Kelly Atkinson

    Kelly Atkinson holds a Bachelor of Arts, Masters in Education and Masters in Library Science. She is a former School Librarian and Library Consultant/Media Specialist from British Columbia, who has worked in the field of bilingual/immersion education since 1995 with assignments in Nunavut, Japan and Canada. Her areas of expertise lie in School Library Technology; Library Management; Material Selection; Information Literacy; Reference Tools; Online Databases; Presentation Tools; Reader's Advisory, Coordination of whole school activities; Special Libraries and tailoring the organization of materials to suit the client needs. She has worked in second language classrooms, libraries at both the primary and secondary level, as well as assisting in numerous city projects, organizations and museum archives.

    Workshop by Kelly Atkinson

    Workshop: Explore best practices in school and classroom libraries

    Presentation 1: Libraries at the heart of a school – improving literacy environments in Early Years and Primary Schools
    Presentation 2: The importance of Library and Media technology for student success in High School/Gymnasium and beyond

    Kelly Atkinson offers a blueprint for creating, maintaining and making best use of a collection of reading level and age appropriate materials to improve reading fluency. These materials may be in different formats, e.g. books, digital records, books on cd, big books, databases, ebooks. The library may be classroom based or a central resource for the school.

    The most effective reading programs for English language learners combine systematic phonics instruction with a print-rich environment that provides exposure to appealing reading materials in varied genres. Focusing English language learning on reading books, in addition to controlled print such as textbooks and worksheets, improves the rate at which students learn English.

    Access to classroom and/or school libraries is credited with improved student achievement. Enjoyment of reading is linked to student success . In addition, libraries provide equalizing opportunities for disadvantaged students.

    There are some low cost methods to build classroom libraries, an ongoing process that takes perhaps years to gather enough materials. Experts say a minimum of 10 books per child and a minimum  collection of 100 items in total should be organized in a functional, attractive space. The material must be levelled and easily accessed by some method of color coding or labelling. The presenter will convince you that collecting fewer high quality books is a better idea than having a large collection of dog-eared, worn out books. There are methods for preparing and circulating the materials that are student led.

    There is no denying that tackling the addition of a classroom or school library is time consuming. The initial organization involves time and knowledge of children’s literature, securing funds and purchasing and processing materials however research shows the undeniable value of classroom/school libraries.

    Workshop held in English.