to working with the Principal and Superintendent on taking the beautiful library to the next level.

While I will miss my friends at Plymouth Regional High School I have to admit that I am super excited to be moving back to Exeter!

The Learning Commons

25 02 2011

I’m so excited that my book “The Learning Commons” (ABC-CLIO, 2011) is now available. Thanks for all of your support!

The Learning Commons by Pamela Colburn Harland