Library & Information Literacy
Students today are bombarded with information, much of which is highly unreliable. More than ever, they need to be able to distinguish valid statements and data from both wishful thinking and maliciously shared untruths. At GMS, we teach girls to understand the difference between making claims and supporting them, and to question all information that is not backed up by evidence.
In parallel, our students learn that research is more than typing a query into Google. The GMS Library and Information Literacy Program teaches them to find information, evaluate it for accuracy and legitimacy, and then use it to make convincing arguments.Over the course of three years, in close collaboration with their core-subject teachers, GMS girls are taught to:
- formulate answerable research questions,
- determine which resources will best help them answer their questions – books, periodicals, maps, speeches, newspapers, or online materials,
- evaluate information for currency, accuracy, bias, and relevance,
- put the information into a meaningful form, and
- properly cite their sources.
Following the information research recommendations of Bay Area Independent School Librarians (BAISL), our program also helps students understand and avoid plagiarism and educates parents in smart information research. By the end of eighth grade, all students are ready to undertake research at the high school level. To aid students in their studies, GMS carefully curates an in-house library and supplements it with a wide variety of high-quality online sources.
One of the great advantages of working in a school of only 200 students is that I get to know each reader individually. By October, I know each sixth grader, what she’s reading, what she doesn’t like, and what she ought to be reading. It helps me match the book to the girl.
Walter Mayes, Library & Media Specialist