Hunting for books
Leann Seddon, the teacher librarian for the Albia Community School District in Iowa, noticed that a lot of her students were interested in hunting, but the district’s libraries did not have many books that involved the subject. While trying to find books to purchase for the district, she also discovered that there were no comprehensive lists of hunting books that included the way the book portrayed hunting. She decided to fix this problem and created a bibliography of hunting books for youth as part of her master’s research paper.
Through her research, Seddon found fiction books for all grade levels. The bibliography includes titles such as Conner’s Big Hunt by Shawn Myer, a book about the lessons a young boy learns while hunting with his father, and The Challenge by Scott Johnson, a book for middle schoolers that tells the story of a young girl’s first deer hunt. The titles are diverse, and there is something on the list for every lover of hunting.
“Books that positively portray hunting as a hobby are often difficult to find. Seddon's resulting bibliography will be a great resource for librarians and teachers who help students find books they will enjoy,” stated Dr. Karla Krueger, assistant professor in the UNI School Library Studies Program. Seddon’s complete master’s research paper and bibliography, “101 Books for youth that feature hunters & hunting” is available on Seddon’s website.
Seddon believes that all classroom teachers in schools have a responsibility to promote literacy; however, the teacher librarian plays an important role when it comes to literacy. “From the library policies we put in place, to the diversity and quality of our library collection, to how we promote reading, we teacher librarians do have a big impact on literacy at our schools,” she stated.
Seddon, a 2013 graduate of the UNI School Library Studies program, stated, “It is because of my master’s education at UNI that I feel very competent in running my five school libraries today, despite the constant challenges faced by this profession.”
Dr. Jean Donham studied assignments from first-year classes in Iowa colleges and universities to see how effectively schools preparing their students for further education. She found that college faculty expect students to come to college with well-developed research skills, which is something that often gets overlooked in high school. Donham published her findings in an article in School Library Research Vol. 17, 2014 titled “College Ready—What Can We Learn from First-Year College Assignments? An Examination of Assignments in Iowa Colleges and Universities.” Donham retired from teaching in the UNI School Library Studies program in May 2014. Read more.
Joining forces for STEM and literacy
At the Iowa Statewide STEM Conference on March 28, 2014, two University of Northern Iowa research centers and the School Library Studies Division announced a partnership to promote high quality STEM and literacy integration. The Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education, the Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy, and School Library Studies will collaborate to support schools and teachers in providing a rich STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) experience for PreK-3rd grade students. Read more.
A wild ride through history
Kari Bosma, a teacher librarian in Ankeny Community School District in Iowa, has found that learning history through graphic novels can improve students’ comprehension. Her study involved fifth grade students learning about events in the American Revolution through graphic novels, such as Paul Revere's Ride by Xavier Niz, and other nonfiction texts. Bosma conducted this study as part of her School Library Studies master’s research in 2010 under the direction of UNI professors Dr. Audrey Rule, Elementary Education, and Dr. Karla Krueger, School Library Studies. Read more.