Self-selecting books to meet your specific needs is a great way to build PD that works for you and your library program. To feel that I’ve grown as a professional, I need books that will be thought-provoking and lead to paradigm shifts that will influence my work. Still, I want to be sure that any PD book is practical, and it has ideas or tools that I can use right away in my instruction or in the library. Here are a few professional books that have recently influenced my work:
Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E Probst — Teaching students to read deeply and find textual evidence to support their claims can be a challenge, especially in the context of their work on a research assignment where they will read and synthesize perspectives from multiple books or articles. Using the signposts suggested in Notice and Note has given me an approach for teaching students to read complex sources and identify not just facts, but also themes, biases and contradictions within the texts.
Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller — Developing life-long readers is an important part of the mission of school libraries, but it can be challenging to establish the school-wide practices that will help kids engage with books. Enter Reading in the Wild. Using data about the habits of avid adult readers as evidence for practice, the book upholds five practices of “wild readers” and offers strategies to help students build those habits. I’ve recommended the tools and lesson plans in the back of the book to members of our faculty to support their independent reading programs.
Complete Copyright for K-12 Librarians and Educators by Carrie Russell — Teachers often ask questions about copyright, and this book is the best I’ve found to detail all that a school librarian needs to know. Detailed answers to common and more obscure copyright scenarios provide important support for school librarians and their faculties.
Do you have a professional development book that’s positively impacting your work lately? Share in the comments!