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Why are we talking about internet safety during library class?

posted Jan 15, 2016, 8:02 AM by Julie Alonso   [ updated Jan 26, 2016, 2:09 PM by Kim Stuart ]
Today in Second Grade, we were in the middle of a lesson on keeping personal information private and one of the boys asked, very politely and earnestly, why we were having this lesson during library class. After all, most of what we've done during library class in Kindergarten through 2nd grade has had to do with books.

What a great question!

For our youngest students, research is still a very preliminary exercise. Much of our emphasis in library class is in becoming comfortable and familiar with our physical library.  We read stories that are connected to their classroom curriculum and have time to check out picture books and early chapter books. But literature appreciation and instilling a love of reading in students is only a part of what we do. We're also charged with making sure students are able to successfully locate, evaluate, and use information, both in print and online. While these are advanced skills, we need to lay the groundwork with lessons meant to help the boys as they move forward in their scholastic careers. These skills fall under the umbrella of information literacy.

What is information literacy?

“Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.” From The Association of College and Research Libraries (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Chicago, IL: The Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved October 16, 2008, from

Information literacy lessons begin with our youngest students and continue throughout their years at Town School. They are embedded in our Digital Literacy curriculum, linked to our Upper School Research Expectations, and reiterated at point of need by teachers in the classroom.  Much like with learning to read or attaining number fluency, information literacy skills should be revisited, modeled, and practiced as often as possible. To that end, we created a presentation for the New Teacher Institute to encourage our NTI teachers to include information literacy skills as part of their teaching practice.

NTI Professional Growth 1/13/2016