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Innovative project will enhance information literacy skills of elementary and middle school children
Innovative project will enhance information literacy skills of elementary and middle school childrenOctober 21, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Researchers in the School of Information Studies were awarded a $483, 507 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Studies to design a Web-based system that will provide school library media specialists and classroom teachers with tools to teach information literacy skills to children in grades kindergarten through eight.
The award was one of 15 made through the institute’s prestigious National Leadership Grants for Libraries under the research and demonstration category for 2002. The grant program enhances the quality of library services nationwide by supporting innovative projects that can be widely replicated. Areas of funding include education, research, digitization and library-museum collaboration.
The three-year “S.O.S. for Information Literacy” project, which received the grant, is based on a prototype designed two years ago by Professor Ruth Small, director of the school library media program in the School of Information Studies, and Marilyn Arnone, adjunct professor and president of Creative Media Solutions. The prototype is a Web-based multi-media database of strategies, lesson plans, materials, videos and resource links for teachers and library media specialists. The materials are organized by subject area and grade level, and are linked to the broader national information literacy educational standards. Grant Systems Inc. in Ithaca, N.Y., developed the software for the pilot project. The software will be further developed at the School of Information Studies.
“When we tested the prototype, practitioners were blown away,” Small says. “They were very enthusiastic about the possibilities for the system. When it is fully implemented, the S.O.S. database will be a free service for schools that will contain new ideas for teaching information literacy skills and strategies for implementing the ideas into a curriculum based on the best practices of professionals from across the country.”
In addition, a national advisory board will be established for “S.O.S. for Information Literacy,” Small says. Board members will help spread the word about the project and gather submissions for the database. An expert review panel will evaluate the submissions, select those that reflect the best practices, and provide feedback to the authors of materials not accepted so that they may be revised and re-submitted.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is a federal grant-making agency that promotes leadership, innovation and a lifetime of learning by supporting the nation’s museums and libraries. In announcing the 2002 grants, Robert S. Martin, director of the institute, said: “The grants we make today to university libraries and research institutions across the nation demonstrate the commitment to ensure that digital information translates into knowledge, relevant and useful for all Americans of all ages and backgrounds.”
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University is a leading center for innovative programs in information policy, information behavior, information management, information systems, information technology and information services. The school has professional degree programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels and a research degree at the doctoral level. The school also has a distance education program at the graduate level.
Officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is a leading student-centered research university. Syracuse’s 11 schools and colleges share a common mission: to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service while embracing the core values of quality, caring, diversity, innovation and service. The 680-acre campus is home to more than 18,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and 90 countries.