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The school library is an essential part of student instruction. It is most effective to students, teachers and the community when it supports the county curriculum. School librarians are expected to engage with teachers and administrators in long and short term planning, development, and implementation of the county curriculum. Effective librarians will:

  • Participate in school curriculum meetings
  • Participate in curriculum writing workshops
  • Collaborate with teachers
  • Implements team teaching


School libraries should have a non-circulating copy of each curriculum guide for their respective levels.  A good recommendation would be to create a level appropriate curriculum guide for quick and easy use when collaborating, teaching, and ordering materials.  Integrating appropriate curriculum standards with school library standards enhance student learning.  The school librarian will:

  • Correlate library instruction with classroom instruction
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of curriculum
  • Incorporate appropriate technologies to enrich learning


Carroll County Library Handbook, Section XI-5


Curriculum Pages

Inquiry Learning

Curriculum Charts

Indicators of Effectiveness


Curriculum Pages


State Level Curriculum

MSDE Curriculum


Carroll County Public Schools Curriculum and Instruction

CCPS believes in the responsibility to maintain a high level of curricular programs and instructional methodologies to ensure quality and excellence across the system in curriculum and staff development to support success for every child. 

CCPS Curriculum

CCPS Library Media


Frederick County Public Schools: FCPSTeach

This web site has been created to hold curriculum and instruction resources for Frederick County Public Schools' teachers and administrators. All materials are intended for the use of FCPS staff for their own professional growth or in FCPS sponsored training sessions. Parents, family members and others will also find FCPSTeach a valuable source for complete information about the curriculum taught in Frederick County public schools. 

FCPS Curriculum

FCPS Library Media


Howard County

This web site has been created to share with the school community, in particular parents, the curriculum found in all subject areas taught in Howard County Public Schools.  Employees of Howard County have access to all curriculum guides and instructional resources through a virtual warehouse called the Document Repository. HCPSS also uses an Intranet that is more of a virtual shopping mall for curriculum and policies.  

HCPS Curriculum

HCPS Library Media 



Inquiry Learning


Inquiry is defined as "a stance toward learning in which the learner is engaged in asking questions and finding answers, not simply accumulating facts presented by someone else that have no relation to previous learning or new understanding.  Inquiry follows a continuum of learning experiences, from simply discovering a new idea or an answer to a question to following a complete inquiry process." (AASL Standards for 21st Century Learner, 2009).


According to Tish Stafford, Program Facilitator for Media Services in Cecil County, inquiry is that "which takes the human propensity to ask questions as its starting point" [...] Information corresponds to facts/data etc. and is really just one step beyond the old locational skills that used to form school library curriculum.  Inquiry takes the process to the next level because when you ask a question, you need to make meaning of the answer."


Articles that Support Inquiry Based Learning 


"Uncomfortable Bedfellows" by Sharon Friesen (from Teacher Librarian)

This study looked at the effects of the systematic design and implementation of inquiry based learning for students and teachers.  26 elementary and secondary schools with a total of 12,800 students were given government grant money in Alberta, Canada to transform the learning environment into true inquiry models.  "There was a statistically significant difference between schools that were judged to be high inquiry schools and the provincial and district average."  The outcome of this project was not only higher test scores.  It also included:
  • Enhancement in the competency to construct knowledge;
  • Improved engagement in learning;
  • Increased collaboration amongst students;
  • Increased use of reflection as an evaluative tool;
  • Increased use of authentic assessment practices;
  • Increased understanding of high level thinking skills; and
  • Increased integration of technology as a learning tool.

"Cultivating Curious Minds: Teaching for Innovation through Open-Inquiry Learning" by Jean Sausele Knodt (from Teacher Librarian)

"Children's innovative thinking sets sail when the natural inquisitiveness they bring to the learning table is inspired, affirmed, and cultivated."  This article describes an inquiry learning lab that focused on teaching students inquiry based thinking skills.  The goal was to engage students in innovative thinking by encouraging them to find a solution to a problem through questioning and exploration.  Students were given little guidance to solve real-life problems in a collaborative group.  The author found that not only did the students have rich experiences they were able to transfer and apply their learning to curriculum based skills.

"Teaching the Inquiry Process to 21st Century Learners." by Sabrina Carnesi and Karen DiGiorgio (from Library Media Connection)

This article focuses on how school librarians can use the inquiry process to help promote critical thinking in students.  Through cooperative inquiry groups, a research project can become a multi-discipline project that supports different learning styles.  For example, visual/spatial learners may be comfortable with print sources while interpersonal and intrapersonal learners may be better at evaluating on-line sources.  Final projects allow students an opportunity to reflect and synthesize.  The authors suggest the following six steps for the inquiry process after you have identified and focused the topic.
  1. Questioning
  2. Planning
  3. Collecting and Crediting
  4. Organizing 
  5. Synthesizing
  6. Communicating

"Inquiry Based Writing Workshop" by Lucky Spence (from Teacher Librarian)

A personal narrative is presented which explores the author's experience as a teacher-librarian working collaboratively with a second -grade teacher on the development of an inquiry writing workshop for second grade students.
Websites That Support Inquiry-Based Learning 
NASA – The Student Observation Network - With a focus on student inquiry in the sciences (specifically those subjects which fascinate NASA scientists), this page helps to define and clarify the inquiry process, but also to provide students with individual opportunities to inquiry the way professional scientists inquiry.

Teaching for Information Literacy - Although this website is focused on information literacy, the authors emphasize how closely aligned information literacy and inquiry-based learning can be. The definition and framework of inquiry-based learning, according to this website, emphasize the questioning step: What do I not know? How can I find this out?
Website Recommendations Courtesy of Tish Stafford


Aligning School Library Materials with Inquiry-Based Learning


As teachers and school librarians continue to introduce, develop, and hone inquiry-based learning, school librarians need to dedicate some time and effort to providing school library materials for students that promote stuent-base inquiry.

  • Ensure that all students in the school know how to independently search all school databases.
  • Survey teachers and students and maintain a running list of recommended nonfiction items of interest.
  • Constantly emphasize with the students why they need to evaluate for website effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with classroom teachers on projects that promote contextual thinking rather than thinking that requires only location of facts. 
  • Create comingled displays that advertise fiction and nonfiction items with similar topics or time periods (i.e. A nonfiction text on the Battle of Gettysburg beside a historical fiction novel about the Civil War).
  • Use exemplary DVD documentaries to promote student interest in a topic.  



Curriculum Charts


School Librarians must have a knowledge of the curriculum for all academic areas to meet those needs as well as knowing where to go to find the most recent changes in all curricular areas.


CCPS Elementary Curriculum Chart

FCPS High School Curriculum Chart


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