Thursday, September 10, 2009

Minutes for Sept. 9, 2009 - - New Student Orientation

Thank you to everyone who was able to make the first RASL meeting of the 2009-2010 year! We hope that you found our discussion pertinent and helpful.

Couldn't make the meeting? No problem! We encourage you to review the meeting minutes, which might address some of your questions or concerns.

Our next meeting will be October 21st at 5:30pm. Mark your calendars =)

1. Introductions

-Faculty Advisors and 514 Professors- Carol Gordon, Ross Todd

-Professor and School Media Field Experience Advisor - Mary Jane McNally

-Ross Todd explained that the SCIS School Media Specialist Program is determined by the State Department of Education, which makes graduates of the program eligible for automatic state certification for librarianship.

2. Education Courses for Uncertified Teachers

-Students who have not yet received their teaching certification and want to be a school media specialist will need to take 3 education courses (9 credits) in addition to the school media program requirements.

-The 3 courses are determined by the specifications of the Department of Education. They are the following:

Theory and Foundations of Education for the School Library Media Specialist (17:611:520)

Curriculum Design/Integration and Teaching Methodologies for the School Library Media Specialist (17:611:521)

Student Learning Development and Behavior Management for the School Library Media Specialist (17:611:522)

-These courses can be taken at any time during the program, either integrated with the other MLIS courses, during the summer, or during the first year as a school media specialist.

-If students choose the last option (taking the courses during the first year as a school media specialist) they might be lucky enough that their employer will fund these 9 credits. However, this is not always the case and it is highly recommended that these courses are taken prior to working in a school library. As all three advisors emphasized at the meeting: it is crucial that classroom management, lesson and unit planning, and implementing guided inquiry are understood and practiced BEFORE working in a school.

-Many students have suggested taking Curriculum Design before 514 and Theory and Foundation before 521.

-A student at the meeting suggested substitute teaching to gain teaching experience.

-A reminder for students who want to take the education courses over the summer: These courses will be more condensed and intense. Keep this in mind if you are considering taking multiple summer classes or working.

3. Field Experience

-Field Experience (592) is completed in a school library and required for certification.

-It is taken during your final semester of the program in conjunction with 575. This ensures that you will bring the greatest skill-set possible to the experience.

-Contact Professor McNally ( the semester before you will do your field experience. She will then send you an application, on which you can state your geographic and grade-level preference. However, there are no guarantees. Professor McNally asks that you trust her. Convenience may not always be the best choice. She knows many librarians in many different areas and is well-qualified to make the best match for you.

-This is a formal arrangement. You cannot make a match on your own. Rutgers and the assigned school’s Board of Education must approve of your placement.

-For some schools, you may need to be finger-printed, background checked, TB tested, etc.

-Professor McNally also reminded us that when we are in our placements we must consider that librarians are often doing their best and coping with circumstances beyond their control. This may not always match what we have learned in our text books.

-Students in 592 will need to devote 150 hours during the semester at their field placement site. The average student does 10 hours/week for 15 weeks, but this schedule is not required.

Section 2 is for on-campus school media
Section 85 or 90 (depending on the semester) is for online students. Online students will still have to report to a field experience site.

4. Online Students

-Professor Todd asked us to consider that half of SCIS online students are specializing in School Media. How can we bring them into RASL?

-Some suggestions- - Webcasts and the RASL website

5. Advising

-Take advantage! Contact Carol Gordon ( or Ross Todd ( to schedule an advising appointment.

-If your advisor knows who you are, they can write you a recommendation letter in the future.

-You don’t want to risk getting to the end of your program and realize you forgot to take a colloquium or have not completed a pre-requisite for one of your final courses.

-You only get one elective on the School Media track. Your advisor can help recommend which one might be best for you and your career goals.

6. NJASL Conference and Professional Organizations

-NJASL Conference November 13th and 14th - East Brunswick

-Dr. Gordon explained the importance of joining professional organizations to help shape our profession, network, serve on committees and task forces, and learn from other librarians.

-As students you can join ALA and NJLA at one discounted price.

-AASL – American Association of School Librarians grants members a free subscription to Knowledge Quest magazine, which focuses on school library media programs and services.

7. Next Meeting

Wednesday, October 21st at 5:30pm in the SCIS lounge

-Current School Librarians will be there to discuss their jobs
-Pizza and soda will be served

Hope to see you there!! =)


Kristi(e) said...

Re: 4. Online Students
Before I left I introduced an additional officer position of Online Student Liaison. I'm assuming this person has yet to contact anyone in charge, so I will filter through my emails and forward that accordingly. My assumption of this position is that she will most likely not get the chance to go to meetings, but it is her responsibility to brainstorm how to best serve the online community.

thomas said...

This is great information – its encouraging to see online education is becoming more widely accepted and the benefits are backed up by a range of studies.