Sheri Anita Massey
iSchool at Maryland
Evaluating and selecting resources for learning are complex processes that can be approached from a number of perspectives–building and maintaining an adequate collection, using limited budgetary resources wisely, and balancing the needs and requests of various client constituencies. The most important perspective–and one that can be neglected–is the instructional one: evaluating and selecting resources according to their inherent appropriateness as tools for enhancing learning and their applicability to specific instructional settings and learners’ needs in the K-12 environment.
Library media specialists (LMSs) are typically viewed by the other members of the instructional team as the experts in selecting materials and can exert enormous influence in determining which resources make their way into the classroom as well as into the library media center. In order to recommend and select materials that will truly enhance students’ learning, LMSs must have comprehensive knowledge of components and sources of effective resources for learning. In this course, a number of topics are covered to help students gain that knowledge: the nature and uses of resources for contemporary learning environments; procedures for locating and evaluating such resources; systematic planning for the use of learning resources; advantages and disadvantages of various media formats; and processes for creating collections that support the curriculum.
The course content is based upon theory and best practice; however, assignments and projects are designed to be practical and useful to students as they begin careers as library media specialists. It is recommended that all assignments be completed to respond to needs within a specific school and/or district environment