Library Media Services

The Library Media Services Department endorses the national mission of the American Association of School Librarians which is “…to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information.” Library media specialists carry out this mission by “…empower[ing] students to be: critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers and ethical users of information.”

The Library Media Services Department supports and promotes the mission of the West Hartford Public Schools by providing the instruction, resources and services necessary for students and staff to become lifelong learners in a global community.

Elementary Schools

Library media Centers

Aiken Elementary  Braeburn Elementary  Bugbee Elementary Charter Oak International Academy Duffy Elementary School Morley Elementary School Norfelt Elementary School Florence E. Smith STEM School Webster Hill Elementary School Whiting Lane Elementary School Wolcott Elementary School

decoration/inspiration in the library

The library media program in the elementary school provides the foundation skills for students to become critical users of information, and readers for lifelong learning. 

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner published by the American Association of School Librarians provides the framework for instruction. By the end of grade 5 students will:

Standard 1: Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

  • Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions.

  • Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.

  • Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information and point of view or bias.

  • Demonstrate mastery of technology tools to access information and pursue inquiry.

Standard 2: Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.

  • Continue an inquiry-based research process by applying critical thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, organization) to information and knowledge in order to construct new understandings, draw conclusions, and create new knowledge.

  • Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.

  • Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create products that express new understandings.

Standard 3: Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.

  • Conclude an inquiry-based research process by sharing new understandings and reflecting on the learning.

  • Use information and technology ethically and responsibly.

  • Contribute to the exchange of ideas within and beyond the learning community.

Standard 4: Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

  • Respond to literature and creative expressions of ideas in various formats and genres.

  • Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure and expressing interest in various literary genres.

Middle Schools

Library Learning Commons

Bristow Middle School King Philip Middle School Sedgwick Middle School

library entrance

The library media program in the middle school continues to build on the foundation skills taught in grades K-5 for students to become critical users of information and readers for lifelong learning. 

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner published by the American Association of School Librarians provides the framework for instruction.

Standard 1: Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

  • 1.1.5 Evaluate information found in selected sources on the basis  of accuracy, validity,  appropriateness for needs, importance,  and social and cultural context.
  • 1.2.2 Demonstrate adaptability by changing the inquiry focus, questions, resources, or strategies when necessary to achieve success.
  • 1.3.1 Respect copyright/ intellectual property  rights of creators and producers.

Standard 2: Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.

  • 2.1.1  Continue an  inquiry based research process by applying critical - thinking skills ( analysis, synthesis , evaluation , organization ) to information and knowledge in order to construct  new understandings, draw conclusions and create new knowledge. 
  • 2.1.6  Use the writing process, media and visual literacy and technology skills to create products that express new understandings

Standard 3: Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members or our democratic society.

  • 3.1.4 Use technology and  other information tools to organize and  display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.

Standard 4: Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

  • 4.2.4  Show an appreciation  for literature by  electing to read  for pleasure and expressing an interest in various literary  genres.

 

The WHPS middle school library learning commons “provide a welcoming common space that encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and a broader community. They bring together the best of the physical and digital to create learning hubs.”  -Edutopia

Library media specialists collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate these skills aligned with state standards across disciplines. Students are engaged in inquiry-based projects that focus on the information problem-solving process, critical thinking skills, and creative communication of learning.

In the Makerspace, library media specialists foster creativity, innovation, play, risk-taking, resourcefulness, and personalized learning by providing opportunities for creation, failure, problem solving, tinkering, wondering, taking of risks in our learning, and hands-on activities utilizing tools, technology and other materials. By encouraging student curiosity and pursuit of their own passions, we inspire and empower.

High Schools

Library Media Centers

Conard High School Hall High School 

library

West Hartford Public Schools high school library media centers provide flexible access, resource-based environments available to all students and staff before, during, and after school.

Electronic resources include desktop computers, laptops and Chromebooks in the library and adjacent labs as well as devices for loan. Online access to subscription databases, eBooks and other research information can be accessed through the library's website. Other resources in the collection include DVDs, audio books, primary documents, fiction, nonfiction, newspapers, magazines, and journals. 

The library media program provides the foundation skills for students to become critical users of information, and readers for lifelong learning. Standards for the 21st-Century Learner published by the American Association of School Librarians provides the framework for instruction. Library media specialists collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate these skills aligned with state standards across the disciplines. Students are engaged in inquiry-based projects that focus on the information problem-solving process and critical thinking skills. 

Standard 1: Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

  • 1.1.5 Evaluate information found in selected sources on the basis  of accuracy, validity,  appropriateness for needs, importance,  and social and cultural context.
  • 1.2.5 Demonstrate adaptability by changing the inquiry focus, questions, resources, or strategies when necessary to achieve success.
  • 1.3.1 Respect copyright/ intellectual property  rights of creators and producers.

Standard 2: Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.

  • 2.1.1  Continue an  inquiry based research process by applying critical - thinking skills (analysis, synthesis , evaluation , organization ) to information and knowledge in order to construct  new understandings, draw conclusions and create new knowledge.
  • 2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.
  • 2.1.6  Use the writing process, media and visual literacy and technology skills to create products that express new understandings.

Standard 3: Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members or our democratic society.

  • 3.1.4 Use technology and  other information tools to organize and  display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess. 
  • 3.1.6 Use information and technology ethically and responsibly

Standard 4: Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

  • 4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.
  • 4.2.4 Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure and expressing an interest in various literary genres.

Roles of the Library Media Specialist

Braeburn library

Leader

• Communicates the mission of an innovative and effective school library
• Promotes the profession by active  participation in professional organizations and learning communities
• Seeks opportunities for professional growth through continuous inquiry  
• Develops and provides professional development at the school/district level
• Serves on school/district committees
• Supports  literacy across the curriculum
• Promotes technology integration

Program Administrator

• Plans, executes and evaluates the library media program aligned with district and department goals
• Develops and manages the budget
• Manages a continuously updated collection by weeding and selecting materials that support the curriculum to meet the needs of diverse populations
• Supervises support staff and volunteers
• Manages the online catalog, circulation system, digital tools, and information databases
• Manages the organization of the facility and the daily operations of the library
• Initiates community outreach programs (i.e. author visits, book fairs, summer reading)
• Manages the resource catalog of technology equipment

Instructional Partner

• Participates in curriculum, design, implementation and assessment
• Collaborates with teachers to develop meaningful learning tasks
• Recommends resources and technology for integration with instructional units
• Relates library media program goals and objectives to classroom curriculum needs
• Develops and provides professional resources for staff and parents

Information Specialist

• Curates, evaluates and selects resources to support curriculum
• Provides assistance in selecting and locating materials appropriate to an individual’s needs
• Teaches and provides guidance in the use of information and technology
• Promotes legal, ethical and responsible use of information and technology
• Serves as the research expert for teachers and administrators

Teacher

• Delivers instruction to students in meaningful information problem-solving strategies
• Promotes reading through reading innovative programming and reader’s advisory
• Instructs students and staff in analog and digital search strategies
• Designs and implements formative and summative assessments of student learning
• Teaches students and staff evaluation and navigation skills for the ever-changing online landscape
• Provides orientation for students and staff concerning the facility, resources and services available

Collection Management

Evaluation and Selection of Resources

Braeburn library

The purpose of the library collection is to support the curriculum, address the learning needs and interests of students in each school, and provide resources that are current and accurate. The collection includes fiction and nonfiction resources in a variety of formats including print books, eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and databases which are accessible online. Additionally, the collections reflect the diversity of our students including but not limited to:  ability, economic background, ethnicity, families, gender, gender identity, geographic background, language status, race, religion and sexual orientation.

A certified library media specialist evaluates the existing collection and consults reputable, reliable reviewing tools and selection guides as well as curriculum documents. . Recommendations of students and staff are solicited and evaluated in relation to the current collection, the materials available and the limitations of the budget.

Selection criteria includes:

  • Acceptable reviews or recommendations in recognized reviewing tools, selection guides, standard bibliographies or award lists

  • Relationship of the item to the curriculum and potential for effective use

  • Recommendations and requests by students and staff

  • Author’s/creator’s significance and/or reputation

  • Importance of this subject matter to the collection

  • Scarcity of material on the subject

  • Timeliness or permanence of the work

  • Authority

  • Publisher’s/producer’s reputation

  • Cost and limitations

  • Quality of writing

  • Appropriateness of format

  • Accuracy of information

  • Current information

  • Style and appropriate level of information need

  • Durability of the physical product

  • Materials in a series will be evaluated as individual titles

  • Previews

  • Utility (indexes, references, illustrations)

Assessing Resources

The collection undergoes continuous evaluation to meet the information needs of students and staff and make efficient use of space. A certified library media specialist conducts an annual inventory to identify missing items and weed sections of the collection on a six-year inventory cycle to ensure assessment of the entire collection.

Weeding criteria includes:

  • Content

    • Science, travel, geography and technical information more than five years from the copyright date is examined.

    • Encyclopedias more than five years old from the copyright date are withdrawn from the reference collection.

    • Fiction that has not circulated for five years and is of no permanent value is withdrawn. Check the availability of the title as well as standard catalogs.

    • Superceded editions unless they contain unique materials (e.g. maps, bibliographies, charts).

    • Duplicate copies of once popular materials.

    • Obsolete and discredited or unauthorized information.

    • Almanacs, yearbooks, etc., more than five years old, unless year specific resources are required by the curriculum.

  • Physical Condition

    • Items with torn or ragged covers, worn, soiled or yellowed or page(s) missing.

    • Newspapers and magazines replaced with online databases are withdrawn.

    • Nonprint resources that are damaged, soiled or worn.

  • Technical Quality

    • Graphics exhibit poor visual quality (e.g. faded, off-color).

    • Audio is no longer clear.

    • Components of nonprint resources no longer function.

  • Data (Destiny Reports)

    • Top/Bottom Report—provides a list of the titles with the most or least circulations

    • Weeding Log—lists copies that were weeded, deleted or transferred

CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries - specific criteria for weeding materials by format and Dewey class including fiction, easy readers/picture books, young adult, graphic novels and more

Summer Reading

The West Hartford Public Schools and the West Hartford Public Library work together to develop the Pre-K-5 summer reading program. Each year we select a new theme and provide a suggested list of authors and titles. Librarians from the West Hartford Public Library create a digital presentation which is shared with the schools to introduce the summer reading theme.

decoration/inspiration in the library
library entrance
library