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NYC School Librarian Guidebook: Instruction

A blueprint to the policies, standards, and procedures that enable library personnel to develop, organize, and manage exemplary school library programs.

Teaching and Learning

Librarians and teachers-assigned to the library are first and foremost teachers and the instruction that occurs in the library is process-based and collaborative.  Librarians and teachers-assigned build solid connections between inquiry and literacy, as literacy skills are aligned with the essential skills of inquiry. 

What is Inquiry?

Inquiry engenders a strong commitment to learning.  By creating a culture of inquiry in our schools, teachers build solid connections between inquiry and literacy, as literacy skills are aligned with the essential skills of inquiry.  Through inquiry, teachers and librarians transform alienated or apatheic students into engages and empowered inquirers. 

What is Inquiry? 

Inquiry places students at the heart of learning by empowering them to follow their sense of wonder into new discoveries and insights about the way the world works.

Inquiry requires active engagement.  The learner identifies what he/she already knows, asks intriguing questions about what he/she does not know, investigates the answers, constructs new understandings and shares those understandings with others. 

Digital Citizenship



Our students spend a significant amount of time in the online environment for both personal and academic reasons, and it is the responsibility of our schools to ensure that students are prepared to participate effectively and ethically. We want our students to navigate safely and skillfully in the digital world to prepare them for job opportunities and success in the global economy.  Having a digital presence is a must-have tool for 21st century career success as much as a resume or cover letter.

School librarians are most attuned to the need for students to receive formal instruction in the ethical and responsible use of information and social networking tools; the addition of the following lesson plans and resources will build on what we already do to deliver robust instruction and assessment in digital citizenship to students.  

The Best Free Sources of Digital Citizenship Lessons

Common Sense Media
Stanford History Group Civic Online Reasoning
John Green Crash Course Videos on Navigating Digital Information

Below you will find our revised lessons for 2016!

The Stripling Model of Inquiry

The iterative process of inquiry is most accurately depicted by a spiral or a cycle. Inquiry is not a linear progression, but is messy and recursive. Inquiry does, however, generally progress through phases. Each phase involves critical thinking skills that empower young people to learn on their own. 

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