MDI library research initiative launched



BAR HARBOR — A proposal by a group of Mount Desert Island public and school librarians to create better online research tools is one of four selected to be part of the Maine State Library’s 2015 Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover (ILEAD) initiative.

With training and support from the Maine State Library, the MDI ILEAD team will create a guided, single-site research experience for students, teachers, technology coordinators, library media specialists, and school and town librarians.

Lisa Murray, who is both a Southwest Harbor Public Library and Pemetic Elementary School librarian, will be the team leader for the project.

“While the Internet provides many opportunities for students to find information, many struggle with finding credible sources to help them with their answers,” Murray said. “As a public and school librarian and a parent of two school-age boys, I have noticed a widening gap in information literacy and research skills.”

She said the goal of the MDI ILEAD team is to design an interactive research portal that would provide a guided research experience “that could be managed and maintained efficiently and accessed from schools, libraries or homes.”

Among those who will benefit from the project are middle school students, according to Julie Meltzer, director of curriculum, assessment and instruction for the MDI Regional School System.

“Teachers throughout the district have indicated concern that the approximately 700 students in grades 4-8 do not have easily accessible, high-quality research tools to support twenty-first century learning,” she said.

Members of the MDI ILEAD project team, in addition to Murray, are Clara Baker of the Bass Harbor Memorial Library and the Tremont Consolidated School librarian, Siobhan Ryan of the Conners-Emerson School library in Bar Harbor and Davonne Pappas, a librarian at MDI High School.

They will be assisted by other public and school librarians in the MDI area.

The Maine State Library describes the initiative as “a continuing education program that helps librarians utilize technology and strategic partnerships to develop best practices to address specific needs within their communities.”

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