The Urban Libraries Council recognized Brooklyn Public Library as one of ten Top Innovators for its Teacher Lab initiative, a free online information literacy and research skills course designed to equip K-12 educators with the tools to navigate the world of information to create richer, more engaging learning opportunities for their students.
A panel of judges selected Brooklyn Public Library's program from 220 submissions. The award by the Urban Libraries Council, North America's membership organization for public libraries, recognizes programs which demonstrate the value and impact of public library service.
"Teacher Lab strengthens the relationship between schools and public libraries by helping teachers impart critical thinking and research skills to their students," said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. "As teachers and students are increasingly inundated with information, public libraries are uniquely positioned to help them navigate an ever-expanding universe of sources."
Teacher Lab began with a small group in a classroom in 2014 and has since been redesigned as an online class. The course includes an orientation to the resources of the public library, visiting a special collection in an archive and a review of information literacy skills essential for navigating open internet tools like Google and Wikipedia. Teachers learn how to apply core research skills across all disciplines, handle primary sources, and how to evaluate and cite resources ranging from scholarly articles to tweets.
To date, over 1300 educators have participated and more than 150 graduates have earned 12 hours of state-certified credit which is applicable towards teaching license requirements.
"We are thrilled Urban Libraries Council has recognized this innovative program, and hope that recognition means Teacher Lab can be replicated across the country," said Johnson.
To learn more about Teacher Lab and to enroll, go here.