Questar III School Library System Director Jen Cannell has been chosen to serve in a New York State leadership program that will design library solutions at the local, regional, and statewide levels.
The ILEAD USA (Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply, and Discover) program exists through a partnership between the New York State Library, the New York Library Association, and the Mid-York Library System. New York is one of many states that are involved in this national initiative.
The program is made up of eight teams. Cannell will be working with Team Premier Learning, which consists of five school library system directors from across the state. The team is tasked with developing a digital platform by which library media specialists can access, sort through, and assess the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC), a K-12 framework for the instructional aspects of library programs.
The team will be led by Dr. Barbara Stripling, former director of the American Library Association and a professor at Syracuse University. Her model, the Stripling Model of Inquiry, was the basis for developing the ESIFC.
“All of the different School Library Systems have really been working with the ESIFC,” said Cannell, “and we’ve each been helping our libraries implement it in schools, so we each come with a whole lot of resources that we’ve used. We’d like to create a place where we can put all of that information for others to see.”
Cannell’s team hopes to develop a website and an app whereby faculty can access sample lessons and see links between different skills and assessments, and students can work online to develop the skills that are integral in the ESIFC. Cannell is confident that her work at Questar III has prepared her for the challenge. “I’ve presented the ESIFC to several administrators, and it seems that all of our districts have embraced the idea of librarians teaching skills to help their students meet the Common Core Standards,” she said.
Cannell’s team applied for the opportunity after the New York State Library put out a call to librarians statewide looking for groups of professionals to step up and lead. “They wanted to think big,” said Cannell. “I knew that if we could think of something that was scalable for all of New York State, then that would have a much better chance of being approved.”
Cannell will be attending meetings with ILEAD in Utica from March 24-26, June 22-25, and October 26-29.