CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Review: Librarians as Teachers of Sense Making Skills and Developing an Information Literacy Hub

Category: Blog, Branches and Groups, SLG Scotland

Elizabeth Hutchinson: Librarians as Teachers of Sense Making Skills

The School Libraries Group of CILIPS were proud to host an evening virtual event with Elizabeth Hutchinson on 16 June.  In addition to being a fellow of CILIP, Elizabeth is Vice-Chair of the #GreatSchoolLibraries campaign, renowned blogger and author, and a regular columnist in the CILIP Information Professional.  She is interested in a school librarian’s role within inquiry learning, and is an advocate of Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning (FOSIL).

Elizabeth’s presentation of “Librarians as Teachers of Sense Making Skills: Framing the Learning Process” focused on using the FOSIL framework throughout the primary and secondary school years to embed investigation and connection skills.  Quoting Barbara Stripling, Elizabeth emphasised that “The goal of school librarians is to empower students to be independent learners for life”.  The FOSIL approach to learning focuses on the cycle of six stages of inquiry:

  • Connect – drawing on what you already know to determine what you need to know
  •  Wonder – identifying questions that will lead your investigation
  •  Investigate – identifying resources that will aid your search
  •  Construct – building an accurate understanding based on factual evidence
  •  Express – sharing the most compelling case based on your audience and understanding
  •  Reflect – evaluating how you have worked and what you have produced

Elizabeth shared several graphic organisers that highlighted where school librarians can support the inquiry process.

During the Q&A Elizabeth advised school librarians to initially promote FOSIL to one member of the SLT (particularly the head of learning).  Finding a few key members of staff that are also excited about the learning process will help build momentum and excitement.  The more we, as librarians, understand the learning and inquiry process, the more confident we will be in explaining it to members of staff, and implementing it into our teaching and library support.

Lindsey Henderson: Developing an Information Hub

Following Elizabeth’s presentation, Lindsey Henderson (SLIC) presented information on the development of an Information Literacy (IL) Hub.  The hub will be an open website built around Scottish curriculum and will feature an IL toolkit.  It is hoped that the hub will serve as a ‘one-stop’ shop for IL.  In addition to case studies, the hub will also include a searchable database for resources and provide guidance for how to advocate for IL with school leadership teams.  The Information Literacy Hub should launch in September and will work alongside Basecamp.

We hope that the virtual event was helpful for our CILIPS SLG members (and beyond!) and provided resources and information that school librarians can implement in their schools this coming academic year. To watch the event recording or to view the slides, please click here. We appreciated the feedback we received during the breakout sessions and after the event, and look forward to providing additional resources and events following the summer holidays.



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