By the time students enter their senior year, it seems every one of us at Palo Alto High School has sat through numerous database and research lectures given by librarian Rachel Kellerman. These talks, while somewhat helpful the first time, become extremely repetitive by senior year. Mostly, they provide help for students who are assigned research projects or papers.
The reality of high school in today’s day and age is that much of students’ research will be done through easy to access mediums such as Google or Wikipedia. The librarian of today has become the cybrarian who knows how to access huge amounts of information quickly. We should take advantage of the wealth of information that Kellerman has to offer by having a defined curriculum for each year.
The Campanile thanks Kellerman for her efforts to teach the students how to use databases and research, but we would like to make a few suggestions to improve the overall student experience.
Freshmen have different needs from seniors and thus Kellerman should give one database talk to all freshmen at the beginning of their high school careers to ensure that all students learn how to conduct proper research prior to being assigned their first research project. She should give different lecturers to sophomores, juniors and seniors. If new resources or tools become available, new tutorials could be included accordingly.
The reality is that the talks can be redundant from year to year and contribute little new information about doing research.
We would like to suggest that the teachers communicate more effectively across departments with each other and build curriculum guidelines for what library skills should be taught each year. The teachers need to coordinate with Kellerman, and she can make suggestions to the departments about what would be a good library curriculum for each year.
For new students, The Campanile suggests Kellerman offer lectures during tutorial periodically throughout the year. This plan guarantees that all students who want guidance in conducting research receive the help they want, while avoiding the current issue of redundancy.
With the new system students would benefit more from the talks and be more grateful to the librarians.