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Article updated: 2/4/2013 11:33 AM

Glen Crest Librarian Chosen for ILEAD USA

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By Jean Jeske

Pamela McDermott, Library Director at Glen Crest Middle School, has been selected to take part in ILEAD USA (Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover), a prestigious year-long program designed to help librarians understand and respond to user needs through the application of participatory technology tools and the creation of an easy-to-replicate model program.

McDermott will serve as a team leader along with participants from Illinois, Colorado, Utah, Ohio and Iowa. Participants take part in three four-day sessions over the course of nine months, beginning March 25-28. Teams identify a single group project of the their design that will address an identified patron need. They will use the skills and training acquired throughout the sessions to develop, implement, manage and evaluate the project.

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"This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the critical need for professional librarians in our schools. Research documents that children with access to trained librarians score better on national achievement tests. The Illinois State Board of Education along with the Illinois School Code, have no criteria for libraries or librarians in our schools. The result is wide discrepancy between the level of instruction and resources available to our children. This is a detriment to the learning of our children. We hope to create a product that allows schools to compare themselves to like schools and provide a snapshot of the state of school libraries in Illinois. As Common Core Standards and increasingly rigorous content are implemented in schools the need for professional school librarians will become even more important."

The Illinois State Library, a division of the office of Secretary of State and State

Librarian Jesse White, received a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to implement ILEAD USA. ILEAD USA sessions will be held June 17-20 and October 21-24. Simultaneously, sessions will be held in each of the five states, with plenary sessions on streaming video. In-person sessions, virtual meetings and activities will allow participate to hone their skills, experiment with participatory technology tools and continue communications with other ILEAD USA participants.

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