Cyber Students invade our Library!

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We have a new cyber center housed in the library.  While, invade may be a strong word, we do see a consistent stream of students every day utilizing the Cyber Center!!!  

Who knows??? With predictions of more and more students who will take advantage of cyber learning (whether hybrid as they are also enrolled in brick and mortar classes or solely cyber) we want and need the library to be a part of the action!

Cyber Students are my Students, too!  The Role and Responsibility of the Library Media Specialist

We are witnesses to an education system which is rapidly changing.  These changes are an exciting challenge to anyone who wants to maximize potential within the change.

Libraries are a part of that change; we must recognize that our client needs are changing.  Our schools often have cyber courses available which are taught by our teaching staff to our students.  Any student who is taught by our staff is also our library patron.  The challenge is that we may never see that student in the building.  Library Media Specialists need to be aware of this concept and assertively work to provide resources to support student success in this setting.

As Library Media Specialists, we are also coaches.  We offer our teachers services to help them support student achievement.  The cyber teacher has different needs and can be coached in different skills.

It is our mission to support the students enrolled in cyber programs, the teachers that teach in the cyber setting, and the teachers and administrators who support the students enrolled in the program.

Online Portal for Cyber Students and Teachers

 

Locating it in the Library:

Seriously, I would have been sad if it had been anywhere else in the building.  I would have felt out of the loop with the program and very disjointed.   If these students were in a different area within the building, I would not be able to reach them.  A Librarian has got to make sure she (or he) still reaches her population!

The change required shuffling of sections and even relocating bookshelves. While it created cause to troubleshoot, it has been an asset to the school and the library media center.

I have an opportunity this year to reach everyone involved. Students who, taking cyber at the high school age, are developmentally in need of continued academic guidance.

I am looking forward to watching this program grow and serve the various needs of students. If any school is considering building a cyber center, I highly suggest that it is located in the library and that the librarian has an active role in communicating services and resources!

Benefits of housing the cyber center in the library

  • Students can easily access library staff to receive assistance with resources
  • Library staff can keep the teacher who provides support up to date with resources and services available
  • Library staff has better access to teachers of cyber courses and can offer services (such as teaching them how to screencast as a form of digital communication, helping the teacher digitize content, offering to be a co-teacher on the LMS platform in order to push out information to every student enrolled in the course)
  • Administration passes through more often, giving them a better view of daily library activity
  • Students who are solely enrolled in cyber courses have exposure to the library facility along with a change of environment
  • Promotes the concept of a “learning commons” with a common work space that is not surrounded by classroom walls
  • Flexible hours for the cyber center are easily accommodated through the library
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4 thoughts on “Cyber Students invade our Library!

  1. Brenda Boyer says:

    Hi Karen- Great post!
    YES! It’s critical that librarians continue to be a part of our students’ learning experiences, regardless of where and how they are occurring. I’ll be speaking on this at PSLA (Hershey, PA): “Get Embedded! The Crucial Role of Librarians in Online Learning” (Saturday May 4, 2013, D Session 10:00 – 11:00 AM). The discussion will center on embedded librarianship, resources & inquiry.
    Best wishes for your new venture!

  2. Kim Brosan says:

    Great post and points Karen. I need to track down our Cyber students and see how I can meet their needs too. I tried to click through to your portal but it says we don’t have access. Is there any way to either grant access or make it public?

    Thanks for all that you’re doing to promote librarianship and leadership!

  3. khornberger says:

    Hi Kim!
    I can definitely make it public (I must have forgotten that step!!!)
    Brenda,
    The session sounds important and I am so glad you are offering it!!!! If you would like, I would be glad to publicize any resources that you create and give you credit 🙂

  4. khornberger says:

    As a result of a few emails, here is additional description. I must also say we are lucky to have the combination of a very supportive administration and a marketing freak for a librarian (me!). I have become this way in order to never let the important services we provide escape the view of our administration and faculty. I consider it not in my nature, but a learned survival skill.

    About our room: In our library we designed (during an early 2000-2001 renovation) back rooms. We have a room originally designed for periodicals, one designed as a work room, and one designed to house our student portfolios. We also designed a room in back to serve as a production center (video editing, etc.). As time changed, we didn’t need the rooms for the same things (we subscribe only to online periodicals now, video editing could not be easily monitored in the room plus it became easy to do anywhere, etc.) So, the rooms were taken for special education needs, etc. The cyber center actually helped me reclaim the rooms in a sense. The cyber center is in the original periodical, portfolio, and work rooms and I reclaimed the back production room for the shelving in the periodical room, etc. with help from maintenance with knocking down countertops, etc.

    The cyber center consists of 4 chairs with built in tabletops for students with laptops and against a wall are 6 desktop computers. In one back room, there is a café style table (high) along with 4 tall stool chairs that is used as a meeting room, the other room consists of a table with 4 rolling chairs (which is where cyber teachers often meet with students or work on their own) That room is also used as a meeting room where the certified teacher (also serves as special education supervisor for the high school) meets with administration.

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