Carpenter’s library bestowed ‘Model 21st Century’ honor

By Jim Newell
Review Staff Writer
Card catalogs with index cards are part of a bygone era, and school libraries across the country have had to embrace new technologies to serve students in the digital age.
For its efforts in incorporating technology and collaboration into its curriculum, Carpenter Elementary Library has been honored with the distinction of “Model 21st Century School Library,” the first of its kind in Michigan.
State schools Superintendent Brian Whiston will visit the Carpenter Elementary library at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 24 to recognize the achievement.
Carpenter Elementary Library Specialist Jeannine Crissman, who is in her 21st year with the district, 16 as a librarian, and Principal Adam Wheldon played key roles in the application process.
“A lot of the program is about collaborating with teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum,” Crissman said.
“Instead of having students do brochures or posters, we’ll have them do a multimedia presentation, research it online and I’ll incorporate technology components,” Crissman said.
“It (technology) definitely has more of an impact,” Crissman said. “The kids are always excited about technology.”
Carpenter received the honor from the State for its coordinated technology curriculum and community collaboration, especially with the Orion Township Public Library, and professional activities promoting school libraries statewide.
What does this mean for Carpenter Elementary and Lake Orion schools?
“It’s good for libraries as a whole, seeing the importance and impact a program like this can have,” Crissman said.
“It really reflects our program in Lake Orion as a whole,” Crissman said, noting that the high school library also has earned the Model 21st Century School Library status.
The Model SL 21 program recognizes high-quality schools and library media specialists and is based on a number of benchmarks established by the Library of Michigan, Including the learning climate, accessibility, instructional materials, budget, student achievement, collaboration, research, curriculum development, community engagement and program effectiveness.
“We’ve spiffed up our library a bit in anticipation of this visit and the kids seem to appreciate it,” Crissman said.