Taking a peek into our elementary school library media centers

In celebration of National School Library Month, we are highlighting the great library media centers we have around the county, starting with those in elementary schools. Elementary school libraries in Baltimore County Schools have undergone many changes and improvements over the years, and the role of the library media specialist has changed as well.

We took the time to talk to several media specialists at some of our leading library media centers about their schools and the changes they have seen.

Q: How would you say school libraries have changed over the years?

“The skill set focus has changed, now we help our students to be better evaluators and users of information.” -Allison Cook of Chase Elementary

“We’re so much more involved in technology. Being able to have access to computers really changes how I can teach and interact with students.” -Jennifer Misanore of Dogwood Elementary

“In the last three years we have started to pick up and change very quickly. We’re moving toward e-books this year. The fact that (students) don’t have to be in the library to read and to learn and they can do (activities on the computer) at home is a benefit.” -Anne Groth of Cromwell Valley Elementary

Q: What role does technology play in student learning while in the library media center? Do you see students more engaged?

“Students are innately drawn to technology and they know how to use it. When you put devices in students hands and they’re used in meaningful ways you get a lot more out of the lesson” -Allison Cook of Chase Elementary

“They get really excited over getting to use the computers to learn math because on these computer programs you can earn “stickers” and things like that. The goal (of earning stickers etc.) with these educational games give them incentive, whereas if they were using pencil and paper it might not be as exciting.” -Jennifer Misamore of Dogwood Elementary

“We’re very fortunate at Cromwell Valley. We have a complete set of computers and a studio, which go hand in hand. Our students have always had access to a device. It is a balancing act because we are teaching information literacy and research and also fostering a love of literature.” -Anne Groth of Cromwell Valley Elementary

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