Teaching Library Skills

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To teach library skills to children, consult with a librarian or resource teacher, print out state standards for library skills, explain how the library is organized, and talk about ethics and plagiarism. Teach students how to use the library for things besides books with advice from a writing instructor in this free video on library skills.

Part of the Video Series: Writing & Education
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Video Transcript

I'm Laura from Youngwritersworkshops.com and I'm going to talk about teaching library skills. Now often there's a resource such as a resource teacher or a librarian that can help you if you are teaching and you want to teach library skills so that's something to find out about for sure. Your state probably has some state standards for library skills, library information, gathering skills so you might also find those. Print them, have them as something to refer to as you're developing your lessons. The first most important thing that you want to teach in any library skills course is how a library's organized. The system for how to find the books that you need. So for example the fiction is organized in a certain way and non fiction books are in a separate area using a dewey decimal system generally. So teach about the organization of the library. Discuss how to choose and appropriate book. So if you're helping students to begin their research you might have them think about an appropriate reading level. If a topic or their title of the book gives them some information about whether it will be appropriate for what they're looking for. Some of the books might be a little bit higher than the reading level book for the student's in their research but they may be still able to find images or other information maps that will be helpful. For example the I Witness books series might be higher reading level for your students but they may find some material that can be helpful them in those kinds of books. So talk about how to choose appropriate books so that they don't end up choosing books that are too difficult for them to read. Another skill to discuss in the use of libraries is about ethics and plagiarism and you want to discuss how to ethically use the material that they find in the books. Also the ethics of borrowing books from the library. How its important to return them on time and to not mistreat the books. There can be a lot of discussion about using library materials and from the ethical standpoint. Then you also want to talk with them about how to ask for help. If they are not finding what they need you can talk with them about asking the librarian for help and what the proper way to do that is. And then also how to look for information besides books in the library. There's non print materials and other things that are available from the library besides books and magazines. So those are some of the things that you want to think about when teaching library skills.

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