Report of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, June 18, 2013

Since the Regent’s acceptance of Creating the Future: a 2020 Vision Plan for Library Service in New York State: Recommendations of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, several task groups of library practitioners have formed under the general guidance of the Regents Advisory Committee to begin implementation of several key recommendations.  The purpose of today’s report is to bring the Regents up to date concerning our progress, and to ask you to take particular action in with regard to recommendations 10, 11, 23 and 57.


Vision 2020 Recommendation # 10:  Adopt and implement a statewide information fluency curriculum framework, aligned with the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, which, through certified school librarians and a strong library program, will provide equitable access to information and digital literacy instruction and tools. Such a framework will further the schools’ ultimate goal of preparing students, beginning at the elementary level, with the literacy and digital skills and knowledge needed for career or college.

Report:  The Empire State Information Fluency Continuum has been endorsed by 40 BOCES, NYC and Big City School Library Systems as of May, 2013. This number represents almost 98% of the total systems with just one more SLS set to endorse the Empire State IFC in September 2013.  The Empire State Information Fluency Continuumexternal link opens in a new window provides an instructionally valued resource to school librarians as they plan Common Core aligned collaborative lessons with content area teachers, classroom teachers and in developing their Student Learning Objectives (SLO’s).  The inquiry skills and strategies articulated in the Empire State IFC are aligned with the CCLS and provide opportunities for librarians and teachers to engage in systemic collaborative planning and incorporate the teaching of inquiry into the implementation of the CCLS through classroom instruction and project based learning.   Conference calls have been held on a regular basis to offer strategies on how to identify and share “best practices" in implementation of the IFC for student learning and growth. 

Regents Action Requested:  We ask that the Board of Regents approve the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum as SED policy.


Vision 2020 Recommendation # 11:  Expand the existing Commissioner’s Regulations (CR 91.2) to require an elementary school librarian in every school to strengthen instructional leadership in meeting the P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, and enforce library staffing regulations in all public schools.

Report: These regulations were last addressed in 1971 and 1972. They have been in the Commissioner’s Regulations since 1973 with no revision and no update in 40 years. The world we live in has changed dramatically over the past four decades. Web based online databases, use of the Internet and the availability of computers in instructional design were not a part of the world of 1973. Research in recent years has told us that students learn more effectively through the constructivist approach where the program of instruction is focused more on the individual and his or her unique learning style and not on the more traditional approach of one size fits all. This realization is so important to the power of the school librarian/teacher collaboration. The learning styles of individual students in a classroom are not the same and this collaborative instructional process between school librarian and teacher should result in a lesson design, richer in resources and approaches, to achieve a successful learning outcome. The task group has conducted an ongoing dialog with the school library community to develop ideas for recommending changes to CR 91.2 to include a certified school library media specialist at the elementary school. A working copy of a Draft Revision of CR 91.2 (attached) was finalized by this work group after a series of conference calls held in April and May, 2013.

Regents Action Requested:  We ask that the Board of Regents begin the review process for draft revisions of CR91.2 with the goal of those revisions becoming SED policy by May, 2014.


Vision 2020 Recommendation # 23:  Further the proliferation of the Regents’ Public Library District Model to enable all public libraries to become fully funded and governed through citizen participation and public vote.

Report:  Members of the task group are working with State Library staff to update and improve the DLD webpage “Creating a Public Library District in New York State, a How To Guide” and other pages dealing with Special and School District Public Libraries.  However, the development of each library districts requires considerable expertise in a variety of areas, including municipal law, election law, and public library law and regulation.  These needs are best addressed from a central source housed at the State Library.

Regents Action Requested:  We ask that the Board of Regents reaffirm the importance of the development of library districts by directing the Commissioner to fund designated staff positions at the State Library earmarked for development of library districts, so that local initiatives meet the highest success rate possible when brought before the voters.


Vision 2020 Recommendation # 57:    Identify the current costs of e-resources from all public funds to best determine economies of shared acquisition and use across all schools, libraries, public universities, and state government agencies

Report:  The task group working on this recommendation has developed a Survey of E-Resources Purchased; the purpose of this instrument is to determine how much money is being spent on which e-resources with the goal of developing a plan to reduce costs through aggregated demand and usage.

Regents Action Requested:  We ask that the Board of Regents direct the Commissioner to distribute this survey instrument to all organizations within the University of the State of New York, so that we can accurately identify e-resources purchased and the associated costs of those e-resources.


Work on many other Vision 2020 recommendations is continuing.  For instance, a task group is working on the provision of robust early childhood education programs and the provision of homework assistance as core public library services, and another group is working with the NY 3Rs Association, Inc. on developing an Information Infrastructure for New York Stateexternal link opens in a new window.  Several aspects of library systems services are under review in partnership with the New York Alliance of Library Systems.  With your permission, we will keep you apprised of our progress and bring further recommendations for Regents action once ample study and review have occurred.

The library community appreciates the support of the Regents in implementing these critical recommendations, as well as the stalwart support of the Regents in all legislative matters that effect New Yorkers rights to excellent library service.

/s/

John Hammond, Chair, Regents Advisory Council

Attachment:  Proposed Revision – CR 91.2

Proposed Revision – CR 91.2    

New York Codes, Rules and Regulations
TITLE 8 EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER II REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER
SUBCHAPTER D LIBRARIES
PART 91 SCHOOL LIBRARIES

8 NYCRR 91.2. Employment of school library media specialist.

Proposed Revision as of 6/6/2013 – RAC Committee for School Libraries

Each school district shall employ a certified school library media specialist in accordance with the following standards:

  1. In each elementary and secondary school with an enrollment of not more than 100 pupils, a certified school library media specialist shall devote no less than one quarter day each day to school library work.
  2. In each elementary and secondary school with an enrollment of more than 100 but not more than 400 pupils, a certified school library media specialist shall devote no less than one half day each day to school library work.
  3. In each elementary and secondary school with an enrollment of more than 400 but not more than 1,000 pupils, a full time certified school library media specialist shall devote the entire school day each day to school library work.
  4. In each elementary and  secondary school with an enrollment of more than 1,000 pupils, one additional full time certified school library media specialist shall be employed for every additional 1 to 1,000 pupils and shall devote the entire school day each day to school library work.

[SEE ALSO the current version of 91.2external link opens in a new window]

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Last Updated: June 20, 2013 -- asm