P. O. BOX 2120

June 16, 2000

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: The Role of the Library Media Specialist in SOL Implementation 

The school library of today bears little resemblance to the library of ten years ago. Technology has become commonplace and changes are the norm. However, one thing has remained constant: the librarianís goal to meet the needs of students and teachers. Recent studies (Lance, 1993,99) have confirmed what educators have always known, that academic achievement and success of students are directly related to the quality of the library. Test results showed that students scored higher on norm-referenced tests (such as the Stanford 9) when they attended schools with more books, periodicals, and videos.* The ability to access multiple resources increases student achievement because information is provided in different formats and perspectives. School libraries provide equal access to learning and teaching resources.

Many school divisions have recognized the role of the librarian in the curriculum process and have developed curricula and skills matrices that are directly related to the Virginia Standards of Learning. A close examination of the SOL reveals that many of the skills parallel the information literacy skills adopted by the American Library Association and the Association for Educational Communication and Technology. Together, these skills insure that all students become active participants in the learning process and have the skills necessary to be successful in this information-rich society.

The Office of Instructional Media and Training will sponsor two regional workshops to explore the opportunities for an effective partnership between classroom teachers and librarians. On July 17, 2000, there will be a meeting at Massaponax High School in Spotsylvania County for Superintendentsí Regions 1, 2, 3, and 4 and on July 12, at Hidden Valley Junior High in Roanoke County for Superintendentís Regions 5, 6, 7, and 8. Each school division is invited to send the key instructional leader and key library contact to a workshop to examine the research regarding school libraries and academic success. Participants will see examples of the benefits that are produced when teachers and librarians work together as partners. This one-day event, "Teachers + Librarians = A Powerful Partnership, Come to the Library where Information is SOL Power" will promote discussions between these two instructional partners. There will be an exchange of ideas and the chance to meet with personnel in other school divisions. Participants will learn how strategic planning of activities will encourage teachers and librarians to cooperate in developing and designing lessons that meet the SOL objectives in the core areas and in technology integration. Participants also will be able to preview a guide that will be sent to all teachers this fall. This guide highlights the unique skills that the librarian brings to instruction and curriculum as part of a powerful partnership with classroom teachers.

Please return the enclosed registration form with the names of those persons who will be attending from your division by June 30, 2000. We encourage all school divisions to attend. For more information contact: Charlie Makela,(, library media and technology specialist at 804-786-9412.




*Information Power: Building Partnerships For Learning (American Library Association), Impact of School Libraries on Academic Achievement (Lance, Rodney, Pernell) and Literacy Partners: A Principals Guide to an Effective Library Media Program for the 21st Century (Alabama Department of Education)